Break out the sweaters, it’s finally Fall! Although the days in Los Angeles are sunny and temps are still slightly on the high side, fall beer releases and Okterbfest celebrations will not wait for the Fall weather to catch up.
Check out these great events around Los Angeles (updates made as they come), most of which will include the neighborhoods like Atwater Village, Silver Lake, and other Northeast Los Angeles neighborhoods along with the occasional foray beyond:
Montrose 36th Annual Okoberfest
Saturday, October 5, 2013 from 12 noon – 11:00 pm | Website
We’ve never been to the Montrose Okoberfest, but the Stein Holding and Sausage Eating contests are pretty darn appealing. Wear your best lederhosen and dirndl attire! Admission is free, and gates open at noon but beer starts pouring at 2:00 pm.
Oktoberfest at Link N Hops, Atwater Village
October 19-20, 2013 from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm each day | Website
A two-day event with Bootlegger’s Brewery, Hangar 24, Golden Road and New Belgium, the first Oktoberfest at Link N Hops will be held inside and outside the sausage and craft beer gastropub. Each brewery will be pouring a variety of Oktoberfest/Fall-inspired brews like Pumpkin and amber ales. Tickets include six tasters at six ounces each plus food.
We hear there will also be a classic car show in the parking lot on Saturday, October 19th, so it should be a lot of fun!
Visit the event website for more information and to purchase tickets in advance for just $27 for each day, price goes up at the door.
Oktoberfest at Angel City Brewery, Little Tokyo
October 19, 2013 from 12:00 noon – 8:00 pm | Website
Angel City Brewery will be tapping its Octoberfest beer and the Currywurst Truck will be parked outside for those delicious gourmet German sausages. Ping-ping, ladder toss, and corn hole competitions will be held throughout the day, plus the Derby Girls will be on deck.
Downtown Burbank Oktoberfest
Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Website
The Downtown Burbank Oktoberfest Biergarten will located on San Fernando Boulevard between Olive and Angeleno, where Stone, Firemans Brew, and Angel City will be brews into your souvenir glass. Word is Story Tavern will be pouring pumpkin beers, as well as German and American Oktoberfest beers from Ayinger and Firestone. Plus, buy any two pours from them and get a German Stein.
A $25 ticket also gets you a swag back and specials and free appetizers from participating restaurants like Granville Cafe and Wockano.
Biergarten at The Standard, Downtown Los Angeles
Open Monday – Sunday from 12 noon – 1:30 am (be aware of a possible cover late at night) | Website
Where Oktoberfest is held year-round. In tune with the theme, the staff wears dirndl printed tees, pour a small but concise selection of German beers. Seating is at communal tables, and there is a ping pong table. but the best thing about the Biergarten besides the stunning LA views is the food – a pretzel is a must, and the sausages also get rave reviews. Just don’t wander too far from the garden or you’ll have to transfer that Dunkel into a plastic cup.
Open every day from 11:00 am – 2:00 am (garden closes earlier) | Website
Another one of those year-round Oktoberfest locations, Red Lion Tavern has been around for 50 years and is one of our favorite patio spaces to drink giant glasses of cold beer. We recommend drinking a Spaten Optimator with the cheese plate and the potato pancakes, but we’ve also heard great things about the sausages.
Are you aggressive but with a heart of gold? You must drink dark ales. Do you embrace change well? Perhaps your akin to the hoppy IPAs. A bitter beer drinker? You are a positive person but you complain about your ex – a lot. This according to below clever and facetious graphic, What Your Style of Beer Says About You.
What does this mean for those of us who like ALL beer styles? Perhaps we can use this as a sort of daily beer horoscope – today we are feeling in the mood for a nice brown ale, which, according to the chart, means “you feel no one respects you since the war.” Sounds about right.
h/t Laughing Squid
It’s like Christmas in September for craft beer lovers around Los Angeles. The fifth annual Los Angeles Beer Week officially kicks off today and will tantalize your beer-loving palate for ELEVEN days!
LA Beer Week is essentially a celebration of craft beer through Los Angeles via ticketed events like the Opening Gala on Sunday, September 22, to existing establishments hosting a variety events like tap takeovers. And there are SO many events that we don’t even know where to start, but since Girls Who Like Beer are pretty much centered around Northeast LA, we’ll focus for a bit on some fantastic events that are a short drive, bus ride, or even walkable.
Be sure to visit the LA Beer Week events page for all the events, and share with us on our Facebook page, Twitter, or in the comments below what you’re excited about. We’re definitely there for the Musical Beer Crawl in Echo Park – where will you be?
More after the jump!
Recently we picked up one of those beers that is so delicious it makes you regret not buying a dozen more.
Sort Gul is a 2013 Black IPA by Mikkeller – roughly translated as “Black Yellow.” It’s 7.3%, has a nice tan head, and pours dark with visible but little chunks of yeast. Smells just like a Belgian beer would – sweet and malty. This is a nice take on an American Black IPA, although the bitterness of a typical IPA is extremely mellow and it ends up being as easy as drinking a cola.
Compared to other Black IPAs I’ve been consuming lately (it’s become one of my favorite styles), this has a full body, more malty characteristics, and finishes creamy.
We picked this up at Provisions (formerly owned by The Bruery, now owned by Haven) in Orange for betwee. $5-6.00. Totally budget friendly and delightful!
We had the extreme privilege of attending the 2nd anniversary party for our friends of the OC Beer Blog at Noble Ale Works. It was a great excuse to escape the heat of Northeast LA for some beach time, then to our first trip to Noble for some fantastic beer!
Lucky for us, we arrived on the earlier side for the beloved Naughty Sauce, a 5.4% golden milk stout infused with coffee – which you’ll smell right off the bat. Naughty Sauce ran out fairly quickly as it’s a pretty coveted beer. It looks lighter than it actually drinks, and goes down very, very smooth.
Noble’s other offerings are pictured above, but you couldn’t leave without having some of the Nagel’s Number 2 – a special collaboration stout, barrel aged on nitro, and the namesake of OC Beer Blog founder Gregory Nagel. At 12.5%, the 4 ounce pour was plenty!
Food in the form of a food truck was delicious and inexpensive thanks to Seabirds Truck. If you come across them, a simple grilled corn and some arancini. Yum!
Slaves Against the Machine (a cover band for, you guessed it, Rage Against the Machine), rocked it amidst the barrels of the Noble brewery – not a bad background for a fantastic beer event!
Ever have one of those months where you can’t stop getting everyone’s colds and all this life stuff starts happening? That’s what has happened to us. Which is why we’re finally bringing to you our highlights from this year’s Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival – a month late. Nonetheless, enjoy!
It’s difficult to sum up the Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival in one word, but we’ll try: It was awesome. A British colleague of mine once told me to stop saying this “California girl” word so much, saying, “Awesome is a waterfall, everything else is good, great, or fabulous.” Well, that must mean the beer festival was a waterfall, an awesome waterfall.
Except for one thing: As the hours passed on June 1, the slight cold I had woken up with turned into full-on bronchitis, and in the 104 degree Paso Robles heat I forgot to take a lot of photos I intended on taking, conduct interviews, or do much other than seek out those giant (and popular) outdoor air conditioners. Nonetheless, we got to taste a few favorites before the end of our first Firestone Festival, and we can’t wait to go back!
One of the reasons that makes the Firestone Invitational Beer Fests my favorite of all time was the selection of breweries and beers. This isn’t your average beer festival (let’s be honest, some can feel repetitive if you go to enough). Each brewery is invited because they are bringing not only beer-lover favorites, but also super special brews for our festival glasses. Ticket sales are limited, so lines are manageable, and there are enough breweries to serve a variety of enthusiastic festival-goers.
Plus there is food – delicious food! So it was a little hot standing in line by Full of Life Flatbread’s wood-fired pizza oven (holy hot!), but the flatbread was a must-have along with other local vendors offering avocado ice cream, gumbo, chicken skewers, and vegan eggplant curry (yum!).
In total, there were 40 breweries and 20 food vendors, and accomplishing them all in just a few short hours (things shut down promptly at 5) is a challenge. You don’t have to bring cash for any of these items, it’s all included in the ticket price unless you buy swag or special bottles. Through the heat, the alcohol, and all the DayQuil I was consuming, here’s what we remember from the best beer fest ever.
Russian River Brewing
Ah yes, Russian River Brewing – you tantalized me when I first visited your brewpub in Santa Rosa. The beer! The food! The atmosphere! But your coolers and ice buckets of delicious specialty beers (hellllooooo Supplication!) would suffice, for the Pliny The Elder and Temptation Sour Ale were the reason this booth was our first visit at the Invitational, and it was worth it. Pliny is definitely one of the best IPAs out there, as the line throughout the whole fest proved.
More after the jump, and be sure to visit our Facebook page for the full photo gallery!
After about a year of planning, the barely two-year old Smog City Brewing finally has its very own diggs!
When head brewmaster Jonathan Porter and team started brewing in 2011, they were doing it all within the Tustin Brewing Company facilities. For a while there, Smog City brews were either hard to find or not being released, but now that the new facility is up and running, you will be finding delicious brews like the award-winning Groundworks Coffee Porter on tap around Southern California. In other words, the brews are kegged and ready for pickup tomorrow morning!
Taproom hours are Thursday and Friday from 4-9:00 pm, and Saturday from noon to 8:00 pm.We got a look at the new 5,500 square foot Torrance facility in May, just a stone’s throw from Monkish Brewing and Dudes Brewery. The new taproom features up to 20 taps pouring Smog City’s delicious and exclusive brews, like Weird Beer (highly recommended) and the Sabre-Toothed Squirrel (a deliciously bitter amber).
If you missed the grand opening celebration and haven’t been yet, Friday June 7 is a good excuse to get over there. Mayor Frank Scotto of Torrance and the Torrance City Council will be attending the brewery’s official ribbon cutting ceremony at 4:00 pm, and until 5:00 pm all full pours will be $1 off.
Smog City does not disappoint – go check it out!
Smog City Brewing is located at 1901 Del Amo Blvd, Ste B Torrance, 90501
Familiar with the slogan, “The beer that made Milwaukee famous”? It belongs to the one and only Schlitz – a Milwaukee brewery that’s been around since the mid-1800s. At the start of the 20th century, Schlitz was the world’s top beer producers, making over 100 million gallons a year, and is now owned by Pabst Brewing Company (which also owns Old Milwaukee).
Aside from being the top dog of beer (often knocking Anheuser-Busch off the totem pole), one of the major contributing factors to the brewery’s prominence was a major moment in history: The Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Owner Joseph Schlitz donated thousands of barrels of beer to the city (one story cites the fire fighters as being specific recipients), which had just lost five of 12 breweries and the city’s drinking water infrastructure. Thus was born loyal customers in Chicago, and sales boomed when Schlitz opened “tied-house” bars across the city.
This is why Schlitz is the beer that made Milwaukee famous.
Visiting Chicago or Milwaukee? Many of the Schlitz buildings still don the brewery’s iconic logo, and 41 buildings (“tied-house buildings) once operated by breweries like Schlitz still stand. Lots of great history there, send in your photos if you have them!
When Wayne and Garth visit Milwaukee in Wayne’s World, they parody the opening credits to TV show Laverne & Shirley. The scene shows female duo going to work at a fictitious Shotz Beer brewery (ahem, very Schlitz-sounding, no?).
In celebration of Cinco de Mayo on Sunday, we hit up some of our favorite margarita recipes. But after noticing case after case of Mexican beer fly off the shelves of the grocery store, we were on the hunt for some actual cerveza artisanal.
A recent vacation to Baja California revealed that it’s a little tough to get craft beer in Mexico, but it seems like it would be a natural thing that would happen. Unfortunately the big beer companies, FEMSA and Grupo Modelo, own a huge duopoly over the business of beer permitting, and own all the hops and even the politicians in the country.
But there’s hope – thanks to the refined tastes of San Diegans when it comes to beer, there are Mexican breweries congregated around the California border delivering some pretty awesome Mexican craft beers (on the border they have the access to hops from the States and the audience for it). While we didn’t find any in San Felipe on our trip, back in Los Angeles our favorite spot, Sunset Beer in Echo Park, had just gotten in a shipment of real Mexican craft beer!
Cucapá, one of the first micro breweries in Mexico. Located in Mexicali (the border town to drive through if you don’t go the Tijuana route), the brewery opened in 2002 and then a bottling plant in 2006. Originally it caught my attention because of the labels, which do sport some potentially offensive imagery (see photo).
Cucapá offers a variety of beers, including the Runaway IPA (pictured), Chupacabras American Pale Ale, La Migra Imperial Stout, and more. The Chupacabras Pale is full-bodied, crisp, has a nice citrus aroma, and pours a very light amber. The Runaway IPA is similar in that it has similar characteristics, but has that nice bitterness of the hops. Both are very drinkable, and gives you what you would expect when Mexican beer meets craft beer.
There are also some other craft breweries around the peninsula, including Baja Brewing Company in Cabo San Lucas, and a couple in Tijuana. If craft Mexican beer is your thing, the next fest is the Expo Cerveza Artesanal on May 18 and 19 this year.
I’ve also heard some rumblings of microbreweries taking on Mexican-style pale ales, but other than a taster of Sequoia Brewing Company’s Del Oro (unfortunately it tasted like liquid tortilla chips) we haven’t had much experience.
About this siteGirls Who Like Beer is a girl's guide to navigating craft beer Los Angeles (and some times beyond!). A collaborative effort about craft beer, cocktails, irresistible eats, and how to explore your neighborhood, this is a light-hearted website fueled by craft beer (and occasionally margaritas... and wine).