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 of Tomorrow team took a much needed extended break over the holiday weekend, and now reality is setting in again. We celebrated Independence Day with the traditional BBQ and plenty of brews, and finally were able to sample the newest beer from an up-and-coming LA brewery.
Even when you’re working your dream-job, it is important to occasionally step-away from the day-to-day tasks to stave-off burnout and stay as sharp as possible. Four days might be a little too long of a break, but once you’re out from behind the desk it can be tough to jump back into the work – especially when the Summer sun is shining on Los Angeles. I took four days off from the writing, the computers, and almost the whole internet, and it was glorious. I managed to not even crack-open my notebook during the holiday weekend.
Now my batteries are topped-off, but putting together a Pick of the Weekend post without any notes (or even Untappd check-ins) is more difficult than it should be. Let’s just say that the beers were plentiful, fresh, and mostly brewed-in-LA, and I’ll just mention a few of those “beer moments” that stand out from the holiday weekend.
- That very first Pivo Pils after calling it quits on Wednesday was sublime, and it set the tone for the weekend. The new pilsner from Firestone Walker is quickly becoming my go-to brew because it is just so versatile. It’s a great “warm-up beer” (I go into this point more in a new guest-post for Menuism that should be up soon), it’s a great session brew, and it is a chameleon when paired with food. Pivo Pils is getting easier to find on retail shelves around LA, and if you haven’t yet tried it, it gets my highest recommendation.
- I attempted my first batch of beer-flavored ice cream, and while the recipe itself had some issues, the flavor of the ice cream – made with Hangar 24’s Chocolate Porter – was awesome. It was not unlike a “Whopper” malted milk ball ice cream with a noticeable bitter twinge. I’ll be adjusting the other ingredients and the process and trying this again!
- Picnicking with beer at Griffith Park is always a bit of a dicey proposition as you never know how observant the rangers will be, but the day was just too perfect to not enjoy a covert cup-or-two, and Golden Road Brewing’s Heal the Bay IPA was a perfect match to the sunshine, Frisbee, and picnic food.
Finally, a special mention to a beer that’s been on my radar for a few months that I was finally able to try yesterday: Karma Kolsch from LA Ale Works. The second commercial batch from the fledgling brewers is a traditional German kolsch that’s been spiked with Thai tea and spices.
I’ve sampled the home-brewed versions of this beer in the past, and I’ve always really enjoyed the interplay of the spices and the fruity-and-grainy kolsch base. This newest batch, gypsy-brewed at Ohana Brewing’s facility, uses a different tea-and-spice mix that was custom blended by Bird Pick Teas. The brewers also added a few dozen vanilla beans to the 7 barrel batch, and the result was a spice-forward beer that retains the signature mildly fruity and dry finish of a kolsch. Karma Kolsch is a really unique beer that should be landing on tap-lists around LA this month, and I recommend giving it a try.