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.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.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.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