Home Brewing with the Homies at Coldchela 2018: What the Ale!

The Guys and Gals of Coldchela 2018                                                                                  credit SoCal Cerveceros

At the 1988 World Series, Kurt Gibson, came off the bench in the bottom of the ninth to hit a home run and beat the mighty Oakland A’s in front of a crowd of 55,983 fans (but there’s at least a million Angeleno’s who will claim they were at that game). On May 12, 350 fans of craft beer attended Coldchela 2018 at the Roybal Foundation in East L.A. in support of the Gumball Foundation and I guarantee you in 20 years all of East L.A. will say they were there. De Veras! 

Coldchela 2018 featured 20 groups of Latino Home Brewers, mostly from Los Angeles but there were brewers representing the Inland Empire, Long Beach and Orange County. The fest was promoted and organized by SoCal Cerveceros, who’s first event was in 2015 in a backyard with 6 friends. According to Andy Carter, President of the California Homebrewers Association and Coldchela judge, it was the biggest Latino Homebrew fest in California. “I think it’s safe to say it’s the biggest gathering in California. It’s very likely national too…I was nothing short of amazed at this event.” 

In addition to the delicious brews was great music and food, two DJ’s, DJ Bien Buena of @chulitavynalclub and Fred Cunning of @saborensonido, along with two kick ass bands, The Altons and Casa de Calacas – they all provided music that had the crowd dancing all night. To pair with your “chelas” you had vegan options from @Zanetasvegankitchen (Zaneta Santana is also a member of South Central Brewing) that included brisket tacos, arepas, empanadas and dessert. 

I was also lucky to be a judge and let me tell you, it wasn’t easy picking the best out of this group, everyone did a fantastic job but in the end there’s only one winner.  Winner of the Judges Trophy was Brewjeria, their Grapes of Wrath Belgian Tripel with Muscat grapes was perfect. Juicy grapes on the nose, classic Belgian stone fruit and subtle coriander spices. Agustin Ruelas and his crew brought their A game! There was a tie for the People’s Choice Trophy between Starwood Brewing with their Heavy Hitter Imperial Porter and Los Barbones Cerveceria’s Haze of Our Lives Hazy IPA, double dry hopped with Vic’s Secret. Congrats! A few other suds that I enjoyed were South Central’s Café de Olla Brown, Lewis Martinez from Preston Brewing’s Abuelita’s Guero, Blonde Ale infused with a half pound of Abuelitas Chocolate and half pound of chocolate through the randall (a device to enhance flavor). Ray Ricky Rivera, President of SoCal Cerveceros and owner of Norwalk Brewhouse brought his “Saison Sin Verguenza” a first place runner up in the Judges Trophy competition.

A special shout out to Alex and Desiree Ortiz of Cerveceria Ortiz from Orange County, Phil Limon and Sandra Toledo of Maltitude Brewing from Long Beach and David Garcia, Cesar Mora and Paola Lopez from Big Boys Brewing. And to all my fellow judges and everyone that made Coldchela 2018 the dankest beer fest en todo mundo! Cheers!

Follow @coldchelafest on Instagram for the latest information on future events.

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