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.
Fresh beer is the best beer, and this weekend we sampled some exceptionally fresh brewed-in-LA beers. From hoppy IPAs to funky sours Los Angeles brewers are turning out a wide spectrum of world-class brews, and we might have found a new favorite (or two!)
Things started off at the Eagle Rock Brewery tap-room on Thursday with the anticipated release of Stimulus. This Belgian golden ale is spiked with copious amounts of Intelligentsia coffee, and the resulting amber-hued beer is rich with ground coffee aroma. The flavor of this unconventional coffee beer is equally notable with a strong coffee flavor throughout that isn’t overpowered by the dark malts common in other coffee brews.
The golden base-beer serves to showcase the subtle flavors of the artisanal coffee beans, and the Belgian yeast character adds an addition dimension of phenolic-spices. We found the beer paired amazingly well with dark chocolate and with sweet and buttery pastries. If you’re a fan of coffee-in-beer you should head down to the Eagle Rock Brewery Tap-Room and get a glass while it’s on!
Another Eagle Rock Brewery beer is worth a mention: Tart Noire. This wine barrel aged and soured version of Solidarity, one of my favorite made-in-LA beers, is a telling example of the brewers’ cellaring skills. The beer is pitch-black and quite complex while remaining light on the palate and eminently drinkable. There is a bracing but very clean sourness that I find very compelling.
In contrast to the inky-black Tart Noire was Eagle Rocks Equinox. A sour golden ale Equinox is light in color and body with a clean sourness that tends more towards citrus than the dark-fruit of the Noire. Another complex and very drinkable sour from the LA brewery!
This weekend we also finally made the trip down to one of the premier Southern California brew pubs: Beachwood BBQ in Long Beach. We’d heard all the praise and superlatives heaped onto the BBQ joint and craft beer bar, and we’d sampled a few of their beers when we’ve seen them on-tap around town, but this was our first trip down to the brewpub. It did not disappoint.
We’ve found that speaking with the brewers responsible for the beer you’re drinking always makes the beer taste better, and getting to hear head brewer Julian Shrago and owner/chef Gabe Gordon talk about their approach to brewing and about the LA beer scene was a treat. The are not only extremely passionate about the beer they brew but also about all the beer they serve, and it was easy to see why Beachwood BBQ is considered one of the best craft beer bars in the state.The big blast of resinous and floral hops in the West Coast IPA Thrill Seeker and the complex flavors in the Rubia Belgian pale ale were our favorites of the day.