We are living in the golden age of craft brew. Los Angeles, with its vast swaths of cultural incubators and melting pots, is surprisingly not yet known for its craft beer. Yet here, in the most typical of strip malls, under the faded lights of an aging sign, they have Sculpin.
Let that sink in…when your stumbling friend convinces you to drop-in to the nearest wacko-filled, loud music, sticky slab bar for a nightcap, you may be drinking among the best there is. You may actually have a choice between that, the now ubiquitous and still stellar Lagunitas IPA, and Firestone Walker’s silky 805 blonde. Shit, I almost have to think about it. Props to The Nectar’s owners and patrons, of course, for making sure they have quality options.
The Golden Age is upon us. Revel in the fact that people from coast to coast are waking up to the complexity of this beverage. Many of our hallowed brewers are opening facilities in multiple states and…for crying out loud…Stone is in Germany. North Carolina is legit enough to host Sierra Nevada, and Oskar Blues is in Texas. A few have sold out, more power to them!
Lagunitas is in bed with the Dutch, while 10 Barrel, Goose Island, and Golden Road look to AB-InBev for guidance. Still, their products taste good. Each has its character, while welding the marketing prowess of the larger enterprise. It’s sort of the American dream. Come up with something so unique and palatable that the big boys want to give to everybody…is dilution the inevitable result? Who knows.
For now, I’m content to smile at the choice of two of the best IPAs the world has known thusfar, at a little dive bar in my wife’s home town. Comment and let me know, what’s your favorite dive bar-beer combo?