naja’s place just had their second annual IPA festival, and it was pretty epic.
- I was impressed not only by the beer selection, but also by the organization of the event and the friendliness of everyone involved.
- AP and I rolled up early (4:15ish) to find a line to the door about 15 people long. I think we hit the wait apex, however, since the line dissolved in about five minutes (thank god) and never reappeared from what I could see.
- in general, the whole LA beer scene feels pretty relaxed when compared to the capacity crowd events happening in SF these days. case in point – my buddy ML stopped by a few hours into the event and was still able to snag a pour of coveted pliny the younger. in fact, I don’t think any keg kicked before I left at around 7.
- this keg longevity was facilitated by the fact that festival glasses held only a few ounces. this turned out to be a great idea, as it allowed for tastings of a wide variety of beers, instead of getting burned out on a full pour of some 10% hop bomb.
- between AP, AP, ML, and myself, we managed to try a pretty wide variety of beers: avery’s maharaja ’08, ballast point’s tongue buckler and dry-hopped sculpin cask, bootlegger’s knuckle sandwich, firestone walker’s double jack, flying dog’s double dog and raging bitch, marin’s brass knuckle, russian river’s pliny the younger, tustin’s death by hops, and strand brewing’s double dry hopped 24th st. pale. phew!
- standouts for me were the cask sculpin, which had a great aroma and finish, even after half a dozen pours; and marin’s brass knuckle, which had a unique finish that I can only compare to instant iced tea. weird, but good. bootlegger’s knuckle sandwich was pretty intense, with a strong malt back that was refreshingly different.
- yeah, younger was good too, and was well-balanced, but I expected a little less alcohol heat on the finish. maybe a fresher sample would have enough hop aroma to tackle that.
- overall, this was one of the best beer events I have been to. I don’t think I waited longer than a minute to get any of my pours, there was plenty of water available, and the bathroom line was nonexistent. we got a table with zero effort, and had pretzels and other snacks on constant refill. I felt like I had won the beer lottery.