Today’s Tuesday Tastings notes comes from a mixed case of Angel City Brewery beers, which I had picked up at Costco while in Burbank over the Labor Day holiday. The pack contained their IPA, Social IPA, Pilsner, and Oktoberfest, a decent style spread.
Angel City was founded in 1997 in downtown Los Angeles, to be LA’s first micro/craft brewery, and at the beginning of 2012 they were acquired by acquired by Alchemy & Science, some sort of “brewery incubator” or “craft beer collaboration” venture of some sort (which seems to focus mainly on acquiring other breweries). On to the beer.
Angel City IPA
This is their year-round India Pale Ale, 6.1% abv and 65 IBUs. They say:
Angel City IPA is a medium-bodied, copper-hued beer brewed with enough hops to satisfy any Angeleno. It’s the perfect treat for the hop inclined.
Appearance: Bright and shiny light copper color, clear, with a minimal off-white head.
Smell: Nicely pungent with tropical fruit, a bit of sweaty character, some resin and light pitch. Herbal with a touch of ganja.
Taste: Bitter greens—big upfront bitterness that dominates the palate, a little heavy-handed, with a slightly steely malt presence. A bit woody and as I sip I keep coming back to “bitter greens;” would like more flavor at the back of the tongue, but overall there are good flavors here.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a big bitter wash at the sides of the tongue, aggressive.
Overall: Nicely done, would like to see more flavors coaxed out of the hops but it’s a solid IPA.
This is Angel City’s entry into the Session IPA field, clocking in at 4.4% abv with 55 IBUs.
Social IPA is a light-bodied, session ale punctuated by strong hop aromas of grapefruit & melon. This beer has a moderate, pleasing bitterness and a bright, refreshing finish.
Appearance: Pours thick with chunkies/floaties—it’s a hazy yellow, with a fizzy head, and lots of floaties.
Smell: Earthy with a bit of green resin. Sticky and herbal.
Taste: Kind of “green,” almost citrus juice character. A little rough around the edges. Malt is light and crisp with a hint of honey sweetness. Grassy, herbal hops at the back of the mouth with a bit of lime or maybe even lime leaf.
Mouthfeel: Light with a mostly clean finish.
Overall: Decent, but it’s a bit muddled and rough.
Angel City Pilsner
It’s always nice to see a brewery offer up a Pilsner. This one is angling towards a German-styled Pils, with 5.6% abv and 40 IBUs.
A crisp golden lager brewed with traditional German and Czech hops, resulting in a slightly dry, hop-forward finish.
Appearance: Nicely clear golden brew, with a delicate and lacy white head.
Smell: Grainy, light honey sweetness, nice breadiness. Hints of spicy noble hops.
Taste: A bit harsh up front with a rough bitterness and a bit of husk, perhaps tannic. Notes of bread crust, with some vegetal and wet-grassy hops.
Mouthfeel: Light bodied. Not as crisp as it should be.
Overall: Does not meet my expectations for a Pilsner unfortunately.
Like the Pils, I’m always happy to see a brewery tackle the Oktoberfest/Märzen style. Angel City’s seasonal version comes in at 6% abv, with 20 IBUs.
A traditional Oktoberfest-style Marzen lager. It’s medium-bodied and auburn-hued with a sweet, caramel-like finish.
Appearance: Clear, nutty amber color, with a fizzy, short-lasting head that’s light tan in color.
Smell: Nutty maltiness, grainy, bread crust sweetness. A bit of dried grass and wheat.
Taste: Caramelly, roasty malt with a slight steely tinge. Sweet, and it goes a bit cloying at the back fo the tongue. As it warms this cloying sweetness grows stronger.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and goes sweet in the finish.
Overall: It’s not bad, but definitely too sweet for the style—should be drier and cleaner.