Art of Craft ~ brews and reviews
By Greg Richardson

We often spend time over the summer revisiting places we have been before. We may head back to see family and friends or take our kids to where we grew up.

I enjoy stopping at some of my favorite tasting rooms and breweries, places I have enjoyed before. Those familiar places can be comfortable, or they may have changed since I have been there.

On the other hand, August is a great month for trying something new. I thought I would check out a couple of breweries which opened fairly recently to see if I could find some new favorites.

 Mount Lowe Brewing CompanyThe first stop I made was at Mount Lowe Brewing Company in Arcadia, California.

Mount Lowe was established a couple of years ago in Arcadia. It is named for the Mount Lowe Railway, which ran from 1893 through 1938 north of Los Angeles. A scenic mountain railway, it ran from Mountain Junction, at the corner of Lake Avenue and Calaveras Street in unincorporated Altadena, in several divisions to the foot of Mount Lowe. Though abandoned, parts of the railway are still accessible for hikers.

Mount Lowe is within easy walking distance a variety of restaurants in Arcadia, as well as the Arcadia stop on the Gold Line.

My visit to Mount Lowe introduced me to their Inspiration Porter and The Thaddeus, and English style milk stout. They are the darker end of their regular brewing pool, and I am eager to become better acquainted with them soon. Inspiration Porter is inspiring, with aspects of vanilla and cocoanut. The Thaddeus is available on nitro.

I am looking forward to exploring their other brews, including their Incline Ale, a hoppy bitter with notes of citrus and pine, and The Hills Are On Fire, a classic IPA brewed with habanero peppers. They also offer Bungalow Blonde, which is fermented with Kolsh yeast, Honeyngton Hef, an American-style wheat beer brewed with honey, A less-spicy version of The Hills Have IPA, and Rubio Red, which has a caramel-like malt character with some fruity notes.

I plan to make visiting Mount Lowe a regular part of my schedule.

 Rescue Brewing CompanyMy second stop was at Rescue Brewing Company in Upland, California, a little further east down the freeway.

Rescue Brewing opened a couple of months ago in June, 2017. It is designed to pay tribute in tangible ways to first responders, people who run toward trouble to help rather than running away. Dogs are welcome at Rescue and healthy snacks for dogs are available made from the spent grains left over from the brewing process. The proceeds from the sale of these snacks go to the Upland Animal Shelter.

Rescue is in downtown Upland surrounded by possible sources of excellent meals.

The first flight I enjoyed at Rescue began on the hoppy end with their Batch Zero XPA, a hoppy and tasty session IPA. My second taste was a Golden Rye-ley, their Imperial double IPA with a higher ABV and much higher IBU, and I continued with their Amber Ale, a hearty red ale. As I headed into the dark end of their pool my next taste was a Porter, an American porter. My next step was their Imperial Stout, a Russian Imperial Stout with a healthy ABV. I finished my flight with their Cream Ale with Orange Peel and Vanilla Beans, which was a good palate-cleansing way to complete my tasting.

Two options I did not include in my flight were a Belgian Witbier with Orange Peel and Coriander and Jerry’s Juice, an Irish red ale.

I enjoyed my visit to Rescue, and the beer was excellent. People were friendly and helpful. It seems like a great addition to downtown Upland.

August is the perfect opportunity to try something new, to visit somewhere you may not have been before. You may discover new flavors or combinations, new twists on the familiar, and find some new favorites.

Greg Richardson is a leadership and organizational coach, and a spiritual life mentor, in Pasadena, California. He is passionate about craft brewing, listening, and monks and monastic life. Greg is a recovering attorney, executive, and university professor. Greg’s website is StrategicMonk.com and he is on Twitter @StrategicMonk. You can email Greg at StrategicMonk@gmail.com.

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