May The Dank Be With You

One of the many Orange County Beer Week 2017 events took place May 25 inside Riip Beer Co’s newly expanded brewery and taproom in Huntington Beach. Ryan Rasmussen and the folks at Riip came together with Chef Andrea Machuca-Kirkland’s Culinary Underground for an evening of delicious pairings of head brewer Trevor Walls’ new beers with three cheese courses and dessert.

Guests were welcomed upon arrival with an aperitif beer of their choice from the new tasting room bar.

The first course was billed as sharp, acidic, hoppy and bright. Clothbound Cabot Cheddar was served with pickled red onions, cornichons and mustard made with DanK IPA. Riip’s 7.5% ABV DanK IPA was fittingly paired. Its hearty hoppy-ness brightened the caramel milky tanginess of the Cabot. Each course was also accompanied by fresh bread and crackers.

With palates now woken, our next course was more savory in makeup. Isabella Aged Gouda and chicken liver mousse with Fumee de Sel a Chardonnay oak smoked sea salt, shallots and onions was accompanied by Jetty Water Blonde. The delicate flavors of the blonde allowed the Gouda’s nutty sweetness and the concentrated flavors in the mousse to shine while providing a quenching finish.

The buttery, decadent, fruity course followed. The cheese was Grand Margaux Brie served with Marcona almonds, honeycomb, and rose-hip raspberry jam made with Riip’s own Bi-Porter Disorder. The beer pairing was Porter Nuevo. The porter’s dry roast characteristics provided a complimentary enhancement to the buttery brie and almonds.

A special batch of Bi-Porter Disorder with Raspberries would accompany a dessert of Earl Grey panna cotta, strawberry gel, DanK IPA meringues and rhubarb and raspberry mascarpone. The beer was served on nitro, which provided a creamy richness that combined with the beer’s chocolate-coffee notes and hints of raspberry.

@culinaryundergroundoc; @riipbeer.

Treasure Chest 7

The Green Flash Brewing Company Treasure Chest Beer & Food Fest is returning for its 7th year on Sunday, August 27th. All festival proceeds benefit Susan G Komen, San Diego. This year’s event will be at the Green Flash Cellar 3 location in Poway. Green Flash, Cellar 3, and Alpine beers, including many rare creations, will be available for pairing with plates prepared by some of San Diego’s finest chefs. Live music will accompany the Hawaiian Luau-themed event, with attendees encouraged to come in tiki attire.

L.A. Beer Week

The 9th edition of L.A. Beer Week has come and gone. This year’s 9-day week kicked off Saturday, June 17th with the L.A. Beer Week Kickoff Festival at the Los Angeles Center Studios in downtown L.A. Over 200 beers from almost 90 breweries included 57 L.A. County Brewers Guild member breweries as well as guest breweries from around the state and country. Musical entertainment included performances from Hidden Staircases, The Firkins, DJ Jim Smith, and the L.A. Brewers Unity Band.

Numerous Beer Week events included tap takeovers, pairing dinners and special beer releases, along with meet-the-brewer happenings at member breweries, restaurants and pubs around town. A sampling follows.

After presenting its Rarest of the Rare at its brewery on Father’s Day, Torrance’s Smog City Brewing’s Lucky 7s event at Beer Belly included 7 beers, 7 cocktails and 7 food pairings. Eagle Rock Brewery’s Annual Battle of the Bands took place Tuesday night. Ensembles from Eagle Rock Brewery, 38 Degrees, Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, The Bruery, El Segundo Brewing Co., Highland Park Brewery, Pizza Port, Sunset Beer Company and Three Weavers took the stage at The Hi Hat to perform.

Battle of the Guilds 2017 took place at Naja’s Place in Redondo Beach. The Los Angeles County Brewers Guild was joined by the San Diego Brewers Guild and the San Francisco Brewers Guild for this tap takeover competition. The guild with the most beer consumed at the end of the evening would inherit the coveted Golden Keg. Results weren’t in yet at press time. Naja’s held quite a few other events during beer week, including the 2nd Annual L.A. Beer Week Yacht Rock Costume Party presented by Three Weavers and featuring yacht-themed beers from Three Weavers, Topa Topa, Arts District, Beachwood, Brewery Rex, Casa Agria, Chapman Crafted, El Segundo Brewing, Fall and Noble Ale Works.

Thursday night beer dinners included L.A. Foodie, an evening food and local beer pairing event at Ladyface Ale Companie and Brasserie, with beers from Ladyface, Eagle Rock, Lucky Luke, Cellador, Simzy’s and also this year’s L.A. Beer Week collaboration beer, Unity. Eagle Rock Public House presented a beer pairing dinner featuring beers from Three Weavers Brewing Co. Chef Jerry Su and Three Weavers Brewmaster Alexandra Nowell teamed in planning this 5-course pairing excursion.

Prior to beer week each year, L.A. County Brewers Guild members come together to plan and brew Unity, “A Beer to Unite Us All!” This year’s Unity brew was hosted by El Segundo Brewing Company. Over 40 breweries were represented in brewing this year’s beer. Staying true to El Segundo’s hoppy tendencies, the recipe was for a West Coast IPA that combined West Coast hops with complementing California-grown citrus and balancing malt. The beer was released on draught and in 22-ounce bottles June 9th, so if you missed it during beer week, some may still be available around town.