On the third day of L.A. Beer Week, Beer Belly sent to us: three GABF medals, two Bruery dudes, and a Patrick Rue in a pear tree. OK, the three medals The Bruery won at this year's Great American Beer Festival will remain on display at the brewery's North Orange County facility, and Patrick Rue may never grace the branches of a fruit tree. But The Bruery's founder and CEO will appear at Koreatown's Beer Belly this evening with two of his employees, twelve of his brews, and one of his rarest and most coveted ales (this summer, a 750ml bottle of the stuff infamously sold for $250 on Ebay): the GABF 2011 silver medal-winning barrel-aged sour beer, The Wanderer.
The Wanderer came to life earlier this year when Rue and company brewed a small batch of the dark sour ale to celebrate the fifth anniversary of San Francisco's City Beer Store. And on May 4, City Beer Store released the limited-edition beer to the public, selling its entire allocation — thirty cases, or three hundred and sixty 750ml bottles — within a few hours. It's been a collectors item ever since. Which is why the beer's appearance at Beer Belly this evening — less than two weeks after it took silver at GABF — is so exciting. Few people outside of San Francisco have tasted it.
The Wanderer may be the star of the show (the event starts at 6 p.m., and Beer Belly's owner, Jimmy Han, expects Rue and company to arrive around 7 p.m.), but it's only one of seven Bruery beers to go on tap this evening. Eager imbibers can also savor The Bruery's Humulus lager — both the original and wet-hopped versions — Rub-a-Dub-Dubbel, Mischief, Loakal Red, and Autumn Maple — one of the best fall seasonals on the market.
Among the bottled beers on hand tonight will be Mischief Gone Wild, Snicklefritz, Bierbauch, Batch 300, and Faster, Bigger, Better, Bolder (Gradually, Quietly, Steadily) — The Bruery's recent collaboration with Delaware's Dogfish Head Craft Brewery.
But for Han, the excitement surrounding Rue's appearance at Beer Belly this evening is only party due to the beer selection. “Patrick, you know, he's one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet,” Han said. “And not only as a brewer is he impressive, but as a business man. He's taken The Bruery and turned it into what it is in only three or four years.”