Wednesday, October 27, 2010


The Free Beer's Here!

October 23rd and 24th, 2010, Artisanal L.A. populated the Cooper Building in downtown Los Angeles with locally grown and produced food items.  Bee people were there, brittle people were there - even a few tarts

The beer people were a little late setting up their display on Sunday - beer people are like that, sometimes - but when they finally did show up, half the people in the penthouse space rushed the unadorned folding table.  I call the image at left “The Free Beer’s Here,” because this is what the crush looked like when everyone tried to get next to a tap.

I was eager to try Eagle Rock Brewery’s suds, because I have yet to make it to the actual brewery despite invitations - even pleading - from friends.  I’m sure Eagle Rock has quite an assortment of brews available at any one time, but they offered only two at this event.  Here’s what they were pouring:

Solidarity, Black Mild Ale - A British style of ale, medium-bodied and with a low alcohol level - 3.9% abv - for easy drinking.  It’s quite dark, much like a stout, but has neither the head nor heft of a stout.  It seems a little thin, perhaps because I expected something a bit more robust considering the dark tint.  That aside, it’s a flavorful drink.  Rather complex on the nose and palate, the aromas and flavors of coffee and nuts abound.

Stimulus, Belgian Amber with Intelligentsia Coffee - Smelling of lemons and caramel, the coffee in this one is a delicious surprise feature.  First of all, the color doesn’t tip its hand.  It’s amber colored, with no unusual darkness to suggest a jolt of caffeine.  Even the flavor profile, which reminds me more of a Heath bar, allows the coffee feature to take quite some time to come around.  This one is a more full-bodied affair than Solidarity, with a much greater weight and clocking in at 7.75% abv.

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