Tonight is the opening of Carson House, a new pub in Beverly Hills that will feature an extended list of craft and rare beers in addition to American fare, California wine and cocktails named after parts of the neighborhood. The craft beer offering will be a shift in a part of town generally more accustomed to high-end wine and cocktails.
"We will have some great craft lagers and local lagers, but we'll have a lot of one-off, specialty beers that are constantly rotating," says Kevin Olson, the pub's beer director.
When Olson says local, he means breweries such as Angel City, Smog City and Monkish. A few regional breweries made the list, part of his belief that great beer supersedes all other considerations. "From the Bruery, we have their White Oak, which is a beer they release once a year. When that keg is gone, it won't be back until this time next year."
Olson has brought in sour beers as well. "It's been made for hundreds of years in the traditional Belgian style, but it's becoming more popular. There's definitely not as many around. We have quite a few sour beers available, like Cuvée des Jacobins Rouge Flemish Sour Ale."
Olson currently has 20 drafts on tap and a list of bottles that continues to grow and expand in variety. The beer menu will shift every week, but not every beer will be swapped out. Amidst the frequent changes, he's determined to maintain a few constants in the program, which includes proper cleanliness and pour etiquette.
"When you see the little bubbles peeking through inside the glass, that means the glass is not beer-clean. Carbonation sticks to any imperfection in the glass," Olson says. "When you're rotating through beers, if you put beers with really different flavors on right after each other without cleaning the lines well, you can still taste the prior beer.
"I really want to bring a really good program to Beverly Hills," Olson says.
Carson House will open its doors at 5 p.m. It's the latest venture from Steve Fowler and Scott Paletz, the guys behind Platinum Events and Vice nightclub in Hollywood.
Carson House: 8635 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; (310) 289-2800.
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