Los Angeles has its share of sightseeing bus tours. You can pimp down Hollywood Boulevard in an open roof double decker, you can weave the sinuous streets above Sunset scoping out celebrity digs, you can even get paranormal on a ghost tour of haunted LA, but if you're a connoisseurs of craft brew, there's only one tour you need to take: The LA Beer Hop.
The LA Beer Hop offers pub to pub service to the city's best bars and breweries. Last night I hooked up with some big time beer buffs for a tour of what I fondly refer to as The Holy Trinity - Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, Golden Road Brewery in LA and Mohawk Bend in Echo Park. We started the evening at Tony's where I glugged a pint of Golden Road Brewery's Get Up Offa That Brown - a medium bodied brown that drinks easy and pops with hints of chocolate, caramel and nutty tones. It's not as thick or heavy as a lot of browns and is currently available both on tap and in cans at local retail outlets.
Hal arrived shortly after with the The LA Beer Hop bus and whisked us away to Chloe's at Golden Road Brewery where we were among the very first to sample a brand new Golden Road beer - a Russian imperial stout called The Big LeBrahSki. Golden Road's first offering under new brewmaster, Jesse Houck, is a rich, dark stout that's made from four different malts to create a beer brimming with smoky, coffee tones. At 8.5% ABV, The Dude would definitely abide. As of this post, The Big LeBrahSki is only available on tap at Golden Road with no immediate plans to release it outside the pub. Also, the Vegan Man Cave learned that brewmaster Jesse is in the process of retooling GRB's flagship brew, the Point The Way IPA. Stay tuned for more on that.
Before Hal pulled up to chauffeur us to Mohawk Bend, Chloe's made me legit with my very own membership card. Membership to Chloe's is free and comes with a lot of great perks like discounts on brew and swag from the merch table, plus invitations to exclusive beer-related events. Check out the Golden Road website for the deets.
Okay, so it was back on the bus where we drank, drank, drank all the way to Mohawk Bend, sampling crazy unique beers along the way. At Mohawk, we were treated to some of the very best vegan food in LA, including a Banh Mi pizza (marinated tofu, pickled carrots & daikon, jalapenos, herb salad, and sriracha aioli), vegan nachos with guac, salsa and Daiya cheese and a warm chocolate chip cookie served in a cast iron skillet. I ended the evening with a pint of GRB's hefeweizen - a light, clean hefe that is better enjoyed on a summer day than a chilly February night. As midnight approached, Hal returned with the LA Beer Hop bus to transport our tired, intoxicated bodies back to Tony's - completing a raucous roundtrip that was the highlight of my week.
Whether you're a townie or a tourist, I can't recommend the Beer Hop enough. How rad is it to pay $5 each way to the hottest brew spots in LA? You can even reserve the bus for private parties and gatherings. Check out their website for more info. And a huge thanks to Cambria and Fran at Golden Road for putting this night together. Get over to Golden Road now and try the Big Lebrahski stout and feed your cravings for delicious vegan grub at Mohawk. Also a shout out to new friends http://www.BeerGuyLA.com, http://www.bierkast.com, beerqwest.com, http://www.westcoastersd.com and http://www.havengastropub.com. These dudes are serious beer experts. Check out their websites for everything SoCal beer.