The time between deciding to open a brewery to actually throwing open the taps is maddeningly long. For both the brewers and the customers. Just ask the recently opened MacLeod Ale Brewing Co. and the coming Phantom Carriage.
Or you can visit Inglewood and the brand spanking new taproom of Three Weavers Brewing and congratulate founder, Lynne Weaver, and her team for reaching the goal of having customers ordering their beers at their bowling alley lane bar. Which at times may have seemed too far off in the distance.
The facility just off the 405 on Manchester Avenue is your typical brewery in a warehouse setting with the picnic tables and view of the brewing operations on the inside, but if someone had told me even a year ago that Inglewood would be home to a cool spot for beer, I would have done a double-take. But such is the growth of craft beer in LA. that any city with the foresight to see the economic benefit of a brewery can become home to one considering how high one has to hurdle for the City of Los Angeles.
Three paragraphs and no beer recommendations make a bad beer post so here are my top choices from brewmaster Alexandra Nowell. Deep Roots ESB is solid and the coffee version kicks it up a notch. The Stateside Session IPA is strong on hoppy aroma and low on ABV. But I would choose the Seafarer Kolsch first. It is a beautiful yellow color with a great malty crisp taste. I also heard rumors about a grapefruit version of the beer as well.
If you are looking for hops they have the Expatriate IPA and the Knotty Double IPA, both of which were popular with the customers on opening day, with the latter generating a snaking line out the door when it was first tapped. If you are a fan of the stouts and porters, they have a really nice English style porter, Hounslow, and a big licorice Imperial Stout that clocks in at 9.5% ABV with the moniker, Midnight Flight, which you can drink while watching planes make their final approach to LAX.
Make sure to schedule a visit to their taproom which currently has the striking photographs of Nick Gingold from his California Brewmasters book on display on the walls and see why the big Randy’s Donuts sculpture isn’t the only cool landmark to stop at in Inglewood.
Your Beer of the Week is the simply named Double IPA from Strike Brewing. No baseball/hop puns here. It may be too much for Dodger fans to drink a Bay Area beer while the Giants are still playing baseball, but the faux seams on the outside of the can and the bitterness within will make it easier to say, “Wait till next year.”
Your Homework this week is to set a Google/Bing/whatever search engine you use alert so you can be notified when Phantom Carriage and their tasting room comes online. This new Sour House has been hotly anticipated and will be the next big thing. Artisan food and beer together curated by Martin Svab and brewer Simon Ford.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.