Ξ December 23rd, 2009 | → 3 Comments | ∇ 90065, Drinks, Glassell Park |
After negotiating bureaucratic red tape for what seems like forever, Eagle Rock Brewery is finally open and selling beer. We’ve been waiting for the city’s first brewery in nearly 60 years with bated breath, and considering Sothern California’s strong place in the craft-beer movement, our expectations were high, maybe unattainably high. My initial reaction to Eagle Rock Brewery’s debut is that they haven’t fulfilled their promise…yet. As someone who’s done some pretty disastrous home brewing myself, I know that a beer’s potential is rarely fulfilled on the first try. Still, two separate samplings of their Solidarity, a mild black ale, and the Manifesto, a wit bier, have left me longing for something more flavorful. (Warning: Potentially self-absorbed description of flavors ahead. Skip to the next paragraph if reading this annoys you as much as reading other people’s description of taste can annoy me. ) First, both beers had a slightly bitter metallic aftertaste that is usually a result of improperly stored malts. This aftertaste was most noticeable in the Manifesto, which I was hoping would contain more fruitiness that the brew is known for. I know that ERB intentionally uses less coriander and orange peel than your typical wit bier, (think Hoegarden), but instead of a light “dessert beer”, the result was much heavier and yeastier. As for the Solidarity, I’m not a big fan of black ale’s, but ERB should be commended for attempting something a bit scarcer in this part of the world. Chocolate and coffee was slightly noticeable on the first sip, but that taste was lost for the rest of the pint. They’ll be releasing an X IPA soon that I’m hoping will fill the gaps in their current two-beer menu.
Now that I’m done sounding like an asshole, their tasting room has been designed very nicely. Marble countertops, bench seating with throw pillows, and an unobstructed view of the brewery make this a welcoming spot to talk to the father and son who run the brewery about their craft. The only catch? You need to email ahead if you want to sample the wares (for about $4 per pint) or take a free brewery tour. If that’s too much forethought to put into your drinking, you can currently find the Solidarity on tap at Verdugo and Pure Luck, while you can grab a pint of the Manifesto at Blue Palms.
No one wants to see this brewery succeed more than we do (besides probably the father and son who’ve dedicated years and untold sums of cash in this endeavor). We’ll definitely be back rooting for ERB to improve their subsequent batches.