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.
Our weekend was filled with local brews – no surprise there – but the venerable Eagle Rock Brewery supplied the majority of the suds we sipped. Lots of old favorites from the brewery accompanied everything from art openings to the kickoff of the Football season, and it was a great reminder of just how great their beers are. With the craft beer scene in LA expanding the way that it is, and with so many other breweries now distributing in Los Angeles, it’s easy to get into a habit of drinking mostly new brews. Sometimes though it’s good to return to those touch-stone beers that first captured your attention, and that’s the kind of weekend we had.
It started off on Friday evening at the opening for the new LA Beer Week tie-in exhibit at La Luz de Jesus gallery in Hollywood. The Beer Is Art exhibit showcased hundreds of 4″ bar coasters that had been drawn-on, painted, collaged, or built into 3D works by hundreds of different artists. The show is an impressive collection of diverse works, and it was organized by the Bakofsky brothers who you might know as the (usually) bearded dudes behind the beer, bottles, and bar at Eagle Rock Brewery. ERB also furnished much of the beer for the opening reception, and we enjoyed several cups of fresh Populist. And I do mean fresh! The ERB IPA is their best seller, but I think that a lot of craft beer fans don’t give it the respect or attention it deserves. It’s a classic west coast IPA that’s big on citrus and piney resin, and at “only” 7%, it’s one of the more easy-drinking examples of the style. If it’s been awhile since you’ve had a Populist, I recommend revisiting the beer (preferably at the brewery’s taproom where you know it’ll be at its freshest.)
And speaking of fresh, I’m so happy to report that Eagle Rock Brewery has added a piece of equipment to brewery: a bottle labeler that’s capable of date-coding bottles! No longer will you have to question how long a bottle of Populist or Solidarity has been on the liquor store shelf! More details on the new date-coded bottles coming soon. While at the gallery opening, we ran into brewery owners Ting and Jeremy who mentioned that a keg of Ginger Saison was on at the taproom to help fight the heat. One of Julie’s favorite beers, we were at the taproom before the doors opened on Saturday to do our part to kick the last keg of the 2013 batch. While there, we picked up a growler of my favorite, Solidarity. A perfect brew for a long day of watching sports, Solidarity is the craft-brewed alternative to “tastes great / less filling”. About halfway through the afternoon NFL games I was wishing that we’d picked up two jugs of the brew. There was also a bottle of the brewery’s Yearling Flanders red-style sour mixed into our very-ERB weekend, and the wild ale has got us very excited for Eagle Rock Brewery’s expanding sour program. Eagle Rock Brewery may not be the newest or most exciting craft brewery in LA, but their line-up of session-friendly beers is dialed-in and under-apperciated. Check out this month’s Beer Paper LA for a cover-story on the brewery that talks a little about the brewery’s future.