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.”
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!
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:
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.
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.
Looking for handmade beer in LA? There’s a new player in South El Monte that not only hand makes delicious craft beer, but hand makes the equipment too: Progress Brewing.
As a quick side note, Progress opened their brewery a few months ago under the name “Federal Brewing” but because of its shared name with “The Federal Bar” of North Hollywood and Long Beach, they were forced to change it to “Progress”. I’m a fan of the new name. It has a nice ring to it and there isn’t any more explanation that “it’s not that bar in downtown Long Beach”.
Started by Diego Benitez and Kevin Ogilby, Progress Brewing is South El Monte’s first brewery and currently its only brewery and the greeting on the wall outside this industrial space is just as friendly and welcome as the beers and people inside of it.
Cindy and I made our way over to their taproom last week (after a quick pitstop at the newly opened Jimmy John’s in Pasadena, which, if you’re a Midwesterner like I am, is big news). The Progress taproom sits proudly on a corner space in a heavy industrial area sandwiched between the 10 and the 60 Freeways just West of the 605.
A quick trip around the block confirms that the signless building on the corner is in fact a brewery. Parking is ample and the entrance into the taproom is located on the other side the building from the “Cerveza / Craft Beer” painting (seen above).
Once inside, you’ll find that the guys at Progress have been busy. At the time we went, they had 7 beers on tap, had just blown through the last of another beer, and were preparing to tap a new red ale.
They’ve also been busy slanging beers. We were there at 3:30pm on a Monday afternoon (cause that’s what you do when you drive a beer bus all weekend). The entire bar was full and there was a constant stream of people coming in to fill their growlers. It seems like the people of South El Monte have found a home in this brewery.
The beers were solid with a lot of promise for the future. The Bronco, a belgian pale, has been one of their best sellers and I can easily see why because of it’s incredible drinkability with a distinctive belgian flare. It will be exciting to see their beer list grow and even more exciting to see how they will grow their brewery given that all of their equipment is handmade.
Get used to it because it’s going to keep happening. And it’s going to be wonderful. A new brewery has opened and you should check it out. It’s called Timeless Pints and it’s in Lakewood (basically Long Beach) and Cindy and I can assure you, the pints they are serving will make you lose time.
Tucked away in an industrial strip, no surprise there, Timeless Pints would be hard to find if it weren’t for the great logos they have adorning their windows and at the front of the parking lot. Parking is ample and if you’re arriving in style the Long Beach is across the street giving it a distinctly “Hangar 24-Feel”. In fact, if you search for Timeless Pints on Google Maps, the marker appears to be inside of the airport.
The interior has an industrial brewery meets Edward Gorey vibe. It’s large, spacious, has an L-shaped bar, about 10 table tops and plenty of room to mill about. A good too because from what I hear, the place has been filled every weekend because, let’s be honest, Long Beach knows how to drink craft beer.
The owners, Merri and Chris Sparacio, were both present when we stopped by and they couldn’t have been more pleasant. Welcoming, chatty, excited about their beer and to be a part of the local beer scene.
Now, the beers. Wonderful. An 8% IPA with 92 IBU’s, a dry Wit, an Oatmeal Stout with Huckleberry. All fun, delicious and a few of them were slightly ambitious. Chris comes from a homebrewing background, so I expect some of that ingenuity and “brewing for fun” mentality to come through to this brewery.
We will be bringing tours there as often as we can and I will certainly be going there myself as often as I can.
Los Angeles and the surrounding area (basically anything that isn’t San Diego) is really coming into its own in terms of delicious craft beer. We’re making good beer, creating great drinking environments, and fostering a culture that will be built to last. All of this was evidenced at the preeminent beer competition in all of America held in Denver, CO last week – the Great American Beer Fest. Here’s a list of winners from the competition this year. It includes Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, who won the award for “Best Midsize Brewpub and Brewer in America”. They have two locations, one in Long Beach and the other, smaller (original) outpost in Seal Beach. If you can’t make it out there, look alive for their bottled beer in your local shop.
Beachwood BBQ & Brewing – Long Beach, CA Gold: Kilgore Stout – American-Style Stout
Gold: Foam Top – Golden or Blonde Ale
Silver: Udder Love – Sweet Stout or Cream Stout
Bronze: System of a Stout – Coffee Beer
Bronze: Barrel-Aged Full Malted Jacket – Wood and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer
Hangar 24 – Redlands, CA Gold: Warmer – Specialty Beer
Other notable winners in our general area were Figueroa Mountain who took five medals with their two locations in Santa Barbara and Buellton, Firestone Brewery up in Paso Robles took home 4 medals and the award for “Best Midsize Brewery and Brewer in America” (different from Beachwood’s “Brewpub” award), and Telegraph Brewing Co. in Santa Barbara nabbed one bronze medal.
For the best beer tour deal in LA, you should check out our $5 Wednesday Night Bar Hop. Here’s how it works:
On the first Wednesday of every month, we run our 15-passenger beer bus around to Mohawk Bend (Echo Park), Tony’s Darts Away (Burbank), and The Pub at Golden Road Brewing (Atwater Village) then back to Mohawk Bend. You get picked up by our beer bus at MOHAWK BEND at 8:00pm, then dropped off at the next bar where you will hang out and drink beer for an hour, then taken to the next bar, and so on until you arrive back at the bar you started at. It’s like beer public transit.
For only $5, you get to go on a Los Angeles beer adventure and check out three of the greatest craft beer destinations in Los Angeles and you get $4 Golden Road Beer specials at each location.
You can drink on the bus if you like. Feel free to buy cans of delicious Golden Road Beer at the brewery, or you can bring your own beer and store it in our onboard cooler. You just can’t bring beers into the bars. With beers on board, that bus ride from Echo Park to Burbank doesn’t seem so far…
The bus starts running at 8:00pm with pickup at Mohawk Bend. From there, the bus will go to Tony’s Darts Away where guests will hang out for an hour, then Golden Road, then back to Mohawk Bend. You can follow us on twitter @labeerhop for info.
Space is limited to the first 15 people who reserve a spot.
We’re adding a new brewery to our roster of stops in the South Bay. It’s called Abigaile and they’ve got a former Stone brewer working for them. Thirsty yet?
As we gather our bearings in these first few weeks of doing public tours, we’ve gotten a lot of good press and also a lot of “what exactly do you do?”, either way, our name is getting out there and businesses are starting to notice.
One such business, Abigaile has opened their doors to us. The owner, Jed Sanford, has created a hip hop-haven in Hermosa Beach that serves a list of deliciously handcrafted beers as well as equally delicious handcrafted foods. They’ll be added as a potential stop on our “Beach Cities” tour and as an option for all Private Tours. We’ll set up a tasting of all of their beers (listed below) and have an option for food as well. We’re looking forward to it and we hope you are too.
american white ale (orange peel, coriander, wheat, rice) abv 4.7
full nelson xpa (dry-hopped w/ new zealand nelson sauvin hops ) abv 6.5
Bon Appetit gives us a roundup of 5 different ways to carry booze on your bicycle. Put them all together and you can carry a six-pack, a bottle of wine, a flask, a tall boy, and a growler. And you should probably be wearing a helmet.