When the first Los Angeles Beer Week was organized some six years ago there was hardly a craft brewery in Los Angeles. The founders of the week-long celebration focused on advocating craft beer in general and hoped to educate thirsty Angelenos on the appeal of craft-brewed beer. Today, the craft beer scene in Los Angeles is thriving in a way few could have anticipated, and the nascent Los Angeles Brewers Guild is taking over organizational responsibilities for this year’s L.A. Beer Week.
And there are some changes being made.
Now that craft beer culture in Los Angeles has established a foothold, and the young Los Angeles Brewers Guild has more than 20 dues-paying member breweries, LABG Events Chairman (and partner of El Segundo Brewing Co.) Thomas Kelley says it’s time to “shift focus onto Los Angeles breweries during L.A. Beer Week.”
While previous L.A. Beer Weeks have focused on craft beer in general, the guild wants to specifically champion L.A. County’s many thriving craft brewers this year with three new events showcasing the breadth of beer being made in Los Angeles.
First up is the reimagined beer festival that will move from Union Station to Chinatown. On Sept. 20, more than 20 breweries represented by the L.A. Brewers Guild will pour their beers alongside a dozen or so fan-favorite breweries from neighboring regions (San Diego, Orange County, etc). The marquee festival will focus on education, and the organizers hope to offer panel discussions and live music acts.
The second guild-organized event will be a California Brewers Guild showcase hosted at Mohawk Bend on Sept. 25. The Los Angeles Brewers Guild will be joined by representatives from the San Diego and San Francisco guilds, and each guild will take over a third of the bar’s taps to showcase their member breweries beers.
To close out L.A. Beer Week 2014, the guild hopes to produce a county-wide open house at member breweries on Sept. 27. Modeled on Eagle Rock Brewery’s annual Brewer’s Brunch, the closing event will be a low-key way for L.A.’s beer fans to learn more about their favorite breweries to wrap-up the week of sudsy celebrations.