For a night in Toronto, I really didn’t have much of a clue about where to eat. Finally, a buddy of mine told me to check out the Mill Street Brewery. I am always up for a microbrewery since that seems to be a lost art in LA, so I looked it up. It turned out that the place was actually pretty easy walk from our hotel, so we headed to Mill Street to see what we could find. After a twenty minute walk through a mildly sketchy part of town featuring a homeless pirate watering plants with a two-liter of Canada Dry, we arrived at the Distillery area. This part of town was once some sort of huge brewery, but now had shops, restaurants, bars and people testing Smart Cars and Segway Scooters. Even before we started drinking, our goal was to take a drunken ride on/in one of these (no, we did not achieve our goal).
Everyone in LA seems to know that the place has no good beer culture, yet no one has really done anything to fix that. Sure, there’s BJ’s (no good) and a couple other microbreweries that are difficult to get to, but come on, LA is a huge city that deserves more. So when I left LA for Ann Arbor for a bit of a bachelor party, we headed to the Grizzly Peak Brewing Company. I’ve loved the Grizzly Peak for a long time, even dating back to before I could drink their beer and drank their micro-brewed root beer. I have a lot of great memories of the place and hoped that my most recent visit wouldn’t be a disappointment.
I was especially excited when a BJ’s Brewhouse opened in Culver City. Los Angeles is known as a city short on craft and microbrews, and although BJ’s is a big chain, I hoped it would fill a much-neglected gap in beer and microbrewery food.
To start out the meal I ordered their Harvest Hefeweizen. Hef has never let me down in the past, so I expected it wouldn’t again. I was wrong. This was the sweetest beer that has ever tried to pass for a real beer. Don’t get me wrong, I think a Strongbow Cider or a Leinenkugel’s Berryweiss can be very refreshing on a hot summer day, but those beers are composed of fruit and you know what you’re getting when you order them. Sure, hefeweizen isn’t the most bitter beer, but BJ’s attempt at it tasted like they accidentally spilled a carton of sugar into my beer.