just beer

events, just beer

Strand celebrates anniversary, introduces new line of cans

November 10, 2016

Strand Brewing, 24th Street Pale Ale

One of the oldest craft breweries in the Los Angeles area is celebrating a few major accomplishments this weekend in Torrance, including its Seventh Anniversary. Strand Brewing Co., which opened in the South Bay in 2009, is one of the early pioneers of the craft beer movement in the area. A year ago it moved from a 1,000 square feet brewery into a 36,000 square foot facility in northern Torrance and nearly doubling its capacity to 8,000 barrels a year.

Strand Brewing Tasting RoomThe tasting room itself is 5,000 feet, and there are a few plans to further develop the space, including offering private events, a barrel program and expanded cold storage. In the larger space they are also capable of adding more tanks, which could (if they maxed out the space) bring them up to 50 or 60,000 barrels in the future. Now, compared to the 850 barrels they produced in 2010, this is a nicely sized expansion.

For now, the brewery’s growth has improved the quality of beer, said co-owner Rich Marcello during a recent brewery tour. “I feel like the consistency has gotten better batch to batch,” he said.

Rich Marcello, Strand Brewing Co.This weekend’s Seven Year Anniversary celebration will also introduce a new line of cans, which is produced in-house on a shiny new canning line.

“I love cans for the light [weight], for the quality, for the shipping aspects. I think that our logo, who we are, where we live… cans just make perfect sense,” said Marcello.

The three can releases include core beers 24th Street Pale Ale, Beach House Amber Ale and Atticus IPA, and are the brewery’s top sellers. While Strand will continue to bottle, cans will replace a large chunk of the packaged beer.

Strand Brewing's new line of cans

Check out the new canning line and some of the brewery’s specialty releases (including an anniversary beer) this weekend, Friday through Sunday, November 11 through 13.

Anniversary Poster


just beer

Yorkshire Square Brewery will showcase cask ales, one hand pull at a time

July 29, 2016

Torrance is fast becoming a beer destination city with popular breweries like Smog City, Monkish and Phantom Carriage in nearby Carson drawing crowds on a daily basis. Later this year, Yorkshire Square Brewery will add to the city’s growing brewery scene with a traditional and American style cask ales and a full kitchen. Behind the helm is head brewer Andy Black and husband and wife Gary and Amy Croft with sons Charles and Sam.

It’s a match made in heaven – Gary is a Leeds, England native who knows a lot about a properly served cask ale, personally and professionally. Andy has an impressive resume and is known around So Cal as the former brewer at English ale brewery MacLeod Ale (he departed earlier this year) and more recently ran a cask program at El Segundo. The trio are, more than anything, focused on the best possible product served the best possible way.

Founder Gary Croft and Head Brewer Andy Black in the midst of construction

Founder Gary Croft and Head Brewer Andy Black in the midst of construction

The brewery will be offering some unique experiences to the area, starting out with a few brews including a traditional English Pale but also some brews with an American palate in mind.

“On the one hand,” Gary told us during a site visit, “we really want to take note of the long tradition of brewing that’s been going for several hundred years in the UK…. but on the other hand this is America and I think that this is an opportunity to innovate.”

The brewhouse will feature a 10 barrel brew system with 60 barrels of fermentation tanks. The 3600 square foot space accommodates the brewhouse, a full service kitchen, two cold rooms and bar, sitting area with a cozy fireplace and outdoor patio. Eventually they hope to expand the footprint to implement an actual Yorkshire Square. Though the plan is to start with around five house-made ales, they expect to have around eight or ten hand pumps behind the bar with room for guest beers. The final menu and space designed have not yet been revealed, but you can expect pub fare in a cozy and accessible atmosphere.

The building ceilings reveal 1940s trusses

The building ceilings reveal 1940s trusses

Repurposed wood soon to be a huge 20 foot table for the outdoor patio

Repurposed wood soon to be a huge 20 foot table for the outdoor patio

The team is very serious about the cask ale experience at Yorkshire Square Brewery. Call it nostalgia, call it fact, Gary says “A pint poured in London will look nothing like and taste nothing like a pint you’ll get in the north of England. It’s just the way I grew up.” And so all bartenders will be very well trained on the hand pump so that the experience is one that will “showcase what British beer service is,” says Andy.

You’ll have to wait a bit longer to experience that British service at Yorkshire Square Brewery, but in the meantime there’s plenty to do in Torrance. Visit newly moved Strand Brewing, and newly opened HopSaint, Scholb Premium Ales and Cosmic Brewery.


Outdoor patio space


Plenty of parking at Yorkshire Square Brewery

just beer

A win for lazy days: DoorDash delivered booze

July 19, 2016

It was a hot Friday afternoon in Northeast Los Angeles. There was a Dodger game that evening and traffic was already backing up all over Los Angeles. I was at a friend’s house in Atwater Village, and we were getting hungry – and thirsty.

All we needed to do was open the DoorDash app already on my phone (we are are obsessed with Silver Lake Ramen delivery), click on the little Alcohol tab and all the options in your area come up. Now, if you’re outside of a delivery area for a brewery or restaurant you cannot convince the DoorDash app to deliver even if you yell at your phone. My home in Echo Park has a couple of restaurants but no breweries nearby to deliver alcohol. Because I was in Atwater Village at that very moment, the choice was clear: Golden Road Brewing.

Say what you will about Golden Road – the partnership with ABinBev has a lot of people in the beer community and the general public swearing them off. This is an entirely different conversation, so for now I’ll excuse myself in the name of convenience and tasty brews (honestly, the Victor Novak brews are fantastic).

We ordered the Turkey Melt, a pretzel, vegan Avocado Tacos, a six-pack of super fresh 329 Lager and a growler of my new favorite session IPA, Wolf Pup, all in all costing $70 (keeping in mind there are delivery fees, taxes and tip). That fed four of us and we had leftover cans for the weekend.

Estimated time of arrival was about 60 minutes, but the delivery driver arrived within 35 (score!). I received text updates for nearly every stage of the process, including that the order wasn’t ready at the restaurant even though the delivery driver had arrived.


Both the growler and the six-pack arrived cold (it’s about a 15 minute drive between locations). The food was warm and though I wouldn’t have cared if it was cold – I’m addicted to those Avocado Tacos. I’ve heard that some breweries do not charge for the growler glass, but in Golden Road’s case it was a fee of $8.72 for a 62 oz, plus $15 for the fill up of Wolf Pup. Not bad considering how much time, energy and gas it would have taken to go grab my own. Even better that the beer was super fresh (the 329 was packaged 2.5 weeks earlier) and the Golden Road Pub has a ton of vegan options.

Looking back on the growler delivery, if you’re a first time customer of the brewery it makes sense to get one. If you’ve got a cabinet full of growlers I’d just go with cans or bottles offered.

If there’s a next time we DoorDash alcohol to my friend’s house in Atwater Village, Stout Burgers & Beers also delivers food and bottles of wine and beer. Hopefully there will be more alcohol delivery options in Echo Park sometime soon, but I’m happy with our local options.

Just remember: You HAVE TO HAVE TO HAVE TO be over 21. If you cannot present proof of age, you’ll pay a fine and DoorDash will egg your house (just kidding on that last one).

First time DoorDasher?

Get $7 off your $20 or more delivery using the code GIRLSLIKEBEER

DoorDash sponsored this post. Thanks guys! 

As a graphic designer and digital strategist in Los Angeles, I work with clients that may be mentioned in my articles. My professional relationships do not affect any of my content decisions, and vice versa.


just beer

Beer of the Week: LA Beer Week’s Unity

June 17, 2016


This week’s Beer of the Week was chosen for two reasons: 1) It’s a rad beer, and 2) It’s the LA Beer Week beer, and it’s LA Beer Week!

The LA Beer Week Unity beer this year is an experimental IPA brewed by Three Weavers of Inglewood as a 20+ brewery collaboration. It features a hop by the name of HBC522, so new that it doesn’t even have an official name yet. Three Weavers brewmaster Alex Nowell describes the hops as having notes of “lemon zest, stone fruit, fruit and a satisfying resinous finish.”

John Verive in an LA Magazine article describes this beer as an aggressive “hop bomb,” and we agree – it is quite dank on the nose along with some pineapple to it. Hop Bomb and all, it’s actually quite easy to sip on even with the 7.4% ABV.

This is the first year in quite a few years the LA Beer Week beer wasn’t brewed at Eagle Rock Brewery. There are now over 40 LA breweries that are members of the LA Brewers Guild, which organizes LA Beer Week and the kickoff fest (among other events).

The 22 oz bottle is now on shelves, check your local craft beer bottle shop to get your hands on it.

just beer

Beer my Dad drinks

June 16, 2016


My dad is not your typical dad – he’s not the polo shirt wearing, golf loving kind of guy. He probably doesn’t own a tie. He also happens to drink Pacifico.

It’s not that my dad doesn’t have good taste – he likes good (and expensive) wine, not to mention a well-made margarita with good tequila. The fridge is filled with Pacifico because my dad knows what he likes, and what he doesn’t. He doesn’t like hoppy beers because of the bitterness, but he does like the occasional Firestone DBA. Mainly, though, he likes lagers.

This is where I saw a challenge. With the growing popularity of craft Mexican style lagers, there was an opportunity to try him out on some of the breweries my friends and I usually favor in the hopes that he would possibly make a switch, or at least become more open minded to trying something new. And so we brought along some of the highly rated lagers available to us in Los Angeles, including:

Mexican Logger by Ska Brewing (Beer A)
Beerito by Oskar Blues Brewery (Beer C)
El Sully by 21st Amendment Brewery (Beer D)
Sirena (a Pilsner style) by Cerveceria Agua Mala (Beer E)
…and, of course, Pacifico (Beer B)

The Blind Tasting

We weren’t exactly pitting beer against beer as would be done in a traditional blind tasting, but the point was to keep Dad free of judgement because, as it turns out, he’s not a fan of canned beers (gasp!).

In terms of color, all the beers but two were straw-colored, true to style for a lager. We threw in a Pacifico into the mix to see if Dad could pick it out, but that turned out to be an easy task since all the beers had their own unique profiles, and we weren’t exactly trying to fool anyone about each beer. The point was mainly to see if my Dad liked any of the beers – at all.

Off the bat, Dad knows Beer B is Pacifico. Beer A was just… Okay, a bit watery for him. Beer C (Beerito) had a more Negro Modelo type of boldness to it, wasn’t as hoppy as the others. Beer D came off a bit citrusy. Everyone enjoyed Beer E the most, the Sirena by Agua Mala, which was the most different beer of the bunch and is actually a Mexican beer (as in, made in Mexico). Hooray! Dad would enjoy drinking Sirena again.

The Bottom Line

For a dad who knows what he likes and usually sticks to those things he likes, he’s pretty open-minded when it comes to alcohol. As long as it’s not too hoppy. Also, it’s fun to feed Dad a lot of beer.


just beer

Los Angeles has a new beer destination in Venice

June 10, 2016

It was a rare cool and rainy day, but to a dedicated crowd (beer lovers, no doubt), spending National Beer Day under an umbrella outside Firestone Walker’s new Venice location was a worthy cause.

The new location is dubbed The Propagator, named in part as a reference to yeast propagation but also is “a place for us to propagate ides, share brewing theory, create new beers, develop ways to reach non-craft ever drinkers that are living in blissful ignorance,” David Walker told the LA Weekly in an interview.

It has been three years in the making, delays caused by the challenges of city permitting that are still an issue today. Despite the delay in getting Firestone’s $1 million pilot brewhouse the city stamp of approval, the restaurant was opened softly on April 6 and to the public the next day.

Not yet hooked in - the pilot brewhouse will hopefully be operating soon

Not yet hooked in – the pilot brewhouse will hopefully be operating soon

No surprise that the food menu is a casual approach and one that pairs well with beer – it is similar in terms of feel to the Buellton and Paso Robles restaurant menus but is a different menu overall. Pizza, salads, shareable plates of baked pretzel, tacos and wings, and larger portions of burgers, fish n’ chips and smoked brisket. A few vegetarian options (can easily be made vegan) like Drunken Cauliflower, Tempeh Bahn Mi, Crispy Brussels and Spinach and more.


Wings and Shrimp

What has the Los Angeles beer community even more excited about the new campus is, you guessed it, the beer. Fresh pours of flagship beers include 805, Pivo, DBA, Easy Jack, Pale 31, Union Jack and Velvet Merlin. All great stuff – but it’s special releases like Unfiltered DBA (always a fave) and the Barrelworks beers are rarely on draft menus (if ever). The restaurant promises to have at least one of those wild ales on tap at all times.


Bretta Weisse

Across the main parking lot are offices and the Brewery Store, where you can get limited/specialty releases of bottles and soon a fill-up of Firestone growlers. It is only open from noon to 8pm, while the restaurant is now open 11am-11pm from Sunday through Thursday, and 11am-Midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

Once the brewhouse is ready to open, Firestone will use it mainly for the maturation and blending of rustic ales, a program new to the brewery but not unfamiliar territory. “We have dabbed in these types of beers with our original Lil’ Opal and our Unfiltered DBA, and now we have a place where we can sink our teeth into them,” Brewmaster Matt Brynildson said in a press release. “These will be beers that translate well on draft bout don’t make a lot of sense in a bottle – unfiltered, small batch, barrel-conditioned beers that are not sour but remain charmingly unrefined.”

If the long lines outside of Firestone’s Venice campus a few weeks ago were any indication, this is bound to be a popular location. Reservations can be made on the website. Parking is available on site but can get full, plus the nearby intersection can be a nightmare of traffic. So, moral of the story is… plan ahead.

The Propagator is located at 3205 Washington Blvd, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292.
FirestoneBrewingVenice2 FirestoneBrewingVenice5 FirestoneBrewingVenice4 FirestoneBrewingVenice3 FirestoneBrewingVenice1 FirestoneBrewingVenice9 FirestoneBrewingVenice8

just beer

A look inside the new (and enormous) Lagunitas Azusa

April 28, 2016

Lagunitas Azusa construction

We knew it was coming, but the third Lagunitas brewery is landing in Azusa in a big way.

We recently attended a “sneaky peek” event along with city officials, media and some enthusiastic fans. Word is the link to this small event was leaked out (not-so-sneaky-peek), quickly becoming a big party complete with live music, food trucks and roller derby. And lots of flowing taps with flagship beers and even a small amount of the popular The Waldos’ Special Ale.


But first, in a little dusty corner of building number two we got familiar with the highlights of the new campus, which will include:

  • Three 250 BBL brew houses along with high-speed centrifuges for each
  • 12 bright tanks
  • 90 55 foot tall fermenters
  • An outdoor amphitheater
  • Barrel-aging program
  • Canning line
  • Rooftop beer garden
  • Swag store
  • … And more!

Like that other brewery in Azusa (you know, the one off the 210 freeway), Lagunitas will utilize the pure water sourced from nearby San Gabriel mountains, a high quality source the city is very enthusiastic about.

And it’s not just about making great beer (although we’re obviously a fan). The taproom will be open in about a year with hours looking like Wednesday through Sunday until 9pm. While the taproom will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, Lagunitas will provide the space to nonprofits for fundraising – free of charge. Sales from the beer purchased during these events will also go to that nonprofit.

“Our goal,” said chief marketing officer Ron Lindenbusch at the media intro, “is to have a genuine connection with everyone we touch. Not just deetle-deetle them.” (Insert sexual innuendo here.)

And that they will do in Asuza, which has everything from A to Z in the USA.

just beer

FirkFest tapping 50+ casks this weekend in Anaheim

March 16, 2016

2015 FirkFest

FirkFest is nearly here! The third annual installment is a must for beer lovers in So Cal, bringing over 50 casks of beer from 30 local craft breweries. Held this year at the Farmers Park on Saturday, March 19 – and there are still general admission tickets for just $55 (but none will be sold at the door).

If you’re not familiar with FirkFest, the festival highlights “old World” beer serving techniques combined with new brewing trends and techniques. “Firkfest is filled with one-off beers, most of which are made just for the fest,” says organizer Greg Nagel of OCBeerBlog in a press release.

Pro tip: Get there early! The line forms early and the casks are limited – a lot of which are made just for this festival.

We’ve got a few favorite breweries hitting the festival this weekend, including Firestone Walker, El Segundo, Beachwood, Smog City, MacLeod and more. Some of the taplist highlights include:

Barley Forge Brewing

Chocolate Banana Milk Stout Future Tripping DIPA w/ extra Amarillo Dry Hop


Beer of the Dragon

Bottle Logic Brewing

Actuator Down Under (Real Ale Dry Hopped with New Zealand Hops)

El Segundo

Basil Broken Skull (IPA w/ sweet basil
Citra Squirt! (Pale Ale with citrus and dry hops)

Hangar 24 Craft Brewery

Mango Betty IPA

King Harbor Brewing

Swirly w/ Toasted Coconut

MacLeod Ale Brewing

The Session Gap
Jahr of Porter

Noble Ale Works

Wrong Side Of The Road (real Ale w/ whole leaf hops)
Man’s Milk

Smog City Brewing

Amarilla Gorilla IPA (dry-hop TBD)

The Bruery

Fruited Sour Pin (with pomegranate, blackberry and raspberry)
Mischief w/ Citrus Zest

Check out the photo gallery from Firkfest 2.0 2015!


just beer

Beer pick for the heat wave

February 12, 2016

Thanks to this SoCal heat wave (90 degrees in February??) we’re dusting off the flipflops and digging up the shorts and tank tops. There’s only one cure for these record-breaking temps and winter blues: Gose.

If real winter weather should ever return, we’ll get back to those barrel-aged, belly-warming beers. For the moment it’s all about the thirst-quenching styles that are light in hops and definitely light in color. A recent addition to the retail shelves that’s fast becoming a heat wave favorite in our fridge is Sierra Nevada’s Otra Vez, a German-influenced Gose-style ale brewed with prickly pear cactus and grapefruit.


What’s impressive about this beer is it has been in the works for about five years, but only about a year ago did Sierra Nevada take a serious swing at it. They set aside special tanks to isolate the lactic acid fermentation from the rest of the brewery, all in all testing about 119 batches until they were satisfied with the balance.

The beer itself is quite acidic along with an earthy tone (from the prickly pear) mid-palate, grapefruit up front and coriander in the back. The coriander, by the way, is an example of how Sierra Nevada commits to its California roots – they source it, and all other ingredients, from the state.

“This beer has so much personality, it’s like an old buddy,” said Brian Grossman of Otra Vez during a launch party at the Surly Goat in West Hollywood earlier this year. He joked, “It’s not the hardest beer we’ve ever made, but it’s the hardest beer we’ve ever made.”

At 4.5%, Otra Vez pairs nicely with Thai and other Asian cuisine (delightful with some spicy chicken). It’s also available year-round, so you won’t have to wait for the next heat wave to enjoy.

Sierra Nevada Brian and Ken Grossman

Brian and Ken Grossman speaking at The Surly Goat in January 2016

just beer

A call to support struggling Fresno craft beer bar

January 26, 2016
Owner Craig and his dog Peeve. Photo via Tripadvisor.com

Photo via Tripadvisor.com

Fresno is not necessarily known as a craft beer destination, but there are a few great places where craft beer has taken the spotlight to serve a growing local demand.

One of those special places is Peeve’s Public House & Local Market in the Fulton Mall of Downtown Fresno. You’ve probably never heard of Peeve’s, let alone of a Downtown Fresno, but Peeve’s has been known locally as being vital in efforts to revitalize the dusty, economically stunted business district it occupies. Despite their role as local activists and a growing audience of craft beer lovers in many segments of the area population, Peeve’s is struggling.

Owner Craig Scharton recently made an unusual plea on Facebook, saying:

Peeve’s Public House is in critical condition…. We need about 2,500 extra customer visits in the next month or two. That means people who haven’t tried us yet, come on down. We need occasional customers to make one extra visit, or maybe people who had a bad experience to give us another try. Or it means bringing a friend or two with you or ordering boxed lunches for your next office meeting. If one-fifth of the people who like us on Facebook do this, I think we’ll survive.

He cites some of the issues as being increased costs with insurance and minimum wage along with falling revenue.

Our primary resource is our community. That’s why I stepped in to open Peeve’s Pub in the first place. I saw that a great community had been developed at Fresno Brewing Company. When the owner told me he was closing, my first thought was “Oh, no, we can’t take a step backward.” I’d never run a restaurant before, but I put my savings into keeping this community of downtown-loving people together and into making it grow…and it has. The community has responded and we have grown.

We’ve been there on several occasions and enjoyed many a brew from a great taplist. The business goes above and beyond for its community, is generous in so many ways and deserves the support. If you know anyone in the Fresno area, tell them about Peeve’s!

Peeve’s Public House and Local Market

1243 Fulton Mall, Fresno, CA 93721
(559) 573-5735


just beer

Beer of the Week: The beer that started it all

January 5, 2016

What was your first “real” beer experience? The kind of beer that meant never picking up a crappy Bud ever again (or at least, never enjoying it).

Other than the occasional Sierra Nevada or Anchor Steam (which I love and you simply cannot avoid growing up in California), some experiences make you turn a corner. The West Hollywood restaurant where I used to bartend (years ago) had gone through a complete overhaul and we had a few random bottles of Belgian beer that had been taken off the menu. One night at dinner with a few friends we all agreed that clearly they needed to be consumed by someone. And so we popped open the first one, Saison Dupont, and savored its golden glow. Then the other one, Biere de Miel, slightly sweeter but quite lovely and drinkable. Why would I even think of offering the on-menu beers (Amstel Light, Newcastle… Budweiser) when we had these exotic European brews making an impression on us all, even turning one of our guests into a lover of beer.

That was where the beer journey began for me, at a little restaurant in WeHo, before it became “expected” (and necessary) for restaurants to have a beer program and before I knew what the craft beer movement was.

From there we started to religiously attend Lucky Baldwin’s Belgian Beer Festival every August and February (hence the glass shown in the photo). We pretty much drank all the St. Bernardus Abt 12 we could find across Los Angeles. And, although it took a little bit longer, those Belgians were a gateway to sour beers.

Saison Dupont is particularly an excellent intro beer for people who either haven’t yet ventured into upscale beer or who simply don’t like beer (or so they think!). There’s a subtle complexity to the flavor that doesn’t overwhelm the newbie palette. It has a slight sweetness from the fruit, bright citrus and a dry, effervescent finish. The head is a thick marshmellow cloud resting on top.

Pictured below is the Cuvee Dry Hopped version – while not what I first had those many years ago, it’s a version I actually prefer over the standard Saison Dupont.


just beer

Golden Road Brewing’s newest release is a unique, drinkable IPA

September 9, 2015


If you ever thought (sarcastically), “Gosh, I wish Golden Road would make another IPA” – you’re not alone. The Los Angeles-based brewery’s core brands include two IPAs plus at least four others including Heal the Bay and 2020. Do we really need another?

The simple answer: Heck yes! We’re in California. And if the IPA tastes good – really, just awesome – then the more the merrier. There are a couple of reasons why Golden Road’s newest IPA release, The Works, has me going back for more: First, there’s a philanthropic reason behind the beer; Second, the brew itself has a flavor profile that truly stands out.

Making L.A. better

Like Heal the Bay and 2020, The Works is part of the brewery’s custom IPA series that benefits a nonprofit organization dedicated to making Los Angeles a better city. For each beer sold, proceeds go to L.A. Works, a nonprofit dedicated to organizing volunteer programs throughout the city (and is LA’s largest volunteer program). L.A. Works is truly a special organization that actively creates positive change in our communities.

“L.A. Works and Golden Road Brewery is a match made in hops heaven; both organizations believe in inspiring greater civic engagement. When people enjoy a can of The Works IPA, my hope is they’ll think about how to pass on some of that happiness to their neighbors in need.”

– Bob L. Johnson, Board Chairman and Founder of L.A. Works., said in a Press Release

Now, about the beer.

To carry on the theme of collaboration, the Golden Road brewing team worked closely together on the recipe, which includes six hop varietals (Mosaic, Equinox, Motueka, Jarrylo, Opal and Saphir) along with Vienna malts. Jarrylo is a Yakima Valley hops with a bit of a Juicy Fruit flavor (which is why the beer can be described as “juicy”) and, as John Verive reports in Paste Magazine, “This became the foundation of hop flavor for the new brew, and more tropical character comes from New Zealand Motueka hops.”

It’s complex and soft – with just a touch of malt body along with the juicy characteristics brought in by the hops, you’ve got a beer that’s incredibly easy to drink. Watch out – it can sneak up on you at 7.1%, but at least you’ll be very happy.

How did Golden Road approach making a new IPA that stands out? Check out the latest review in Paste Magazine, where Brewmaster Jesse Houck explains the challenge of making a unique IPA in a world of IPAs.

Where to get it.

I haven’t seen much of the four-packs around retail environments outside of the brewery, so I would definitely call and ask your neighborhood spot before getting your heart set on anything. Definitely pick some up at the Golden Road Pub in Atwater Village. If you’re beach-side, there’s a tap takeover at Simmzy’s tonight in Manhattan Beach where there will be plenty on draft. If you see some on the shelves, be sure to snap a photo on Instagram with the hashtags #girlswholikebeer and #theworksipa.

Full disclosure: As a graphic designer and digital strategist in Los Angeles, I work with clients that may be mentioned in my articles. My professional relationships do not affect any of my content decisions, and vice versa. 

just beer

Beer(s) of the Week: Boulevard’s expanded selection

September 3, 2015

There’s a few beers on my personal list that I will drink any time of the day, any mood, any kind of weather. Boulevard Brewing Company has always had a special place in my heart. Saison-Brett is sincerely one of the best Saison-style beers out there. Thanks to a great price point, wide availability and a consistently delicious flavor profile, I will happily picked up a few Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale from time to time.

Earlier this year the Kansas City brewery expanded its California presence (it was acquired by Duvel a couple of years ago) with a release of a new line of cans, and Missouran transplants united in delight as once difficult-to-find brews hit the shelves in colorful new packages.


Pop-Up Session IPA

As we suffer through the hot (and surprisingly humid) summer here in Los Angeles, you really can’t have too many choices of session style beers. Pop-Up delivers a crisp, delightful flavor delivering a truly drinkable beer. The spec sheet says it “bursts forth with a big, fruity, citrus hop aroma,” however I get more of an earthy, bready aroma. True to my California roots, I can handle a bitter, hoppy beer, so for me this is pretty mellow on the bitter and has quite a bit of malt backbone. It’s 4.2% ABV and you can count on this beer alongside your afternoon BBQ any day.

Heavy Lifting IPA

Don’t you just love that cute elephant being lifted up by a single balloon? The design of this can (and all of them, frankly) is fun and bright. The green pops but the matte sheen isn’t obnoxious. It looks glorious on the shelves.

Heavy Lifting replaced the Mid-Coast IPA, described as having a “big, bold hop presence.” Brewed with Centennial, Citra, Amarillo, Topaz and CTZ, all big players in the woody/hoppy/piney world of hops flavors (something tells me that’s why they named it this). Still has that biscuity malt backbone but with a punched up bitter aroma. All in all, not a bad beer!

Ginger Lemon Radler

As a big Radler fan, I was most excited for this beer. And if you’re a big fan of ginger, you’ll jump for joy. It’s a LOT of ginger – more so than the lemon flavor, but I’m not hating. At 4.05% you can get away with drinking this with brunch. It’s a pretty simple beer described with three words: Ginger, lemon … beer!

Unfiltered Wheat Beer

Although it’s a style I’m not particularly fond of, this is one of Boulevard’s best-selling brews and is a Midwestern favorite. As usual with the brewery’s beers, there’s a solid malt backbone, has a fairly light body and is incredibly easy to crush. Some people say it’s got a fruity and slightly sour flavor. I’m not sure if I’ll be picking this up on the regular, but if you’re looking for a wheat beer this is certainly THE one to try.

just beer

Ladies of LA Craft Beer for LA Beer Week

June 15, 2015

LA Beer Week is a magical week full of amazing events. The Kickoff on June 20th is a favorite and a must – frankly it’s one of the best beer events of the year. This year I hope you’ll add another event to your calendar as we celebrate some of the women of Los Angeles craft beer.

There are many leading ladies in our fair city to feature – I have to give it up to Meg Gill of Golden Road, featured just last year in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 and an inspiration for women in the beer industry. For my first LA Beer Week event I feel honored to have four extremely accomplished ladies of craft beer:

  • Alex Nowell, brewmaster of Three Weavers Brewing Co
  • Devon Randall, formerly of Pizza Port and now heading the upcoming Arts District Brewing
  • Lauren O’Neill, Beer Buyer at Mohawk Bend
  • Sarah Bennett, beer writer (among other things) for a variety of So Cal publications including Beer Paper LA, LA Weekly and more.

The event is a unique opportunity to ask questions about women’s roles in the craft beer industry and meet and mingle with some very influential and important women behind the Los Angeles craft beer scene. We’ll cover perhaps some familiar topics about working in a male-dominated industry, including: what are the challenges, how do we approach sexism or prejudice (if any), what are the cultural differences from city to city, state to state, and more.

The $35 ticket includes a beer flight (including some very special kegs!) and pizza bites provided by Mohawk Bend. Additional food and drink will be available if you wish to purchase but there will be plenty. We expect to sell out – get your tickets soon!


  1. Unity: LA Beer Week’s official brew, a refreshing tart saison brewed by LA brewers at Smog City
  2. Sassy Rye IPA: Collaboration brew by Three Weavers & Devon Randall
  3. The Apprentice by Societe Brewing Co in San Diego (hard to get this wonderful IPA out of SD!)
  4. Temptation: Blonde Ale by Russian River Brewing – also a rare find in LA
  5. If that wasn’t enough – a super special secret beer!


just beer

Beer of the Week: Space beer

May 1, 2015

Yesterday was a big day for NASA. The 11-year-old probe that’s been orbiting Mercury ended a successful mission collecting data, plummeting into the planet’s surface. NASA has also apparently invented warp drive – it’s an engine that uses just electrical energy instead of standard fuel to produce momentum (enough to create a warp field, or something). Need to travel a few light years to make first contact with an alien species? Make it so!

Lately for me, there seems to be a bit of a theme playing out. I’ve been watching a lot of TNG on Netflix… a LOT. I finished reading The Martian for my beer-drinking lady’s book club. And there’s all this great NASA news. Good thing there’s a perfect beer to celebrate the accomplishments of our beloved space agency. USA! USA!

Continue Reading…