Monday is here, and it’s time to start another week. Pick of the Weekend is our weekly post where we recap our favorite brews of the weekend past.
On a mission to catch-up on the new beers from the LA breweries that have recently been released we were able to sample all four on our list.
The first meeting of the LA Beer Bloggers Summit was held on Saturday at the Eagle Rock Brewing taproom, and we sampled both the new Umlaut Kolsch and the Unionist Belgian Pale Ale. They were both excellent, and both are available to take-home in growlers. The Unionist was our favorite of the two; the pale ale has a nice body and the hops, the malts, and the Belgian yeast spice/funk were really well-balanced making for a very drinkable beer that was tough to put-down. We hope this sees regular rotation in the taproom!
We also had the chance to sample Firestone Walker’s new Double DBA barleywine, and that beer lived up to the hype. Where the Unionist showed careful balance, the Double DBA hit you on the head with malt and oak and hops. 22oz bottles have just begun hitting stores, and this beer is a great candidate for your cellar!
Sunday we made a visit to the Pub at Golden Road to try their new Kolsch that was released on Friday, as well as the Surfliner Double IPA released a couple of weeks back. The West Kolsch was refreshing and very clean, and an interesting contrast to the Eagle Rock’s Umlaut. Kolsch is a hybrid style of beer that is fermented with an ale yeast at cooler lager-like temperatures; the traditional result is a light ale with hints of fruit and a clean finish. The Golden Road version seemed a little more on-style to us with a sweet maltiness and a very mild finish. Eagle Rock’s version was more hop-forward with a stronger yeast-character. They were both refreshing and drinkable and perfect for the dog days of summer, though after a pint of each our slight preference is the more assertive flavor of the Eagle Rock Umlaut.
Another new beer that had been on the wish-list for many months was the Deschute’s Chain Breaker White IPA. We finally had a chance to drink some at Stout over the weekend, and that beer did not disappoint. The White IPA is a tricky “style” that has a lot going on and a lot of room for something to go wrong. The Chain Breaker gets it all right starting with a well-spiced wit and adding a generous amount of Pacific Northwest hops. Deschutes says it is a year-round, regular production beer, but we’ve yet to see it outside of a craft beer bar. This is fantastic take on the new White IPA hybrid from the brewery credited with inventing the “style,” and it’s something that we’d love to always stock in the fridge.
Site co-founder and saison-lover Julie had such a strong opinion about the best beer from the weekend that we’re introducing Julie’s Picks highlighting her favorite beer and providing a contrast to the general Pick of the Weekend:
My pick of the weekend is (and will be anytime it is available for growler fills) Eagle Rock Brewery’s Summer seasonal Ginger Saison. This is the saison that sparked my interest in the style to begin with and actually opened my eyes to just how different a beer could be from typical light lagers and hoppy ales, and now Ginger Saison is my favorite saison of all time (aside from the rare Saison du Pont on tap!) Huge ginger flavor followed by a light but noticeable hoppy bitterness makes this a great refreshing summer beer, and at under 5%ABV it makes for a great session beer! Hit-up the Eagle Rock Brewing taproom to try it out before it’s gone!