You could look at the upcoming 405 closure as the perfect excuse to stay home and restock your freezer with enough hamburger and hot dog buns, or sure, duck confit, to last all summer. A perfectly lovely idea. Or, as members of local homebrew club Pacific Gravity are, you could look at the inevitable driving headache as all the more reason to take advantage of the LA County Transportation Authority's increased metro and bus routes that weekend — several of which are free — to have a party. Designated driver dilemma resolved.

And it's not just any party, but the annual Pacific Gravity Member Party, one of our favorite beer events of the year.

This is not one of those de rigueur L.A. beer events that of late have been popping up at high-gloss downtown bars and involve “celebrity” brewer sightings. The Pacific Gravity party is all about picnic blankets, pot lucks (this year's theme is Mediterranean/Middle Eastern cuisine), and, of course, home brew. Think walls and walls of Igloo coolers and antique wood trunks rigged up as pretty brilliant home brew dispensaries for all-you-can-drink tastings. Nor is it all experimental IPAs and stouts on draft, but mead, sake and homemade sodas. Yeah, a pretty great perk for the $30 annual club membership fee, which aside from other member benefits, includes a ticket to the July 16th event for members plus a guest (kids are free).

The party, hosted by club member Dean Sussman the past few years, is held in Sussman's Pacific Palisades backyard. As it is a private home, members are highly encouraged to volunteer an hour or two, either the evening before for party setup, during the event (cooking & prep, check-in desk, serving beer, serving food), or the next day to help clean up. If you are only a beginning home brewer (you can sign up for homebrew classes during the year), for this year's party purposes you can add a few casseroles and local Eagle Rock Brewery growlers to the mix. Eagle Rock Brewery owners Jeremy and Steven Raub are members of the Maltose Falcons, L.A.'s other longstanding homebrew club, which has a friendly rivalry with Pacific Gravity. But when it comes to good beer, we can assure no one at the Pacific Gravity party will mind, as there is always room for another growler. Hop, yeah.

Pacific Gravity Member Party: Saturday, July 16, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., Pacific Palisades. Open to members only, one $30 membership includes a ticket to the party for two adults sign up here.

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