To all Los Angeles beer lovers, if your liver hasn't run away yet, there are still a few more days of LA Beer Week left to celebrate the bubbly, malty -- or hoppy -- brew.
LA Beer Week, which kicked off its fifth year on Sept. 19 with more than 200 participating restaurants, bars and breweries, has more than two dozen events left until it concludes its 10-day run on Sunday. And the best is yet to come, participants said.
"It's very grass roots and has grown exponentially," LA Beer Week spokesman Randy Clemens said. "But while it's gotten bigger and bigger, we really are trying to shy away from being like any other beer fest. We want it to be an experience rather than just a drinking fest where you get samples, pound them and get drunk."
Buddies Jay Baum and Dennis Hartman started LA Beer Week in 2009 and it has now become known as one of the most popular events of its kind in Los Angeles County. It attracts brewers from all over the country to show off their beers in venues in the South Bay to the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys and as far up as Lancaster.
On Saturday, a homebrewing demonstration is slated at Eagle Rock Brewery and three breweries -- North Coast, Deschutes and Rogue -- are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year with a special barleywine-style ale, which will be on tap at Stuffed Sandwich in San Gabriel.
Among the events to close out the week is the Spring Street Smokehouse Rib Eating Contest hosted by Angel City Brewery on Sunday in downtown Los Angeles.
Also, Take the Black Stout, the second beer in Brewery Ommegang's collaborative series with HBO's "The Game of Thrones" will make its L.A. debut Sunday at the Blue Palms Brew House and The Fonda Theatre rooftop terrace in Hollywood.
"The beers by Ommegang are great, but to team up with 'Game of Thrones' really makes this unique," said Brian Lenzo, owner of Blue Palms Brew House.
Lenzo said they are expecting about 300 guests who are encouraged to come dressed as one of the characters from the HBO series. "It's exciting to put both the craft beer movement and the popular HBO show together like this," Lenzo said. "You won't get anything like it."
Unique brunches are also planned for the weekend, Clemens said.
On Sunday in Sherman Oaks, for instance, brunchgoers can enjoy a six-course meal at Boneyard Bistro where each plate is paired with a beer rather than champagne, the typical go-to brunch bubbly.
"For the longest time people associated beer with dark and light beer, but people are starting to see that there's something these breweries are standing for," Clemens said.
Newer breweries from Smog City to Monkish, Phantom Carriage and Strand Brewing Company -- all based in Torrance -- are just a few to thank, Clemens said.
"They're not trying to dumb things down," he said. "Instead, they're making something different and unique that they're proud of and people can support." ___
BEFORE YOU GO
The best beers, breweries, brewpubs and craft beer bars across Southern California, according to expert John Coltharp.