Gift Guide to Father’s Day 2017

Unity Beer from the LA Brewers Guild

Go to El Segundo Brewing and pickup the new Unity Beer brewed by all of the LA Brewers Guild members.It’s an IPA (of course), and it’s delicious (of course).

LA Beer Week Opening Day Tickets

LA Beer Week is coming up and you can give him tickets to the Opening Kickoff on Saturday, June 17th. Tickets here.

LA Beer Hop Gift Certificate

Has your pappy visited the best breweries of LA? Take him on a Beer Hop! You can buy a specific ticket for a date or a general gift certificate good for any day.

Bine & Vine Store

Looking for hard-to-find beers? Check out BineAndVine.com for a bunch of rare and groundbreaking beers. Top pick today? SANTE ADAIRIUS BRIGHT SEA BLONDE 750 Ml

Teku Glass

The Teku Glass is the best beer glass in the world… and if you can imagine your father drinking from it, then it would be a great gift for him.

Yeti Hopper II Cooler

Dad’s always flip out about coolers. This Yeti Hopper II cooler will make all your Dad’s friends jealous.

Pico Brew

The PicoBrew is possibly the easiest way for your father to begin his dreams of being a homebrewer (it’s the beer equivalent of brewing coffee with a Keurig)

Klean Kanteen Insulated Growler

Of all the many, many growlers out there. This is my personal favorite. It’s shatter-proof, easy to clean, has a swing top and is insulated.

Tiny Wooden Barrel

I’ve personally used a 2 liter barrel to age a Manhattan Cocktail and a Boulevardier (it’s a Negroni, but with bourbon instead of gin). I recommend buying some neat bottles in conjunction with the barrel so your father can give samples out to his friends.

Portable Pizza Oven

I mean, come on, this uuni portable pizza oven looks awesome. What Dad doesn’t want to hang around, playing with fire, making pizza, and doing an Italian accent all night?

Aesop Grooming Kit

Does your Dad still use the word “Metrosexual”? Mine does. It’s just his way of saying that he likes to take care of himself. It’s okay Dad, we can all take care of ourselves, and part of doing that is never using the word “metrosexual” again. Grab him this Aesop grooming kit.

Indoor Comfort Meter

I can imagine this “Comfort Meter” sitting on a Dad’s desk. Leather bound books nearby. There’s a big dog. He has a decanter of whiskey that he keeps around for when company comes over. I wanna meet that Dad.

Google Home

“Okay, Google. Find my Dad a perfect gift… oh wait, I just did, it’s Google Home.” Seriously, we have Google Home in our house and we use it daily. We can ask it questions from almost any room in our house and it can hear us. Is it listening to every conversation we have? Yup. Is that terrifying? Only when I think about it.

Nasa Mug

There are a lot of space geek Dads out there. And rightfully so. Every man, at some point in his life should have dreamt of being an astronaut. Then we all watched Apollo 13 and decided we’d rather stay on Earth. Either way. Get your dad this sweet Nasa mug and he’ll be over the moon. (I have one at home).

Filson Travel Kitt

A man on the move should always have a handsome dopp kit. And consider this dopp kit an investment in an heirloom item that he can pass back down to you. All of the Filson goods are built to last for a few lifetimes, so you can be sure that this travel kit will be intact and it will have a beautiful patina of beard oil and sunscreen when he hands it down to you.

Lights

My Dad really likes lights: Security Lights, Flashlights, Headlamps, etc… and I’m pretty sure that all Dads do.

Blazing Block

My dad also flipped out over this portable campfire called Blazing Block. It’s just a piece of hollowed out wood, but it works incredibly well at keeping a whole campfire contained in one place.

Burnie Grill

Speaking of portable fires… this Burnie Grill is a neat gift as well. There are a ton of different ways to use it, including cooking right on the coals.

Watches

Watches always work, I like this one from Timex: Timex Waterbury and this Standard Issue Field Watch from Los Angeles watchmakers Weiss (I have one of these).

Knives

Any gift guide isn’t complete without a knife. This is my favorite: Buck 110. If that’s a little intense for you, go for the French folding knife Opinel.

Road to Cicerone® Tour!

Hop on this special East & Central tour with Certified Cicerone®, Hal Mooney!

Visit three of the best breweries in LA and chat with Hal about wild yeast cultivation, hip hop varietals, food pairing and all of the geekiest beer topics you can think of over a flight of beers at each location (he’ll be drinking too, not driving). At each brewery we will dive into a different aspect of Cicerone knowledge – sensory evaluation, production techniques, and food pairing. Includes beer & food.

Breweries: Verdugo West (for sensory evaluation), Eagle Rock (for production techniques) and Mumford (for food pairing featuring Baldoria).

What’s Included: A flight of beer at each location, a brewery walkthrough of each location, food pairings provided by Baldoria and as much beer info as you like.

Ticket: $80 (and $50 for DD)

Pickup Location: Union Station

Time: 1:00pm

Date: March 5th, 2017

GET TICKETS HERE

What’s a Cicerone? It’s the beer equivalent of a Sommelier – a certified professional who has acquired a level of expertise in beer history, production, service, storage, food pairing, and sensory evaluation.

New Breweries of 2017

Just like that, the class of 2017 starts lining up for roll call. It’s going to be another good year for beer in LA. There are murmurings across the county of various breweries opening including the LA Aleworks taproom and brewery in Hawthorne, an additional unnamed project is opening in Hawthorne, the Modern Times DTLA Project will open this year, controversial beer guru Tony Yanow is set to open two locations, and I can smell some West Side and Valley projects coming along as well.

But, before all that happens, let’s take a dip into what has already opened in 2017. For a full list of all 66 breweries in the LA area click here.

The New Breweries of 2017 (January Edition)

Verdugo West Brewing

Verdugo West Brewing (photo: Verdugo West Brewing)
Verdugo West Brewing (photo: Verdugo West Brewing)

Topping the list of the best brewery & burrito combo in LA, this newcomer to the Burbank scene is already making a splash. Brewmaster Chris Walowski is making solid IPAs, an Oatmeal Stout (with vanilla and coffee variants), and a super crisp blonde ale. We recommend pairing the Quarterly IPA with the shishito peppers and the Wax Wing with the shrimp burrito. Taproom open Wed-Sun.

156 W Verdugo Ave, Burbank, CA 91502
verdugowestbrewing.com

Lincoln Beer Company

Lincoln Beer Company (photo: John Verive http://www.beeroftomorrow.com)
Lincoln Beer Company (photo: John Verive beeroftomorrow.com)

Young bearded guys open craft brewery in Los Angeles inside castle-style building and dedicate business philosophy to Abraham Lincoln. This is the story of modern beer. Ryan Lipson and Patrick Dunn got together and turned their homebrew hobby into full-blown business making a range of styles from Cream Ale, to IPA to Imperial Cream Stout. No taproom yet, but you’ll find their Candy Fields IPA scattered around various beer halls in LA.

3083 N Lima St, Burbank, CA
lincolnbeercompany.com

Two Coast Brewing

Two Coast Altbier

What do you do if you like really like a beer but can never get your hands on it? Open your own brewery and make that beer yourself. That’s the philosophy behind Two Coast Brewing. They love German beers, but could never get fresh, well-made German beer in LA, so they’re just making their own. Kölsch, Altbier, and other German staples are all brewed with the spirit of the Reinheitsgebot . No taproom yet, but they are headquartered in Gardena with bottles rolling out in Los Angeles and you can find their beer on tap at the Tam O’Shanter in Los Feliz.

1866 West 169th Street, Unit H, Gardena
twocoastbrewing.com

Cellador Ales*

Cellador Ales (photo: Hal Mooney)
Cellador Ales (photo: Hal Mooney)

Only a few breweries in the US are fermenting 100% of their beer in oak barrels, and Cellador Ales in North Hills (behind the Van Nuys airport) is one of them. They started putting beer in bottles in 2016, but their taproom just opened in 2017, so we’ll count them in. Their focus is on mixed culture fermentation – think tart, funky, complex – but all of them are extremely drinkable. Go now while you can grab some of their AKIMBO, which has Masumoto Peaches in it. Taproom open every other weekend.

16745 Schoenborn St, North Hills, CA 91343
celladorales.com

New Los Angeles Breweries in 2016

Have you fulfilled your New Years’ Resolution to drink more beer this year? If not, there’s still enough time to cram it in at one of the many Los Angeles breweries before the end of the year. And if you didn’t make that resolution… then what’s wrong with you? There is an insane amount of good beer in Los Angeles right now and you should be drinking it. With friends. At the breweries where they make it.

Here’s a list of all of the new Los Angeles breweries. If you want a full list of all of the LA breweries, please check out our page here: labeerhop.com/breweries.

Los Angeles Breweries – Class of 2016

Indie*

Located in Boyle Heights, this shabby industrial taproom serves finely-tuned beers on the weekends and in 16oz cans. If you want to visit, they’re hosting a cheese and beer event with Vagabond cheese this Saturday (12/17) at their taproom.

Boomtown*

Equal parts brewery and warehouse party, this Arts District brewery is now open every weekend serving around 10 or more different crafts.

Frogtown

A homebrew shop turned tasting room and brewery. They’re not officially “open-open” yet, but they’re open enough to count them in the class of 2016.

Cosmic*

They were contract brewing for quite a while before opening their brewery in Torrance a stones throw from Monkish, Smog City and The Dudes (I think you could literally hit Monkish with a stone from Cosmic if you were really good at throwing stones). Also, you pour your own beer here, no bartenders.

Santa Monica Brew Works*

They’ve been brewing for a while, but their rather large Santa Monica taproom officially opened this year making them the only taproom in Santa Monica out of all of the Los Angeles Breweries. Go to check out a wide range of beers brewed onsite and grab some food from their rotating schedule of foodtrucks.

Brouwerij West*

Formerly part of the contract brewing club, Brouwerij West had a much-anticipated opening this year at an enormous location in the Ports’o’Call in San Pedro. They make a bunch of experimental (and good) Belgian and French-style beers in a taproom that could fit a fleet of elephants.

Homage Brewing

Alright, it’s out in Pomona, but it’s worth the trip. It’s the first brewery to really adopt the white walled, green plants, clean atmosphere of a coffee shop (I’m looking at you Dinosaur coffee). You might say that this brewery is “on trend”. And boy are they doing things right. Innovative beers, trendy styles done well, well adorned taproom, good music, and incredibly warm people. Do yourself a favor and head out to Pomona.

Rob Rubens Distilling and Brewing

The only combination brewery and distillery in LA (although we definitely smell more coming), Rob Rubens opened his speakeasy-style tasting room and brewery/distillery in El Segundo this year. So far, they’ve made some pretty tasty beers and a small collection of spirits: vodka, gin and a white whiskey.

Cellador Ales

Maybe one of the most anticipated breweries, certainly one of the quietest, this small brewery is operating all the way up in North Hills slowly turning out some really innovative oak aged beers. They don’t have a tasting room yet, but you can find their liquid in small format bottles around LA (they’ll be in large bottles soon). Look out for Firegold – A funky farmhouse ale brewed with Mosaic and El Dorado aged with oranges & orange peel in a French Oak Puncheon.

State

They just put beer out in the marketplace but their taproom isn’t open yet, so they JUST made the cut to be part of the class of 2017. This Gardena brewery also just got Robert Sanchez from Kinetic Brewing to come and serve as their Brewmaster. Be on the look out for lots of fun beers in 2017.

Scholb

Started by Patrick Schulz and Jason Kolb (blend their two last names together and you get…. “Scholb”… Ta-da!) this two-family brewery opened up about 50 yards away from Absolution in Torrance and instantly became a fan favorite. It’s a one of the friendliest taprooms you’ll find anywhere, filled with well made beers, smiling bartenders and locals.

Zymurgy

Does this mean the LA Beer scene has come full circle? Zymurgy Brew Works, located in Torrance (of course) is a DIY Brewery and taproom. You can now brew your very own beer alongside professional brewers who assist you in every aspect of production.

*Breweries with a “*” have brewed before this year, but they opened their taprooms full time in 2016.

Your Guide to Oktoberfest in Los Angeles

Wilkommen Los Angeles!

It’s that time of the year again: Oktoberfest 2016. The leaves are starting to turn the same golden hue as a delicious German Lager giving you a craving to head to a beer hall to consume as much beer as possible with a bunch of strangers while you claim you can speak German because you studied it for one year in high school. Men, grab your lederhosen. Ladies, grab your dirndl. Here’s your 2016 guide to the best places to celebrate Oktoberfest around Los Angeles:

South Bay

Alpine Village Oktoberfest
Place: 833 W Torrance Blvd. Torrance, 90502
Date: September 9  – October 29 2016
Link: http://www.alpinevillagecenter.com/oktoberfest/

LA Oktoberfest
Place: 1600 Rosecrans Avenue, Manhattan Beach, 90266
Date: October 22: 1pm – 5pm
Link: http://www.laoktoberfest.com/


Central Los Angeles

Vegan Oktoberfest 
Place: LA Center Studios – 450 S. Bixel Street, LA, 90017
Date: October 15, 2016
Link: veganoktoberfest.com

Wirsthaus
Place: 345 N La Brea Ave. LA, 90036
Date: Every Friday and Saturday
Link: wirtshausla.com

Iron Triangle Brewing Oktoberfest
Place: 1581 Industrial St. LA, 90021
Date: October 1
Link: irontrianglebrewing.com

Pershing Square Oktoberfest
Place: Pershing Square – 532 South Olive St., LA, 90013
Date: October 22
Link: OktoberfestDTLA.com

PPOA Oktoberfest
Place: The Standard Rooftop – 550 South Flower St. LA, 90071
Date: October 15
Link: eventbrite.com/e/4th-annual-ppoa-oktoberfest-tickets-27589579174?aff=es2


Orange County

Old World Oktoberfest
Date: September 11th – October 30th
Place: Old World German Village – 7561 Center Ave. Huntington Beach, 92647
Link: oldworld.ws/oktoberfest-orange-county

The Phoenix Club Oktoberfest
Date: Every Weekend until October 30th
Place:1340 S. Sanderson Avenue Anaheim, 92806
Link: thephoenixclub.com/oktoberfest/


East of Downtown

Slater’s 50/50 Oktoberfest VIP Dinner
Date: Thursday and Friday, October 13 & 14
Place: Slater’s 50/50 Pasadena – 61 North Raymond Ave. Pasadena, 91103
Link: eventbrite.com/e/oktoberfest-vip-dinner-tickets-27670991681?aff=es2

Oktoberfest at Fairplex
Date: October 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29th
Place: Fairplex – 1101 W. McKinley Ave. Pomona, 91768
Link: oktoberfestatfairplex.com

Montrose Oktoberfest
Date: October 1
Place: 2400 Honolulu Ave, Montrose, CA 91020
Link: oktoberfest.montrosechamber.org

Or you can pickup a bunch of Firestone Oaktoberfest, Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest, a growler of Iron Triangle Brewing’s Oktoberfest or Eagle Rock Brewery’s Anton (it’s a Vienna Lager, which is very similar)  and make your own party. Just make sure to include pretzels.

Daytrip – Topa Topa in Ventura, CA

Just as we thought we were out of the heat, it sucks us back in again. We should have seen it coming. September gets hot and we can’t avoid it unless we get outta town. For that, we recommend a day trip to Ventura, CA to sip on some of the fine craft at Topa Topa Brewing Company.

Topa Topa in Ventura, CA

Located just 60 miles North of Los Angeles, you can drive there in about an hour, but why rush. You’re going to enjoy taking the coastal route. It’s prettier than the 101, there’s less traffic and you can make a pit stop at Neptune’s Net for an early lunch of clam chowder and oysters. Their seaside seafood shack open daily 10:30am to around 8:00pm.

Alternatively, you could take Amtrak directly up to Ventura. The Pacific Surfliner departs from Union Station and takes a little less than 2 hours. Trains depart daily at 7:50am, 9:20am and 12:30pm. Tickets are $24 each way, which is way cheaper than an Uber, and the train drops you off at the Ventura Station (VEC) a mere 1,000 feet from the brewery (that’s .2 miles). Just make sure you catch the last train back to LA at 7:37pm otherwise you’ll be trapped in Ventura drinking beer all night.

One of the most shocking things about Topa Topa is that the brewhouse and taproom isn’t tucked away into the back of an industrial park like most Southern California breweries. It’s actually located in a part of town suited for eating and drinking. You know, like a normal business. You’ll find the location right off of the 101 just as soon as the freeway hits the beach.

As soon as you hit the parking lot and see the “Park Here for Beer” printed on the concrete, you get the first sign that that this team knows what they’re doing and you’ll be in good hands.

The taproom is humble in size with a small interior space and a wraparound exterior space, which is where you’ll want to sit to waft the sea air intermittently between your sniffs of their various IPAs. At the time I visited, they had 11 beers on tap: a Pilsner, Belgian Strong Pale, Saison, Cali Common, Pale Ale, Session IPA, West Coast IPA, Nelson IPA, Double IPA, Coffee IPA (I got a growler), and a Nitro Milk Stout with Vanilla Bean.

The beers are top notch and poured with the utmost care. I got my first flight (Nelson IPA, Cali Common, Coffee IPA and Saison) and I remarked to the bartenders that I had never seen four flight glasses in a row that had such consistent head and carbonation. The bartenders replied that they had just taken a class from one of the owners about the importance of beer head, glass cleanliness and maintaining carbonation which is the kind of dedication that elevates breweries to a higher status.

For my second flight I ordered the Milk Stout, Pilsner, Belgian Strong Pale and Double IPA. They were all stellar, but from the day the Milk Stout stood out for it’s elegance, the Pilsner stood out for it’s clarity and clean profile, and the Coffee IPA stood out because it’s a Coffee IPA and it was more balanced than it should be.

You’re likely to run into one of the owners, as I did, or a local business taking the day off early, as I also did. The brewery has only been open since early 2015 and while there are other breweries in the area such as Anacapa, Madewest, Poseidon and Surf, the idea of a local taproom is still somewhat of a new one to Ventura.

If you get hungry, order pizza from next door Tony’s Pizzaria to be delivered right to your picnic table. Or if you were regretting not stopping at Neptune’s Net earlier, you can opt to head over to Spencer Makenzie’s Fish Tacos, a Ventura staple, for world famous fish tacos and more beer (they have Topa Topa’s Chief IPA on tap).

You’re full, you’re happy, you’re buzzed and you’re not quite ready to leave, so after your stay at the Topa Topa taproom, you will probably be inclined to visit the beachside Surfer’s Point Park to take in the sunset. Grab a bottle of water and make the eight minute walk to the beach to soak in the last of the day’s rays and call this tiny trip a success.

104 E Thompson Blvd.
Ventura, CA 93001

Mon to Thur – 12pm – 9pm
Fri & Sat – 12pm – 1Opm
Sun – 11am – 8pm

New Brewery Alert – Boomtown Brewery

Okay, so they’re not new. But their hours are. Boomtown Brewery recently launched new hours for their Arts District taproom and you should probably go this weekend.

Samuel “Chewy” Chawinga, their brewmaster, has been busy brewing for the past two years. Developing all number of styles from a belgian white, to a blended pale, to the requisite slew of IPAs, but for various reasons, their taproom has only been open to the public on sporadic occasions. A few Friday nights here, a few specialty events there, but never a consistent schedule for you to be able to pop in for a pint. Until now. Their new taproom hours are:

Boomtown Brewery:

Thursday – 5pm to 12am
Friday – 5pm to 1am
Saturday – 12pm to 1am
Sunday – 12pm to 12am

Make your plans for this weekend. Feel free to bring all your beer-drinking friends because their taproom has plenty of space for you to run around like drunken children playing cornhole, velcro-darts, and the board games they have on hand.

Food trucks are usually present and if they’re not, don’t sweat it, Boomtown is walking distance from Arts District (which has a full restaurant attached) and Angel City, which has foodtrucks all-day, everyday (in fact, here’s a link to the foodtruck schedule at Angel City).

Look out for Boomtown to be joining our East & Central public tour soon.

Boomtown Brewery
Boomtown is gonna blow your mind.

BOOMTOWN BREWERY, 700 JACKSON ST, LOS ANGELES, CA 90012 

INFO@BOOMTOWNBREW.COM

P.S. We’re doing a DTLA Brewery Hop on Hop Off Bus this weekend on Sunday 9/25. We have two buses running consistently around the six Downtown LA brewery taprooms – Mumford, Angel City, Boomtown, Arts District, Indie Brew Co (where they will be pouring Dry River Beers) and Iron Triangle. Buses run from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. And did we mention it’s free? Yup, it’s free.

 

New Brewery Alert – Indie Brewing Company

You may have seen their beer on shelves, you may have even tasted it, but when you visit their taproom, that’s when you really get to know Indie Brewing Company. Because to know Indie is to know the four guys who run the place: Kevin, James, Morgan and Connor. They’re the brewers, taproom attendants, salesmen, interior designers, tap-handle fabricators, and janitors for this new brewery in DTLA.

It’s technically Boyle Heights, but you could easily say that their taproom is in Downtown LA or even The Arts District. The building, which they share with a handful of apparel companies, is located just off E. 7th Street conveniently close to Iron Triangle Brewing. In fact, while we may not recommend doing it alone, a brisk walk from one brewery to the next wouldn’t be the worst idea.

The interior of the space feels like it was curated by four guys who work in beer for a living. Hand-made picnic tables, jockey boxes, beer cans, corn hole and a couple of futons. Imagine the cleanest version of a frat house with the best beer selection.

Your beer will be poured for you by one of the four owners who are more than eager to chat about what’s in their Superfood Saison (blackberries, goji berries, acai & pitaya) or what hops are in their IPA Del Rey (Citra and Equinox).

So after chatting with the owners, sitting in one of their futons, sipping their beer and hanging out in their space you’ll begin to fully understand Indie Brewing Company and all that goes into craft beer.

Your only chance to visit their taproom is on Friday evenings from 5-10pm, but that will change to more regular brewery hours once they get a few details ironed out. Keep watch on our website for Indie to start being featured on our East & Central LA brewery tour or on any of our private tours.

Indie Brewing Company the new brewery in LA
IPA Del Rey at Indie Brewing Company

2016 LA Beer Hop Father’s Day Gift Guide

You love your dad. You want to get him something nice for Father’s Day, but you got him a Personalized Steak Branding Iron last year and you’ve run out of ideas. Don’t fret, LA Beer Hop is here to be your Guide to Father’s Day. Here’s our 2016 Gift Guide.

LA Beer Drinkers

  • Take him on an LA Beer Hop – you can buy a specific date or a gift certificate – that’s a no brainer.
  • Make him “Beer Guide” official with an LA Beer Hop T-Shirt.
  • Go to Three Weavers Brewing and pickup the new Unity Beer brewed by Three Weavers in collaboration with the LA Brewers Guild.
  • Take him to the LA Beer Week Kickoff Festival on June 18 – Tickets here.

Beer Geek Dads

Free(ish) Adorable Gifts

  • Get him grandchildren. Or a puppy.
  • Take him on a hike and talk to him about his childhood.
  • Play cards with him all night.
  • Go to a record store with him and try and figure out what his musical taste was like.
  • Frame an article from his hometown newspaper.
  • Get him a book that you’ve read or will read. Then talk about it.

Gifts That Have Personally Worked

The St. Patrick’s Day Brewery Guide

St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow. So here’s a quick guide to what breweries you can let your inner Irish out at.

MacLeod Ale Brewing Co. – Van Nuys

This one’s obvious. They make true British Cask Ale run by a Scotsman and they have a Dry Irish Stout on cask all day.

Arts District Brewing Co. – DTLA

They have a Dry Irish Stout on nitro, but the real kicker is that they’ve got Jameson as well… (Because they have a full bar license).

Smog City Brewing – Torrance

This week they released three new beers: Double IPA, Dry Irish Stout on Nitro and Dry Irish Stout on CO2. And if you have any luck of the Irish, they’ll have something sour in bottles to take home.

Angel City Brewery – DTLA

Live music, food trucks and both Imperial Irish Ale and an Irish Red Cask Ale on tap and they’re open till Midnight.

Mumford Brewing – DTLA

Well, this one is cheating, but their wonderful nextdoor neighbor The Escondite (Hideout) is having their 5th Annual St. Patty’s Extravaganza: Corned Beef, Cabbage, live music, Guinness will be flowing and Jameson will be slammed.