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Los Angeles brewers bottle hoppy beers for spring

April 04, 2013|By John Verive
  • Beachwood Brewing's Thrillseeker label
Beachwood Brewing's Thrillseeker label (Picasa )

As Los Angeles' young breweries mature and grow, many have turned to packaging as a way to reach more beer fans, and some new brewed-in-L.A. beers are about to find their way into your fridge.

Apart from the machinery and the manpower required for a brewery to package its beer, there are significant logistical obstacles to overcome to get bottles into your fridge. From procuring and storing the bottles, to designing and receiving government approval for the labels, to producing enough beer to fill both kegs for draft accounts and bottles, the prospect of packaging beer can be a daunting prospect for a small brewery.

Eagle Rock Brewery was one of the first of L.A.'s small breweries to began bottling, and co-owner Ting Su says: "[the] biggest challenges to bottling were the cost of the equipment and having enough volume to put into bottles." ERB has offered bottles of their core lineup for about a year, and they are ready to add a fifth beer to their year-round bottled offerings. The peppery Belgian pale ale Unionist will join Solidarity, Revolution, Manifesto, and Populist in bottles in April at the brewery's tap room and at beer retailers across Southern California.

El Segundo Brewing Co. first offered bottles about a month ago, and the brewery chooses to reduce overhead -- and skirt space constraints -- by using a mobile bottling line that arrives at their brewery just for bottling day. Bottles of their fan-favorite Blue House Citra Pale Ale and the aromatic double IPA Two 5 Left -- named for the LAX runway that sends air traffic directly over El Segundo and scheduled to be brewed only a few times this year -- will be unveiled in at their tap room on Friday and hit area bottle shops soon after.

Beachwood BBQ and Brewing has been quietly brewing some of L.A.'s best beer for a couple of years now -- it won two medals at the prestigious Great American Beer Fest in 2012 -- and head brewer Julian Shrago is known among L.A. beer-lovers for concocting some of the hoppiest and most flavorful IPAs in California. Soon you won't have to leave the house to enjoy one of our favorite L.A. IPAs; Thrillseeker West Coast IPA is coming to bottles on Tuesday. The 22-ounce bottles should run around $8, and you'll want to enjoy this hoppy-treat as fresh as possible.

A year ago you'd be hard-pressed to find any bottled-in-L.A. beers, but you're going to need to make more room in your fridge for all the new bottled offerings hitting shelves this month.


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