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Golden Road Brewery Tour and Tasting

Updated on May 28, 2014

Golden Road Gives Back to The Community

All the cans have a photograph of the Los Angeles landscape.

I learned about their ale “Wolf Among Weeds” which is translated from Latin to mean Hops. Not the jumping type of hop, but the hops that helps make a beer. It’s an Imperial IPA with 8% alcohol. What is cool about this can is the photo of Griffith Park. It’s a way to connect the consumer with the community.

Another way Golden Road is connecting with the community is by giving back. The 2020 IPA is tied with the organization LA River Revitalization in working on making new parks, public access spaces, bike paths from the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach. With every pint of 2020 IPA they pub sells, it goes to this organization. There is even a digital rendering of the LA River on the can to show consumers what the river could look like one day if this project raises enough money and awareness.

Since the Golden Road Brewery is 50 yards away from the LA River, it’s very near and dear to this brewery. Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s have joined Golden Road in picking up this socially conscience project.

In May they brought out the Heal The Bay IPA to help benefit that organization. A portion of the pub sales will go to this non-profit to help clean up our coastline. Heal the Bay has strong stonefruit notes and is not as hoppy as other IPA’s

Tour a Local Brewery

Craft beer is made to bring a joyful experience to your palate.

The public is invited to tour the brewery on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Just walk into the pub and tell one of the Cicerones behind the bar the time you would like to take a tour. Then order a tasting and grab a seat inside, out on the airy patio or on the lawn with a bean bag toss, Foosball and Connect Four.

Be sure to wear closed toe walking shoes. You will learn how passionate this company is about helping you understand the flavors of their craft beer.

I took a tour of the brewery led by the vivacious Laurel Brooks. She has been with the company since day one and is a bit of an expert when it comes to making craft beer.

Our first stop was the cold box storage where they keep all of their boxes, cans and kegs to be delivered to Costco, BevMor, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and the 4,000 draft beer accounts they have in restaurants and bars throughout the state.

Next, I learned that beer is relatively simple to make, because it has only four ingredients: water, malted barley or grain, yeast and hops. The waste is called sponge grain? It’s the grain that is collected during the brewing process. At Golden Road they collect the sponge grain and sell it to cattle farmers as feed for their cows. Also, it makes a tasty dog treat. Golden Road has a lady come in to get some of the spent grain and mixes it with a little peanut butter to sell at the pub for patrons who want to give a treat to their pooch.


Golden Road Sells a Seasonal IPA Series

Seasonal INDIA PALE ALE
Seasonal INDIA PALE ALE | Source

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The Brewery

Housed in a 75 year old building, Golden Road had to retrofit everything and raise the ceiling to accommodate the monstrous stainless steel tanks for fermenting the bright beer. There are 15.5 gallons of beer in one keg. These huge tanks are made in Germany.

Last year Golden Road made 15,000 barrels of beer, this year they are projecting 30,000 barrels. They can brew up to 80,000 barrels a year.

Laurel handed me a pair of clear plastic glasses to put on for safety as we walked through the brewery. Everything is computerized and the floors are spotless.

How Beer Gets Its Flavor

After leaving the cold storage room we went to the Mill where all the Barley grain is stored. Malted grain is a little sweeter with its higher sugar. The higher the sugar content the more alcohol. We tasted the roasted grain from 55 lbs. sacks. As with roasted coffee, the longer the malted barley is roasted, the most robust the flavors taste of chocolate and coffee. Similar to a porter, it offers a big and robust flavor. Lagers aren’t roasted as long and have a more caramel flavor.

Golden Road Beer Being Made in LA

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How Beer is Created

The milled grain is bathed in warm filtered water and shuffled to remove the spent grain. Introducing grain to warm water integrate the starches and sugars.

We watched a batch of Wolf Among Weeds IPA being transferred to a bath of bubbly boiling water in a boiling kettle that can get p to 200 degrees and turn into Wort. The sugary and starchy water.

Next the beer master adds hops in pellets the Wort sits in a whirlpool that turns cold. Hops helps give a beer the bitter flavor. We held a pellet and rolled it in our fingers. It offers a citrus and pine smell. It smells just like an IPA.Yeast is added when the temperature turns cooler than 150 degrees. Oxygen is introduced to stimulate the yeast and eat the sugars. Carbon Dioxide creates carbonation in beer and helps the sugar to convert to alcohol.

Brewers make the wort, yet yeast makes the beer. This is also the time that adjunct ingredients is added, such as citrus for the Hefeweizen. Now the brewery has bright beer ready for the tanks.

How To Make Beer

  • Grain, mostly malted barley but also other grains
  • Hops, grown in many different varieties
  • Yeast, responsible for fermentation
  • Water, 95% of beer content

Enjoy a Flight of Golden Road Beer before or after the tour

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Great Pub Food

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Burgers and Good Pub Fare

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Golden Beer Special Events

In 2013, Golden Road opened Chole's a private event space. It's attached to the pub and offers a Midwest meets London pub in its design. Weddings, tasting dinners and corporate parties rent this unique spot in Atwater. Chole’s offers a more refined dining menu.

New Golden Road Beer

Laurel shared they launched a new beer in April. On average there are 329 days the sun is out in LA, so Golden Road named their new beer 329 Lager. Laurel offered me a taste. It’s a light, crisp and easy to drink beer with a 4.5% AVB.

This beer is sold in 12 oz. six packs, where as all their other beers are 16 oz. cans sold four in a box. Its not as hop forward as their other beers and is really clear, crisp and offers a toasty flavor.

The Hefeweizen has clove and pepper on the nose from the yeast, yet a taste of organic orange and lemon notes.
The Hefeweizen has clove and pepper on the nose from the yeast, yet a taste of organic orange and lemon notes. | Source

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