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.
The beer was flowing strong in LA over the weekend , and we had a full schedule of events, tried countless beers, and generally had an awesome time celebrating craft beer in Los Angeles!
Well, that was a weekend for the record books. Between Friday Night’s Brew at the Zoo and Sunday afternoon’s Blue Palms Anniversary party there was a seemingly endless flow of awesome beers and even more awesome people. The events will be getting their own posts this week, but here are a few beers that immediately stand-out.
One of the most surprisingly amazing beers from either event was from El Segundo Brewing Co, and I have wanted to try it since hearing about it when doing research for the White IPA post: White Dog IPA. I’ve had only limited experience with the El Segundo Brewing Co’s beers - a pint at a restaurant or a taster at a festival - but every time the beer has been exemplary. Their white IPA did not disappoint, and it was in fact my very favorite beer from the Brew at the Zoo! It is a wit bier-IPA hybrid that falls firmly on the IPA side with a huge hop aroma and a notable bitter bite. But it is the beer’s insanely potent tropical fruit notes that made me take notice. Pungent pineapple, lilikoi, and grapefruit flavors were unmistakable, and the body was pleasantly lightened by the wheat. It was so good I got back in line for a second taster of it.
The Blue Palms event on Sunday was a fantastic gathering of LA beer lovers, and the tap-list for the event looked like a menu that Willy Wonka would put-together. Everything from DIPAs to barrel-aged stouts to a laundry-list of sour beers joined Goses and gueuzes, grand crus and barleywines. Apart from a parade of Russian River beers that I enjoyed (including the sublime Row 2, Hill 56) the beer highlight of the festival was the complex malty character of the Founders Brewing Centennial IPA. Or maybe the refreshing and light tartness of the LadyFace Guillotine. Though, the Firestone Walker Parabola lived up to the considerable hype, and I’ll probably never get another taste of the Ballast Point special Oaked Sculpin on cask. It is just too hard to pick a single beer from the long-list of brews that we sampled.
My favorite of the weekend would have to be the Sour Wench Blackberry Ale from Ballast Point. A delicious and refreshing crimson brew Sour Wench wasn’t not too sour, but it had a tartness that complimented the berry flavor very nicely. A perfect beer for a sun-drenched afternoon at an awesome beer festival!
Honorable mention goes to an unexpectedly refreshing double IPA: Coronado Brewing’s Sock Knocker. For someone who isn’t normally a fan of bitter beer Sock Knocker was surprisingly drinkable; it was a crisp and flowery double IPA that was full of hop flavors without a palate-crushing bitterness. A great beer for the scorching summer days ahead of us.
One for the Books
There was a lot of beer sampled with a lot of great people, old friends, new friends, and the luminaries of the LA beer scene. Certainly a weekend to remember (did I mention Jack White at the Shrine Auditorium between the two events? He can make even a Bud Light memorable).
How was your weekend? We want to hear about your favorite brew from the last few days!