Recipe contests are funny things. Home cooks and brewers try to dream up the most outlandish concoctions, the strangest toppings, the weirdest hidden ingredients, the most flavorful zings, all in the hope of capturing the top prize.
But sometimes just looking locally, and going back to the roots of what you and your friends like to do, and interpreting that via a drink or dish, is key. That's what Emily Finch did when approaching the "What Would You Brew?" contest last fall.
The directive of the Angel City Brewery contest was a simple one: Create an interesting beer with local flair. So Ms. Finch thought of late nights in Los Angeles, of the fun of being out, and one flavor sprung to mind: Mexican cola.
The "avid home brewer" submitted her "Mexican Cola-inspired beer" to the brewery last fall, and lo and behold: She won. Won over 279 contest applicants, let it be added. Ms. Finch's libation is described as "acidic, a smidge spicy, caramel-y, a tad sweet, and malty" and it is available, on tap, for a limited time, at the downtown brewery.
It's not going to last long, says an Angel City rep.
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Ms. Finch talked about her libation inspiration. "When apply for the contest, I thought to myself 'what reminds me of LA?' and I instantly thought of hanging out with my friends and brothers in Downtown. After a late night of pub hopping, our favorite thing to do is grab food from street vendors. And nothing tastes better with street food at 2 a.m. than a nice, cold bottle of Mexican Coca-Cola."
The first batch debuted at Angel City on April 1; the second will show up during LA Beer Week in September. If you're intrigued by the combo -- and you must be, right? -- best make for the brewery for a potent sweet shot of LA-style flavor.