I’m embarrassed to say that my first visit to Eagle Rock Brewery was on the day of their 4th Anniversary party. Its always a place I’ve been meaning to get out to, but the sheer amount of events and places to go in Los Angeles can be overwhelming. But having never been before, I was excited to finally head over the hill to Glendale and check out their taproom. The event itself was definitely a hit. I arrived about an hour after doors opened and things were busy and in full swing despite the very odd threat of rain in the air.
Eagle Rock had promised between 4 and 6 casks during the event, depending on how quickly the crowd was able to get through them and let me tell you, people drank a lot of cask today.
When we arrived the first cask on was Stimulus, their belgian amber ale brewed with intelligentsia coffee. Nice to see a good malt forward beer on cask, and as a crowd-favorite, that cask was quickly kicked. They replaced it with their Revolution XPA with Azacca hops. I’d never heard of the Azacca hops, and the brewers couldn’t tell me much about them, but they added some great citrus and pine flavors to the generally light-bodied Revolution. (A quick google search has taught me Azacca is a new experimental hop from the Yakima Valley)
Meanwhile, inside they had a cask of their Populist IPA with basil and citra hops. I’m not sure what it is about basil, but anytime I’ve had a cask with that herb as the added ingredient it seems to get lost somewhere. Its odd, as basil has such a strong, dominant flavor and aroma. That said, it was still a nice, citrusy IPA, and endlessly drinkable.
Next up was the Stimularity, which is a blend of the Stimulus Coffee Amber and the Solidarity, a black mild. This beer was one of the standouts to me. All that great malty coffee flavor really jumped out, while the Solidarity seemed to dull the sweetness that Stimulus has that I’m less fond of. The mouthfeel on this cask was amazing, with a silky head and smooth finish. Really a great beer all around.
Back outside they tapped a fresh cask of Habanero Mango Populist IPA which was another big standout. The flavor of the pepper was really front and center but the heat was nice and subtle, slowly building as you went on. The mango added a perfect sweetness that complimented the hops in the best way.
What really impressed me about the cask selection that Eagle Rock offered up is that there was something for everyone. They had a great selection of IPAs, in addition to other offerings for those not to hop-inclined. And the quality of them all was pretty top notch. Its pretty telling with a selection like this, how Eagle Rock has built their reputation over the last 4 years, and will continue to be a key piece of the LA beer scene for another 40.