I hope you are ready because the busy craft beer season starts soon for Angelenos. Get out your calendars (electronic or paper) and mark down where you will be imbibing over the next two months. There is much ground to cover starting with the Brew at the Zoo which is tomorrow night! We drink so much craft beer inside that it is wonderful to get outside and be able to commune with both nature and your beer.
Then it is on to the LA Craft Beer Crawl on the 18th of this month. Spread over 7 downtown drinking establishments with a great roster of breweries that include the likes of Strand Brewing, Beachwood Brewing, Smog City and others and hosted and brought to us by the wonderful and very knowledgable Beer Chicks.
There will be over 70 craft beers within easy walking distance of each other from 7 Grand to the Golden Gopher and including the famous Cole’s French Dip amongst the stops.
And there is another added benefit, which I will let the Beer Chicks explain: “We’ve also added some awesome and fun specialty beer tasting sessions. We Beer Chicks will be hosting a session on our favorite beers of the crawl, then we’ll be doing a Scotch and craft beer pairing with Highland Park Brand Ambassador Martin Daraz. Beer Expert Tomm Carroll will be doing a special tasting highlighting Italian beers and the amazing craft beer revolution happening in Italy. And, last but not least, David “The Gueuzehound” Watrous will lead a class through a puckering selection of highly sought after sour beer.”
Then you have a month to prepare for the third annual L.A. Beer Week which lasts from September 20-30.
There will be beer dinners, nights dedicated to breweries and beer styles and all manner of beeriness but the first thing on your list is to get a ticket to the finale at Union Station. It is a great spot to find a concentrated supply of locally made beer. And it keeps getting bigger and better. Plus you can ride the Metro and not have to worry about driving. Check out this column in September for a complete rundown of the must see and drink at events.
Then you get a week off before BAM Fest hits on October 6th. This unique event celebrates three distinct creative endeavors. Music – with four bands on hand. Art – with three galleries and artist market and open artist studios and of course craft beer with 30+ breweries in attendance like The Bruery, Monkish and Angel City. Oh and did I mention that it is at the beach? And that tickets for the event are $35 if purchased before September 22?
Finally, the grandaddy of them all finishes up the season with the Great American Beer Festival in Denver from October 11-13.
This is where the craft beer world converges. Every brewery imaginable is in town along with the vast majority of beer geeks too. Denver is so awash in suds that weekend that you could miss the main festival all together and still have more beer than you can handle. It is a journey to be made at least once by anyone who calls themselves a craft beer geek.
The Beer of the Week comes from Hawaii and Kona Brewing. “Big Wave Golden Ale is one of our original beers, first brewed at our Kailua-Kona home brewery in the mid 90’s. Like Longboard, it’s a great session beer with a bright quenching finish.” August in California and session beers go hand in hand but what makes this more interesting is that it is made with the hops d’jour of Galaxy and Citra.
Your Homework this week is to find your light saber and head to San Clemente and the northernmost outpost of the Pizza Port family on the 19th of August for “It’s a Tap”. A whole day of Star Wars themed beers such as Bantha Poodoo, Delusions of Grandeur and Nerf Herder. I have to believe that there had to be some craft beer on tap at the Mos Eisley Cantina. A Jedi can work up a thirst after a hard day of bringing order to the galaxy.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.