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What you can expect at L.A. Beer Week

Jeremy Raub, co-owner of Eagle Rock Brewery, left, and Mark Jilg of Craft Brewery in Pasadena have created a beer called Unity for L.A. Beer Week.
Jeremy Raub, co-owner of Eagle Rock Brewery, left, and Mark Jilg of Craft Brewery in Pasadena have created a beer called Unity for L.A. Beer Week.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Craft beer is here to stay in L.A., and the people behind the beers and the bars want to celebrate craft beer culture with you during the sixth annual L.A. Beer Week.

The beer community in Los Angeles has exploded over the last few years, and L.A. Beer Week is set to kick off on Sept. 20 with a festival in Chinatown featuring more than 35 breweries -- most from within the ranks of the nascent L.A. Brewers Guild.

The guild, formed late in 2013, has taken control of the weeklong celebration of craft culture, and the president of the Brewers Guild, Eagle Rock Brewery founder Jeremy Raub, says Beer Week is about “raising the awareness of the good beer now being brewed in Los Angeles” by highlighting not only the craft breweries making the beer but the bars, restaurants and retail locations fueling the popularity of craft beer in L.A.

In addition to the opening party, the guild is scheduled to host a “Meeting of the Guilds” event on Sept. 25, at Echo Park’s Mohawk Bend gastropub. The event is a friendly competition between breweries from the L.A. Brewers Guild and guest breweries representing the San Diego and San Francisco guilds.

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Other events -- including tap takeovers, beer-pairing dinners and a Battle of the Bands featuring industry employees rocking out at Silver Lake’s Bootleg Theater -- are planned over the course of the week.

You can also celebrate by raising a glass of Unity, the official beer of L.A. Beer Week. In each of the last five years, L.A.-area brewers have teamed up to create a different beer to commemorate beer week, and this year’s brew is a classic, hoppy American Pale Ale with a California twist: grown-in-California barley, hops from Hops-Meister’s farm in Clearlake, and dried California grapefruit peel.

The beer was brewed at Eagle Rock Brewery with help from brewers from Ohana Brewing Co., Wolf Creek Brewing, Timeless Pints Brewing Co. and King Harbor Brewing Co., among others.

More straightforward and approachable than previous years’ iterations, Eagle Rock brewer Lee Bakofsky says the goal was to make a “really drinkable beer [that] doesn’t have to go to 11 -- something we can all just drink and enjoy.”

Unity 2014 is to be available on-draught at events around town and in 22-ounce bottles at beer retailers. A portion of the proceeds from Unity will be donated to the L.A. Brewers Guild.

Beer Week 2014 is set to wrap up with an “open house” weekend on Sept. 27-28, with Brewers Guild member breweries inviting fans into their tasting rooms and brewhouses for tours, tastings and a final hurrah.

See www.labeerweek.com for more details.


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