Angel City Hoppy Holidays Kicks Off Holiday Season of Eventsin Beer News
Looking to get into the festive December holiday mood?
One downtown LA brewery began the first of three special December events yesterday.
Kicking off its season of special events in December, Angel City Brewery hosted their “Hoppy Holidays” event, which provided a great way to get into the seasonal mood. With festive holiday lighting draped around their great sizable tasting room, including over trees brought in for the season, the scene was set for a pre-holiday mood. Accompanying the set-up was live music in their entertainment stage, other music playing in their tap room, and even some carolers sang once the sun went down.
In addition to the festive mood was a vendor bazaar. While there is a vendor bazaar every Sunday at Angel City Brewery’s tap room, this one was a bigger event. Normally, there are six vendors on Sundays, but Hoppy Holidays, “is a quarterly event with over twenty vendors”, according to Keith Ely, marketing and events specialist for Angel City Brewery. “Typically, we try to have one big event per month”, although December is a special month for them as they will be hosting three big events.
Each of their events this month will have different vendors. For this upcoming Sunday’s Holiday Paw-ty, which encourages patrons to bring along their canine friends, there will be many vendors catering to dog owners. While it has been a few years since Angel City has hosted a dog-related event, according to Ely, there are a lot more downtown LA dog owners than there had been previously.
Angel City’s building, according to Ely, “functions as a community space and it has become that over the years.” Their space has become a center for activity in the neighborhood. “As we've been here, the community has grown and we have become the neighborhood hub.” These events serve as a way for patrons to experience Angel City, with or without beer and to have a good experience. If they have a good time, they might think to come back. These sorts of events are “experiences tailored to their needs”, said Ely, and are “done in a very organic way.”
When I asked about seasonal beers, Ely was quick to eschew the identification of beers as seasonal, per se. Rather, he said, they try to brew a lot of one-offs in addition to their flagship beers. Perhaps the most seasonal of their beers was Quadratic Formula (12.0% ABV), which is a Belgian-style quadruple that boasted dark fruits and an appropriate amount of booziness for its size. It is also a special beer, as it is Angel City’s 1,000th batch celebratory beer.
I also enjoyed their White Nite (4.3% ABV), which is their golden stout served on nitro, which featured a very coffe-esque nose. The nitro gives it its creamy smoothness, while the beer is pure deliciousness. I also greatly enjoyed their take on an east coast IPA, their Zero Flocs Given IPA (7.3% ABV), which I loved. I especially enjoyed its fruitiness and chewiness and found it to be incredibly delectable. As someone who has gotten very used to west coast IPAs out here in SoCal, this was quite a refreshingly distinct treat from a west coast IPA.
The beer that was really stunning to me was their Sunbather (4.2% ABV), which is a hoppy, yet tart kettle-soured pale ale. With some bright hops and tartness on the nose, one experiences a very refreshing and sessionable beer. It remains bright from the hops and slightly tart throughout with a slight amount of hop resin on the palate. While I would describe this beer as optimal for a warm weather, relaxing beer, this is really enjoyable year-round. I would hope that this beer does not remain a one-off for Angel City, as it is incredibly enjoyable.
And Angel City does not serve beers just on-tap, they also offer bottled beers in the gift shop, including some special offerings. One of these is the Duck and Cover (12.1% ABV), a double double IPA, which is boozy, although not as boozy-tasting as Quadratic Formula. It has a citrus and tropical fruit flavor, although its booziness overshadows the fruitiness, but that’s not a bad thing ;) The Duck and Cover is part of their Warehouse Collection, while they also offer Limited Release beers.
One Limited Release beer they currently offer are the Funky Wit (6.6% ABV), a wheat ale brewed with coriander and orange peel and aged on oak. The nose is deliciously, powerfully sour, but then mellows out, with a lingering funk alongside the citrus. And, yes, the funk is provided by Brettanomyces. This beer has a desert wine character with acidity, which has an intriguing complexity, as the barrel lingers with the funk. Another Limited Release beer is Brettanomyces Bloke (10.2% ABV), an ale aged in oak barrels, which is not as noticeably funky for a Brett beer. It is not what you expect with a Brett beer, but that makes it interesting, as it is subtle. It is a good winter warmer with a slight boozy taste, some spicing, and dark fruits.
As mentioned above, there are two upcoming December events at Angel City, with the first of these events this coming Sunday, Holiday Paw-ty. Along with Best Friends Animal Society, on December 18th from 12pm to 5pm, Angel City brings a day of merriment with man's best friend. Fans are encouraged to bring their pups in for treats, beats and eats. Dogs (and their humans) can pick up some new gear from Sportleash, Brewbites, HOPN Bakery, Bean Goods and Bonz on the Way. Human treats provided by BrewWings. Take a family photo in Angel City's holiday-themed photo booth where plenty of doggie accessories will be available for dress-up. Best Friends LA will be bringing their mobile pet adoption for on-site cuddles or forever homes.
In addition to the philanthropic aspect of the Holiday Paw-ty, Hoppy Holidays offered patrons the ability to feel good about feeling good, since $1 from every pint sold, up to $500, went to The Skid Row Housing Trust, which provides permanent supportive housing for those less fortunate. "We love hosting events at Angel City Brewery where the community can mingle and be merry," said Mark Turocy, general manager for Angel City Brewery. "For December, we wanted to work with two fantastic non-profits to spread holiday cheer to both humans and pets alike."
To finish off both the month and the year, Angel City Brewery will be hosting a New Year’s Party, featuring live music, beer cocktails, and a sparkling Berliner Weisse toast at midnight. The party starts at 8pm and continues through 2am, with different bands playing every hour.