Perched up in the pocket underneath LAX, between Highway 1 and the ocean, El Segundo has made consistently excellent West Coast IPAs for the better part of a decade. Very few ever denote the hop(s) used in their titles however, preferring terminology taken from aviation or Americana. New release Simcoe is a stark exception, communicating precisely what to expect – a blast of Simcoe hops. This beer is piney, grapefruit-pithy, bitter and absolutely delicious.
How do they keep finding such obscure varietals? Elixir is a new-wave hop from France, displaying woodsy leathery earth-tones atop Enegren’s cereal-esque pilsner malt base. Alsace is well-known for wine, especially Riesling and Sylvaner, but perhaps more attention should be paid to their lupulin prowess? This potion lives up to the moniker!
Every once in a great while, one of the countless Speedway variants escapes from the tanks in Mira Mar and is promoted from draft-only to package status. One of the most beloved recipes incorporates light-roasted coffee of Vietnamese origin to meld with the burly roasty base beer. Sometimes this iteration is aged in one or more used whiskey casks – this special-release 12-ounce bottle in iridescent gold foil (like a Wonka bar) is one such example, having spent a spell in bourbon barrels.