A few days ago, I finally made it to the Surly Goat (http://www.surlygoat.com/) in West Hollywood after hearing so much good buzz about it from trusted friends and family who love great beer. If you especially appreciate the locally-crafted-with-love brews, then go to the Surly Goat and tell Ryan to keep ‘em coming. I was fortunate enough to meet Ryan Sweeney, cicerone and part owner of the Surly Goat, when I went to the bar to order a stout. I liked the chalk-board menus bursting with rainbows of beer flavor…what to pick? I was happy to see some of my local favorites from places like Taps in Brea, Bootleggers in Fullerton, as well as a good range of international and domestic craft and microbrews. But I knew I wanted that stout from Lagunitas, so when they were out of it, they suggested I try the other one, Class V Stout from Kern River Brewing Co. (www.kernriverbrewing.com). They guys sitting at the bar were enthusiastic about the Class V Stout, and one in particular proceeded to tell me the best story about how the Surly Goat even got around to carrying it. He first explained that their name “Class V” refers to the different kinds of stout that comprise this one—it’s a wonderfully complex hybrid of an oatmeal, milk, imperial, and American stout, and on nitro so it pours smooth, settling beautifully like a Guinness. I feckin’ loved it. He tells me proudly that this is the first and only keg of Class V in L.A. because it’s a limited release, and that the two guys from Kernville even drove it down themselves, from three hours away! Just threw the keg in the back of their pickup truck and brought it down here! Whoa! I said. That’s some local beer love right there! I was totally fascinated and decided I loved this stout (and the SurlyGoat) even more. This guy seemed to know a lot about this beer, and it turned out to be Ryan-one-of-the-owners. Awesome! Great to finally have met Ryan Sweeney. He was generous with his knowledge and even showed me the beer cellar, the envy of any beer devotee. I’m a big fan of his work. He put together the beer list at Bo-Ho bistro in Hollywood (go eat there! go eat there!), which I’ve also written about here, and he’s also behind the awesome beer list at Verdugo Bar (http://www.verdugobar.com/) in Eagle Rock. The Surly Goat’s relaxing vibe, good energy, and spacious set-up make it a great place to sit-n-talk with good people and explore tasty beers both new and familiar. At any given time, you’ll find more than 25 draught beers that rotate; the next 5 “on deck” are always listed so you know what’s coming up. And pints start at just 5 bucks! Very reasonable for some of the best beer around. The Surly Goat, open evenings, is located on Santa Monica Blvd near Fairfax in WeHo. Go! And tell ‘em the beer butcha sentcha.
Happy St Paddy’s day, everyone! Raise a pint to friendship, love, and loyalty. SLAINTE!