If you are anything like me, when the curtain comes down on the 2nd L.A. Beer Week, my thoughts turn immediately to year three. Before you do that, now is the perfect time to keep Los Angeles craft beer moving in a bigger, better direction. You can do that in many easy ways.
1. If you live in Southern California, you probably have a relative or friends from college in a cooler/icier/snowier part of the country. And usually these people make room to visit when they are in L.A. Ask them to pack some local beer in their suitcases (wrapped well to avoid spilling on clothes) and bring it so that you can have a blind taste test between their beer and the beer of California. Barring that, make sure to take people out to the many and growing craft beer establishments that we have in L.A. You have (hopefully) checked out new places and beers and now is the time to show off your new favorite places and to let people from the rest of the country and the world that Los Angeles is no longer a beer desert. The added side benefit is that the more beer we buy the more beer we all can get because of that old law of supply and demand.
2. Traffic is a major impediment from going out. I know I tend to stick to areas with easier access because I don’t want to sit in my car staring at an unfunny vanity license plate when I could be sipping a beer. The trick is to schedule Sunday outings. Pick your reason as to why the highways are less kludgy that day, but they just are and take advantage of it. I am a fan of Ladyface Ale Companie in Agoura. And instead of trying to get there on a Friday night, I take off on a Sunday morning and time it to get there around noon. That way I beat the rush as well as the traffic.
3. Now that you have acquainted your out-of-towners with our revitalized scene, it is time to make sure that you get your co-workers, neighbors and frenemies hip to the fact that craft beer is here and they should get on the bandwagon. When the next party or get together is being planned, push the craft beer agenda. Take charge and recommend Blue Palms for a meet-up. And if you are into the whole social network, when you are at the Verdugo make sure the Facebookers and Twitter-ers know you are there.
4. This is the easiest way to promote craft beer. Share beer with friends. When the gang comes over to watch football, make sure that your ‘fridge is stocked with the good stuff. Get some tasting cups or use whatever you have to pass around samples. People love samples. Then send some of the beers home with them. And when you get invited to housewarming parties, skip the wine and grab a beer that can age. Something that will remind them of your generosity when opened later.
5. Get out your calendar and start finding other great beer events. Just because LA Beer Week is nearing completion does not mean that craft beer events are going to just disappear. Just off the top of my head San Diego Beer Week is November 5-14. Tony’s Darts Away has a vegan & beer event coming up on November 6. And if you want to keep your beer palate in top shape, the fine folks at Vendome Toluca Lake have a great tasting deal each Saturday.
Five easy and fun ways to keep the craft beer flame alive until next year at this time.
The beer of the week is named after last Sunday. It is the latest iteration of the Vertical Epic series from Stone Brewing. And if you are intrigued by grapes and wine characteristics in a beer then buy some bottles while they last. They will go fast because beer geeks will be buying to cellar along with their 09/09/09 and so on back to 02/02/02. There are only two more years remaining in this series so enjoy this special release while you can.
And wait, there is more homework. Blue Palms Brewhouse recently released their own app! So now you can press a button and get your Blue Palms fix. And if you haven’t downloaded the 38 Degrees app then get on it.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.