Brown Bag it at Blue Palms Brewhouse: A Blind Stout Tasting

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Thu, Mar 17, 2011 at 1:00 PM
click to enlarge FLICKR / BERNT ROSTAD
  • Flickr / Bernt Rostad

Craft Beer is on the rise in Los Angeles, thanks largely to places like Eagle Rock Brewery, Bootlegger's Brewery, The Bruery (the one and only thing behind the Orange Curtain that is worth claiming for Los Angeles), Tony's Darts Away, and the Surly Goat, among many others. However, with all of the delicious, palate-blasting things that a good craft beer scene brings comes some misfortune. No, not alcoholism. Hype. Events like Pliny the Younger day are a mess even here, and special tap takeovers and releases are mishandled as often as they're done right. And for some beers, the hype gets so massive that people forget completely what they're tasting and whether it's actually any good. Well, to cut right through your expectations and get back to the beer itself, Blue Palms Brewhouse is hosting another in their ongoing series of brown bag blind tastings on Monday, March 28th at 6 p.m.

This blind tasting is centered around stouts, a dark beer style which covers many permutations (from Russian Imperial to Milk to Irish Dry and beyond), but is generally defined by its black appearance and an emphasis on flavors of roasted malt, chocolate, dark fruit, and/or coffee. Guinness produces perhaps the best known example of the style, but even those who are not fans of the Irish mainstay (count us in that camp) can find something to enjoy. Some of the most well-respected craft beers in America fall into this category, including Deschutes' The Abyss, 3 Floyds' Dark Lord, Portsmouth's Kate the Great, and The Bruery's Black Tuesday, so there is certainly plenty of hype to be challenged.

The entrance fee is simply one 22 oz. bottle (or two 12 oz. bottles) of any kind of stout in a brown bag to contribute to the tasting, as well as $2.00 for gratuity. The beers will be passed out in small pours so you can take notes, rate, and compare a wide variety of stouts without any preconceptions about the brewery or its reputation. It should prove to be an interesting experience for anyone hoping to broaden their beer drinking horizons or hone in on exactly what it is they like and dislike.

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