5 Craft Beers Obtainable in the Los Angeles Area You Must Try This Spring

Posted: April 10, 2015 in Beer, San Diego, Top 5
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The age of the domestic beer monopoly in the United States shrinks with each passing day. The beer industry around the world dominates the alcoholic beverage industry, as consumers drink 3,500 bottles of beer for every one glass of wine – that makes 8,000 times more beer consumed by the liter. Annually, consumers worldwide drink 189 billion liters of beer, but only 24 million liters of wine. While drinking habits may peak during certain times of the year such as holidays, the consumption of beverages remains fairly consistent and rarely makes huge changes in consumption from one day to the next. The changing seasons do have a great effect on the types and styles of beers consumed, as more people start to prefer beers not as rich as some of the winter-style brews. In this transitional season between winter and summer, the unpredictable weather means that we can still enjoy the richer beers typically consumed during colder weather while starting to explore the refreshment of summer-style beers. For the right kind of beer to enjoy until summer kicks in after Memorial Day, check out these five beers each with a unique flavor profile of its own.

5. Lakefront Brewery‘s India-Style Black Ale

Due to the firm grasp that Anheuser-Busch has on the beer distribution industry, people do not get to encounter as many beers from out of state as they could if the monopoly did not exist. As things stand, most local bottle shops tend to carry beers brewed in the same state. If they carry something from out of state, those brands had some advantage that allowed them to distribute nationally, and most people will have heard of the brands, such as New Belgium, Sam Adams, or Lost Coast. When I find a brewery that I had never heard of, I immediately run a quick search of the beer and brewery, which led me to discover Lakefront Brewery. I know little about this brewery, other than their residence of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. So when I discovered one of their bottles of India-Style Black Ale, my curiosity piqued at the thought of trying a beer from a brewery I had never heard of. Although named Indian-style, this IBA resembles the American style of black ales. Sitting at 6.7% abv, this black ale pours with a brown yet thin head, giving scents of citrus, pine, and roasted malts. For some reason, I expected to taste something along the lines of a porter since the color looked like that of a porter. Instead, some floral, citrus, and sweet nutty flavors met my taste buds. For an out-of-state beer, it comes at a relatively low price, so if you see this or any beer from Lakefront Brewery, you ought to act fast and get it.

4. Uinta Brewing Company‘s Sea Legs Baltic Porter

Mainstream media has done quite a job over the past few decades of giving beer a negative connotation. Television shows like Married With Children or King Of The Hill depict men lazily drinking beer and performing other manly activities, like gambling or standing around doing nothing. However, the media fails to show the artistic side of beer. The art of brewing requires intense studying and inherent knowledge of the industry or ingredients necessary to brew beer. In addition to the brewing, micro brewery owners need artists to give life and a face to their brand. Consumers will either see a bottle or tap handle first before trying the beer, so a good first impression can influence opinions of the beer. If you seek fancy beer art, take a look at some of the beers from Uinta Brewing. This Salt Lake City brewpub has had a foot in Southern California for at least a few years by now, but most people tend to overlook them for other prominent breweries like Deschutes, Great Divide, or Avery. Although Uinta’s distribution reaches California, they have yet to cement an image of their company in the minds of Californians. This all changed with the improvisation of their themed lines of beers. Each series of brews contains its own themes, but Californians may best recognize beers from Uinta’s Crooked Line, which houses Sea Legs Baltic Porter. Clocking in at 8.0% abv after aging in bourbon barrels for 12 months, this complex Baltic porter will satisfy your sweet tooth with the roasted malts and chocolate notes, along with hints of vanilla and bourbon from the barrel. The Crooked Line consists of Uinta’s odd or strong brews that do not fit in the other categories. Uinta strongly supports the local art community, and looks to them for inspiration for naming beers in the Crooked Line. Explore all of Uinta’s beers, and see for yourself how they give back to the community more than just refreshing beers.

3. Eel River Brewing Co.‘s Earth Thirst Double IPA

The spring season typically reminds us of freshness and renewal. As the cold weather fades away, plants start to sprout, flowers start to bloom, and animals return from hibernation to their daily lives. During this time, humans seek for new and fresh things to do and try, including food and drinks. Contrary to what regular people believe, beer can and will go bad, so people ought to consume it quick to maintain freshness. Stone Brewing takes this notion to another level with their line of “Enjoy By xx.xx.xx” beer series, all with a date that one should drink the beer prior to. Many breweries strive to keep their beers fresh always, and Eel River Brewing Co. has done a great job of delivering fresh beer to us. One of few breweries that brews ONLY organic beer, Eel River Brewing’s commitment to freshness reflects well in their lineup of organic beers that taste fantastic. Due to the nature of this brewery (no pun intended), Eel River Brewing takes Earth Day seriously every year with an Earth Day beer called Earth Thirst Double IPA. Certified organic just like all of their beers, the 8.2% abv Earth Thirst contains a blend of cascade and centennial hops that give this brew a floral and citrusy flavor. Sitting at 92 IBU, the bitterness does not come off as overpowering; instead, the overall freshness of the beer makes this brew very refreshing, allowing it to adapt to any situation, such as enjoying on a nice warm day or pairing it with food.

2. Belching Beaver Brewery‘s Horchata Imperial Stout

Almost every brewery has some flagship beer that people everywhere recognize the brewery for. For example, Sam Adams has their Boston Lager, New Belgium has their Fat Tire, Stone Brewing has their IPA, and Hangar 24 has their Orange Wheat. If you ask any craft beer enthusiast about Belching Beaver Brewery, they will rave about the brewery’s Peanut Butter Milk Stout, partially because it tastes more like a dessert than a beer. Like the aforementioned breweries, Belching Beaver delivers a lot more than just their most popular beer. Sometimes, they even make a slight variation of it where the end product tastes completely different, such as their Horchata Imperial Stout. Fans of the Peanut Butter Milk Stout would love this horchata-flavored brew, as it basically tastes like a roasted version of horchata. This 9.0% abv imperial stout contains vanilla, cinnamon, and rice malt just like horchata, only now it has alcohol in it. For a fancy treat, serve this beer with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in it. With Cinco de Mayo coming up, your friends and family would love you for serving this to them to celebrate in style.

1. Brewery Ommegang‘s Three-Eyed Raven

Many television shows have massive cult followings. Shows like The Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad have turned into such big hits that they spawned many other products and collectibles for fans to show their love for. Another series, Game of Thrones, stretches out to reach fans of more than just television, such as pop culture, science fiction, video gaming, role playing, and more unspeakable things. Game of Thrones has proved itself such a huge hit that one particular brewery paid homage to the series with a line of beers dedicated to the show. We all recognize Brewery Ommegang as synonymous with Belgian-style beers, despite their residence in New York. Ommegang has turned into a such a huge force in the craft beer market that it only made sense that they would partner up with the folks behind Game of Thrones for some beers based on the series. The Ommegang Game of Thrones beer series currently contains five beers, with Three-Eyed Raven as the most recent release. Classified as a dark saison, this 7.2% abv brew combines the best of saisons and dark ales with its luscious deep brown color. The brew’s light body contains hints of sweetness and roasted malts, while herbal and spicy hops give it the hop characteristic. Basically, it enters like a saison, dances like a dark ale, and finishes like a Belgian ale. This unique blend allows for interesting pairings, but it also allows for blissful sipping sessions. Enjoy it with food or enjoy it on its own, but you ought to enjoy it while watching Game of Thrones for the full Westeros experience.

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Comments
  1. 2Beards says:

    We will search these out when we are over in a few weeks and give them a try!

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