Top 5 Beers from L.A. Beer Week 2011
2. Kern River Brewing Citra. Double IPA (8% ABV).
Kern River Brewing Company GABF Gold Medal Citra Double IPA
Worshiped by beer geeks from here to eternity, Citra is the "it beer" of 2011, winning the gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. It earned a perfect score of 100 on Rate Beer and a rare A+ from Beer Advocate. Even cooler, we hung out with Eric and Rebecca Giddens, the owners of KRBC, at the Surly Goat and 38 Degrees event nights, and they are remarkably down to earth for former U.S. Olympians. Brewer Kyle Smith, who we met at Far Bar, is a Deadhead who we can just picture brewing Citra while Sugar Magnolia blasts over the speakers. The kids from Kernville had one other event at Blue Palms and their perfect double IPA, which they had kegged the previous weekend, was exceptional.
1. Moonlight Brewing Homegrown. Fresh Hop Pale Ale (5.6% ABV).
BetterBeerBlog Brian Hunt (far left) of Moonlight Brewing
Even our Olympian couple from Kern River Brewing probably wouldn't mind us choosing this upset winner for best brew at L.A. Beer Week. The biggest compliment we can pay a brewer is drinking a second pint of the same beer while there are dozens of other beers we are dying to try. Beachwood BBQ had the elusive keg of Moonlight Homegrown. They do not distribute to L.A., so someone had to go up to Santa Rosa and fetch it. Lucky for us, Beachwood owner Gabe Gordon is from Santa Rosa. Owner/brewer Brian Hunt told us he likes to brew beers that are drinkable, "So you can have five or six, if you like them." Over the course of the week, we had eight full pours of Homegrown (not counting the last one in which we killed the keg). If Hunt was aiming for drinkability, he hit it dead center. Not a fan of the crazy big beers, high alcohol beers or the even the super-hopped beers, the masterful Hunt brews beers to simply be enjoyed. In that, he is a man after our own beer-loving heart.