In January, Grub Street reported that L.A.’s Angel City Brewing, which grew over fifteen years from an independent brewery in Torrance’s Alpine Village to a shiny new facility in Downtown, had been purchased by Alchemy & Science, a subsidiary of Boston Beer Co., makers of Sam Adams. Today, The L.A. Times details exactly what it means for the brewery formerly owned and operated by local founder Michael Bowe.
The paper talks with head brewer Dieter Foerstner, who in the first great sign for things to come, notes that his grandfather was chief brewer for the extinct Los Angeles Brewing Co., once our country’s fifth biggest beer producer before regional and national piss-water producers replaced its kind to shill their diluted pilsners.
Angel City is now in the midst of a “fresh start” while Bowe plans to become the most interesting Angeleno in the world by spending most of 2012 sailing on a 42-foot boat he bought (he’s currently still on board as a consultant). The new owners might just scrap his beers to concentrate on its new productions, a wheat beer, a German-style Altbier, and two IPAs (by the way, happy belated IPA Day, hop heads). The brewery also seeks to open a tasting room, ideally this fall.
Foerstner is apparently keen to experiment and even wants to do an avocado beer (the closest to which we’ve seen is a beer brewed with honey from avocado orchards by Carpinteria’s Island Brewing), though his excesses may be tempered by Alan Newman, one of Alchemy & Science’s principals, who details Angel City’s new goal in saying, “We were created with one objective…How can we do things that Sam Adams can’t do that can help grow the craft beer category?” Either way, they’re taking the fight to the big breweries that spoiled the U.S. beer drinking experience for decades.
Speaking of which, Newman started Magic Hat and is forthcoming about its most popular beer, Magic Hat No. 9, when he says, “There is not a person who worked at the brewery who would have chosen No. 9 as their favorite beer…Eighty percent of the people wouldn’t even drink it, and they could have it for free.”
The quote shows that the man understands balance, and might take a cautious approach to the market, as the key to success as Angel City seeks to build firm footing as a brewery that can represent Los Angeles nationwide.