Top Ten Picks For L.A. Beer Week: September 20 – 30, 2012

Photo credit to djdphotos on Flickr

Beer cocktails. Beer floats. Sour beers. All-you-can-drink beer. Beer crawl set to music. Crappy-for-happy beer trades. Prickly pear beers from all over town. Los Angeles is comin’ up beer. And in its 4th year, not only is LA Beer Week bigger and better than ever, it’s also more unified. The camaraderie around the LA beer community is unmistakable – so get ready to drink some tasty brews while learning a lot and meeting some cool people along the way.

After perusing the 10-day schedule, I’ve come up with a few events I’d personally want to attend. With the LA beer scene at the strongest it has ever been, there’s bound to be some (or a lot of)¬†conflicts during this extravaganza, but all we can do is do our best, right? While you’re at it, you might as well check off the four quandrants of this LA Beer Week Bucket List. Then, bring your four stickers to the LA Beer Week Festival on September 30th and get a free bottle of the official beer of the week, Unity, from Eagle Rock Brewery – a play on a traditional Berliner Weiss, yet jazzed up with a touch of rye as well as red and green prickly pear. You’ll also get to enter a drawing for tickets to the BAM Fest on October 6th in Santa Monica.

(If you don’t complete the bucket list, never fear – it’ll be on draft at select retailers throughout Los Angeles and Orange county as well as at¬†the LA Beer Week Festival itself.)

Without further ado, here are my Top Ten of LA Beer Week:

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The OC-SD Turbo Beer Tour

The task was simple: Drink beer all day. The task would have also been daunting, perhaps, if not for good company. Indeed, beer tours necessitate teamwork; that is, if you plan to do one well. I joined Joshua of FoodGPS and cohorts in Silver Lake, where we launched from and headed behind the Orange Curtain – Placentia.

For a city whose name I’ve questioned from the get-go, they have a heavyweight yet small craft brewery aptly named “The Bruery” (for family name “Rue”). It’s housed inside – yes, you’ve guessed it – an industrial office park. And what an oasis of fine craft brews it is, a reprieve from Orange County sun and concrete-asphalt wasteland. One can get 4-oz pours for a mere $4-5 – well worth the trip if not already in The OC.

I really enjoyed my first pour, the Snicklefritz (above, center). It was spicy yet refreshing and had good balance for a golden ale at 9.2% ABV. The Orchard White (left) was also very good as a citrusy Belgian but it was probably premature weather-wise for the Autumn Maple (right). Who are these SoCal-ers kidding about “autumn?” It is a heavier beer, obviously with maple syrup as a brewing ingredient, so I will probably have to find a location in the mountains that serves it when the snow starts falling. It’s also brewed with “17 lbs of yams per barrel” which would also explain its weight.

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