Last week I had the opportunity to accompany my good friend, Kim, to the Los Angeles area, while she was on assignment with the Brewing Network. She was sent down to cover the tail end of LA Beer Week and interview a few pioneers in the surprisingly small yet reputable craft beer scene. We hit 4 breweries in less than 2 days, which gave me the chance to take a ton of photos (and drink quite a few really solid beers) that I thought I would share in my next blog post.
Our flight landed at LAX around 8pm last Friday and Kim had arranged a 9pm tour and interview with Henry of Monkish Brewing. That didn't go very smoothly as it took forever to get our rental car. Kim was pretty stressed out and thought for sure that the interview would be cancelled.
We finally arrived around 10pm and were definitely ready for a beer. Henry was genuinely understanding of our situation and welcomed us to Monkish. He gave us a tour of the facility and explained to us how it all came about. He obtained his Doctorate in Theology which is what inspired him to brew Belgium style beers. After the tour he literally gave us tasters of every beer on tap as well as a few bottled gems. We definitely got a serious buzz off these epic beers while chatting away so decided to hit up a ramen shop around midnight. Thankfully they were open till 2am which gave us time to sober up before getting back on the road.
We ended up hanging out with Henry until 2am and finally checking into our hotel by 2:30. We were dead tired. Poor Kimmy had to wake up at 6am to meet someone by 8. I ended up waking up at 7am just cause. Also, the bed in our really nice hotel room kinda sucked. Anyway, I showered, got ready and decided to hit Redondo Beach by myself since it was close by and I had never been. I only had an hour to check things out before having to get in the car and drive an hour to meet up with peeps.
It was just as picturesque as I had expected. Stupid me didn't think about the weather and it was quite warm, even at 10am. I was dreaming of shorts and flip flops. I walked around the Pier and although there were signs posted everywhere that said "No Fishing", there were at least 100 guys with fishing poles everywhere. I even came across this guy who was pretty much the Pelican Whisperer and had 4 of them just following him around.
Noble Ale Works
The first brewery of the day was Noble Ale Works, located in Anaheim. Kim was already there interviewing Joseph and I was meeting my friend Chad and a new friend, Maly, from Instagram. I was kinda glad to get there before everyone else, which gave me the chance to shoot a few photos before having to be social.
I was pretty stoked to be here since it was my first time. I ordered a flight so I could sample a bunch of the goodies. The highlights for me were the Naughty Sauce Milk Stout, Man's Milk Stout & the Galaxy Showers DIPA.
Bottle Logic Brewing
Although Bottle Logic was already on our agenda, Henry, from Monkish, was able to get Kim an interview with Brandon, one of the owners of Bottle Logic. Their taproom is sleek, industrial and modern looking. I really like their branding and marketing as well. So much that I bought a t-shirt. Actually, I got a shirt at every brewery, but whatever.
I actually thought I was just going to be on my own while Kim did her interview but I was fortunate to be a part of it. While the 2 of them talked, I was shooting photos of the tasters he gave us while listening in, on the conversation. Brandon and the 2 other owners, started off just doing home brewing, like most others and decided to take it to the next level. They come from strong business backgrounds and it’s obvious they each brought something unique to the table. It’s obvious that these guys thought of every detail when putting Bottle Logic together. Which is why they've become quite successful in the year and a half they've been open.
Beachwood Brewing & BBQ
I’ve been wanting to check out Beachwood Brewing for quite some time. I was in SoCal last June, but was too far away to be able to check it out. Kim and I thought we weren’t going to have time, on this trip, however, we decided we were going, no matter what. Our flight was at 4 so we decided to have lunch there and make it the last thing place we hit, before heading home. It was a great closure to the trip. Henry met us for lunch as well as Maly and my friend, Jack. One of the beers I ordered was a collab with Drake’s (one of my Bay Area fave breweries) called “Vulcanizer”. I was stoked to finally get a taste of this as it was released just for LA Beer Week. Hops! Hops! & Hops!
Henry ordered the table 2 orders of Fried Pickles for apps and literally almost fell out of my seat. I’ve been dying to try fried pickles ever since I found out about them about 2 years ago. And yes, these little fried gems honestly lived up to the hype and surpassed the expectations I had. I couldn’t stop! I really wanted to order some BBQ, but I’ve eaten so much shit food the last 2 weekends, I ordered the steak salad. The steak was cooked to a perfectly pink and bloody medium rare. The salad came with fried green beans, beets and feta cheese. All tossed with a Petrus Ale Vinaigrette. I was perfectly content and a great way to end a whirlwind of a weekend.
I’m glad I was able to head down to the LA area with Kim. It was pretty damn exhausting but a good time was had, no doubt. Connected with some great people; new and old, 4 solid breweries, took lots of photos and not enough sleep.