LA Beer Week Closing Festival

This past Sunday LA Beer Week held its closing ceremony and it came to us in the form of a top notch beer festival. As is tradition, the festival was held at Union Station and nearly every local and regional brewery was in attendance. The festival is a great way to bring everyone together and have LABW to go out with a bang!

We did something a little different this year and participated in the festival by pouring homemade soda for Pacific Gravity (our homebrew club) at the LA Homebrewers booth. Headed by Drew Beechum, the group made its debut on Sunday using soda as a creative way to promote homebrewing and be active during the festival. Homebrewed beer is unfortunately not allowed to be served at an event like this and the soda proved to be a creative and tasty work around. If you want to read about making the Thai Tea Soda we brought, Kip recently wrote about it here.

The soda booth, or refreshment station as it will be called next year, was a hit from the very beginning. The general conensus of everyone working the soda booth was that we wouldn’t get much attention for at least the first hour as everyone got their fill of local beer. Boy were we wrong, there was a steady stream of people coming by the try the sodas for the duration of the festival. Some of the crowd favorites included the creme brulee, cucumber ginger, Szechuan Cherry, and lemon/lime ginger.

There were enough people working at our booth to allow us to walk around the festival for a bit. Aside from being really, really warm in the sun, it was one of the better run and organized festivals I have seen. Additionally, the average festival goer seemed to be a cut above the “give me your highest ABV/chug the tasting glass for a 2nd and 3rd round” crowd that can sometimes takeover these kinds of events. The $50 (proceeds going to charity) price tag may have helped with that. The result was that many breweries were bringing our their experimental beers which made for a really enjoyable tasting experience. One of the highlights was the Kinetic Brewing experimental pineapple wheat ale – it tasted like pineapple angel food cake – amazing!

After a whirlwind four hours of serving soda and trying other beers we packed up our equipment and headed over to Far Bar for the officially un-official after party. As usual, Far Bar was a great host offering delicious food and top notch beer offerings. It was a very initmate setting to unwind with the professional brewers, beer bloggers, and festival volunteers that had all worked so hard throughout the day. A truly great way to end the day and something we look forward to next year! Cheers!

More Brett P. pics below, check ’em out!

PS. We will be pouring soda again at the BAM Fest in Santa Monica on Saturday October 6th (that’s tomorrow!). Check out the website for more info here, there are still a few tickets left but they are going fast!


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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  1. Kip:

    Great Article and Pics John & Brett! I’m glad the soda was such a hit.

  2. Awesome time.. awesome fest.. amazing the amount of soda we poured between the Maltose Falcons, Pacific Gravity and Strand. The fest organizers seemed to appreciate our service too, so good going homebrewers!

  3. Drew, thanks again for organizing the soda effort! It was a blast and we hope we can help out again next year.

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