“That’s made with my yeast!” says a lady next to me at the outdoor brewer’s reception, capping a couple of days of educational seminars, panels, and expo covering everything beer. If those words were said at any other event, there may be some strange looks. But her lanyard hanging around her neck confirms her credentials, Kelly Maher, production lab supervisor for California’s biggest yeast producer, White Labs located in San Diego, nods with approval as I take a sip.
The beer was given to each event-goer in a swag bag, not just as a nicety, but to celebrate the California Craft Brewer’s Association which opened in 1989. The beer is a 6.4% hazy IPA and has a list of just as many strange bedfellows in the craft beer industry as it does ingredients: hops from Cornerstone Ranch (Cashmere, Galaxy), Brewer’s Supply Group’s grain (Rahr-2 row, Weyerman pale wheat), and the aforementioned White Labs Coastal Haze ale yeast blend. The beer was assembled at Three Weavers in Inglewood with help of Cask Global Canning, and is dripping with juicy character.
On the nose, I get a big dose of a bustling panadería, with hints of flan and tres leches cake baking in the background. And even hints caramelized peaches and plantains The turbidity is subdued, looking somewhat like a German Hefeweizen, the bitterness is soft and approachable, yet it still does a nice job cleaning up the bakery from sip to sip. Being only 6.5%, it’s not overly sweet like some big double hazies can get.
Although the beer may be difficult to get a hold of, the spirit of the can and all that’s behind it is perhaps a mere nightcap to a terrific CA Beer Summit week. After all, helping to grow 1,000 breweries in 30 years is quite the accomplishment! Cheers to 30 years!
Keep the CA Beer Summit on your radar for next year, as it’s guaranteed to be in Long Beach at least one more year. cabeersummit.com
Greg Nagel has been writing about beer since 2011, is an avid homebrewer of wine, cider, and beer, is a certified Cicerone Beer Server, level 1 WSET in Wine, a podcaster with the Four Brewers Show, and runs a yearly beer festival called Firkfest happening on June 29th in Anaheim!