LA Beer Week Kick Off Celebration

While all eyes are currently focused on Denver and the Great American Beer Festival, I’m still thinking about Los Angeles Beer Week 2014. LA Beer Week Kicked Off Saturday September 20th, followed by a multitude of events all week long throughout LA and surrounding cities. Consequently, my work and school schedule interferes with the week long festivities. As sad as I was to miss some of the major events, I did however, make an effort to attend the Kick Off Celebration. Although I have attended this event in the past, this year, it felt all new.
No, No Thank You!

Formerly known as the Opening Gala for LA Beer Week, this year, the event had a new name, a new location, and a new group of organizers. The Los Angeles Brewers Guild headed by Jeremy Raub of our beloved Eagle Rock Brewery brought a sense of unity to this festival. The energy that day was vibrant, joyful, and we embraced it with open arms.
Smog City Bear

The tickets this year were very reasonable as opposed to the overpriced festival last year and offered so much more. Although a last minute update announcing the distribution of drink tickets caused some concern, it wasn’t enough to break the spirits of true beer lovers. Since I am still a small time beer enthusiast, I purchased myself a general admission ticket and made plans to meet my friends at the event. Historic Chinatown was the setting for the new LABW6, a short walk away from the Metro Gold Line.

I arrived just before the general admission gate opened and waited in line for my wristband. In the past, the line was unreasonably long as it combined check in, wristband distribution and entrance in one. This time, it was short and seemed to go quite swiftly. You can tell almost immediately, the event was very well organized from the start. Walking through the entrance I was handed a map detailing where the breweries were at, a commemorative glass and ten drink tickets to start. Shortly after, I met quickly with friends and made my way to the first stop on my list of breweries to try.

My list consisted of breweries I’ve never visited and beers I’ve never tried. I was aiming for an all new experience and it was exactly what I got. New breweries on my list were Progress Brewing, King Harbor Brewing, Pacific Plate Brewing and The Brewery at Abigale. I also enjoyed new beers from Ladyface Alehouse, Macleod Ale Brewing, Eagle Rock Brewery, Wolf Creek Brewery, New Belgium Brewing, and Brouwerij West. All the beers were fantastic and it was hard to single out one as a favorite.

I realized at the end of the event the one place I could not get enough of was Pacific Plate Brewing and their Horchata Stout.
Pacific Plate Horchata Stout
The Horchata Stout at 5.2% abv is based on an English Milk Stout. The two major ingredients I could taste almost immediately were the cocoa and the cinnamon. It was a beautiful imitation of my favorite agua fresca. I was impressed with both the Horchata Stout and the Copa De Oro from Pacific Plate Brewing, that I plan on visiting their location soon! Visit for hours and location.

As the last hour approached, The Firkins took the stage and crowds rushed to get the last of the samples poured till they were all out. As sad as we were to see the event come to an end, my friends and I had a fantastic time.

Gayle and Luis of Angry Horse Brewing Co sad to see the event come to an end.

Gayle and Luis of Angry Horse Brewing Co sad to see the event come to an end.

The ladies and one random photobomber

It was so great to see everyone I know, to meet new people and to try new places. I was aiming for a new experience and I got just that. I’m hoping next year, I’ll have a chance to enjoy LA Beer Week in it’s entirety from the Kick Off Celebration, to the Battle of the Bands, to the multiple Tap Takeovers and Meeting of the Guilds. I want to do as much as I can to make up for what I missed out on this year. Congratulations to the Los Angeles Brewers Guild and all the volunteers for throwing one bad ass beer bash!

Ellie Christina and Kim
Eagle Rock Brewery Longevity
Jeremy Raub of Eagle Rock Brewery and Ellie at the Craftsman booth
King Harbor Quest Series
Brouwerji West Brilliant but Lazy
Ladyface Ale Companie Guillotine
MacLeods Nutty Broon
New Belgium La Folie
Pacific Plate Copa de Oro
The Brewery at Abigale
The Firkins
Juan and Jesse
DIY Sticker Shirt
Wolf Creek Punkelweizen
Progress Brewing Co Calvary DIPAThe first toast

Until next year!


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