There are hundreds of breweries across the great state of California, and new ones are established every day. It's safe to say that the industry is booming. For out-of-towners looking to get off the beaten path and drink like a local, here are a few of our favorite brews from around Los Angeles.
Bottle Logic's Fundamental Observation
Style: American Double/Imperial Stout
City: Anaheim, Ca.
Fundamental Observation is a full-bodied imperial stout that blends Madagascar vanilla beans and bitter cocoa in aged bourbon barrels. Its slight tan head gives way to pitch-black coloring with moderate carbonation. Expect hints of roasted coffee and sweet milk chocolate to start your love affair with this smooth, yet hard-hitting, double. The boldness of this beer comes from the fact that it doesn't hide the taste of the barrel where it was aged.
Monkish Brewery's Anomaly
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
City: Torrance, Ca.
If you're looking for an excellent domestic take on a Belgian strong dark ale with good depth and a nice, fruity flavor, this is the right beer. On the nose, you'll get a hint of rye bread, plum skins, and a mild booze character, but don't let that fool you. The alcohol is well covered and does not have any of the booziness that is present in the aroma. Fans of the style will get a nice surprise while newcomers won't shy away from the over-the-top alcohol content that drags so many Belgian strongs into oblivion.
Mumford Brewing Company's L.A. Like . . .
City: Los Angeles, Ca.
A typical Californian's idea of craft beer is an IPA. So if you're going to be roaming around our streets for a watering hole, you'd better be ready to hop into the deep end of bitterness because it's sink or swim as far as we're concerned. L.A. Like . . ., a juicy, hazy IPA, is a good place to start. While the aroma can be a bit off-putting-fruity and loaded with hops-the taste changes with the temperature, becoming increasingly bitter the longer you let it sit.
San Fernando Brewing Company's O'Melveny Red
Style: Red Ale
City: San Fernando, Ca.
O'Melveny Red is a malty amber ale with a hint of sourdough that goes down smooth and makes sure you do the same. It drinks like a refreshing ale, but the 7.5% ABV lurks just under every sip, waiting to do to you what you've done to it. So be careful with this one. It's a completely drinkable week-day beer without all the hang-ups of a Tuesday afternoon.
Homage Brewing's Sister Jack
Style: Sour Ale
City: Pomona, Ca.
Although new to the craft beer scene, Sister Jack-a barrel-aged sour, dry ale hopped with Citra-is the kind of beer that you either love or hate. It welcomes the palate with a crisp, refreshing front-end bite while maintaining floral notes that go easy on the nose. Overall, if you're looking for a well-balanced welcome to Southern California, look no further. We predict that just like our sunshine and weather, California will soon be synonymous with Sister Jack and the rest of her family from Homage Brewing.