Moving to a new town is always exiting for a beer lover. California has to be high on every one’s list at least if you have a passion for beer. This is the state where the beer revolution started and with great breweries like Stone, Sierra Nevada, Anchor Steam Brewery, North Coast Brewery and many, many more. My new home is in Santa Monica in Los Angeles county. I thought that this the second larges city in USA would be the best beer town at least in the state of California. Was I disappointed. It seem like Los Angeles metropolitan area totally missed that there is a beer revolution going on since at least 20 year back. I was told by a friend of mine that some of the big metropolitan areas in America have been late in joining the wonderful world of beer and realizing that a vibrant beer community makes a better community to live in. New York is one of the cities that got a late start but is now exploding with a more interesting beer scene. It seem like Los Angeles is slowly waking up. I have to say that the Triangle metropolitan area in NC (Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill) with a population of 600,000 or so is a much, much more interesting than Los Angeles with 17 million when it comes to beer. Los Angeles is about 34 times larger in population and mathematically should have 34 times more good beer bars, breweries and brew pubs. There are about 10 breweries and brew pubs in the Triangle area. Does Los Angeles have 340? There are about 25 great beer bars in the Triangle. Does Los Angeles have 850? Three serious beer meet-up groups in the Triangle area. Does Los Angels have 33? The Triangle have 2 large beer festivals. Does Los Angeles have 66? No on all of them. You can of course have objections that it’s not correct to just compare the number that way. Yes, but even if I use more favorable numbers Los Angels doesn’t even come close. I mean two serious beer meet-up groups, 40 or so breweries and brew pubs, some of them chains with multiple locations and from what I heard not very interesting. Looking around on all beer community webpages I can’t get even close to 850 good beer bars. Maybe 150. I’m sorry LA for bashing you, my new home town but coming from great beer town to a town with a less exiting beer scene is disappointing for a beer lover. But things are slowly happening here and that opens up great opportunities for me to be a part of a growing beer community and write about it. So I will continue to write about the beer scene were I am, here in Santa Monica and LA and from other places in the world where I will be.
I have started slowly to explore the beer scene here in Santa Monica. My local Whole Foods Market have a really good beer selection. There are many specialty beers from California breweries that I didn’t get on the east coast. The Old Rasputin XII Anniversary Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing is something that I have to be sampled. They also have specialty beer from Stone Brewing Company, Old Guardian Barley Wine and 14th Anniversary Imperial IPA. I had Deschutes Brewing Company Hop in the Dark CDA (Cascadian Dark Ale) the other day. It’s a hopy dark ale with a good balance between the cascade hops and the malt. A really good beer. I also had a Maui Brewing Company Coconut Porter. It’s a really smooth porter with a slightly burnt flavor. Almost like a coffee with plenty real cream. My local Whoole Foods also have a great selection of imported beers in large bottles. Many I have had before but only by visiting the country where the beers are brewed. They have Mc Chouffe from Brasserie d’ Achouffe, Triple Karmeliet, Maredsous Blond and Tripel, all the beers from Unibroue and both the Delirium Nocturnum and Delirium Tremens from Huyghe Brewery. The Wholefoods store also have a great selection of german weissen beers, Fransiskaner, Weinstephan dunkel and kristal, Schneider and Paulaner. The Danes and Norwegians seem to be the only Scandinavian beers you can get here in America. Mikkeller and Nøgnø is also available in my grocery store.