2019 Beer Trends… so far

What is everyone drinking this year?

Craft beer has trends. Some come and go real quick (anyone seen any glitter beers lately?) and others stick around and create a lasting impact (the Hazy IPA is now everyone’s favorite beer style). Here are a few trends we’ve spotted so far this year:

Rice Lager

They’re everywhere. Crushable, delicious, light lagers made with rice. I can think of 10 different Los Angeles breweries that have one on tap right now, and many of them are putting them out in package too. “Hayabusa” from Beachwood is available in 12 oz cans all over LA (I drank what could be considered “too many” of them at the annual LA Beer Week Battle of the Bands resulting in this photo).

Kveik Yeast

Pronounced “Kwike”, this historic Norwegian yeast strain is the new hot ticket for brewers all over the city. It ferments quickly, it operates effectively at high temperatures, and it makes some awesome fruit flavors. LA Aleworks has used it, Eagle Rock Brewery did a collab with El Segundo and used it. Three Weavers did too. Wanna get geeky? Read this article: Kveik, The hottest new centuries-old beer yeast you’ve never heard of.

Unfiltered Everything

The rocket-rise of Hazy IPAs taught brewers two things. 1. Never fall behind on a trend. 2. People like unfiltered beers. So, many brewers, for better and for worse, have been leaving their beers unfiltered all over the city. So, next time you get a pilsner poured for you and it has some haze to it, it’s up to you to decide if that’s a creative choice or if the brewer is simply being lazy.

Low Alcohol Beers

It may not be a full “trend” but a couple of beermakers around the city are creating beautiful, complex beers that clock in at < 4.0% ABV. Two breweries – Ambitious Ales in Long Beach, and Cellador in Van Nuys make some of these truly sessionable beers that, for their lack of alcohol, don’t miss anything in the flavor, complexity, or mouthfeel. This isn’t new, per se, Eagle Rock Brewery built LA Beer with a 3.8% English Mild called “Solidarity”, but, I’m excited to see a few local brewers continuing the craft of all-day-drinkers. Also, don’t knock it, you’ll still get a lovely buzz off a 3.8% beer. The Spanish refer to that type of buzz as “La Chispa” (The Spark).

The Return of West Coast IPA

The West Coast IPA style of beer is arguably the mother of the craft beer boom, but in the last few years production on that style has quieted down with the rise of things like Session IPA and Hazy IPA eating up market share. But, this year, we’ve seen a resurgence with beers like “LA OG IPA” from Smog City Brewing, “Now Again” from Mumford, and “West Coast IPA is Dead” from Green Cheek. They’re not quite as bitter as they were back in 2012, but, they’re not hazy and they pack a delicious hop punch 🥊.

Hard Seltzers

Give me a million dollars to bet, and I wouldn’t have put even a single dollar on any LA brewery creating a hard seltzer. But here I am, without a million dollars, and there are multiple LA breweries including Beachwood Brewing who have done just that. They’re fizzy, they’re fruity, and they’re CLEAR. Fermented just from sugar, they’re technically gluten free, light-bodied and easy to drink. But are they good? You gotta try one yourself.

Look out next week for our update on new breweries that have opened so far this year.

We’re Doing a Burgers + Beer Tour with DineLA & Burger Trek

LA Beer Hop x dineL.A. Burger Trek

Click Here for Tickets

Burgers + Beer… together… forever. In celebration of dineL.A. Burger Trek, dineL.A. and LA Beer Hop are offering an exclusive tour that gives participants the unique ability to chow on burgers from three dineL.A. Burger Trek locations expertly paired with beer by a Certified Cicerone®

What’s included: you’ll visit three top burger destinations around DTLA and includes 1/2 a burger, sides, and beer at each destination, along with bottled water and a professional Burger/Beer Guide. The entire event takes about four hours.

Where are We Going: Badmaash for the Spiced Lamb Burger, Fundamental LA for a restaurant burger, and Everson Royce Bar for the smash burger.

Date: Sunday, May 19th

Time: 12:00pm

Location: Tour departs from Union Station

Tickets: $99/person

dineL.A. Burger Trek celebrates Los Angeles’s diverse burger scene by highlighting 32 locations and the must-order item at each spot. For more information and to access the ever-green guide, visit dineLABurgerTrek.com.

Click Here for Tickets

LA Beer Hop does The Valley

Click Here for Tickets!

Want to visit three of the most diverse and delicious breweries in the Valley with us? Well, now’s your chance. Starting on May 26th, we’re going to be doing weekend tours of the best breweries in the Central San Fernando Valley. The first tour is on Sunday, May 26th and features Macleod (super drinkable English-style ales), Bluebird Brasserie (beautiful Belgian-style beers and food), and Cellador (amazingly complex fruited and barrel-conditioned beers). Details below!

Time: 1:00pm

Date: Sunday, May 26th

Pickup Location: Bluebird Brasserie

Cost: $69/person

What’s Included: The tour visits three breweries and includes a flight of beer at each place, a behind-the-scenes tour, personal Beer Guide, bottled water, and as much beer info as you like. The entire event takes about four to five hours.

Click Here for Tickets!

LA Beer Hop Joins the CBTOA

When LA Beer Hop first opened its beer bus doors in 2012, there were eight breweries in Los Angeles, about 2,500 breweries in the US, and a handful of brewery tour operators nationwide. Now, in 2018, there are over 90 breweries in Los Angeles, over 6,400 breweries in the US, and a global network of brewery tour operators functioning in cities of every size all over the world.

We’ll talk more about how our company has fit into all of that growth next week when we write a post celebrating our 6th Anniversary, but for now, we’re here to talk about that global network of brewery tour operators: LA Beer Hop has joined the newly formed Craft Beverage Tour Operators AssociationThe CBTOA.

What is it?

The CBTOA is a 501(c)(6) non-profit with a mission to support craft beverage tour operators and grow their business opportunities by building bridges between its members and the craft beverage, tourism and allied communities around the world.

Officially formed in August of 2018, the Association came together after a group of like-minded tour operators met in March 2018 at the Beer Marketing and Tourism Conference in Burlington, VT. At that conference, a group of tour operators sat in a hotel ballroom and discussed the future of the industry.

These tourism titans (LA Beer Hop included) discussed lots of things surrounding our industry, such as the need for a platform for tour operators to communicate with each other (other than in a hotel ballroom in Burlington), about how beneficial it would be to create “best practices” for Beer Guides, and about how we could band together to get better representation in other industries (think ticketing software and insurance). We all agreed that creating a global association was the best course, so a committee was put together consisting of owners of tour companies all over the world and three months later, the CBTOA was born.

The CBTOA committee consists of Chair Ashley Rose Salvitti of Brewvana Portland Brewery Tours, Vice Chair David Phillips of Dave’s Travel and Events Group, Treasurer Hal Mooney of LA Beer Hop (that’s us!), and Secretary & Communications Director Barry Hansen of City Brew Tours.

It’s a big step for our company, and a big step for our industry. I’m proud to not only be a member of the Association, but to be on the committee as its Treasurer. It’s a wonderful opportunity to help drive the beer tour industry to new heights and continue to ferment the best possible craft beer community.

DTLA FRIDAY NIGHTS

Beginning on Friday, August 3rd LA Beer Hop will be doing tours of the DTLA breweries during happy hour.

Every Friday night from 5pm-8:30pm we will be touring the breweries around Downtown Los Angeles. Beer tastings included. Fun included. Beautiful sunset pending availability.

The tour visits three breweries and includes a flight of beer at each place, bottled water, and as much beer info as you like. The entire event takes about four to five hours and the ticket is $69/person. Dinner will be available during each tour.

Tickets available online and are limited to 15 seats per Friday.

LA Beer Hop is also available for private and corporate tours on any Friday.

Breweries include: Mumford • Indie • Dry River • Arts District • Highland Park Chinatown • Boomtown • Modern Times DTLA • with special guest The Spirit Guild

New Tour! Burbank & Glendale – Starting April 8th

Starting April 8th, we’ll be touring the best beer over the hill!

Burbank & Glendale have slowly developed their beer scene after Golden Road settled into the neighborhood in 2011. Now, they’re quietly home to some of the best beer in LA. Check out the crisp, clean and super-drinkable beers of Brewyard Brewing or the more seasonal and experiment-driven beers of brewmaster Chris Wawloski at Verdugo West or hop on over to The Brewery at Simmzy’s Burbank for beers crafted by a longtime Los Angeles homebrew legend alongside Simmzy’s delicious food.

Tours begin on April 8th and occur every other Sunday at 1:00pm. They depart from the Burbank Metrolink – 201 N Front St, Burbank, CA 91502 (ample parking and easy metrolink service).

The tour visits three breweries and includes a flight of beer at each place, bottled water, and as much beer info as you like. The entire event takes about four to five hours and the ticket is $69/person. Food will be available during each tour.

Tickets available online and are limited to 15 seats per day.

LA Beer Hop is also available for private and corporate tours in this area.

Breweries include: The Brewery at Simmzy’s Burbank • Verdugo West Brewing Co. • Lincoln Beer Company • Golden Road Brewing • Brewyard Beer Company • San Fernando Brewing • Henson Brewing Company (they’re new)

 

Valentine’s Day Cheese & Beer Tour!

Grab a loved one (best friend, lover, ex-lover, future lover) and hop on our Valentine’s Day tour!

  • Departs: 7:00pm
  • Location: Union Station in Downtown LA
  • Itinerary: Iron Triangle, Mumford and Boomtown
  • Tickets: $69
  • Includes: a flight of beer at each location, behind the scenes tour, all the beer info you want, and a complimentary cheese plate curated by Vagabond Cheese Co!

CLICK HERE for tickets!

2017 LA Beer Hop Gift Guide

We publish a gift guide twice a year – once for the Holiday Season and once for Father’s Day. Curating the gift guides provides us with a chance to do a whole bunch of imaginary shopping and provide you with some of the best things that we find on the internet or in real life.

All of these gifts below would be terrific addition to any beer-drinkers life.

For the Cocktail-ier

Oak Whiskey Glasses

What’s a better way for detecting the nuanced character of oak in your whiskey than in handmade oak glasses? (Do we still call them glasses if they’re made of oak? Do we call them oakses?).

Smoke Whiskey Glasses

I’m not usually one for color tinted glasses (I like to see the unadulterated color of the beverage I’m consuming), but these hand-blown whiskey glasses are too handsome to pass up.

Bartender’s Knife

Choose for yourself between these two bar knives. This one offers a pointy tip, which is good for picking things up like olives, citrus wedges or Luxardo Cherries (inarguably the world’s best cocktail garnish).

Bar Knife

This bar knife looks a little more intimidating, which may be a good thing, I don’t know what kind of bartender you are.

Non-Alcoholic Spirits (waaaat?)

For those adventurous enough to travel outside the world of booze, this spirit is 0% ABV – that means no alcohol. It’s a terrific accompaniment to any party or to have around the house for those nights where you really need a drink, but maybe shouldn’t have one.

Amaro Angeleno

An incredibly versatile and somewhat locally made spirit. It’s an Amaro, but the bitterness is restrained, letting the glorious citrus of Southern California shine through. Put it on ice, with soda water or make an Angeleno Boulevardier – 1.5 oz bourbon, 1 oz Amaro Angeleno, 1 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth. Stir slowly. Serve over ice with an orange peel garnish. You can purchase a bottle at Barkeeper in Silverlake.

Cocktail Mixing Glass

One of the more gratuitous at-home bar items is (not surprisingly) one of the most luxurious. Grab a well-balanced bar spoon and a Hawthorne strainer and you’re on your way to making a crystal clear batch of Manhattans for your New Year’s Eve party.

For the LA Beer Drinker

Teku Glasses

Truly the world’s best beer glasses. Appropriate for any style of beer, these wine-style glasses showcase the color, clarity, aroma and taste of any beer you sip.

Stimulus from Eagle Rock

A perennial favorite from one of LA’s oldest breweries. Stimulus is a 14% coffee beer that uses Dark Matter coffee beans that were aged in Few Spirits rye whiskey barrels. If you need any other local beer tips – call 855-LA-BEERS.

Hopped LA Brewery Shirt

One shirt to rule them all… This t-shirt from the guys over at Hopped LA names all of the 2017 members of the LA Brewers Guild (with Indie Brewing taking the coveted stem spot).

2018 LA Brewers Guild Enthusiast Membership

Want to be a card-carrying member of the LA Beer fan club? Become an LA Brewers Guild Enthusiast! Tons of perks, benefits, discounts, beer and merch. Too many to list in fact. Check the site for lots of details.

Cellador Single Barrel Syndicate Membership

There are a lot of beer memberships out there, but the hottest ticket in LA is from Cellador Brewery in Van Nuys. They are wizards of barrel aging, blending and mixed fermentation and their 100% oak fermented beer showcases some of the best ingenuity in LA.

Pico Brew

The pico brew is to beer what the keurig is to coffee. Kinda. It’s the most direct and space-efficient way to brew fresh beer at home. Sits on top of your counter top and brews real beer, real fast.

LA Beer Hop Tickets!

They’re good for any tour, any time and never expire! Truly one of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone over the age of 21.

For the Boozy Bookworm

Meehan’s Bartender Manual

Learn everything about modern cocktail building from acclaimed mixologist Jim Meehan. This books covers ‘mise en place’ to Manhattans from martinis to mixers. It’s a tome and a necessary component in any home bar.

The Monocle Guide to Drinking and Dining

Any Monocle Guide is a great gift. They’re beautiful, well-curated collections of the world’s top performers in any category. This edition covers the world of drinking and dining (which is the only world I want to live in).

Fictional Hotel Notepads

Keep these around to delightfully jot down any booze-addled thoughts you may have. The notepads cover the hotels from Dirty Dancing, Vertigo, At Bertram’s Hotel, Twin Peaks, The Shining, National Lampoon’s European Vacation, The Wicker Man and The Graduate.

And a Bunch of Non-Booze Related Gifts

Headlamps

Every man, in every civilization, in every planet, has been obsessed with lights. And in particular, lights they can wear on their heads. You better believe that if there is life on other planets, there are martian Dad’s really to receive a new headlamp.

Tenkara Rod Net

This is a really good-looking, well-made fly fishing net. It’s a pretty specific gift for those group of people who actively pursue fly-fishing as a hobby, but for those people, this is a great gift.

AirPods

Not since 2003 has it been common to see so many white pods hanging out of peoples ears. But, Apple has managed to make it a thing again with their new Airpods. They come in Black too…

BioLite Base Lantern

I am not a fan of combining technology with camping. Being outdoors is about blunt instruments like fire, axes and whiskey. But… almost everything BioLite makes is pretty awesome and this lantern is great in so many ways.

Bose SoundLink Revolve 360 Bluetooth Speaker

Bose is at the top of the game when it comes to matching price and quality and this bluetooth enabled 360 degree speaker fits right in the sweet spot.

Weiss Watch

Part of my EDC  – including Raybans, a Pilot Juice .38mm black pen, and my Machine Era Co Brass wallet. I love the watch and I love the company. If you’re at all familiar with LA beer geography, their HQ is located just a stone’s throw from Strand in Torrance.

Brass Match Scratcher

If only I smoked cigarettes… I would be able to use this all the time. Oh well… Looks like I’m going to have to develop a serious candle addiction just to justify my use of this beautiful match scratcher.

Brass Key Ring Bottle Opener

Grovemade describes this key ring bottle opener as having “Majestic Heft”. I hope to God someone will say that about me when I inevitably give up jogging and add on some serious beer-weight. I also hope to God someone gets this for me to add to my EDC.

Secret Hitler

The world seems to think that we’re far enough removed from WWII to make a board game where we accuse friends and family of being Hitler (next game… Secret Roy Moore). It’s a great game for the holidays, just make sure you play with a large grain of salt.

Walt Disney Concert Hall Has More Beer Than You’d Imagine

If you follow us on instagram (@labeerhop), you’ll know that we’re big fans of the Walt Disney Concert Hall and The Hollywood Bowl.

The Bowl is more booze-friendly, generally speaking, but if you catch one of the Casual Friday shows at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, you’ll be introduced to a new side of classical music – the informal, fun, and conversational side.

And with their new partnership with the LA County Brewers Guild, you can bet there will be terrific, fresh, local beer in attendance (and the best part – the beer is free).

From the Walt Disney Concert Hall:

“Leave your formal wear behind – the musicians are going casual. Come for an evening of music, conversation and cocktails. Hear from a musician before the concert, interact with artists following the performance, and get the inside story over drinks at an after-party. Enjoy a complimentary beer tasting sponsored by the LA County Brewers Guild.”

Here’s a link to the Casual Fridays page: https://www.laphil.com/casualfridays

Cheat Sheet to LA Beer Week 2017

The 9th LA Beer Week (#LABW9 for all the social media) starts on Saturday, June 17th. And as to be expected, it’s chock-o-block full of events aimed to pack you more full of beer than an Arizona State frat party. The full event list is posted here at the LA Beer Week website, but here’s a cheat sheet to some of the events that we’re most excited for… including two that we’re a part of!

Saturday – June 17

LA COUNTY BREWERS GUILD PRESENTS
1:00PM4:00PM
Los Angeles Center Studios – DTLA
$25 – $70

Saturday – June 17

MIKKELLER DTLA PRESENTS
MEXICAN CRAFT BEER CELEBRATION
2:00PM – 2:00AM
Mikkeller Bar – DTLA
Free


SUNDAY – June 18

MACLEOD ALE BREWING CO. PRESENTS
3RD ANNIVERSARY AND CASK ALE FESTIVAL
12:00PM – ??
Macleod Ales – Van Nuys
$20


SUNDAY – June 18

SMOG CITY BREWING PRESENTS
RAREST OF THE RARE
11:00AM – 9:00PM 
Smog City Brewing – Torrance
Free


Monday – June 19


LA CICERONE BEER PAIRING AND MEETUP
5:30PM – 9:00PM
The Cannibal – Culver City
Free


Monday – June 19

BEER VS. WINE! A FIVE COURSE CHEFS DINNER FEATURING CELLADOR ALES 
The Local Peasant – Sherman Oaks
7:00PM10:00PM
$75

Tuesday – June 20

BREWYARD BEER COMPANY
7:00AM6:00PM
Brewyard Beer Company – Glendale
$40

Tuesday – June 20

LOS ANGELES ALE WORKS PRESENTS
7:00PM10:00PM
LA Aleworks – Hawthorne
Free

Wednesday – June 21

LA COUNTY BREWERS GUILD & NAJA’S PLACE
6:00PM
Naja’s Place – Redondo Beach Pier
Free

Thursday – June 22

LA Beer Hop
LA BEER HOP PRESENTS
6:00PM10:00PM
Downtown LA
Free

Thursday – June 22

5:00PM10:00PM
Phantom Carriage Brewing – Carson
Free

Friday – June 23

6:00PM10:00PM
Wolf Creek Brewery – Santa Clarita
$15-45

Saturday – June 24

12:00PM 
The Queen Mary – Long Beach
$40 – $75

Sunday – June 25

2:00PM4:00PM
Craft Beer Cellar – Eagle Rock
$15
And there are many, many other events featuring sour beers, tap takeovers, food and beer pairings so check out the full list here at the LA Beer Week Calendar.