FoodDaily Dish

L.A.'s Mohawk Bend turns 2, brews a special beer to celebrate

Mohawk Bend -- the sprawling tavern in Echo Park that’s become a tentpole for the craft beer scene in L.A. -- is turning 2, and the rejuvenated building that was originally the Ramona Theater is turning 100. To celebrate, the team at Mohawk Bend joined forces with the team from Golden Road Brewing for a special brew to commemorate the two milestones. 

The restaurant, known for veggie and vegan-friendly dishes, creative cocktails and the 70-plus taps dedicated to California craft brews, was founded by Los Angeles beer impresario Tony Yanow -- who’s also behind neighborhood favorite beer bar Tony’s Darts Away and L.A.’s most ambitious craft brewery, Golden Road Brewing. 

Yanow calls his three craft beer-focused locations the “craft beer triangle,” and he’s delighted by how the Echo Park neighborhood has embraced Mohawk Bend. He says that the first months after opening were tough as his team struggled to keep up with the crowds, and he was worried that the locals would abandon the concept. Instead, thirsty Angelenos have kept the kitchen and bartenders at Mohawk Bend busy, and they’ve made Mohawk one of L.A.’s craft beer destinations.

The commemorative collaboration beer’s name, One Hundred & Two, is a reference to the dual anniversaries, as well as the specific ingredients -- centennial hops and American two-row malted barley -- used to brew it. Begun as a brainstorming session between the Mohawk Bend’s staff and Jesse Houck and Cole Hackbarth -- respectively the brewmaster and head brewer at Golden Road Brewing, One Hundred & Two isn’t the IPA that Yanow was expecting his teams to develop. 

Instead, the collaborators decided on a Belgian-style blond strong ale that would appeal to the palates of Mohawk’s regulars and complement mid-August weather. It was one of the first uses of a Belgian yeast strain by Golden Road, and only about two dozen kegs of the ale were produced. One Hundred & Two will be available at Mohawk Bend and Golden Road Brewing’s on-site pub. 

When asked about Mohawk Bend’s contribution to the craft beer scene in L.A., Yanow marveled at how many people who have tried Mohawk Bend for the food have then discovered craft beer. He knows the venue is making inroads when he sees Mohawk diners who were ordering cocktails turn into regulars at Tony’s Darts Away or Golden Road Brewing. 

Mohawk Bend is counting down the days to its birthday with special beer tapping every day leading up to the Aug. 14 “Best of Mohawk” prix-fixe anniversary dinner and launch of One Hundred & Two ($25, RSVPs recommended). 

Mohawk Bend, 2141 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, (213) 483-2337.

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