Summer is slipping by at an alarming rate, but you can make the most of the dog days of August when some of L.A.'s most celebrated beer bars celebrate their birthdays.
Mohawk Bend Turns 3
Echo Park's marquee craft beer bar, Mohawk Bend, is celebrating its third anniversary on Aug. 6 -- and for the rest of August. The Mohawk Bend staff again teamed up with sister company Golden Road Brewing for a commemorative brew, and MoHop is a 6.5% alcohol IPL -- a light and crisp lagered take on the India Pale Ale style. The brew has a big dose of fragrant Southern hemisphere hops that get extra punch when combined with the lager's clean finish.
Mohawk Bend will also offer a special barrel-aged cocktail. The Antidote not only combines bourbon, house made bitters and citrus, it also a features an addition of barrel-aged One Hundred & Two -- last year's anniversary beer.
While the party officially kicks off with the MoHop tapping at 11:30 Wednesday morning, the beer and cocktail will be available all month after that.
Mohawk Bend, 2141 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, (213) 483-2337.
Blue Palms Brewhouse Turns 6
The annual Blue Palms anniversary beer festival has built a reputation for being one of the summer's biggest blowouts, and this year's bash is shaping up to be the biggest yet.
Owner Brian Lenzo has spent months collecting brews from around the country -- often flying to far-flung breweries to retrieve specialty kegs for the party. The resulting tap list is long, diverse, and loaded with A-list brews like Dogfish Head 120 Minute, Beachwood Brewing 8 Buffalo, Firestone Walker Parabola (not to mention the fantastic Agrestic and Lil Opal from the brewery's wild ale program), Lost Abbey Deliverance, Noble Ale Works Naughty Sauce, and a half-dozen Russian River brews (including 2012 Supplication). The full list will set a beer-geek's heart racing; check it out here.
Tickets to the Aug. 10 festival will set you back $65, and you'll get 20 (3-ounce) tasters to better tackle the extensive tap list (this year there will also be a "core beer tent" that offers unlimited pours of some brews). The kitchen will be offering the usual favorites off the menu, and the organizers are bringing in more portable AC units and tents (also, some skee-ball machines!)
Even with that amazing tap list, it isn't necessarily the beer that makes the Blue Palms parties so special -- it's the people and the vibe of the whole event. The people behind craft beer in L.A. come out in force to support Lenzo's contributions to the scene, and the sense of community at these events is tangible.
Lenzo says that all the effort and stress of organizing the party is worthwhile as long as the fans are happy and everyone has fun. "This is not a money-making event," he says, "it's a thank you for our customers. It's a celebration of craft beer. I think the beer list is incredible, you'll see people go crazy. The key is we just get to hang out."