Four Brewers | On Location at Smog City Brewing Co.
Season 2, Episode 3 – Four Brewers is on the road! Our first stop in this three episode series devoted to Los Angeles beer is Smog City Brewing Co., in Torrance, California.
This week, we’re trying our hand at remote shows, and exploring the LA beer scene. The first stop on the tour is at Smog City Brewing Co., located in Torrance, California. Jonathan Porter and Chris Walowski sat down with us three hours before the release of their bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout named Infinite Wishes, to talk about the brewery and share some tasty brews and interesting stories.
The first beer, which was served up at a bright and early nine o’clock in the morning, was their “hoppy amber” ale named Sabre-Toothed Squirrel. This beer is made with Falconer’s Flight hops, and could almost be described as “Arrogant Bastard light” in terms of the way the hops and amber malt qualities interact with each another. This sabre-toothed squirrel definitely has some bite… (See what I did there?)
Next up is Smog City’s outstanding imperial stout called The Nothing. This beer was originally brewed by Porter at his former brewing home, Tustin Brewing Company, as Double Chocolate Imperial Stout. Coming in at 10% ABV, it contains two types of TCHO cocoa nibs and two types of chocolate malt, and is meant to have a mouthfeel similar to that of a chocolate milk shake. It’s also made with malted oats, which of course, gives John a beer boner.
Infinite Wishes is the next beer on deck. It’s the bourbon barrel-aged version of The Nothing, and is in the neighborhood of 12% ABV. It was aged in bourbon barrels for precisely 364 days, and it is truly spectacular. It’s quite smooth and hides its alcohol quite well. The barrel character really shines and isn’t too overwhelming or woody. Fans of Smog City were lined up outside of the brewery when we finished recording this episode at 10:00 am, and it sold out in a matter of hours. Here’s to hoping the’ll make this beer again next year…
We wrap up the show with a nice, palate cleansing Smog City saison named Saison Contraire. This beer was fermented with Smog City’s house brettanomyces yeast, and then refermanted with two other types of brett yeast. It’s then dry-hoppped and packaged with another dose of brettanomyces to condition the beer in the bottle. That’s a lot of brett, yo. Needless to say, it’s pretty friggin’ great.
Smog City Brewing Co. have been at their current location since 2013, but were brewing beers at Tustin Brewing Company under the name Smog City since 2011. They’ve come a long way in the last four years, and we can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store for them. Big, big thanks to the staff at Smog City for having us, and hosting our debut on-location show!
Side note: About halfway through the episode, there is a faint, consistent white noise that can be heard in the background. That was the sound of their CO2 tank being refilled by an outside vendor. Hey, we were in a brewery. It happens.
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BREW THE SHIT OUT OF IT.
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