Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Saturday was the first annual LA Craft Beer Crawl, which was held in seven of 213 Group's bars in Downtown. Almost 1,400 enthusiasts, press, brewers and friends attended the event curated by Christina Perozzi and Hallie Beaune, known as the Beer Chicks (pictured below). On a hot day, the sold out crowd explored the offerings and migrated from bar to bar sampling craft beers and meeting the folks who produce them.
The Beer Chicks said they hope to "convert people to the craft beer lifestyle" and encouraged attendees to try darker beers saying "don't judge a beer by its color." Over 50 different beers were represented, many from California breweries, with an emphasis on representing as many local quality brews as possible.
There were several treats along the way, including Maui Coconut Porter beer floats at Cana and beer cocktails at the Varnish created by head bartender Chris Bostick (pictured above). I got the last beer float at Cana, which had a large crowd despite being a long walk on a very hot day from the other 213 bars.
The Varnish offered two cocktails: the Picon Biere (TAPS Belgian White, Amer Picon, lemon juice and sugar) and the Double Black Diamond (Deschutes Black Butte Porter, Goslings Rum, Whole Egg, Sugar & Nutmeg). Both were refreshing and it was wonderful to be in the chilly Varnish, where LA Weekly's Jonathan Gold was holding court in a booth with colleagues from KCRW's Good Food, including host Evan Kleiman.
Gold curated the food vendors along the route, which included the Ludo Bites Truck, the Grilled Cheese Truck, the Manila Machine truck and Guelaguetza (inside Las Perlas). All of the food vendors proved popular. I have enjoyed all four in the past but only had an opportunity to sample the Manila Machine on Saturday, which was serving a mean version of corned beef hash.
The crowd of happy imbibers (Seven Grand is pictured above) included fellow bloggers Josh Lurie of FoodGPS, Pat Saperstein of Eating LA and Yolanda Evans of Eater. It was great to see so many folks crowding the sidewalks and bars of DTLA all in search of and in support of quality craft beer. In the past three years there has been a renaissance in quality cocktails in Los Angeles and it if Saturday was any indication, the beer movement here is only poised to grow. I hadn't realized how many local breweries there are here in Southern California and look forward to trying more of their offerings.