Nothing marks the start of summer better than Memorial Day weekend. While many Angelenos unwisely clog freeways to get out of town, the clever stay for the delights of a slightly less-populated (and traffic-congested) weekend. Naturally, some combination of barbecue and beer must be on the books to anoint the commencement of the sunniest of seasons, with bonus points awarded to those who find the juiciest of barbecue and craftiest of beer.
If your weekend isn't slammed already, consider the following craft beer events -- one for each day of the holiday! Better yet, cancel your existing events and head to Pasadena, Hollywood and Downtown for the best excuses we could find for staying in town, drinking beer and pretending you don't have to go back to work on Tuesday.
The Blind Donkey welcomes Beachwood Barbeque and Brewing at 2 p.m. for its first Tap Takeover, with owner Gabe Gordon and Brewer Julian Shrago in attendance. Sip on GABF winners Foam Top American Cream Ale and El Verano Saison in addition to heavyweight (10% abv) Beyond a Reasonable Stout. If you haven't sampled the wares of Beachwood yet, maybe take this opportunity to become a respectable beer-loving Angeleno. This event is just on the heels of of the brewery's latest bottle release (Friday, May 24), System of a Stout -- Imperial Armenian Stout (11.2%) with molasses, green cardamom, and Portola Coffee Lab's Armenian Roast aged in Brandy barrels.
Alternative: Angel City Brewing's Food Truck Haven hosts more than a dozen food trucks from 1-11 p.m., with house beers to wash it down.
This weekend Tender Greens in Hollywood launches their first of a new series -- Craft Beer and Whole Animal Roast -- to be held the last Sunday of every month until October. Debuting the series is a whole-roasted pig from Re-Ride Farms and select beers from Noble Ale Works. A lineup of sides, starters, and veggies worthy of their own headline will accompany the main event, along with Chef Eric Hulme's homebrewed beer. Only a few spots remain (RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org) but if you don't make it to the May dinner, be sure not to miss coming months: June whole goat + Cismontane Brewing, July whole lamb + El Segundo Brewing, August whole boar + Bootlegger's Brewing, September game birds + Eagle Rock Brewing, October Oktoberfest pig + Smog City Brewing.
Alternative: Hyperion Public hosts their Booze and Barbecue weekend (both Sat. and Sun. beginning at 1 p.m.) featuring skirt steak skewers, portabella burgers and bacon coleslaw.
Angel City Brewing Co. will be celebrating Memorial Day with grills, games and beer at 1 p.m. Pablo from Taqueria El Severo will be slinging free hot dogs and mini sliders until 3 p.m.-- incentive enough to make an early appearance. Imbibe, dine, and then get competitive with a game of ladder toss or corn hole. Flagship Angel City beers Angeleno IPA and Eureka! Wit will be on tap, but we recommend venturing into unchartered waters with a Dunkel Weisse or White Nite.
Alternative: Newly opened Pono Burger will offer a burger, fries + lemonade for two package, with an optional upgrade getting you a pitcher of Strand Pale Ale.
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