Five years ago, one of a very few new breweries opened up in Los Angeles. The name was Monkish, and the theme of this new brewery was clean, well executed Belgian style beers. In full swing barrel aged beer and 100 IBU IPA mode, I rolled my eyes and quickly scrolled past. I mean, I hadn’t appreciated the nuance of a well made Belgian classic at that point in my beer drinking journey, how could a brewery in Torrance make them any better, and in what was still known as a craft beer wasteland.
Fast forward a few years later, and some folks much smarter than I am advised me to go over to the Monkish booth at a very stacked Bruery Anniversary festival, and try Monkish Brewing’s clean Belgian Single and one of their bretted beers. I skeptically waddled over there and was quickly surprised at how clean, refreshing, and more importantly how perfectly executed these two beers were that I tried. Had there been a mirror near by, I would have looked dead into it, and asked myself “Do I like well made Belgian-style ales?” “Maybe I…..do.”
Fast forward to the summer of 2014, and I was in the midst of planning The Full Pint 8th Anniversary. Planning these events are no easy task, as I have to first and foremost please the crowd with rare and exciting beers, while also not hurting the feelings of brewers I have a longstanding relationship with, by making sure they stay in the loop. With 31 taps to fill, this was more difficult than previous years with a much larger tap tower to work with. A very dear friend of mine who helped me organize this event told me right out of the gate that I should include a Monkish beer for the event. A Monkish beer I thought? I told my friend that Monkish was cool and all, but that I had never met the owners, and had no bond with them, as I barely had access to their beer unless I was at a festival. With persistence, she introduced me to Monkish Brewing’s then-hype man Brian White, who is now a wonderful friend. Brian assured me that Monkish was down with us and that we should be down with them. He also assured me that Monkish had some crazy, next level wild ales in the works and that they would deliver big for The Full Pint Anniversary party. I wasn’t that concerned at that point, as I had made my friend happy and made a new one in Brian White. A month before the party, Jonny Fullpint and stopped by Naja’s Place. It’s our favorite craft beer dive bar in America, located in Redondo Beach. To sum the place up, it’s a wild, sometimes trashy, yet super comfortable place to drink beer. I was quickly introduced to the seemingly serious Henry Nguyen and his bubbly wife Adrianna. I immediately told him this very tale. I told him no take no offense, and that I just like to eventually meet the breweries in an organic way and not in a typical pandering “beer blogger way.” We immediately hit it off, and became brothers ever since.
The party went well that summer, and Monkish went on to begin slaughtering it with flawless fruited and non-fruited wild ales.
Many of you might only know Monkish Brewing for their recent perfectly executed, new generation IPAs. Whether you are drinking them or profiting off of them, just know that whatever Monkish Brewing chooses to brew: classic Belgian Styles, fruited sours, adjunct stouts, or hazy IPAs, they will knock it out of the park with confidence. My advice is to please drink their beer instead of using it as currency. With moderation, your enjoyment in life will increase.
We’d like to wish Monkish Brewing a very happy 5th Anniversary. For those who will be attending the fifth anniversary party this weekend, make sure to check out the other amazing South Bay breweries such as Smog City Beer, El Segundo Brewing, Three Weavers and Hop Saint.