Hops are added to the Tony's Dart's Away anniversary IPA. (John Verive )
The Burbank craft beer destination Tony's Darts Away, started by L.A. beer impresario Tony Yanow, is celebrating its third anniversary with a weekend-long party and a special house beer to be tapped during the festivities.
The bar, once a quiet neighborhood dive, focuses on brewed-in-California beers and vegan eats, and it has found a thirsty following as craft beer's popularity has surged in Los Angeles. The anniversary celebration is set to begin at midnight April 13 -- three years to the minute since the first pints were poured at the renovated Tony's Darts Away -- and run through the following Sunday evening.
In addition to a special brew being tapped every couple of hours, the party is to feature fan-favorite special dishes -- vegan and not -- from chef Randy St. Clair's kitchen.
Yanow has pulled together a collection of rarities and special brews to tap for the party. I was given a sneak peek at the tap list, and it is sure to please hops-heads and beer-hunters, with California rarities from Russian River Brewing, Bear Republic, the Bruery and just about every other marquee craft brewery in the state.
In addition to the list of vintage stouts, sought-after sour beers, and one-off treats from across California, the bar will be debuting Darts Away IPA, a collaboration between the brewers from Yanow's Golden Road Brewing and the crew from Tony's Darts Away.
The commemorative brew is, fitting with the IPA-heavy tap lists for which Tony's Darts Away is known, a nearly 9% ABV imperial India pale ale loaded with punchy hops and heavy on the citrus and tropical fruit aromas.
To design the anniversary ale, Yanow sat down the Tony's Darts Away team with brewers from Golden Road and a variety of different IPAs and tasked them with identifying what traits they enjoyed most in the assembled samples. The brewers extrapolated a recipe for the new IPA from the discussion of hops profiles and malt character, and they invited the Tony's Darts Away team to the brewery to help make the recipe a reality.
I stopped by the brewhouse at Golden Road on the brew day, just as the team was dumping the first dose of hops into the kettle, and I was greeted with a near palpable wall of pungent hops aroma.
If the final beer tastes half as good as the brewery smelled while the team was brewing it, then hops fans are in for a treat.
Tony's Darts Away Lounge, 1710 W Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, (818) 253-1710, tonysda.com.
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