At 4 p.m. on Sunday, I found myself giggling down the street in front of the Eagle Rock Brewery, mostly because I’m a lightweight, but also because I had started drinking at an unnatural hour. My boyfriend held me by the waist as support, but could not control his laughter at my incoherent babble. “How did this happen?” you may ask. Well, I had taken a free tour of the brewery and of course, had been cajoled into purchasing two pints, one for me and one for the boyfriend, both of which I finished mostly by myself.
The building that houses the Eagle Rock Brewery is situated in the not-so-safe-appearing side of Atwater Village, a couple of blocks away from Ribet High School. On our way to the building, we passed by a yard sale with clothes hanging on a fence and quite a bit of graffiti. When I turned onto the street, I was expecting an obvious building with the words “Eagle Rock Brewery” plastered on the front. All I saw were a couple of run-down buildings. A little confused, I rechecked the address for the brewery on the Boyfriend’s phone. The third time around the block, I saw the building number on a brick wall behind a small fenced-in parking lot. Parked in the the lot was the Lobos Food Truck.
“We came all this way for a food truck?” my boyfriend asked. I made a gesture for him to not judge and just follow me. “But wait, there’s more?” he asked. I nodded and got out of the car. “Oh, I got to see this,” he said, sarcastically. Sometimes, my “great” ideas don’t have the best endings. We walked through the parking lot, passing the truck, and entered through a bright orange door. Inside we were greeted with a romantically lit room, a long bar with a number of beers on tap, a bench lining one wall with tables and chairs, and a big glass wall which showcased the brewing facilities. The place was poppin’ and had reached nearly full capacity.
We approached the bartender and asked about the brewery tour and she said that it would start in a couple of minutes.
“Would you like a couple beers while you wait? You can take them to the back with you for the tour. It’s highly encouraged,” the bartender said with a smile. I was hesitant because it was barely 2:30 p.m. and the only time I had started drinking that early had been poolside margaritas in Vegas. And that weekend I went to a food and drink festival. And a few Sundays when I had partaken in mimosas at brunch. But, that’s all. I swear!
Since this seemed like a special occasion, I said, “Sure, why not?” and ordered their Manifesto Witbier. The Boyfriend has the same tastes in beer as I do, but didn’t want to order the same drink as I did so we could try a couple different beers. The bartender suggested the Solidarity black mild beer, which turned out to be my favorite. The beer smelled like coffee and was the perfect balance of sweet and bitter. Once I had almost finished my beer, I made him switch with me so I could drink more of his.
As we received our beers, the tour began. I don’t really remember anything that the tour guide talked about. The tour sounded like this to me: “Hops… toasted barley… cuts sweetness… flow chart…” Along the way, I saw a bunch of metal vats for storing beer at different steps of the beer-making process. And he continued: “Heats beer… yeast…cools beer so yeast survives… doesn’t let air in… tube… keg… wine barrels… sour beer.” That’s about all, folks. Lots of technical terms were thrown around that couldn’t memorize because I was too busy drinking, taking pictures like a crazed tourist, and talking to the boyfriend. I figured I could always read about how to make beer on the Internet.
After the tour, we were only halfway done with our beers so we sat at one of the tables. I noticed the posters on the walls, one of which was for “Kick a Ginger Day.” On top of being buzzed, we were also hungry so I ventured outside to the Lobos Truck and ordered the “Wachos.” It’s waffle fries in nacho form. These wachos were topped with all of the beautiful things in life such as bleu and cheddar cheeses, bacon, guacamole, caramelized onions, and buffalo sauce.
Once I had single-handedly finished off the beers and the wachos were all gone (sob), we bid farewell to this unassuming bar/brewery with a giggle in our step and spring on our lips (and slight dyslexia).