Tag Archives: los angeles

L.A. Beer Hop makes fun beer tours in a sprawling city

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The chariot that awaits

Last year for L.A. Beer Week, I wrote a piece about how L.A. finally has enough breweries to make beer tours actually feasible and three months later, I finally had a chance to go on one myself. A long time ago, I met up with the guys from L.A. Craft Beer Tours because I said I might want to be a tour guide on the buses. They weren’t doing any tours in L.A. at the time, just┬árunning trips down to OC or San Diego until the market grew some more. I gave them a shout out in my LABW story, but never heard of their plans to go full-time with the tours up here, so I forgot about it.

Then I came across another brewery tour company called L.A. Beer Hop and their sleek canary yellow bus and simplistic branding scheme (have you seen their use of Instagram on the website?!!) attracted me instantly. Then I met Hal, the owner who looks like the little kid from A Christmas Story all growed up (youthful exuberance and all), and was hooked. So I booked a ride on the Beach Cities tour which was scheduled to take us to El Segundo Brewing Company, Monkish Brewing Company and Strand Brewing Company–all of which are (by L.A. standards) close together. Continue reading

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Mark my words: 2013 will be a great year for L.A. beer

John Rockwell and Kip Larsen of L.A. Aleworks

After looking back with my year-end Triple IPA list, I decided to look forward and local, to all of the breweries that are trying to bring their beer to this black hole of craft beer that we call Los Angeles. With Kickstarters underway and older breweries stepping up their game, I tried to sift through all of the projects in process and come up with a fair list of places that Angelenos should be stoked on in 2013.

I hate doing lists because they inevitably leave someone out and though several new-ish breweries (such as Enegren, Cosmic, Kinetic) and other yet-to-be-opened ones (like Barley Forge and McLeod) aren’t on this one, that doesn’t mean that they will not be contributing in some way to this city’s growing beer culture. It just means I had to make a list because that’s how journalism works these days.

With so many new names entering the scene, it’s an exciting time to be drinking and writing about beer in L.A. Stoked to see what the next year brings!

Top 6 Los Angeles Breweries to Watch in 2013

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LA Beer Week 2012 is upon us! New breweries and events!

I’ve had dreams of starting Los Angeles and Orange County brewery tours for a few years now, but then I realized that there weren’t too many worth going to up here and the ones that were existed miles apart making a bus tour impractical if not cost prohibitive. Then 2012 happened and more breweries opened–including Monkish, Beachwood and Golden Road–and I met Dale and Pat from L.A. Craft Beer Tours (after a moped ride to Rock-N-Brews in El Segundo in which I did not leave my wallet, but I did lose a side cover) who were old school beer lovers ready with a perfect-timing, god-we’ve-been-waiting-for-this business venture.

In all the muck of LA Beer Week happenings this year, I saw Pat and Dale’s company and noticed that a number of local brewery tours were being set up for the first time ever and decided to riff on it for a little bit for the L.A. Weekly. Then I dredged through the rest of the LABW events to find some good ones worth going to. Between my commentary on the increase in local breweries and a roundup of local beer events, consider this a State of L.A. Beer in honor of LABW 2012. Or don’t, whatevs.

L.A. Beer Week: More Local Breweries Bring Shuttles and Tours

L.A. Beer Week Event Picks: Ballast Point, Bacon and Beer, Beer Floats + ‘Beer University’

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Back to school edition: another interview with a badass beer chick

Paige Reilly at Mohawk Bend right after our interview.

Another beer chick I’ve been wanting to meet (aka force to be a new lady beer friend) is Mohawk Bend’s Paige Reilly. I know I am not always 100% on board with Tony Yanow’s role in L.A.’s growing craft beer community, he does have an eye for awesome people and has some of the coolest chicks in the industry working for his breweries, bars and restaurants (sup Cambira!!).

Paige is the “Beer Champion” (seriously, read her business card) at Tony’s Darts Away, Mohawk Bend and the Golden Road Brewpub, meaning she buys all the beers and organizes all the education for new staff. She is super enthusiastic about her job and sharing beer and making the Los Angeles beer scene more educated in what they are drinking. I related to her even more when I found out she is around my age and kind of got into craft beer around the same time as me through a similar avenue (got job at beer bar as a way to learn more about beer). If journalism fails me, I’ve always wanted to do something like what she does–helping run a bar, teaching others how to love craft beer.

When Tony and I first met, he asked me what was my goal in life. And I said I wanted to make craft beer a totally normal thing. I want to walk into any restaurant and store in the universe and not even think about the fact that you’re about to buy a Stone IPA or whatever it may be. I do not care about being special; I don’t care about hierarchy. I just want it to be super normal — same thing as buying a bag of carrots. And I think that’s what we’re doing — making it normal.

Read my interview with her about her Back to School Beer Classes at the L.A. Weekly:

Q & A With Paige Reilly of Mohawk Bend: Mohawk Bend’s Role in L.A. Craft Beer, Back to School Beer Classes + Paying It Forward

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Early morning visit to Belmont Brewing Company

Kerry Caldwell is a whole new kind of pink lady.

This morning, I woke up early (read: 10AM), went down to Belmont Brewing Company and had the pleasure of catching my buddy Kerry Caldwell in the midst of a brewing session. As assistant brewer at BBC and one of only two commercial female brewers in the Greater L.A. area (and the only one who, in my opinion, is shaking things up on her system), I thought it would be nice to give her some press. So we talked over glasses of Mammoth Brewing’s Imperial Root Beer while I took notes and got really excited about all the cool new things she is doing for the oldest brewpub in Southern California.

The interview will probably be posted sometime next week at L.A. Weekly‘s food blog Squid Ink.

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