As I stare at the Bruery pin on my purse and think back to Beer Fest 2012, I feel a little guilty. First of all, I’m drinking tea and not beer as I write this, which seems a little sacrilegious, but also, I’m almost two weeks late on this recap. To be fair, today is the first real fall day in
, and though a good pumpkin ale is equivalent company, a nice cup of hot tea really pairs well with the ominous rolling black clouds in the distance. In terms of the lateness of this post, however, there was a lot to process. Looking back, I tried almost 35 beers and that was with a food break in between. I still haven’t even plugged them all into my Untappd list yet. Los Angeles
There were a few noticeable differences between this year’s fest and previous ones. One major difference was the large amount of smaller local breweries, which is really due to the recent boom in breweries opening up in the Los Angeles Area.
, watch out! Los Angeles is gaining a pretty heavy foothold. I’ve only been out of the craft beer loop for about six months, but in that time the community has been hopping! (No pun intended.) This is including the exciting revamping of Angel City Brewery who was actively attending the Beer Fest celebrations all week long promoting their new beer and improved image. (Their tap room is supposed to open in November, and I highly suggest you go for a visit, because if they keep this energy up, they are definitely going to be a brewery to keep watching!) San Diego
Because of this huge increase in the smaller and newer breweries, a few of the bigger established local breweries and some regular
breweries weren’t at the fest. And it did leave a little bit of a hole, as two of the breweries missing were The Lost Abbey/Port (one of my favorites) and Craftsman, who usually provides some really exciting sours, wild ales, and experimental fair. Plus, selfishly, I was hoping they’d bring some Triple White Sage, as I missed out on it this year. San Diego
Plus, some of the usual seasonals weren’t there. Bootleggers Pumpkin Ale, which is still my absolute favorite pumpkin beer, wasn’t ready for the fest, and neither was The Bruery’s 5 Golden Rings.
On the plus side, the food trucks in attendance this year were really exciting. I was especially elated about the Boarder Grill truck, as their green corn tamals are freaking delish. TAPS’ Pumpkin beer was very good, nice and light, but full of spices and pumpkin flavor which made me happy, and contrary to my beer fest cohorts, I actually kind of liked the prickly pear theme brew ingredient, though I think we all agreed that we would’ve preferred it be part of a brewery showdown event instead.
All in all, after a post beer fest discussion with my drinking partners (Kraemer, Amie, and JD) the determined highlights included:
- Eagle Rocks Unity. It was pretty amazing this year. Weighing in at about 3.5% abv and showcasing a very light, drinkable beer with a hint of prickly pear sweetness, it was the most refreshing beverage there.
- After tasting the Angel City IPA following my Women’s Beer Forum Eureka tasting, I can earnestly say
is doing some good things downtown. Angel City
- Though only having been open for 6 months, we were all interested in seeing how Ouroburos Ales will be progressing in the next year as both of their Fest offerings sparked our curiosity.
- Telegraph’s Prime Meridian really blew us away.
- Cismontane, as per usual, brought a good selection and continues to impress us. We had their Saison, Double IPA and the Bourbon Barrel… which, after a string of unbalanced Bourbon Barrel aged beer lately, was a very welcome addition.
- Though I wasn’t able to have the 5 Golden Rings, I did imbibe on The Bruery’s Smoking Wood, which was interesting. It’s definitely smoky with a nice sweetness to the malt that I would be interested in aging just a little bit for a summer 2013 camping trip.
- The Ommegang Harvest Ale and the TAPS pumpkin were both nice, pleasant seasonal options.
- Monkish is another brewery to keep an eye on. Their prickly pear contribution was the Sueno de
, and it was fantastical. After trying that and their Feminist, I can’t wait to visit these guys soon. I’d love to be able to taste their whole line up! Los Angeles
LA beer scene feels like it’s about to erupt into new directions, with more care, innovation, specialization than we’ve seen yet. I cannot wait for the coming months, to see where our beer scene goes.
So, in no particular order here is the tasted list, as I can read it… drinking plus writing equals gibberish (the stars are for ones we recommend seeking out):
Eagle Rock Brewery – Unity 2012 *
Eagle Rock Brewery – Unionist *
Brävery Brewing – Pineapple Boo (interesting and surprisingly light and refreshing)
Angel City Brewery – IPA
Ouroboros Ales – Old Bar Brown
Ouroboros Ales – Purple Iris IPA
Kinetic Brewery – Potential Blonde
Kinetic Brewery – Ignition Pale
Kinetic Brewery – Prickly Saison
Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. – Porter
Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co –
Paradise Road Pilsner
Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co – Hurricane Deck Double IPA
Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co – Black Ale
Telegraph Brewing Co – Prime Meridian *
Telegraph Brewing Co – Bourbon Barrel Porter
Dogfish Head – Punkin
Sam Adams - Pumpkin
Cismontane Brewing Co – Session Saison *
Cismontane Brewing Co – Double Rainbow IPA
Cismontane Brewing Co – Blacks Nocturne *
Great Divide – Rumble
Evans – Lager
The Bruery – Smoking Wood
Ommegang Brewery - Harvest Ale *
TAPS - Pumpkin Ale *
Monkish Brewery – Sueno de
* Los Angeles
Monkish Brewery – Anomaly *
Ohana Brewing Co – Saison Dubach
Ohana Brewing Co – Accomplice
Browerij West – Tripel
Haven Brewing – IPA
Haven Brewing – Double IPA
Bear Republic Brewing Co – Racer 15 *
Needless to say, there was a lot of drinking and we were incredibly happy to be able to take the train.
Can wait for next year! Only 354 more days left.
Quote of the day: “Beer should not be like an M. Night Shymalan movie, nothing but the twist at the end.”