Series Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers II

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Michael Conforto is second only to Cespedes on the Mets with SLG of .527 and OPS of .874

Headlines

As the Harv turns: Matt Harvey turned in another start like most of his 2016 starts. 3 scoreless, 5 earned in innings 4 and 5 in his 7th loss of the season. The warranted speculation regarding his rotation status was quickly quashed by Terry Collins, who announced he would make his next scheduled start as per usual.

By George, Lucas is out: With Lucas Duda on the DL for a minimum 4-6 weeks, assistand GM John Ricco stated, “We’re not going to be able to replace Lucas Duda internally.” The Mets have reportedly been in preliminary contact with James Loney, which would be my pick for low risk options in Duda’s stead.

Having great pitching sure is nice: Even with more and more new residents of Panic City, the Mets managed to take 2 of 3 in Washington to pull within 1/2 game of first place. Bartolo Colon and Steven Matz threw gems in the two winning efforts.

Know Your Foe

We’re always happy to chat with frustratingly underrepresented voices, and are extremely pleased to talk LA beer and LA Dodgers with Kelly of the LA-based blog, Girls Who Like Beer.

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Los Angeles’ craft brewing scene seems a lot like New York City’s scene to us: not a lot of national household names, but some real winners if you’re around to know what’s best. What are your favorites in the City of Angels?

In general, Los Angeles has a lot of great locations from beer gardens, breweries (of course) and craft beer bars. Over the last couple of years the restaurant scene has taken craft beer seriously and we are now starting to see more local options on the menus. So between the restaurants and bars, you can get a really great variety of local craft beer options without having to go far. Otherwise if you’re braving the LA Freeways, a brewery crawl can be a serious, though worthwhile, commitment. Luckily there are usually clusters of breweries to help break things up a little bit.

Our favorite breweries in LA are Eagle Rock Brewing, Golden Road Brewing, Highland Park Brewing, El Segundo Brewing, Smog City, Monkish, Phantom Carriage, Beachwood, Brouwerij West, Three Weavers. There are a few new breweries to keep an eye out for, including Arts District Brewing, Iron Triangle, Dry River, Mumford, Boomtown – and those are all located in the same area.

I spied on your social media – looks like you had some great beer on a recent trip to Europe! Any additional insight on what LA brings to the table that other parts of the world don’t?

There are plenty of IPAs and the various IPA styles made by breweries outside California and the US, but there’s nothing like a West Coast IPA brewed in California. The tone always appears and tastes brighter – almost like it has that Cali sunshine brewed right into it! By bringing some of the super fresh brews from Highland Park Brewing, Golden Road and Pizza Port into Norway and London, we got to show off some of the best tastes of Southern California. In general our beers tend to be more hop-forward with an abundance of floral and citrus aromas. A few (not all) of the IPAs tasted in my travels tend to have a little more malt in the middle or end, not as dry and oftentimes heavier on the grapefruit. Hello LA by Highland Park Brewing was by far a favorite of the samples we brought over, our European friends citing its dankness, brightness and complexity of aromas as being the winning virtues.

On a related note, West Coast IPAs can be pretty divisive – many people either love them or hate them. Is there a particular West Coast IPA you’re enjoying more than others right now? Any suggestions for a “training wheels” West Coast IPA to convert any non-believers out there?

I’ve heard often that it’s the grapefruit flavors that can turn off a new IPA drinker. For most others it’s the bitterness they can’t get through. Either way, those are notes you’ll commonly find in West Coast IPAs, but there are some really beers out there that can serve as the “gateway” beer to bigger IPAs.

While not a West Coast IPA, as a California native, I love a good hoppy pale. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is the perfect starter beer – the nose isn’t too dank so it’s more approachable, and the pale malts allow for a bit lighter beer in terms of flavor. From there, it’s not hard to go bolder. Russian River may be known for Pliny the Elder, but Blind Pig is an incredibly well-balanced IPA that is also way more available. Beachwood Brewing’s Melrose IPA is seasonal but is a great presentation of the bright and citrusy Simcoe and Amarillo hops.

Each year, craft beer restaurant Mohawk Bend in Echo Park hosts the LA IPA Fest where you can taste over 60 California IPAs and vote for favorites. Naja’s Place in Redondo Beach just finished up its 8th annual IPA Fest. If IPAs were divisive other places, they sure are celebrated in Southern California!

Despite a pretty high payroll, and scuffling along at .500 for most of the year, the Dodgers still find themselves only 4 games out of first in the NL West. Do you get the feeling Los Angeles still expects the team to make a charge and get back into the playoffs this year?

It’s still pretty early in the season, but I expect them to recover and make a solid push. Honestly, almost every team will have a good run at some point, but the Dodgers can sustain.

What would you suggested course of action be for thirsty Dodgers fans headed to Chavez Ravine for ahead of a game?

Echo Park, Chinatown and Downtown LA are such great neighborhoods for craft beer. to sum up a few:

Echo Park: Mohawk Bend, Sunset Beer Co (bar opens at 4pm weekdays), The Lost Knight, Little Joy.

Chinatown: Melody Lounge, Barbara’s at the Brewery (near Chinatown). For food, Chego, Pok Pok and Ramen Champ are all in the same “mall” to serve every kind of craving.

Downtown LA: Grand Central Market (Golden Road has a location inside), Far Bar, Cole’s, Wurstküche, Buzz and any of the new DTLA breweries (Mumford, Arts District, Iron Triangle).

Many thanks to Kelly for a fantastic look into all kinds of beer options from La La Land!

Standings & Probables

Nationals 28-19 .596
Mets 27-19 .587
Phillies 26-21 .553
Marlins 24-22 .522
Braves 12-31 .279

Friday, May 27 Jacob deGrom (3-1 3.07 ERA) vs. Julio Urias (0-0 0.00 ERA)

Saturday, May 28 Noah Syndergaard (5-2 1.94 ERA) vs. Kenta Maeda (3-3 3.29 ERA)

Sunday, May 29 Bartolo Colon (4-3 3.44 ERA) vs. Clayton Kershaw (7-1 1.48 ERA)

Beer From the Bad Guys

Sierra Nevada – Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale

Bigfoot has been around since 1987, which is basically forever on the craft brewing scene. It also has the prestigious distinction of being the earliest genesis for this site, sparking the seminal Beer Avenue over on Amazin’ Avenue.

Bigfoot pours a dark ruby hue, with boozy malt in the nose. The first sip flooded my nose and back of the tongue with hard ethyl alcohol, along with some piney resin. A bit of molasses and malt follow to temper, with a touch of sweetness on the end. Halfway down the glass, as my palette adjusted to the booziness, the abrasiveness did fade. Overall, Bigfoot is markedly hoppier than most barleywines I’ve had. The intensity level of this beer is high – big, edgy flavors that keep you on your toes.

snbigfoot.jpgScouting Report (20-80 scale)

See: 65

Smell: 60

Taste: 60

Feel: 60

Overall: 60

As mentioned on the back of the label, this one is tailor made for cellaring. The hallmark of cellaring is taking the sharp edge off a high alcohol beer. Along with deepening the malt and smoothing out the hops, a couple years would round off the alcohol, not doubt. I have not had the opportunity to try a vintage bottle of Bigfoot, but having now tried a fresh one, I would love to see what a little time does to this beer. LGM!

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