A Weekend Trip To The South Bay Breweries

Hyperion's Stout with Diaz Brothers Chilis on CASK

Hyperion’s Stout with Diaz Brothers Chilis on CASK

“Are there any South Bay beer things you want to do on saturday” asked my girlfriend via a Skype IM on friday afternoon.

“There’s always beer things I want to do…” was my natural response.

She, of course, wanted to take advantage of the beautiful weather and visit the beach, where I could drop her off and hit up a few of the local breweries and taprooms on my own. Win-win situation, of course.

After dropping her off at Manhattan Beach, I ventured a short drive north for my first visit to El Segundo Brewing. I’ve enjoyed a number of their beers but have never made it over to their taproom. Its an unassuming place. You drive by a large Chevron oil refinery and think its going to be a typical brewery buried in an industrial park, but as soon as you turn onto main street you are in a quaint little downtown neighborhood and right there on the corner is the brewery. I arrived just as they opened and immediately ordered a pint of their cask offering – Hyperion’s Stout with Diaz Brothers Peppers. The beer itself was excellent. Nice and rich without being too boozy. The cask was well done – had a great frothy head and was served at that perfect temperature. The Diaz Bros. peppers were quite subtle, so there wasn’t that overwhelming heat that accompanies most pepper-infused beers. In fact, if I didn’t know they were there, it wouldn’t have been until a quarter of the way through the pint where I would have really picked up on those flavors. But they slowly work their way onto your palate and it kind of builds into this really great full flavor. As I grabbed a taster of their Amarillo Pale, I got an alert that the beach was getting a little chilly, so lucky me, I now had a DD to take me to my next destination.

Lucky enough to visit Select Beer Store when they have Noble Aleworks new DIPA on tap.

Lucky enough to visit Select Beer Store when they have Noble Aleworks new DIPA on tap.

Next was Select Beer Store for a pint of the much-lauded Citra Showers from Noble Aleworks. Noble’s been doing great things over the last year and every release comes with so much anticipation. This one certainly did not disappoint. From there I grabbed a Expression Session Pale at Strand Brewing Co. Its a nice XPA – that embarrassingly I knocked off my table and broke on the ground. But Rich was nice enough to pour me a new one, and I grabbed a discount bottle of Atticus IPA and their Batch 100 Stout.

Before heading back to West Hollywood, we swung by Monkish to grab a bottle of their Magnificat Christmas Ale for my cellar, and swung by Smog City to say hi and fill my growler. Smog City has a Sour Cherry Milk Stout on right now that’s really quite amazing. Its got a great light tartness to it and is incredibly easy drinking.

Its getting to a point where I think I may be able to offer brewery tours in the South Bay. Its really become a destination for craft beer, and every time I’m down there I taste something else that makes me eager to get back.