LA Beer Week is finally here, and it is like Christmas in September for beer fans Los Angeles! So much more than the Festival at Union Station on September 30th, LA Beer Week is 11 days filled with events, tastings, and special beers. Here is your one-stop shop for al the LA Beer Week info that you’ll need!
Beer of Tomorrow Is Your LA Beer Week HQ
This post will be continually updated throughout the week with new details and information as we hear about it, and you can check our LABW section for a collection of all the LABW posts.
Getting a new iPhone? Or just want some ideas of how you can put your smartphone to work during LA Beer Week? We’ve got some app suggestions for you!
…And that is a shame because one of the strengths of craft beer is it’s versatility. I will be the first in line to say that Union Station is a grand location to luxuriate in a massive selection of great beer. But craft beer can be enjoyed in so many other ways. You could also celebrate L.A. Beer Week at home! Head to a bottle shop and pick up some beer from a local brewery. Eagle Rock, Golden Road, Hangar 24, Cismontane all offer handy to-go bottles.
While the events list is still being assembled, we know there are some great brewery nights, festivals, and beer dinners on the books already.
For more event listings, check out Beer Guy LA’s great list of all the goings-on in September.
Beer of Tomorrow’s Picks
Our LA Beer Week schedule is still being solidified, but we are planning to attend the following events around town:
- El Segundo Brewing Co One Night Stand at Beer Belly (Wednesday 9/19. Technically not yet LA Beer Week, we are going to get the party started early with some ESBC brews and Pork Belly Chips!)
- Women’s Beer Forum at Eagle Rock Brewing (Wednesday 9/19). We’re sending a correspondant to this month’s forum that is focusing on LA Beers!
- Stone Total Town Takeover! We’ll be in Pasadena on Thursday to get LA Beer Week officially kicked off with a whole day of events culminating at the Open House of the new Stone Brewing Company Store in Pasadena.
- Golden Road Brewing’s 1st Anniversary party. Saturday the 22nd is the Better Weather Fest celebration of GRB’s first year!
- Beer Brunch at Eagle Rock Brewing. Sunday morning is a special brewer’s brunch in Atwater Village/Glassel Park. $15 for 2 beers and food!
- Dogfish Head Ancient Ales dinner at Little Bear on Monday September 24th. The food and beer pairings sound amazing, and we’re excited to tuck into Chef Gurrero’s menu!
- Echo Park Musical Beer Crawl on Tuesday the 25th. Great beers and great music at a bunch of venues throughout Echo Park!
- Port Brewing/Lost Abbey Pint Night at the Surly Goat on Thursday in West Hollywood.
- Friday the 28th has both the Oinkster anniversary party with six special burgers and an Eagle Rock Brewing tap takeover and the Ballast Point pint night at Mohawk Bend!
- The FoodGPS Beer Float Showdown in on Saturday the 29th
- And of course the closing festival on the 30th at Union Station! Find us and say hi!
Each of the past 2 years Eagle Rock Brewery has produced a special beer for the LA Beer Week; dubbed Unity, the commemorative brew has symbolized the spirit of teamwork and comradery between the Los Angeles breweries and all the people behind craft beer in Los Angeles. And it is excellent.
First brewed in 2010 as a California Common dubbed LA’s Team Beer (get it?), last year Unity was brewed as a collaboration with seminal LA craft brewery Craftsman Brewery. The result was a tamarind-spiked saison that proved quite popular during the festival. This year things are working a little differently: Jeremy from Eagle Rock worked with the other organizers of LA Beer Week to choose a signature ingredient that 10 LA Breweries would use in their own take on the commemorative beer.
Guava, jasmine flowers, and a few other ingredients were discussed before finally settling on prickly pears! We were on-hand for a portion of Eagle Rock’s brew day as their prepared a rye-heavy take on a tart Berliner Wiesse flavored with red and green cactus fruits, and we are really looking forward to trying the beer!
Don’t like sour Berliner Weisses? Don’t worry, you’ll have a chance to try many different styles from the participating breweries:
In addition to Eagle Rock’s Unity, other breweries around town were encouraged to create their own prickly pear beers especially for LA Beer Week, and several gladly stepped up to the challenge!
- Cismontane Brewing Company — “Nopal de Trigo” — hefeweizen brewed with hand-pressed prickly pear juice.
- El Segundo Brewing Company — “Prickly Dog” — White Dog IPA with prickly pear and a yeast strain swiped from Monkish Brewing Co.
- Golden Road Brewing — an as-yet-unnamed honey blonde brewed with prickly pear fruit, cactus honey, and mesquite-smoked cactus paddles (nopales)
- Ladyface Ale Companie — “Opuntia Megasperma” — cask-conditioned Chesebro IPA with locally harvested wild prickly pear fruit. Only one cask was made, which will be available exclusively at the LA Beer Week Festival on 9/30.
- Monkish Brewing Co. — “Sueño Para Los Angeles” — a Belgian-inspired ale brewed with wheat, maize, honey malt, and sour malt, infused with prickly pear puree.
- Smog City Brewing Co. — “LABW Saison” — a light farmhouse-style beer spiked with prickly pear.
Extras and Offers
There are a few extra incentives to get you out and enjoying craft beers during the week of celebrations (like you need extra incentives.)
LA Beer Week Bucket List
The LA Beer Week Buck List is a selection of events, special beers, educational events, and breweries. You can print-out your own “passport” and get it stamped at a variety of LA Beer Week destinations. Once you have a sticker in each of the passport’s four categories you can redeem it for a super-cheap (like a buck) bottle of Eagle Rock’s Unity, and you’ll be entered to win tickets to BAM Fest.
You can print a copy of the Bucket List here and start plotting your schedule!
Caps for Caps
Another way to get a little something extra during the week is to save your bottle caps from the locally brewed beers that you drink during the week. Once you have collected 12 caps you can turn them in at the closing festival (or a designated bar) and you’ll get a snazzy LA Beer Week Hat for your trouble:
Just purchase locally brewed beers and collect the caps from breweries like Eagle Rock Brewery, Hangar 24 Craft Brewery, The Bruery, Black Market Brewing or Brouwerij West — all L.A.-area breweries that emblazon their logos on the caps. And since some of our great locals do not bottle (yet), you can also search for bottles or cans that have special L.A. Beer Week stickers affixed to the caps. Once you have 12 caps, you win. And what you win is a fancy and official L.A. Beer Week “cap” that will show the world your beer street cred. You can look for these bottle caps and stickers at official these LA Beer Week sponsor bottle shops:
All you have to do is take those caps to the closing festival at Union Station. And if for some reason you are not attending the festival, you can take those caps to either Eagle Rock Brewery or Beer Belly to redeem them for your LA Beer Week hat. (You can also get a beer while you are there, because the hat looks better with a beer in your hand.)
Our favorite beer app/social network, Untapped, has announced the special LA Beer Week 2012 badge! Scoring the badge is super-simple, just check into any beer at any location within LA or OC between September 20th and September 30th! Don’t forget to add your location to the check-in to score the badge. And if you are not an Untappd user, LA Beer Week would be a great time to try the iOS/Android app out!
We are going to keep this post continuously updated as we get more information about festivities and as more events are announced. Be sure to follow us to stay updated, use the official hashtag (#LABW), and also follow LA Beer Week on their various social media channels:
The first in a series of our guest-posts are up on the LABeerWeek.tumblr, watch next week for a couple more posts from Beer of Tomorrow on the tumblr.
And of course make sure to follow Beer of Tomorrow on any or all of our social media outlets! We’d love to hear from readers during the festivities!