Craftsman's Mark Jilg dispenses samples of wet-hopped IPA, among others.
The culminating event of L.A. Beer Week at Descanso Gardens was blissfully uncrowded and relaxing, as opposed to most mass tasting events. I probably lucked out to get there the first year, before the crowds arrive. It probably could have been even more publicized, since I talked to hopheads on our Bike Bender that hadn't heard about it. But Descanso Gardens was a lovely place to sample a couple dozen beers (I only made it to about eight, and again managed to lose my tasting glass). Weeping willows and beer tasting on a warm Indian summer afternoon: yes!
Sign that it's time to go home: Suddenly, your tasting glass vanishes. Among the standouts were the brand-new Requiem Espresso Stout from the Gentleman Scholar, a new L.A. beer from Naja's Martin Svab and Gianni Diaz; the Bruery's Two Turtle Doves, a 12% Belgian-style ale with cocoa nibs and toasted pecans and Craftsman's Edgar's Ale.
I was pretty toasted myself after all those strong brews and recall only that Duvel's new Green single-fermented draft ale is less strong than their Classic in the bottle, in case you want to take things a bit slower. Next time, it would be great to have a list of all the breweries so that we could check off what we tasted and how much we liked it.