DDB went to @absolutionbrewing and the facepalms were not insubstantial – LA BEER WEEK EXPOSE

With the craft beer bubble reaching the saturation point, the real fun these days lies in finding Johnny Come Latelies to the scene, or breweries that maybe are doing things in a highly questionable manner, jumping from plastic carboy to a 10bbl system because his father in law BELIEVES IN HIM.

Los Angeles has long had an anomalous relationship of being a second class citizen to San Diego and San Francisco.  Despite the massive population, Beachwood BBQ has largely been tasked with pulling the cart for the past half decade.  However, in the past 3 years we have seen several pop-ups in the South Bay from the rising star, Smog City, to the ultra-shitty Dude’s Brewing Company.

A large part of this culture is the gladhanding and backslapping that occurs from the local beer publications that massage the palms of some of the weakest new breweries, for the sake of reciprocal support.  OC Weekly and LA Weekly will regularly launder praise with amorphous “OLD WORLD STYLE WITH EXCITING NEW EXECUTION” and shit like that.  The fact is, some breweries are simply not that fucking good.  If every new brewery is exceptional, then nothing is exceptional.

I can unequivocally note that Absolution Brewing, while it may have an exceptional intent, donate to charity, and serve as a watering hole for Torrance residents: their beer is simply sub-par.

No taster glasses? I guess just serve me 3 ounces...in a pilsner glass?

No taster glasses? I guess just serve me 3 ounces…in a pilsner glass?

The facility reminds me of a mix between Lost Abbey and TAPOUT CLOTHING. It has some odd religious underpinning and then old script and A FUKN NAIL BRO IN THE LOGO.  But plenty of breweries have shitty marketing and exceptional beers, look at the fonts on Russian RIver bottles for God’s sake.

They have 18 beers on tap but HOLY FUCK WAIT not one, but TWO barrel aged IPAs? Fully triggered.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the eight beers that I tried:

Penance Pale Ale: this was a dark, flabby, sappy, resinous pale malt that feels like it came from the Michael Jackson era of crystal malt and oversaturated vegetal cones from excessive dry hopping. Trifling, sticky malty kicks to the nutsack, not refreshing.

Guilt? What is this, i dont even

Guilt? What is this, i dont even

Trespasser Saison: this is a page straight from the predictable, wyeast, zero modification Dupont playbook.  Fermented a touch colder than you would want, a grainy boring closer.

STRAWBERRY TRESPASSER: oh wait, i hope you dont enjoy strawberries because this has none. It tastes almost identical to regular Trespasser. That grainy boring saison, but with an oily plastic “strawberry” aspect?

Purgatory Hef: this was their least shitty beer because, how do you fuck a hef up? It was fine, nothing to write home about but everyone in the tasting room seemed to be having a good time, a mixed demographic and my wincing reminded me how I am a huge asshole and beer is no longer fun to me.  In sum I have no business reviewing their beers because it simply isn’t designed for DDB.

Angel’s Demise: this was essentially a ramped up version of the mediocre Penance pale.  None of the offerings are clean and there is a bitter, coniferous bite like if you proofed down an American Barleywine.  I had the bourbon barrel aged version and it was not enjoyable, butterscotch greasiness and the clash of old hops and toffee was dissonant.

Pictured above: every. single. brewery's business model.

Pictured above: every. single. brewery’s business model.

Are there worse breweries in LA? Sure.  Dude’s Brewing just straight up sells beers riddled with diacetyl and tosses blood orange into them.  This isn’t quite like that, it is just not worthy of your precious beerbuxxx. This place unabashedly asks $40 for a two liter growler fill of 8% Abv dipa. That shit was funny when Societe pulled it with awesome beer and stainless growlers but here it is straight up laughable.

But this is endemic of the surge of new breweries opening left and right.  Very few are inspired beyond the scope of “I JUST GOT $250,000 TIME TO UPGRADE MY BLICHMAN AND START PUMPIN OUT SOME RED ALES!!!!”

It is L.A. Beer week, go see them for yourself.  Maybe I am just a curmudgeonous prick, not fit to comment on beer at this point.

Typical ddb shit, hyping up LA beers to trade




In case you didn’t know, there are currently 2,751 breweries operating and slanging beer on traps and blocks in the United States. This is more than all of the U.S. Breweries back in 1887 COMBINED. A lot of people have rock hard alerections when they hear this statistic and use the figure to point how CRAFT IS BETTER AND LOOK AT HOW FAR WE HAVE COME. The only problem is, think of your local breweries, all of them, not just the baller ass ones, how many of them are turning out things you are excited to drink. I have been to towns where there are a shitload of breweries that roll out the same tired ass kolsch/hef/amber/pale 4 punch all day long and it makes me wonder who told these dudes “hey, you seriously need to open a brewery, there are not enough places doing exactly what you are doing and running in the red right now, take your predictable ass Wyeast beers and pair them with some janky ass pizza, this is an excellent idea.”



I could care less how MANY breweries there are, I would rather hear about how many breweries there are that are actually 1) exceptionally good and 2) innovative. If you don’t have the first part, you don’t get to do the second, Rogue. In San Diego every asshole who can boil extract in a pot thinks he is God’s gift to enzymes and that is just one of many places where assholes reside. What ends up happening is 1) market clutter and 2) non-beer people drink a lot of lackluster offerings and think that’s what you do in the basement all night.

I guess having more options is good, but I have never walked into the 98 cent store and been stoked to see another Shasta variant of Mountain Mist, because I am not a poor needledick who drinks pedestrian offerings. The worst is when a brewery sees that everyone and their autistic half cousin is brewing so they come up with some “Lavender, chapstick, canola oil, hibiscus, pink peppercorn Dortmunder aged on retired marine vessel wood” to try and wow people inside their doors. These beers usually taste like the inside of a nutsack and then I have to deal with regular people’s tired ass allegories about “THIS ONE TIME IN BILLINGS MONTANA I TRIED A DERP SKERP ALE, IT WAS HORRIBLE, THAT IS WHAT YOU LIKE.” All of a sudden I am justifying liking the taste of testicles.

My face when I see another new brewery super stoked about their amber ale

My face when I see another new brewery super stoked about their amber ale

Less mediocre breweries, less shitty beer, or the opposite. I don’t know, I failed Algebra and I eat Totino’s Pizza rolls on the reg.