Tuesday, August 21, 2012

L.A Craft Beer Crawl 2012 RECAP

So many beers...so little time!

The 3rd Annual L.A Craft Beer Crawl that took place Saturday, August 18th was pretty much a beer lovers dream come true. The event was co-hosted by the Beer Chicks and 213 Nightlife. With so many craft breweries opening in California there were plenty of delicious beers to sample on this warm summer day. Registration went rather smoothly for an event with 2,000 attendees , but craft beer loving folks tend to be a rather civilized bunch. I think it helped that attendees were able to check in early. We checked in about 30minutes prior to the event and used that extra time to take the hike over to head over to Cana Rum Bar on Olympic and Flower. Our thinking was that since this was the furthest out establishment on the crawl , it would be less occupied by our fellow beer lovers. Although it felt crowded it was nothing like the other spots on the crawl. Another reason was simply because we were hungry and we knew that the Ludo Bites truck would be stationed there. Nothin' like some pairing some tasty brews with some fried chicken goodness.

Tasting Glass (I think 6oz)...wish it had been bigger!

The beers offered at Cana Rum bar actually turned out to be our favorite brews on the crawl : White Thai and Test Flight by Kinetic Brewery. Also at Cana we tried both offerings from El Segundo Brewery . Sand Dune and Citra Pale. Both were decent beers, but they were being served out of a pitcher as opposed to straight from the keg causing the beer to be a bit too warm for our liking...especially since this beer was being served on Cana's outdoor patio.

Chicken Strips@Ludo Truck
Biscuits w/ Honey @Ludo Truck

It was our first time trying the Ludo Truck and it was quite scrumptious indeed. We got the chicken strips with honey mustard. A nice tasty batter surrounded by good quality pieces of chicken and not a greasy mess like most chicken strips. From what i've been reading (on the side of his truck)  Chef Ludo Lefebvre has been on Top Chef Masters and Iron Chef America and worked in some fancy  restaurants.

Next stop was the Broadway Bar. Now this bar was packed to the gills with beer swillin' folk. At broadway we tried the Blond 5 and Tripel 9 from Brouwerki West and Saison du Buff (A collaboration with Dogfish Head and Victory Brewing  and Stone 16th Anniversary Ale from Stone Brewing.We also tried Pour Toi and Rosa's Hips from Monkish.
Broadway Bar's Packed Interior (view from staircase0

After stepping out of sweat drenched Broadway it was of course time for MORE FOOD!...We noticed several attendees and Beer Crawl staff enjoying some tasty NY style pizza from Two Boots Pizza next door so we decided to check it out. We shared a piece of cheese pizza. The pizza was definately tasty , it had that crispyness you look for in a slice of NYC pizza. The other slices looked pretty tasty too and were named after cult heros such as "The Dude" and "Tony Clifton". Also Two Boots actually has outpots in NYC so extra brownie points for them for authenticity. I could see this place doing well,especially considering it's right next to a bar (and close to other bars) that don't serve food.
Two Boots Cheese Pizza w/ Parmesan

Next stop (I think!...) was the Golden Gopher. The line to get into the Golden Gopher was a little long, but it gave us some time for to try a Philly Cheesesteak from the South Philly Truck. It was a pretty decent cheesesteak , and definitely helped to soak up the suds on this crawl. You definitely don't wanna do a crawl on an empty stomach! At the Golden Gopher we had Hanger 24's Orange Wheat , this was a nice refreshing wheat...great for a hot summer day. At the Gopher we also sampled Ballast Point Brewing's  Sculpin IPA.

At Cole's we tried Triple White Sage by Craftsman Brewing Company and Unionist and Populist IPA by Eagle Rock Brewing. Of course since we were at Cole's we had to get one of their famous french dip sandwiches. You're probably thinking this turned out to be more of a food crawl...but remember those words of wisdom "Thou Shall Not Crawl on an Empty Stomach"...i'm pretty sure it's one of the 10 commandments. The french dip was pretty tasty, and the little thing of horseradish is a nice touch..but as a french dip lover ..can't say it's THE BEST french dip ever.

After leaving Cole's , next stop on the crawl was Las Perlas. Las Perlas is a Mexican themed bar specializing in tequilas and mezcals . Las Perlas was kind of small, hot and stuffy so we didn't spend too much time in there..we did fill our glasses with some Get up Off That Brown and Point the Way IPA from Golden Road which we have had before . We chated with the dude from Golden Road for a couple minutes and he told us they'll be celebrating their 1 year anniversary soon. Pretty amazing since it seems it was just yesterday that we attended the Grand Opening at the brewery.

Next up was Seven Grand. I have always wanted to check out Seven Grand, so I was happy to hear that it was one of the stops on the crawl. I'm looking forward to revisiting this bar to try some whiskey based drinks. At Seven Grand the highlights were the Brasserie d'Chouffe Biere de Soleil and the Ommegang Witte by Brewery Ommegang.

We finished off our crawl at the bar that we checked in at ...Casey's Irish Pub. At Casey's we tried Allagash White from Allagash Brewing Sir Walter's Scottish Ale from Craft Brewing Company. Both tasty solid beers. Casey's actually serves food...but we didn't sample any of it. Next time for sure we want to try their Irish Faire. Also planning to check out their happy hour as well as it sounds pretty good. Everyday from 3-7pm and all night on Mondays.

Conclusion: The 3rd Annual L.A Craft Beer Crawl was totally a blast. It was an amazing experience to try so many local California beers in some of L.A's best bars. Also the food that we tried was all pretty delicious too.  If you missed this year's crawl I would definitely recommend going next year!

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