It's time to face it: beer is complicated now.
Once the drink of choice for no-frills, no-fuss drinkers, beer now comes tailored to ever-more discriminating tastebuds. Beer lovers can pick from blonde ales, sours, nitro-stouts, double-barrel IPAs and even something called “dopplebock” at bars that in some cases keep well over 100 varieties on tap.
According to the California Craft Brewers Association, our state is home to over 500 breweries. By comparison, there are a little over 2,000 Starbucks franchises. That's a lot of beer!
What is the best beer? How much foam is too much? If I'm eating a grilled cheese sandwich at a gastropub in Silver Lake, should I wash it down with a regular old Heineken or a fancy imperial IPA that was aged 12 months in a handwoven wicker basket? It's too complicated, right?
It's time to breathe easy, L.A. beer drinkers. Enter the LA Beer Hop Hotline. Just call 1-855-LA-BEERS, and if you're lucky, a real live human being will answer and help bring you one beer closer to having the perfect night out. Yes, it's real! There's even a flier:
The hotline is operated by LA Beer Hop, a local group that tours craft breweries in the City of Angels. We called earlier this week and LA Beer Hop co-founder Hal Mooney answered.
"It's like an in-person Google," said Mooney. "Right now, it's pretty much me and my wife answering our cell phones."
Want to call it yourself? Mooney says you're more than welcome — no beer question is too weird. But the phone line runs until midnight. Make sure to get your questions in well before closing time.