L.A. Works, the county's largest volunteer network, has spent the last 25 years addressing "pressing social issues through volunteerism and community collaborations." Golden Road Brewing, Los Angeles County's largest brewery, is honoring the organization and its many contributions with an L.A. Works–inspired beer.
As part of its custom IPA series, Golden Road last week released four-pack cans of The Works, a new beer that will donate a portion of its proceeds to L.A. Works. It has such a fascinating melange of hops that it may very well end up one of the best IPAs to come out of L.A. this year. The Works joins Golden Road's other annually released, philanthropic IPAs, including one benefiting Heal the Bay and one for the L.A. River.
"This time, we wanted to collaborate with a group that connects with all of Los Angeles," says Golden Road co-owner Meg Gill. L.A. Works connects volunteers across L.A. County with organizations that need them. The opportunities listed on L.A. Works' site have a wide scope, including everything from mentoring students and feeding the homeless to doing data entry and helping with IT work. Tony Yanow, Golden Road co-owner, "has had a long-standing relationship with L.A. Works," Gill says, "so the partnership made sense."
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The IPS's name also refers to the large assortment of hops that make both the taste and aroma of the beer so interesting. Relying on a blend of six different hop varietals from three continents, The Works combines old- and new-world flavors. The result is herbaceous and tealike yet also citrusy and sweet.
Mosaic and Equinox are new American hop varietals that have become brewers' hop du jour for their notes of lemon, lime and apple. Motueka is a newish New Zealand-bred hop bursting with tropical fruit flavors. Opal and Saphir are both European hops, descendants of traditional German varieties that have a low bitterness index with killer spicy aromas. Finally, The Works uses Jarrylo, a brand-new fruity hop that Golden Road's brewers discovered last year during the hop harvest in Yakima, Washington.
"It's the works of hops," says lead brewer Ross Connolly, who helped develop The Works' recipe. "It showcases some new American varieties, which surprisingly blend very well with the spicier German hops."
The Works was officially released Sept. 3 at the Pub at Golden Road, which is the only place you'll find four-packs until they make their way into local stores in the coming weeks. The beer arrived just in time for L.A. Works' 25th anniversary, which will be celebrated Sat., Sept. 12, with a citywide Day of Service that culminates with an unofficial after-party at the Pub.