A few months ago the unthinkable happened: groundbreaking Los Angeles craft brewery Eagle Rock Brewery withdrew their singular flagship black mild from year round production. Solidarity, a beer unlike nearly everything else being produced in LA, or really in the craft beer industry as a whole, would transition to a seasonal release as the brewery balanced capacity, distribution and sluggish sales from their flagship.
Now, Solidarity is making it’s pre-Spring seasonal return to Los Angeles, and it is time to revisit this exceptional beer. The future of Solidarity, and the future of a healthy diversity of beer styles and flavor profiles, is in your hands — don’t miss this opportunity to make a statement.
I visited the brewery on March 1st when the fresh batch was being kegged and the bottles prepared for packaging, and I was lucky enough to get one of the first pints after it was tapped in the tasting room. I could not contain my glee when the frothy pint was set in front of me, and the first sip tasted like one of those scenes in a movie where long-separated lovers ran across a beach a sunset into a twirling embrace (in slow motion, natch). I know that sounds dramatic, but I truly adore this beer and there is just nothing else quite like it.
The sad reality is that in a marketplace obsessed with the hop-forward beers and mostly interested in hot new producers over the veterans of the industry, a dark and low-ABV beer is a tough sell. Solidarity is what I call “a brewer’s beer” — a pint that’s as drinkable as it is complex. Nobody knows beer better than the men and women sweating in the brewhouse everyday to craft the beers we can get so obsessed over, and if you ask any LA-area brewer what their favorite beer from ERB is, I’d wager they’ll say “Solidarity.”
Now it’s back and you’ve got a chance to sip Solidarity again with a fresh palate and a fresh perspective. I encourage everyone to #haveSolidarity and to make some noise about the beer on social media. This batch of Solidarity is very limited (no growler fills! Boo!), and the only place to get it on draft will be the ERB Taproom and the Eagle Rock Brewery Public House. Much of the batch was bottled and will be distributed by Eagle Rock’s new partners at Wiegand Family distribution. So ask for bottles at your favorite beer retailers, visit the ERB locations for a pint, and be sure to check in to Untappd, post pics to Instagram, and shame your non-Solidarity having friends on Facebook, Snapchat, and all the other other networks du jour. Use the #haveSolidarity hashtag, and let’s all show support for this beer and the hard working folks behind it.