It is a romantic name with Valentine’s Day around the corner. Poet Gardens is the dining/food hall where Whittier Brewing Co. set up shop. I mentioned this brand new brewery in my new and in-progress breweries in my last Brew & You post and now I have visited the once-upon-a-time banking space to check out the beers that Edgar Hernandez and team produce.
Brewing operations are tucked in the back corner of the space past Wine Library, Fish God, Xiao and Rue Dauphine food operations. Look for the bright mural depicting the four major beer ingredients. There is a lovely patio area (a little dimmed by a quite loud A/C unit) shaded by old trees that will be a very popular spot come summer. There are plenty of seating options inside as well with little nooks with more privacy in the corner, some window seats to watch the passers-by and picnic tables lining the middle section.
I was able to taste through most of the beer line-up on a recent Sunday afternoon (all of which priced at an excellent $2 per taster).
Here are the good and bad of the group.
RX Pils – Light, clear yellow in color. Good initial carbonated bite to this pilsner. Both a little sweet and tart. Grain taste comes through very well.
Sword Fight Belgian Pale – The yeast esters on this lighter side of the Belgian beer spectrum slightly lags the strong grain taste. As the beer warms the balance eventually works between the spice and the malt.
Mr. LA IPA – This L.A. namesake IPA pours dirty orange color. Tangerine is the dominant taste, but a strong and heavy malt taste that takes over part way through.
Hey McFly Hazy IPA – Some of the haze has dropped away from this beer and it doesn’t have the soft and juicy taste to it that is typical of the style. More of a tropical grilled fruit note to it.
Cloudy Judgment Hazy IPA – This was the best of the three IPAs that I tasted. It has the hazy look down and the hop kick is more restrained and juicy.
Give You Nothing Belgian Saison – Big banana and grain taste here which works really nicely with the sharply carbonated mouthfeel. Though I do like the softer Belgian pale a skosh better.
Overall, I would recommend starting with the pils and Belgian Pale which worked for me better than the IPAs. Considering the food, I hope more pils is coming or perhaps a dark lager.
Homage Brewing has quite the innovative streak and The Flower Called Nowhere is no exception. My Non-IPA Beer of the Week is a Saison aged on various flowers. Europe Rose imparts a soft and fragrant aroma. Osmanthus, according to the brewery, “has a unique fragrance of peach and apricot that compliments the stone fruit qualities of the wild yeast.” They finish with Chrysanthemum which is the comp for aged hops as used in Belgium. They released bottles on January 18, so start hunting now. This is probably 2020’s first whale.
How many wishes do you want? Smog City Brewing has you covered as they are releasing their barrel-aged Imperial Stout on January 25. But they will be pouring more than one beer that day as they have four different variants bottles and on draft. Which wish will you make?
#1: Coconut Vanilla
#3: Double Bourbon
# 5: All of the Above
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.