Slideshow: 6 Great (and Rare) Sips from the First Week of L.A. Beer Week 2011

Golden Road Hefeweizen
Golden Road Hefeweizen
After a slow roll-out of its debut brews to about 30 bars around Los Angeles, Golden Road Brewing celebrated its official opening for L.A. Beer Week with three beers— Point the Way IPA (right), Golden Road Hefeweizen (left), and a special release smoked IPA called Burning Bush. All are low ABV and distinctly drinkable, but the Hefeweizen, the product of a tasting trip that founders Tony Yanow, Meg Gill, and brewmaster Jon Carpenter (of Dogfish) took to Germany, was particularly flavorful. Full, but not too bready with serious fruitiness.
Avery Barrel-Aged Sours
Avery Barrel-Aged Sours
Blue Palms celebrated limited release Avery brews with its all day Beermageddon event. Our favorites (from left to right): The Quinquepartite is a blend of beers aged in five different oak barrels—two Cab Sauvignon, one Port, one Chardonnay, and one Zinfandel, which give it a fruity, seriously wine-forward flavor. Meretrix, of which only 83 cases were produced, was aged for two years in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels and has a tart, slightly funky, brightness. The Margarete, a deep sour cherry stout, was aged in bourbon barrels and has a creamy, rich mouthfeel, with hints of chocolate and coffee. All were delicious.
Firestone Walker Good Foot
Firestone Walker Good Foot
To the celebrate the release of Firestone's fifteenth anniversary ale, L.A. Beer Week held a series of Component Nights, each featuring a different one of the limited release component beers that were part of the anniversary blended brew. The first night, held at Blue Palms in Hollywood, marked the Los Angeles debut of Firestone's Good Foot, a 14% barrel aged barleywine. Definitely hoppy, but subtly so, with smooth vanilla and caramel flavors.
TAPS Imperial Balinese Stout
TAPS Imperial Balinese Stout
From TAPS Fish House and Brewery in Brea, CA, this deep, rich stout is made with Balinese coffee beans from nearby Portola Coffee Lab. The resulting beer has seriously intense coffee flavors that take on an almost mocha-like quality with hints of chocolate.
TAPS Biere de Luxe
TAPS Biere de Luxe
Another special from TAPS Fish House and Brewery, this special pour of the brewery's Biere de Garde is aged in a Sangiovese barrel and makes for a rich, malty sipper.