Do beer buffs gossip about other beer buffs over a round of cold ones? Do people who like those dark, cakey brews bag on the fans of the flitty, light-as-spring sips? Or vice versa?
We like to believe that a beer maven is a beer maven, but there is one stand-out division, seemingly, and it deals with the hopsy-loving strata of sippers: the IPA contingent. Start an IPA person on their breweries and best clear an hour as terms like "undernotes" and "chewy" come into play.
Or, better yet, clear a few hours for IPA Fest, which returns to Mohawk Bend on Saturday, Dec. 6. The Echo Park eatery, which is known for its (almost) bespoke-y brews, shall round up some 60 beers from points around the Golden State and put them all on draught. "Several specialty beers made for the event" will also be there for the sniffing/sipping.
But it isn't just about quaffing; there shall be judging at IPA Fest, and a People's Choice Award handed out. Brewers and beer pros -- 25 in all -- shall be holding little glasses of beer up to the light, and then tasting them, for the bestowing of later honors.
An IPA-themed food menu shall keep sippers sated. (An IPA aioli will accompany vegan shishito peppers, if you want a tastes of what the tastes will be.)
As for the beers being front-and-centered for the day? Dork Squad from Bagby, Citra-R-Ama from Pizza Port, and The Pupil from Societe are a mere trio of the fancy foams under the spotlight. (Not "mere" though -- Lauren O'Neill, Mohawk Bend's Beer Director, cited those three as some of the beers she is anticipating the most.)
The deal with getting in? It's not ticketed, but if you reserve a table, to eat, for six or more friends, that's one way to do it. Or just arrive early, be patient, and dream of all of those hopsy-forward brews that arrive with a streak of West Coast whimsy.
Price? Four bucks for an eight-ouncer, done and done.
Oh, for sure, IPAs from elsewhere are delicious, but Californians can get mighty creative with what fills up our pint glasses.