We’ve so far revealed some of the hot new beers and some of my very favorite LA beers that we’ll have on tap for Saturday’s party, and today we’re going to announce four special beers that are sure to get you excited about hanging out in Ktown on Saturday!
From light lagers to giant imperial stouts to hardcore hop-bombs, we’re going to have something for everyone at Beer Belly!
Craftsman — 1903 Lager
No all-LA taplist can be complete without a beer from Pasadena stalwarts Craftsman Brewing. Mark Jilg has been turning out exceptional beer for longer than there’s been a craft beer scene in LA, and his 1903 lager is the most ubiquitous example. The “pre prohibition lager” is a historical style brewed with respect and attention to detail by Mark. Crisp and clean, the beer proves that even a light lager can be full of flavor and complexity. This beer is one of LA’s biggest sleeper brews, and it pairs with a lot of different foods. Try it with the fish and chips or the pizza mac!
SCRATCHED: Beachwood Brewing and BBQ– Hop Ninja
Update: Turns out that the keg of Hop Ninja won’t be ready for the party, and se we have to scratch it from the taplist. We are working on an alternative beer for this slot now. Too bad!
No all-LA taplist should be complete without an IPA from Beachwood BBQ and Brew. Brewer Julian Shrago is a wizard in the brewhouse, and his slate of IPA recipes is beyond impressive. I can’t think of another brewer that makes so many different IPAs that all remain distinct in flavor and character. Hop Ninja is a quadruple dry-hopped double IPA with enough hop punch to pound your palate into submission. This may be the biggest draw on the taplist for the dedicated hophead, and I’m really excited to have it pouring! If you really like spicy, try a glass of Hop Ninja with an order of Volcano Chipotle Wings (but don’t come crying to me when your tongue catches fire).
Firestone Walker — Unfiltered DBA
Before you say it, I realise that Firestone Walker is not an LA brewery and I said that the party would be 12 taps of brewed-in-LA beer, but hear me out. Firestone Walker may not call Los Angeles a home, but their impact on the LA beer scene has been immeasurable. The passionate pale ale brewers were an early entrant to the city at the very beginning of the craft beer craze, and they haven’t stopped cultivating fans and supporters in LA since. Firestone Walker takes craft beer advocacy very seriously and I’ve experienced their passion for not only beer, but also for beer lovers first hand.
Double Barrel Ale holds a special place in my heart as it was one of my earliest go-to craft beers after moving to Los Angeles. It was easy to find in local supermarkets and convenience stores long before LA’s local brews were on the shelf, it has a great, classic label (which spawned my nickname for the beer: “Bear vs Lion”) and it is an exemplary example of an english bitter. The unfiltered version, or UDBA, is the excellent pale ale turned up to 11. The beer is 100% fermented in Firestone Walker’s burton-union wooden fermentation vessels then usually blended with stainless steel fermented beer to give Standard DBA it’s subtle oaky and fruity notes. I’m already looking forward to some fried cheddar and a glass of UDBA!
UDBA is usually a brewery-only release, but we were able to score a coveted keg for our party! I can’t thank Jamie and the whole crew at FW enough for setting me up with a keg of this beer, and once you try it you’ll be hooked too!
Hangar 24 — Pugachev’s Cobra
As Beer Belly’s Jimmy and I looked over the incomplete taplist this week we noticed a distinct lack of big stouts. The problem was there wasn’t a lot of available from LA breweries in time for the party, but once one not-quite-LA brewery made it onto the taplist I figured I could squeeze another neighboring brewery on. Enter Redlands-based Hangar 24 and their over-the-top barrel aged imperial stout Pugachev’s Cobra. This nearly 16%ABV heavy-hitter balances heavy roasted flavors with a searing (in a good way) alcoholic kick. It drinks more like an after-dinner port than a beer, and it’ll be a great way to wrap up a Saturday afternoon gorging on Death by Duck, Pizza Mac, and wings.
Two More — TBD
Jimmy and I are working on confirming the final two taps, but they will be beers from one of LA’s older craft breweries and one of LA’s newest brewery on-the-scene!
Check back tomorrow for the final reveal, and get to Beer Belly early on Saturday for pours of another (very limited) special LA beer!