Beer Christmas is coming early this year. And by beer Christmas, I mean L.A. Beer Week 2015—nine days of events and celebrations featuring the best beers in Southern California. Organizers moved the festivities from September to June this year, which means we get to unwrap all the amazing brews months earlier than usual.
Because you won’t be able to make it to every event (unless you’re both independently wealthy and unemployed, which is not a thing for almost anyone), I’m here to help you chose. The following are the five L.A. Beer Week events that you just can’t miss.
Kick the Keg at City Tavern Culver City
Sure, sure, L.A. Beer Week is all about unity. In fact, the official beer of L.A. Beer Week is actually called Unity. But let’s be real—each brewery in Los Angeles secretly thinks it produces the best brews around. Well, the Kick the Keg competition at City Tavern in Culver City forces the brewers to put their money where their secret superiority is. Eleven breweries will compete for the crown of Tavern Czar. Each will provide a keg, and whichever keg kicks first wins. Show up to try the best of L.A.’s best and stay for some delicious nibbles with talents from Monkish, Strand, King Harbor, and more.
City Tavern, 9739 Culver Blvd, Culver City. Event takes place from June 22nd, 6:00 p.m. to close
Smog City Tap Takeover at Library Alehouse
There are approximately 5,000 tap takeovers happening all over Los Angeles during Beer Week, but Smog City’s invasion of Library Alehouse in Santa Monica rises above the rest this year for one simple reason: sexy new beers. Smog City will be on hand with kegs of their latest creations, including one of their very first sour efforts (a peach sour called Cuddlebug), a kumquat saison, and a brett IPA called Steamfunk. For fans of Smog City classics, there will be plenty of The Nothing, Hoptonic, and Coffee Porter available as well.
Library Alehouse, 2911 Main St., Santa Monica. Event takes place June 25th, 6:00 p.m. to close
Phantom Carriage and Cascade Brewing Collaboration Release
As a bishop in the Church of Sour Beers, I feel it necessary to deliver the gospel of this event to the masses. The best brewer of sour beers in Los Angeles, Phantom Carriage, is teaming up with Portland’s premier sour smith Cascade to release a brand new collaboration. Did you catch that? It’s like if Captain Planet and Splinter from the Ninja Turtles decided to have a baby and share it with the world. The beer in question will be some sort of barrel-aged sour surprise— they’re making us wait until the event for the big reveal. Whatever it is, expect something akin to holy water.
Phantom Carriage, 18525 S. Main St., Carson. Event takes place from June 25th, 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Battle of the Brewers: Beer Trivia Brunch
Morning beer drinking is generally frowned upon in polite society (the rise of the Bloody Mary and Mimosa to brunch hegemony is mystifying to me), but L.A. Beer Week both sanctions and encourages a pint with breakfast. Because beer nerds are, well, nerds, Tony’s Darts Away in Burbank is sponsoring an event that features both brunch beers and trivia. Pit yourself against some of Los Angeles’ best brewers in a battle of beer trivia. There will be plenty of prizes for the winners and plenty of pints of the losers (which means everyone wins).
Tony’s Darts Away, 1710 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank. Event takes place June 27th, 10:30 am to 12:00 pm
Eagle Rock Public House’s Brewmasters’ Pairing Dinner
Yes, red wine goes with beef, and white wine goes with fish, but what do you pair with a saison? Or a barrel-aged imperial stout? Eagle Rock Public House has answers for you in the form of an exclusive dinner menu that pairs dishes with beers from the best of Los Angeles’ brewing scene. Craftsman, Three Weavers, Ladyface, and, of course, Eagle Rock Brewery will all be represented on the special menu by chef Jerry Su. The event will require tickets, so stay tuned to the Public House’s Web site for more info. Get ready to take notes—you’ll want to remember which beers go with which dishes so that you can show off to your friends later.
Eagle Rock Public House, 1627 Colorado Blvd, Eagle Rock. Event takes place June 28th, 6 to 10 pm.