Driving five hours for a beer; that is how our Southern California beer journey began.
With our goal of reaching 600 breweries in 2010, we needed to get busy. The three-day MLK weekend was a perfect opportunity to make a dent in the needed 76 breweries. But where to go? My first thought was Southern California, an area we haven’t done much beer traveling. Quite out of character, I waffled on this plan up until a few days prior to leaving. No offense to our SoCal friends, but the thought of spending the three-day weekend driving around the Greater LA area just didn’t appeal to me. But no alternative plan emerged that garnered the same number of breweries for the List. So on Friday evening, I picked Merideth up from work and we started the five hour drive to Ladyface Ale House & Brasserie in Agoura Hills.
Ladyface Ale Companie is a brand new brewery on the Southern California beer scene. We have to thank our friend Peter S. for giving us the heads up as I hadn’t found it in my pre-trip research. Peter, responding to a post on our Facebook fanpage, told us to check out this new brewery started by one of his friends.
The tedious drive south was boring, but more importantly, uneventful. Located just of Hwy 101, we arrived at Ladyface thirsty and hungry. We were a bit tired too as it was WAY past our bedtime.
Being a new brewery, the beers we tried were first batches whose recipes are still being tweeked. In the past when we have encountered this situation, our reaction was typically ‘we should come back in six months and try the beers again’… a veiled way of describing a certain amount of disappointment. With that said, I would love to visit Ladyface again in six months as their really good beers will probably be spectacular.
They had three Belgian-inspired brews on the night we visited: La Blonde, Ladyface IPA and Blind Ambition Amber. True to form, Merideth immediately took to the Blonde while I gravitated to the IPA. Not an over-the-top West Coast version, the IPA still had that wonderful hop character that I crave.
The beers paired well with the Brasserie’s Belgian-inspired menu. Merideth and I both got to enjoy one of our favorite Belgian dishes, the Croque Madame. Basically a grilled cheese and ham sandwich topped with a fried egg, this Belgian comfort food was just what we needed after the long drive.
Also of note was their guest taps. Some of my favorite beers were on tap that night: Alesmith IPA, The Duchess and Monk’s Cafe Flemish Sour to mention a few. I augmented my Ladyface IPA with several of the guest brews as I never see them at home. But this bounty of guest taps is short-lived. As Ladyface brings more brews on-line, the guest taps will disappear.
It was now WAY, WAY past our bedtime. Well satisfied, it was time to get some sleep. We had a big second day ahead.