A flight of beers at Eagle Rock Brewery. Eagle Rock's Unity is the official… (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles…)
This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details.
Look at the roster of events for the fourth edition of L.A. Beer Week and prepare to be overwhelmed. Nearly 30 options crowd Saturday alone. On tap is an exploration of pumpkin beers, multiple beer fests, a beer run, a beer brunch, a beer shuttle and, for the dessert-minded, a sampling of beer-infused ice cream.
There's so much happening that L.A Beer Week isn't technically a week. The 11-day event began last night and runs through Sept. 30, concluding again with a Sunday afternoon beer festival at Union Station.
"It'd be easy to say, 'OK, it's 11 days to get tanked.' That's not our goal," said Randy Clemens, one of the organizers and a former employee at Escondido's Stone Brewing.
Bottoms up: Test your beer knowledge
This year organizers have found a way to ease newcomers into craft beer culture. The "L.A. Beer Week Bucket List" is a handy printout designed to highlight four different aspects of the event: the breweries, the events, the education and the rare beers. Complete one in each arena and receive a sticker, four of which will be good for a discount on a bottle of Eagle Rock Brewery's Unity, the official beer of the event.
Unity, however, is just one of many brews concocted specifically for L.A. Beer Week. The likes of Cismontane Brewing, El Segundo Brewing, Golden Road Brewing and Ladyface Ale Companie, among others, have all created a different beer brewed with a prickly pear.
"We wanted to use an ingredient that suggested Southern California," Clemens said.
So where to begin? Head to the website to select a day and get started (labeerweek.com).
Prime options this weekend include the Better Weather Fest on Saturday afternoon at Glendale's Golden Road, which will showcase the wares of more than 15 California breweries. Or leave the driving to others on a tour of South Bay breweries organized by El Segundo Brewing. A $15 advance reservation books you a seat on a continuously looping shuttle.
Not a beer geek? Don't worry, you're in good company. Unlike, say, San Diego, L.A. Beer Week organizers have as of yet been unable to get an official proclamation from L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "We've gotten no response," said Clemens.
[For the record, Sept. 21, 6:29 p.m.: An earlier version of this post misspelled the last name of Randy Clemens as Clemons.]