We were unfortunately unable to attend last weekend’s event that spread across seven Downtown LA bars and restaurants, but by all accounts it was a rousing success. We will be sure to buy tickets to next years crawl early and clear our schedule for the weekend! Read on for a collection of coverage on the 3rd Annual LA Craft Beer Crawl!
Everyone that we’ve talked to about the event, from some of the organizers, to the people pouring beer at the stations, to a collection of bloggers and beer-fans has said that the event was popular, crazy, and lots of fun. Not even the seasonally sweltering heat and blazing August sun could deter the thirsty crowd from packing the venues and filling DTLA streets with tipsy revelers.
The LA Weekly’s Squid Ink blog has a couple of posts (and a slideshow) on the event, and this is what they say about the highlights:
It was the beer and the attending brewers that made the day great. The Beer Chicks’ picks for the day included Deschutes Conflux, TAPS Balinese Porter, Sculpin IPA, Sans Paigaie from the Bruery, and of course the debut of their own collaboration with New Belgium and Elysian — Chamomile Honey Blonde– the recipe for which is available in the Chicks’ upcoming book, The Naked Brewer. Gueuzehound Dave Watrous also recommended Sans Paigaie, in addition to Firestone Double DBA and Peanut Butter and Jelly Time from Kinetic Brewing.
The post also mentions the super-secret VIP “Speakeasy” filled with homebrew pours from the very best of the Yeastside Brewers and Pacific Gravity clubs, and it was there that the “single best beer at the event” was being poured: a Flanders Red Ale on brandied cherries by Eagle Rock’s own Lee Bakofsky!
LA Weekly drinks columnist Patrick Comiskey also provided his five lessons learned at the crawl. It sounds like Patrick is much more of a wine-guy, but the Craft Beer Crawl opened his eyes to the possibilities that craft beer holds, and he ends his piece with this revelation:
There are those [beers] that seem to hit a spot you didn’t know existed: perfectly balanced, thirst-quenching down to your toes, with flavors at once challenging and satisfying. I’m looking at you, Smog City LA Saison, Ladyface IPA, Monkish Pour Toi, Hangar 24 Orange Wheat, Golden Road El Hefe and Eagle Rock Manifesto Wit — all stunning concoctions brewed within 25 miles of downtown LA.
Was the LA Weekly’s slide-show not enough visual stimuli for you? Check out seminal LA beer blog Beers in Paradise’s post with a recap that is full of the excellent photos that they’re known for! The post is a great blow-by-blow of the beers, breweries, and people who made the event so successful.
The crawl also hosted four seminars on everything from whiskey pairing to sour beers, and Sean Inman from Beer Search Party attended two of the seminars. You can read about his thoughts on them, as well as his notes on the highlight beers, on his LA Craft Beer Crawl post. Sean sums up his thoughts on the event with:
It was great to see so many people out enjoying craft beer and minus a few hiccups, my experience was of a well run event which is hard to do when stretched over many city blocks. Some of the volunteers didn’t have information but all were unfailingly polite and would point out people who knew more. There was water available to go or at each venue which is a necessity on hot days.
But the main review has to be of the beer choices available and this was well covered. Mostly local based but with fine additions and not just regular flagship beers (not that those are bad, but you need a mix). So on that metric the Beer Chicks did exemplary work.
“The craft beer scene is at an interesting crossroads and the Beer Crawl almost perfectly encapsulates it,” he told me. “I saw a TON of industry professionals there, which shows it’s an event to be taken seriously in terms of its offerings.”
What he was most enthusiastic about, though, were the attendees who had no background in beer.
“These were people that had no real idea what craft beer was but they were so excited by what they were trying. In fact, these were the people I was most excited to talk to because many of these flavors were new to them. It was pretty rad.”
Even the Huffington Post got in on the coverage of the event with another slideshow and a beer-by-beer recounting of author Katie Bain’s experience at the crawl.
We are sorry to have missed the festivities, but our resolve to attend next year’s event was solidified by all of these glowing reports about how awesome this years crawl was. As the craft beer scene continues to grow through the rest of this year and next, the 2013 LA Craft Beer Crawl promises to be an even bigger and more important happening in our hometown scene! Let’s not miss it!
Did you make it out to Downtown LA last weekend? We’d love to hear your experiences at the crawl!