Last week, we shared a list of six essential West Coast beers hand-picked by Greg Koch, the CEO and Co-Founder of Southern California's largest craft brewery: Stone Brewing Company in Escondido. This week, we've done something similar with Meg Gill, the 26 year-old President and Co-Founder of Golden Road Brewing in Atwater Village. At 42,000 square feet, Golden Road stands poised to become the largest craft brewery in Los Angeles. And with its first beer debuting later this week, it also stands to be the youngest. So to honor the occasion, and to celebrate L.A.'s craft beer movement, we've asked Gill to list five of her favorite local beers. Please read responsibly.
5. The Bruery Oude Tart: "As a sour beer fanatic, I nearly lost a pulse when taken behind the scenes to try the latest batch of Oude Tart at The Bruery's facility in Placentia. A Flemish-style Sour Ale aged in oak barrels, this is the epitome of the craft brewer's innovative spirit, and Patrick Rue's most award-winning beer. Pucker up and be prepared to stand in line to land a taster of this one." The Bruery, 715 Dunn Way, Placentia, (714) 996-6258.
4. Beachwood Thrill Seeker: "A traditional West Coast IPA, dry and complex, Thrill Seeker comes in at 7.0% ABV. What's wild about this one is the bitterness. If you're in the mood for a tongue-numbingly hoppy-of-a-mother IPA, try this 99 IBU monster. It is surprisingly well-balanced for a beer of its perceived bitterness." Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, 210 E 3rd St, Long Beach, (562) 436-4020.
3. Eagle Rock Stimulus: "There's not much better than a fresh cup of Intelligentsia coffee brewed right here in L.A. Stimulus uses beans from our local coffee roaster, and is the only coffee beer I've had where I feel a pleasant caffeine buzz while sipping it, and not just added coffee flavor. What's also unique is that it's a Belgian Amber. Most coffee beers tend to be based in darker beers like porters and stouts. Stimulus is complex and surprisingly easy to drink." Eagle Rock Brewery, 3056 Roswell St, Los Angeles, (323) 257-7866.
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2. Hangar 24 Orange Wheat: "A creative spin on wheat beers, Hangar 24 Orange Wheat adds massive amounts of fresh oranges from the local Redlands orange groves to each batch. The freshness of the fruit gives this beer a refreshing quality tough to find outside of L.A. I'd recommend driving out to Redlands, and dipping a finger in the orange squeezer to see for yourself! The most exciting fact on this one is that it's now popping up at major supermarkets around L.A., making H24 one of the fastest growing breweries on the planet." Hangar 24 Craft Brewery, 1710 Sessums Drive, Redlands, (909) 389-1400.
1. Golden Road Point the Way IPA: "While not yet available in cans, this beer was created with Los Angeles beer drinkers in mind. My partner, Tony [Yanow], and I love the hop profile and complexity of California IPAs, but we wanted to create a lower ABV IPA for anytime of day, any day of the week. PTW comes in at a somewhat gentler 5.2% ABV, and highlights our proprietary yeast and varieties of Northwest hops, with a couple of New Zealand hops added for a unique aroma. It will be available in select L.A. beer bars early next week." Golden Road Brewing, 5410 N San Fernando Rd W, Los Angeles, (213) 537-4655.