On Sunday (September 30), when many other Americans were anticipating the return of the NFL referees in air-conditioned comfort, I spent a few hours at Union Station drinking beer in the hot sun during the 4th Annual L.A. Beer Week Festival.
I kept a list of what I drank using Untappd, an app that compels one to “Drink Socially.”
So here’s the full list of what I sampled, in order, with completely subjective ratings. It’s worth noting that some of the later ratings are slightly suspect.
- 1. Claymore Scotch Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company
- Earlier in the week I finished off a 6-pack of Rumble (which they poured later in the day), so when I saw them set up just inside the main entrance of the festival, I figured why not start off with a good, solid beer? So I did. Today’s rating: 4.0.
- 2. Imperial India Pale Ale | Green Flash Brewing Co.
- I frequently drink their West Coast IPA, and I’ve had the Imperial a few times before, so I knew I couldn’t go wrong here. Very tasty, very powerful. Today’s rating: 4.0
- 3. Nautical Nut Brown Ale | Alesmith Brewing Company
- They were also pouring their IPA, which I enjoy quite a lot. But I’ve never had their Nautical Brown. Today’s rating: 3.0.
- 4. Fusion 10 | Lagunitas Brewing Company
- One of my favorite breweries (I once drove across Los Angeles for a special pouring in Santa Monica), this is a special beer they pour at one of the many Portland beer festivals. Or something like that (the details were starting to get fuzzy). Not my usual choice, but it was nice and drinkable. Today’s rating: 3.5.
- 5. Union Jack IPA | Firestone Walker Brewing Company
- While beer shopping, I often pass this one over – and that’s a shame. Because it’s pretty damn good. Although it’s worth mentioning I had a bottle of this for breakfast one day while hiking the John Muir Trail this summer. But that was a different day.
Today’s rating: 4.0.
And that’s when I got this:
- 6. Punkin Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
- I’m not much for pumpkin in my beer (or my coffee), but hell, if I’m gonna try it, I’m gonna try the best. Somewhat pleasing, but I still didn’t like it. Sorry. Today’s rating: 2.0
- 7. Fest Beer Oktoberfest | Green Flash Brewing Co.
- This isn’t my usual style, so I didn’t know what to expect here. But I like the brewery, so I gave it a try and found it to be a very drinkable beer. Today’s rating: 3.0.
- 8. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Company
- You can’t go to a beer fest and not drink at least one stout. I chose this one. A little obvious, sure, but good nonetheless. Today’s rating: 3.5.
- 9. Tripel | Brouwerij West
- The surprise hit of the day. I’d never heard of these guys. Highly recommend trying this one — or anything these fine folks make. Today’s rating: 4.0.
- 10. Two-5 Left Double IPA | El Segundo Brewing Company
- I’ve had a few glasses of White Dog IPA and Blue House IPA, but this one was new to me. Decent, but not. Well worth another try, however. Today’s rating: 3.5.
- 11. Hopdazed Imperial IPA | Wolf Creek Restaurant & Brewing Company
- Liked this one, but didn’t love it. I will admit, however, to slightly compromised taste buds at this point. So I’d be willing to try it again, maybe at one of their restaurants.
Today’s rating: 3.5.
- 12. Siason Dubach | Ohana Brewing Company
- You think they’d be from Hawaii, but they’re set up in the heart of Los Angeles. I opted for this one not because it’s a saison, but because it’s a rye saison. I’m a sucker for rye. Today’s rating: 3.5.
Oh, and that’s when I got this:
- 13. Big Cone Black Ale | Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.
- I was happy to see this brewery represented. I’ve been enjoying a number of their beers for months, and this was probably my favorite beer of the day (although consider for a moment it was #13, and then consider I really like black ales). Today’s rating: 5.0.
- 14. Schooner Dry Hop | Ballast Point Brewing Company
- Their Big Eye IPA is one of my current favorites (I like Sculpin, too), so this one was a good beer to go out on. Today’s rating: 4.0.