LA Beer Week? More like LA Cask Week!

la beer weekLA Beer Week is upon us and with that comes the impossible task of scheduling what events we want to attend during this incredible week of beer-y goodness. A quick glance at the LA Beer Week website is enough to make your eyes glaze over – first out of excitement for all the great events, and second because there’s just no way you can get to all of them.

Of course, the guiding principal at Cask Ale LA is to attend as many of the events offering cask options as possible and we hope to see you there as well. Here’s our attempt to cut through the clutter and present to you the LA beer week events serving cask ale.

All Week! – Macleod Ale (Van Nuys) –  Special One-off Releases!
While most breweries are stuffing casks with just about anything they can get their hands on – hops, fruit, sugary snackcakes; Macleod doesn’t do hop additions often, preferring to focus on the cleanly conditioned beer. For LA Beer Week, Macleod will be offering special edition casks each night of the week featuring hops and oak, in addition to the release of their new seasonal nut brown ale, fittingly dubbed Nutty Broon.

Friday September 19th – Session Gap w/ Bramling Cross
Saturday September 20th – Session Gap w/ East Kent Golding, Nutty Broon Seasonal Release
Sunday September 21st – Session Gap w/ Willamette Hops, Nutty Broon w/Oak
Wednesday September 24th – The Little Spree w/ East Kent Goldings
Thursday September 25th – The Little Spree w/ Motueka Hops
Friday September 26th – The Little Spree w/ Waimea Hops, Oaked Kings Taxes
Saturday September 27th – Oaked x 2 (U.S. Oaked versions of Jackie Tar & The King’s Taxes)
Sunday September 28th – Oaked x 2 (French Oaked versions of Jackie Tar & The King’s Taxes)

Sunday September 21st – Cask Force! @ Beachwood BBQ & Brewing
The day after the opening event of LA Beer Week is FULL of great events all over town, but for our money, few can top Cask Force! at Beachwood BBQ in Long Beach. This event is going to feature 5 casks of Beachwood beer including Udder Love Milk Stout with Coconut, Cacao, and Vanilla Bean, Full Malted Jacket Scotch Ale with Scotch Oak, Amalgamator IPA  and TWO variations of the Beachwood / Drakes IPA Collaboration Vulcanizer! So wake up early, grab some coffee (porter from Smog City) and jump on a train* to Long Beach to enjoy these amazing beers along with a couple orders of hot links. Seriously, those hot links are amazing.

Tuesday September 23rd –  Macleod Ale (Van Nuys) – Cask & Ye Shall Receive – Real Ale Festival
A few months ago I got a message on twitter in response to a cask that was spiked with all sorts of weird fruit and other additions. It simply said “cask /= randall” and for a lot of Southern California, its something we need to be reminded about. While we’ve certainly seen an increase in cask ale over the last year, its mostly been finished, brite beer racked to a cask with additional yeast and additives. While this can produce great beers, its not reflective of the traditional nature of cask ale, which should actually be racked to the cask prior to secondary fermentation and be allowed to finish there. This will be the topic of a conversation moderated by Tomm Carroll at this event, and Macleod Ales is certainly the perfect host, as their commitment to traditional cask ale is second to none.

Friday September 26th –  Kinetic Brewery (Lancaster) – Firkin Fest w/ Kinetic & Bravery Brewing
A few months back Kinetic and Bravery quietly teamed up to host a firkin fest in Lancaster and they are back at it for LA Beer Week. At this event brewers from Kinetic and Bravery will go head to head and you, the beer drinker, shall decide who is the best cask brewer in Antelope Valley. The last firkin fest included two casks from each brewer, so you’re gonna have a lot of tasting to do.

Saturday September 27th –  Smog City Brewing (Torrance) – Return of Amarilla Gorilla!
Smog City makes great IPAs. One of those great IPA’s is Amarilla Gorilla. At this event, Amarilla Gorilla will be back on tap and they will be tapping a double dry-hopped version of the beer as well. What more could you possibly want on a Saturday afternoon?

Sunday September 28th –  Glendale Tap (Glendale) – Block Party!
Way back in 2013 when I first visited Smog City in Torrance my wife suggested I see if there was any other breweries in the South Bay since we were already down there. I quickly jumped on my phone and found out that Monkish was basically on the same block. At this point, you just can’t go to one taproom without the other, and that’s idea behind Block Party at the Glendale Tap. Their bringing everyone’s favorite block of industrialized Torrance real estate to Glendale, and both breweries are bringing a cask along with them. We’ll see another cask of double dry-hopped Amarilla Gorilla but its still a mystery that Monkish will be dragging along. I’m a big fan of what Henry does with casks though, so I’m looking forward to this one.

* Yes! Its true! There’s a train to Long Beach and it really doesn’t cost anything at all. That means you don’t need to drive and can enjoy more delicious cask beer!