Beers in Review: Following the Golden Road

A little over a year ago, A-B InBev's High End group acquired Los Angeles, California's Golden Road Brewing. Now, like Elysian and so many others before, this acquisition has led to Golden Road finding its way to the state of South Carolina! I recently attended one of their debut events locally, trying out their Wolf Among Weeds IPA and its little brother, Wolf Pup Session IPA.

Leading off the with the Session IPA, which comes in at just 4.5% ABV, and pours a slightly hazy straw color. Six different hops utilized in this ale produce considerable grass and hay notes, along with just a little bit of citrus. There is also a mild hop bite present (50 IBU) later on in the drinking experience that also leads to some dank notes and maybe just a little bit of tropical fruit, as well. But the grass and hay and straw are really what lead this beer and make up its personality. A fairly easy drinker, as expected for a session, Wolf Pup is quite solid.

Moving on to the Wolf Among Weeds, this is an IPA that really drinks and has the characteristics of a DOUBLE IPA. This crystal clear pale yellow IPA features a high ABV of 8% and a whole lot of hoppy, boozy sweetness. Flavor notes included some dank hop notes, along with a little bit of pine. This ale also had a strong carbonated mouthfeel that generated a whole lot of prickly sensations during the drinking experience.

Only the two IPAs were available during this introduction to Golden Road Brewing. I found both beers to be solid, though not necessarily first choices if given a number of choices in each style. I also enjoyed the Wolf Pup more than the Wolf Among Weeds. Neither beer is bad, though. Certainly, I hope to see more of their styles make it out this way.

AB-InBev Can't Stop Won't Stop

AB-InBev's assimilation of craft breweries continues, bringing a 5th such entity into its ranks. Golden Road Brewing, Los Angeles' largest craft brewery, will be joining Goose Island, Elysian, and others in AB-InBev's portfolio, with the deal expected to be completed by the end of the year. Brewbound first reported on and posted the press release about the acquisition early this afternoon. Like many of these acquisitions, it spurs an opportunity for Golden Road to utilize Anheuser-Busch's "incredible distribution network to bring our beers to more people”, according to Golden Road president and co-founder Meg Gill. For AB-InBev, it serves as another strong entry in their expanding craft beer portfolio.

Not much to say about this one, really. As mentioned previously, many craft beer enthusiasts were concerned about diminishing quality when AB-InBev began these acquisitions with Goose Island in 2011. To date, there doesn't really seem to be much of an indication of quality loss. So long as that pattern continues, there should be little cause for concern about this acquisition, and even hope that Golden Road's presumably quality selections can be enjoyed by a greater number of people in an expanded distribution network.