Our fair city has long been regarded by outsiders as something of a craft beer wasteland, a rocky patch full of Bud-Miller-Coors between the fertile hop fields of San Diego and the Bay. Standing within the county's limits, though, it is clear that good beer is not only surviving, it's thriving here in L.A., and it now seems impossible to go an entire weekend without attending an event promising rare small-batch beers aged in barrels or with a crazy strain of yeast added late in the process. We went from Beer Church and City Tavern's opening to ColLAboration and Beer Fest, and next in line there is Bootlegger's Brewery's third anniversary celebration, coming up soon.
The Fullerton brewery is celebrating its third year of life on Saturday, April 23rd, with an impressive tap list of about 30 of their own beers, several food trucks, and live music. The event will take place in two sessions and will be held at a secret location, but parking and check-in are at the brewery itself, which is located on a mostly deserted corner right next to the train tracks. From there, attendees will be bussed to the mysterious spot, where they will be able to enjoy beer and food through a ticket system. A $32 entry fee (or $35 at the door if there is space) comes with ten beer tickets, two food tickets, and a commemorative tasting glass, and there will be more tickets for purchase.
Highlights of the tap list as it stands now include several permutations of their chipotle coffee ale Black Phoenix (including bourbon barrel and extra chipotle) and their Belgian pale ale Golden Chaos (including bourbon and brandy barrel versions), as well as a handful of sour beers and, of course, Knuckle Sandwich, their famous Double IPA. Knuckle Sandwich is their highest-regarded brew, and for good reason. It is a perfectly crafted beer, with plenty of big citric and floral hop flavors balanced out by just the right amount of malted caramel sweetness. They brew Knuckle Sandwich fairly infrequently, and we hear that they only have enough of some of the hop varieties that they use (Simcoe primarily) for one more batch at the most this year, so this is a good chance for you to check it off your must-try list.
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The event itself may not be ready to rival Stone's recently-announced 15th anniversary celebration, but it certainly looks like another great step on the road to L.A.'s beer awakening.