While Alhambra may not be the hippest part of L.A., 38 Degrees is one of the best places around to sample craft beer and enjoy some reasonably-priced and delicious food while you're at it.
Owner Clay Harding stopped by our table, asked how things were going and told us a little about his place and some exciting plans in the works.
When we called Clay a few days later to confirm a few facts that we learned, he was busy switching out some of the taps and would get back to us. Far be it from So Cal Craft Beer (SCCB) to get between a man and his taps. So, the following facts are not confirmed, but SCCB has it on good authority that they are, in fact, fairly accurate. Corrections welcome!
Our source, who has known Clay since they were in Little League together, says that Clay's father was one of the owners of the late, lamented Crown City Brewery in Pasadena. Which means that he comes from craft beer pioneer royalty, as far as SCCB is concerned. Those of you who have been following SCCB's Ventura Craft Beer Examiner column, know that another Crown City alumnus, Troy Boyle, opened his own place in Pasadena in October 2009.
|Craftsman Fireworks and Eagle Rock Unity at 38°|
What makes 38 Degrees stand out is a) a large number of taps - at least 38 by our count; and b) the emphasis on American and especially California craft beers. SCCB and his party enjoyed Craftsman Fireworks, a saison ale aged in oak; Eagle Rock Unity, an Imperial California Common Ale; Stone Double Dry Hopped Lukcy Basartd [sic] American Strong Ale; and a new brewery for us, Coronado's Hoppy Days Belgian IPA.
One nice twist on the beer menu: 38 Degrees offers three different imaginatively combined flights of four beers each. The 38 Degrees website lists: American Hoppy Ales (Mad River Jamaica Sunset IPA, Moylan's Harvest IPA, TAPS IPA, and Coronado Idiot); Strong Ales (North Coast Pranqster, Eagle Rock Unity, Craftsman Fireworks, and the aforementioned Stone Lukcy Basartd); and Eagle Rock vs. Strand (pitting ERB's Unity against 24th St. Pale and ERB Populist IPA against Atticus IPA).
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