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New craft brewer to release first beer after 'gypsy brewing' at DTLA location

By Hayley Fox
Published: Wednesday, February 20, 2013, at 08:49AM
via L.A. Ale Works

Brewery founders Kristofor Barnes and John Rockwell will release their first commercial beer this weekend.

Los Angeles Ale Works, a new craft beer company, has been "gypsy brewing" beers out of a DTLA location and is now set to release their first commercial draft at select locations.

This first beer, the Gams-Bart, is described as an "unconventional style" that's most like a Bavarian Hefeweizen but it uses rye instead of wheat.

The duo behind the brew is Kristofor Barnes and John Rockwell, two friends-gone-business partners who were both in the USC marching band and went on to submerge themselves in the craft beer scene. They started a website called "Bierkast" and the L.A. Beer Bloggers group.

“It's been an incredible journey becoming a part of the L.A. craft beer community,” said the pair in a press release. “And we can’t wait to get our first beer on tap."

Starting next week, their beer will be available Downtown at Far Bar and the Spring Street Smoke House. Since they're still without their own commercial brewery, they've been working on this first beer out of Ohana Brewing in DTLA.

Described as "ninja brewing" -- aka "gypsy brewing" or "contract brewing" -- L.A. Ale Works has come up with their own recipe but it's being produced out of Ohana's facilities (with Barnes and Rockwell volunteering to help on brew days as well).

"This industry is unlike any other – the great breweries that currently exist in L.A. have amazing people behind them and they have all helped us along the way," said Barnes and Rockwell. "We have been working like crazy to get to this point and although we still have a ways to go, this is an awesome time for LA Ale Works!”

The brewers have recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to try and raise funds for a permanent brewing location in L.A., and are also looking for money from private investors. The two hope to eventually settle off the Expo line in northeast Culver City.

So far L.A. Ale Works has received more than $9,000 of their $25,000 goal, and have about 100 backers.

In other DTLA beer news, Angel City Brewery is now open to the public for limited hours each week. The tap room is open on Thursday and Friday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.

This is Angel City's "soft opening" which allows the public in to taste their beers and see their facilities as they finish construction and renovations on the building. They're currently pouring an Angeleno IPA, Eureka! Wit, Vanilla Porter and their pilsner. If you can't get your fill on site, they are also pouring growlers.

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