LA Beer Week – Mid-Week Summary

Can you believe it? LA Week Beer is half over! We’ve been busy attending events (here) and introducing new writers (here). Here’s a quick rundown of some of the other cool events we’ve attended.

Thursday 9/20

Haven Gastropub – Stone Brewing

Dave Larsen, the head brewer for Haven, greeted us with a big smile while looking just a little tired. We learned that he had just completed a 14 hour collaboration brew day with Stone Co-Founder Steve Wagner (pic of Dave, Steve, and I below). We are very excited for Haven, as a brewery that is less than one year old, a collaboration with a local icon such as Stone is big news and a great way to kick-off LA Beer Week in style. The collaboration beer style hasn’t been announced yet but when we learn what it is we’ll let you know! Steve also brought with him four exclusive cask ales, we didn’t get to try them all, but the one that really caught our eye was the Stone Pale Ale with ginger, good stuff!

In addition to the Beer Week fanfare we managed to sample the Shepard’s Pie, German Pretzel, and the mac & cheese – all were excellent. The food at Haven continues to impress!

Check out some of Brett’s (twitter: @b_pad) photos below. Keep up with Haven’s beer list and events on their website.

Saturday 9/22

Far Bar – Kern River Brewing Company

We swung by Far Bar Saturday afternoon to meet the Kern Rvier Brewing Company (KRBC) folks and sample some of their beers. We meet Kyle the owner/ head brewer and had a good conversation with him about managing a brewpub and getting his beers distributed throughout Southern California. For being a relatively small brewery, 7BBL system, they do a great job getting their beer on tap locally. Kyle was a very generous with his time as a constant stream of people introduced themselves and discussed beer with him.

The favorite of the day for me was Dirty Hippy, a just under 7% Imperial red ale. I have a strange taste bud quirk that makes a lot of red ales overwhelmingly caramely, sweet and earthy (dirty?) for my taste. This red ale bucked that trend and was perfectly balanced and a delicious, even though it clocked in at a higher ABV.

We met up with Bernie from Friends of Local Beer, so while we forgot our camera – he most definitely did not. Look for great pics from Far Bar and all around LA Beer Week on his website here. Keep up with Far Bar’s events on their facebook page.

Sunday 9/23

Eagle Rock Brewery – Brewers Brunch

Beer at 10am? No problem! Isn’t that what LA Beer Week is all about?

Steph and I arrived at Eagle Rock Brewery promptly at 10am. We’ve been to a few events at the brewery before and we know things can get crowded. Everyone must have been a little slow from Beer Week festivities on Friday and Saturday because the event was pretty lightly attended until around 11am. This worked out great for us, as we were able to get our beers and food right away.

We tried the Eradicator Jr. and Unity; distinctly different beer styles for sure. The Unity, the flagship brew of LA Beer Week, is a refreshing Rye Berliner Weiss brewed with the LA Beer Week special ingredient – Prickly Pear. It was a very enjoyable beer, not overwhelmingly sour, refreshing sweetness from the Prickly Pear, and subtle malt complexity from the rye. A really nice beer for sipping outside during these hot summer/fall days.

The Eradicator Jr. is the homebrew competition winning recipe that Eagle Rock brewed for submission to the Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am competition. It is a delicious classic German Bock beer, big, malty, smooth, and alcoholic. Topping out at 7% ABV, its not the most alcoholic beer we’ll have during Beer Week but it certainly packed a punch at 10am.

Ting’s brother, Jerry Su, was providing creative belly bomb brunch items centered around tater tots! I had the fried egg, sausage, maple syrup tater tot creation known as “Heisenbrug”. Breaking Bad reference?

The food was a creative spin on the traditional brunch menu and the beer was great as always. We look forward to more brunch’s in the future! Eagle Rock will be around town at events all week, a schedule is available on their website.

About John Rockwell

John Rockwell is a co-founder of LA Ale Works and contributing writer to Bierkast. He has been home brewing for over seven years and is a certified BJCP judge, "Bring me your beer!".

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