Tag Archives: brewpub

Golden Road Brewing

Ever feel like the week is just way too long and you need to get out in the middle of the day on Friday and go visit a brewery? Yeah, me too.
I’ve been reading about Golden Road Brewing for about a month now and was dying to get in there and try some of their brews and foods before their grand opening on Sunday. Yesterday the family and I, pooch included, drove out to LA to give it a taste.
The inside of the yellow building (the pub) is cavernous and bright with a beautifully long bar draping across the end.
It was an absolutely gorgeous day outside – around 82 degrees Fahrenheit, so we decided to enjoy the patio. They have a specified dog patio below this one with umbrellas where you can hydrate your pup and enjoy your meal.
Clean dog beds and fresh water!
It’s great to have a place that’s dog-friendly! We’ve been quite limited in our outings thanks to this fuzzy one.
Behind the bar is a large chalkboard with the entire menu written across. Since they’ve only got three of their beers on tap they weren’t giving out tasting flights. We had to order full pints. Bummer.
We ordered almost across the board – Golden Road Point the Way IPA, Hangar 24 Chocolate Porter and Golden Road Hefeweizen. Their IPA is crystal clear and delicately hoppy – a nice change from the intense hopbombs that are gracing so many breweries nowadays, with a crisp finish. The hefeweizen is a beautiful cloudy gold with notes of banana wafting off the rich head, and a citrusy smooth sip with a sweet finish – PERFECT for the beautiful weather!
They have a huge selection of vegan and vegetarian dishes, along with plenty of options for the carnivores out there as well. There were so many options that we couldn’t decide between them. So we got them all.
Maple Fritters – deep fried sweet potato dumplings with a honey mustard dip. These were surprisingly light and crispy, and piping hot to boot. DROOL.
Puffy, golden (I get the theme here, Golden Road!), flaky dumplings of heaven!
We started with a non-vegan dish – the Sloppy Joseph: Short ribs braised in stout and topped with fried shallots and housemade barbecue sauce. I may or may not have licked the plate clean…
Miso Crabby Salad – fresh and light with fresh crab and sliced peppers gracing the top.
For the vegans out there – Coconut “Noodle” Salad: Tender strips of coconut, sliced jalapenos, carrot, chili peppers and cabbage tossed in a light curried sauce with toasted cashews. This burned so good! I wish they’d still had their Festivus Cinnamon Bitter beer on tap to pair! I guess I’ll just have to come back next time they brew it. Bummer again.
Back to the meat! Pulled Pork Sandwich: tender pulled pork that’s been braised in their hef and shredded cabbage on a flaky croissant. I’m stating this here and now – best pulled pork sammich I’ve had to date.
Guess who happened to show up while we were feasting? Cyrena Nouzille and Dave Griffiths of Ladyface Ale! Skipp Shelly, the marketing manager of Golden Road Brewing and a fellow Maltose Falcon from the shop brew also happened to be there – weird coincidence seeing that he works there.
The brewery is right next to the train tracks. I almost had a heart attack when the first one came from behind the building and blasted its horn! I needed to get another beer to calm my nerves.
We enjoyed a good two and a half hours there until the sun went down and the air dropped to a chilly 75 degrees. Delicious beer, amazing food and a wonderful way to end (or begin) the week!
Golden Road Brewing
5430 West San Fernando Road
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Open daily 11am-11pm


Filed under brewery, Restaurant Review

Breckenridge Brewery

Today I got to check out Breckenridge Brewery in Breckenridge, Colorado, and got a personal tour from the brewmaster himself, Matt Darling. His first words when he saw me: “Chive on!” Awesome. Just plain awesome.
You can tell the brewers by their epic beards. It’s just a fact.

Matt Darling has been homebrewing since he was 15 years old, starting with vodka and wine before moving to beer. He’s been the head brewer at Breckenridge Brewery for five years after working as the assistant to Drake Schmid for three. He considers John Jordan, the brewer at Flying Monkey who is also a microbiologist, his mentor. I had a mini-interview with Matt to follow:

Becki: What was your “gateway” beer that made you really appreciate good craft beer?
Matt: Probably Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout. (Very classy “gateway”, Matt!)
Becki: Of all of the beers at Breckenridge, what’s your personal favorite.
Matt: Our ESB (Extra Special Bitter).
Becki: Ooooh, can I try that one? Is it year round?
Matt: No, it’s seasonal. We make it in autumn.
Becki: *Sniffle* *sad face*

So my quotes aren’t quite exact, but all the information in them is! (At least I think it is. Correct me if anything’s wrong, Matt!)
The brewery is located just south of the busy part of Main Street, nestled in between dozens of aspen trees.
When you walk in, you’re greeted by the entire brew system. It’s laid out behind the bar in all its glory. On brew days, you can actually sit at the bar and watch them go through the entire process. You’d be pretty trashed by the end though – on brewing days Matt is there from 9am to 6pm with only his assistant, Jimmy Walker, to help. That mash tun has to be filled twice in order to fill one fermenter. That’s a crapload of brewing!
The entire brewpub is bigger than it appears from the outside. The second floor that’s not filled with fermenters is used for seating, with lovely views of the brewery.
Oh, and the mountains. Those are lovely too…
Excuse the following blurry images – macro in dim lighting. Upstairs they have the specialty grains in the mill room. All the regular grains are located in a silo behind the brewpub.
Once all the ales are fermented, they’re transferred down to the refrigerated basement into gigantic kegs where they’re siphoned up to the brewery until they’re empty. It doesn’t take too long. They brew about four days a week during summer to keep up with demand here. In winter, it’s up to six times a week! Them snowboarders get thirsty!
Delicious Cascade hops! They use pellets instead of whole leaf hops to avoid clogging their brew system.
Back up at the bar I got to try the beer from the “brewer’s handle”. It was a Belgian pale ale with Trappist ale yeast pitched in – beautiful golden color with slightly fruity esters. I was too busy drinking it to get a picture. The beer above is their seasonal brown ale that had been run through the brand new lines in order to allow the hoppy aroma to really come out. They have a barrel that they got from Breckenridge Distillery filled with this brown downstairs, absorbing all the intense bourbon flavors. I wish I could be in town when they open that one!
Here’s the wonderful, big board full of all of their brews, excluding the few fresh seasonals they have out now: Lucky “U” IPA, Oatmeal Stout, 471 Double Hopped IPA and Baldy Mountain Brown (I think that’s what I tried above).
Of course, since it is a brewPUB, I had to try their food! I got the grilled vegetable sandwich – portobello mushrooms, peppers, onions and cheese topped with fresh spinach, piled onto fresh ciabatta bread and covered with pesto sauce. Holy frick, this was amazing. Even better was the beer they suggested I pair with it:
Vanilla Porter. Out of this freakin’ world! Seriously, I can’t fully describe the awesomeness of this beer. There are no aroma hops used in this, so the vanilla and malt smell comes through cleanly. The first sip is slightly sweet with a warm vanilla flavor rounded out with a full mouthfeel and faint touch of hop bite that lingers on your tongue after you swallow. Only 4.7% ABV, but since I just came from sea level, that was enough to make me feel it!
Thanks again to Matt for letting me barge in and giving me all the info! I’ll be back tomorrow to try a few more beers – gotta try them while I can since they don’t distribute to California. *Sniffle* *sad face*


Filed under beer, brewery, Drinks

Colorado: Part III

I’ve been ridiculously sick and therefore passing out after taking coughing meds every single night before I had time to blog. Now, however, I’m home, slowly getting better, and ready to wedge myself in the couch and type away!
Our lovely friends invited us over to their house for dinner. I was too busy shoveling the delicious pork roast, rice salad and buttery carrots into my face to get a picture, but I DID remember to take one of Louise’s AMAZING biscotti! She used to make this for my bestie Michelle and me when we were wee tykes rollerblading around the neighborhood and packing picnics to eat on the golf course. To this day, I can’t even look at any other biscotti with any respect at all.
Since we were in Colorado, I had to pick up a local brew. This is Friek, a kriek beer that Odell Brewing made a single batch of. Once this is gone, it’s gone for good (at least until the next Small Batch Revival which we attended – more on that in the upcoming blog). This was not as sweet as I was expecting from a kriek. It was more of a sour ale that you’d enjoy sipping slowly over the course of an evening.
Which I did. This is a delicious beer, made to be enjoyed in a single glass. Personally, I think more than that would be overwhelming and ruin the palate.
The next day we drove around to check out neighborhoods in the area. I love this about Colorado – elk wander freely through the lawns, chowing down on young saplings. I love this because I don’t own saplings that are being chewed on by elk.
For lunch we went to Mad Greens. ANOTHER thing I love about Colorado – this Chipotle-style restaurant with salad. You choose your lettuce and walk down the assembly line picking other vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts and proteins to be added, which are all married together with one of their HUGE selections of dressings.

I ate here twice in one day. I want to go back already!
After our healthy lunch, Michelle and I went up to Boulder to walk around Pearl Street and visit the Walnut Brewery – a place I used to go after playing billiards at the Foundry next door. The Foundry is now Absinthe Club. I weep for the loss of innocent pool tables.
Walnut Brewery is a big local brewpub that serves chicken-fried chicken (my favorite when I was eleven), nachos, potato skins and a huge variety of other artery-clogging deliciousness. They also brew their own beer on site in these big mash tuns and fermenters.
We split a taster of their five beers and then ordered a pint each. After 3/4 of that pint, we were both incredibly tipsy (read: a little bit drunk), and had no idea why until we realized that we’d both come from sea level up to altitude. Cheap dates!

Afterwards, we slowly made our way around the different shops of Pearl Street until we sobered up, then I headed to my hotel before the long trek up to Fort Collins. Best friends and beer – not a bad way to spend the day.

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Filed under Drinks, Uncategorized