As I was scrolling through my Facebook news feeds, my attention was drawn to a post by ‘Bar Level II’ – the beer and wine bar at the Pasadena Whole Foods on Arroyo Pkwy. They call it ‘Bar Level II’ because it’s upstairs, on the second level of that particular store. According to the Facebook post, El Segundo Brewing Company was visiting ‘Bar Level II.’
I knew of the brewing company, but I had never sampled their beers. So I saddled my trusty (and fuel-savvy) Ford Escape and headed over to Whole Foods for a sample.
Matt Cantrell, the brewery’s Hopslinger / Sales guy, was there to represent the beers and answer any questions. A personable dude with a full beard and an even fuller knowledge of beer-craft, Matt was happy to supply me with a sample flight of the four beers he was showing. A “flight” is usually four (or more) beers that a particular brewery or tap house is offering. The flight is either a set selection of beers, or is a series of beers requested by a customer, and is served in 4-ounce glasses resting on a wooden ‘paddle’ with indents for the glasses, arranged from lightest to dark… and that’s exactly how El Segundo Brewery’s flight was arranged.
I was one of about twenty people enjoying the beers and asking Matt questions, and I had an enjoyable time savoring my samples.
Here are the beers with a few of my comments:
Citra Pale. ABV – 5.5%
A very nice pale ale with a citrus aroma. It has a bigger hop punch than most American pale ales and that’s a good thing.
White Dog IPA. ABV – 6.7%
This is an interesting IPA in that they use 50% wheat in the malt bill. My first thought was, “I’m not a wheat beer guy.” Matt put me at ease by promising it was not an overwhelming wheat presence. He was right, it was an easy beer to drink. Instead of the heavy ‘Pow’ of some IPA’s it had a light texture with just enough citrus character.
Two 5 Left DIPA. ABV – 8.2%
Per their website, this beer is named for the runway at LAX “that sends planes screaming right over El Segundo.” This is a Double IPA with a nice balance of malt and hops. This beer doesn’t have the ‘alcohol heat’ finish you find in some Double’s. I liked it and like most cases I had to drink this beer slowly because DIPA’s can be a touch heavy.
Standard Crude. ABV – 10.2%
This is their American Imperial Stout. I’ll simply copy and paste their description of this beer because it’s all that and more!
“An American Imperial Stout..since, why should the Russians get all the recognition! All malted barley with just a sprinkling of oats for texture. This beer is roasty throughout with many deep undertones of blackberry, cassis, tobacco and leather. The layers of malt reveal themselves one by one as the beer changs in the glass. Take your time with this one. Enjoy now, or lay it down in your cellar for a few years!”
El Segundo Brewing Co., 140 Main Street El Segundo, CA 90245.