The fun thing about being part of Hopped LA is that we get to drink a lot of beer. The not so fun part? Well, we drink a LOT of beer. You could say that here at Hopped LA, we are very much hop heads, and over the years, not only have our beer palettes grown, so has our ability to get around highways and know exactly what times to get into a line for a beer drop.
So, fine readers, it’s about time we share even more of this knowledge with you. We’re starting a new series called “Beers of the Month,” where the Hopped LA crew will wax poetic about our five favorite new beer releases dropped in the Los Angeles area each month. Didn’t get to try one? Here’s why you should have. Got to drink more than your fair share? Hey, share next time, buddy!
We’re just kidding — do what you got to do. It’s a beer drink beer world. Without further ado, here are the five best new L.A. beers we had in January 2020:
Eagle Rock Brewery’s TEN
Happy birthday, Eagle Rock! This O.G. stalwart of the Los Angeles beer scene celebrated their 10th birthday in November 2019, but as Ting Su explained at her most recent Women’s Beer Forum, she likes to celebrate each January in order to avoid the whole holiday rush. We’re not upset that this post-date celebration meant TEN got to be the first beer on our inaugural list. This refreshing take on a West Coast IPA bursts with fresh lemon, bitter pine, juicy melon and tropical candy flavors on a light and drinkable body. It’s worthy of any anniversary.
– Gary Magnone, Hopped LA Founder
El Segundo Brewing Company’s Power Plant TIPA
This release was one of those VERY. BIG. DEALS. To the point that I know multiple people who drove from the east side ON A FRIDAY just to make sure they were one of the first people to try this year’s Power Plant, and every one of them waxed poetic about it. I tried it on the Saturday after it’s release, which was 24 whole hours later, and it did not disappoint. For an IPA that rings in at 11.1%, this is incredibly drinkable — and dangerously so. It’s a tropical bomb that will knock you out before know it, but luckily not in a hurricane way (both the drink and weather pattern, of course). I didn’t get the fruit cocktail note up top that the brewery says it has, but I actually was happy about that — sometimes you just want that nice balance of hops, and this is it.
– Emily Krauser, Editorial Director
Mumford Brewing’s One By Air
My favorite hazy of the month, One By Air is a nice blend of funky aromas but with a super soft and sweet taste. There are lots of tropical hints, particularly papaya, and it’s easy drinking despite being a DIPA rolling in at a 9% ABV. I’m a sucker for Galaxy hops when they’re paired with Citra — that’s game over for me.
– Chase Lancaster, Videographer
Highland Park Brewery’s TechniFlavor
Unlike Chase, I actually can’t stand Galaxy hops. I don’t know why, and please don’t hold it against me or my tongue — there are plenty of other hops I adore. Take, for instance, TechniFlavor. I love my hazies and I love HPB, so I don’t take it likely when I say that this may be my favorite hazy Highland Park has ever brewed. An imperial Hazy IPA coming in at 8% ABV, the Citra and Idaho 7 blend into a smooth hop profile with tropical notes that amplify the body rather than overpower it. This was so good, I had it both at the brewery and at Tony’s Darts Away just a couple of days later. When you love a hazy, you’ve got to have it ASAP!
14 Cannon’s K-17
This Czech Dark Lager has a great underlying taste of chocolate. It’s crisp and clean and has the perfect light body that you’d expect from a lager. While it’s dark in color upon first glance, this 5% ABV beer has a very nice amber glow when the right light hits it. I am a little biased as I do social media for them, but Nic Bortolin studied Czech style brewing for a year in Prague, and I think he nailed this one.