Last night marked the release of the very first edition of Beer Paper LA, the paper and ink answer to Los Angeles’s growing craft beer scene. In it you’ll find articles, news, beer flavored ads, and regional information pertaining to everything that LA, Greater LA, and it’s surrounding areas have to offer. Beer bloggers like Beer of Tomorrow and Food GPS / Beer Search Party are joined by beer columnists like Sarah Bennett and Daniel Drennon. There will even be an ongoing section Ask A Cicerone, answered by Library Ale House’s Alex P. Davis. There is local information spanning from the OC to Augora Hills to the Inland Empire and all of it is worth a read.
The event last night, at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, was packed. Aaron, Rob, Sarah, and the rest of the Beer Paper LA team, bravo. It was a great sight to see so many industry and craft beer fans coming out to support Beer Paper LA. Attendees even took up volunteer paper routes delivering the first edition to their neighborhood beer hot spots – I happily delivered the paper to City Tavern and Public School 310 last night, and Culver City Home Brewing Supply will be later today. As Tenacious D would say, “That’s Fuckin’ Team Work!”
All of this got me thinking. This is the LA I want to live in.
Today in LA it’s easy to find craft beer, but it wasn’t always that way. As most everyone knows by now, LA is a developing craft beer town, far behind the matured cities of San Diego and San Francisco, but this is changing, or perhaps I should say, this has changed. Today is an incredible time to be a craft beer drinker – brewer – writer – blogger – media – fanatic – geek because, ultimately, the decisions we all make will shape the the LA of tomorrow. Beer bloggers and writers from around town have taken up the charge of widely covering every beer event, release, and noteworthy happening which is an excitedly daunting task. And what’s more, most are not financially compensated for their coverage, which means this is all willingly done for free. Why is that? Why would people take large chunks of time out of their schedule to cover these events, interview industry people, and write about beer? Craft Altruism.
We are a collective that is interested in furthering craft beer in Los Angeles and everyone that drinks and writes is just as pivotal as those who are making the product. Demand shapes the future. Competition is certainly there, but it seems to be more of a low priority issue as long as everyone is supported in some way. Support and community are held to a higher standard. That being said, it’s easy to pick out in every facet be it writing, brewing, or bar owning, who is in it to further the community and who is in it purely for personal and monetary gain. Still, I think these few can easily be converted to team players.
We are all creating the LA craft beer town that we want to live in and that is an amazing thing to be a part of…it’s a great responsibility.
Everyone that gets into craft beer has a goal. Be it to find and drink good beer, enjoy fun events, join a community, or in my case, to ultimately make a living. I feel very strongly about craft beer and I feel very strongly about Los Angeles. The hobby that I took up after my first craft beer experience in Sequoia National Park has blossomed into a career changer. From the get go, John and I have looked for ways to not only add value to our brand, Los Angeles Ale Works, but also to the brands and people around us. We don’t want to simply open up and take the drinker’s hard earned money. Like Eagle Rock Brewery, we want to be cultural contributors. I often spend time helping at events and most of the time the only benefit to myself is that I’m helping a friend, and that’s okay. I would love to see more people treat not just craft beer, but life this way. There doesn’t need to be a direct point of personal gain for everything you do. In the instance of LA Craft Beer, you can look at it as Karma. Everything positive you do, people you help, friends you turn on to craft beer, events you volunteer at, will all help to shape the LA Craft Beer of tomorrow.
I look forward to seeing how LA craft culture shapes itself by the people that truly care about it. This is the LA I want to live in.