With most of a day free before Eric’s conference, and a hotel next to the Long Beach ferry terminal, we originally planned on a day trip to Catalina Island. As we researched what we could do there we came to the conclusion that 1) most activities on the island are expensive and likely to be crowded in the summer and 2) the water quality is rather poor (high bacterial counts, yuck) which made snorkeling less desirable.
So several weeks out we were still looking for something else to do in the LA Metro. Eventually we remembered there were several interesting craft breweries in S.California, so we rented a car and made plans to visit The Bruery and Lost Abbey.
Since we were already along the coast in Long Beach we drove south along the ocean on the Pacific Coast Highway for much of the journey to Lost Abbey. We’ve been north of LA, and up to Torrey Pines in San Diego, but this was our first time along the coast in-between.
While driving through Corona del Mar we passed some beautiful gardens. A quick lookup on our phones familiarized us with the Sherman Library and Gardens and we had to make a quick pitstop to check it out.
This compact garden was beautiful and teeming with flowers and busy bees.
They also had a great succulent garden that gave us a few ideas for next year.
It’s a great stop if you are in the area. After our detour we were back on the road for another hour to our first brewery stop of the day, Lost Abbey!
It was fun to see the original artwork that graces several bottle labels. Thankfully, you could try the available draught beers from Lost Abbey and Port Brewing Company as small pours for a buck, so we were able to try several styles. The atmosphere was relaxed, and we liked everything we tried, but we do wish they had more bottles available for purchase the day we were there.
From Escondido we had a bit of a drive back up to The Bruery but thankfully we didn’t hit too much of the legendary LA traffic going north. Since we skipped lunch, Leandra insisted on getting us empanadas from a food truck to help soak up all the sour beers that came next!
Leandra tried the Provisions Series tasting flight — gotta love the small tasting goblets! — while Eric had two sours, one with cranberries and one with guava (Otiose) he said was one of his favorite sours ever. Thankfully the Otiose was available in bottles, so we grabbed two to bring home.
Full of beer and tired of driving, we ended the evening at Leandra’s brother’s house with some Thai food and a trip to his local beer store, all within walking distance. Win!