One of my 2019 “resolutions” was to drink local. Now, I already spend most of my beer dollars on local beer but I thought it would be instructive if I really went out of my way to drink local and record the results.
Here is how things shaped up for the first three months of 2019:
Big Grove Brewery, ReUnion Brewery, Lion Bridge Brewing Company, SingleSpeed Brewing, and Exile Brewing are all breweries from Iowa. The six pack of Denver Beer Company Incredible Pedal was purchased in Colorado, so I am going to count that as local. Therefore, the only non-local beer that I purchased for home consumption in the first quarter of the year were two six packs from New Belgium and Lagunitas.
Away from home things look a little different. Most of the beers I consumed were either purchased at the brewery taproom (Barn Town Brewing, Lion Bridge Brewing Company, Big Grove Brewery) or close to the brewery (SingleSpeed Brewing, Clock House Brewing, Green Tree Brewery, Outer Range Brewing, Bonfire Brewing).
I did end up drinking some Lagunitas IPA at an event in Davenport. This was the most “craft” option available and it goes to show how far beer has come in the last decade. When you are somewhat disappointed that Lagunitas IPA is the best option you know things are pretty good right now in the state of beer consumption.
The only other non-local beers that I consumed away from home were a Surly Liquid Stardust that I was eager to try when it became available on draft at a local establishment and Roadhouse Brewing Mountain Jam that was recommended to me by a server in a Colorado stop.
Looking back I would say that my efforts were solid. Only Lagunitas, owned by Heineken, would not be considered a craft brewer under the guidelines set forth by the Brewer’s Association.
Posted in Beer, Uncategorized
Tagged Barntown Brewing, beer, Big Grove Brewery, Bonfire Brewing, Cedar Rapids, Clock House Brewing, Coralville, craft, Denver Beer Company, Des Moines, Exile, Green Tree Brewery, Iowa, Iowa City, Lagunitas, Lion Bridge Brewing, local, New Belgium Brewing, Outer Range, resolution, Reunion Brewery, Roadhouse Brewing, SingleSpeed Brewing, Solon, Surly
If you find yourself spending an evening near the Los Angeles International Airport, e.g. with an early morning flight back east, you could do yourself a solid and visit Three Weavers Brewing Company. The taproom and brewery are located less than three miles from the actual terminals and more like two miles from the stretch of hotels that cater to travelers flying in and out of LAX.
The brewery, founded in 2013, is actually in Inglewood. Why do you know Inglewood? Well, it is famous for Randy’s Donuts. The Forum, where Los Angeles basketball teams played before moving to the Staples Center, is in Inglewood. I will always remember it for being in the lyrics to California Love: Yeah, Inglewood, Inglewood always up to no good.
Anyway, the taproom and brewery are part of one large light industrial space separated by little more than a low bar featuring the taps. It’s finished in that found or reclaimed semi-industrial chic that is required design language for craft brewery taprooms across the United States. It’s better than the rage of faux Irish pubs that permeated the country in the late-1980s but not by much given how overused the design elements are at this time. I am predicting that rustic barn décor is the next taproom fad.
The location and décor are irrelevant because the beer is good. You can get a flight of beers to sample a range of the offerings, but I would discourage that practice. Over the years I have become disillusioned with the whole concept of a beer flight. Try a sample and commit to a pint.
As an IPA drinker I stuck to Stateside Sessions IPA and Expatriate West Coast IPA. Both were well done examples of the pale ale style and I would be happy to drink them in most settings. I apologize for the lack of pictures, but I have stopped being “that guy” who looks like he is taking photos for Yelp reviews that no one really cares about. There was a Rye IPA that was supposed to be coming on tap soon. I missed it by a few days. If you are staying close and want to take a beer “to go” there are growlers and bombers available. Nothing is worse than getting back to your hotel and realizing that the best option they have to drink is Stella Artois.
It is interesting that Southern California seems to be at the beginning of the craft beer boom. Sure, there are major successes out of the region like Green Flash, Stone, and Lagunitas. Heck, L.A.’s own Golden Road just got bought out by AB InBev and was the talk of the brewers sitting down for a few pints one table over from me. However, it feels like the first wave of breweries is just beginning to spin off the next generation of brewers who will take the region’s craft identity into new spaces.
By the way, you can walk to your hotel from Three Weavers. It felt as if Los Angeles was trying to prove a point to me as I got huge blisters on each foot from the short walk. Maybe you are not supposed to walk in L.A.
Posted in Beer
Tagged airport, beer, Expatriate West Coast IPA, Golden Road, Green Flash, Inglewood, Lagunitas, LAX, Stateside Sessions IPA, Stone, Three Weavers Brewing Company