A Tale of Two Brews: LA Ale Works’ Karma Kolsch Meets Bird Pick Tea

By February 21, 2014 Tap Cheer & Give No Comments
Tap & Cheer Karma Kolsch

Tap & Cheer met up with LA Ale Works‘ Kristofor “Kip” Barnes and OC Beer Blog’s Greg Nagel for a unique meeting – a tea tasting.

Barnes, lead brewer at LA Ale Works and founder of Bierkast.com, partnered with Lan Ong of Bird Pick Tea & Herb to sample various teas being considered for infusion in the Karma Kolsch for LA Ale Works.

This craft beer takes the German ale standard that follows the purity law, but adds a decidedly interesting twist. Traditionally considered the lightest ale brewed, Kolschs offer a complexity in taste that finishes mildly dry with a medium alcohol content.Tap & Cheer Karma Kolsch

Bird Pick, located in the Fox Hills Mall at their Westfield Culver City location, offered a traditional tea time of noon. Their front porch served as the perfect spot for the tasters to enjoy Bird Pick’s offerings.

The tasting afforded the group an opportunity to taste various teas ranging from fruity iced Thai teas to spicy Indian flavors like ginger and masala chai to mellow florals like chrysanthemum and jasmine.

Beer infusion can be an unpredictable gamble, especially when it comes to fruit infusion. However, the tasting yielded some interesting couplings after some relaxing tasting and spirited discussion over what would make up the next batch of Karma Kolsch.

Kip from LA Ale Works decided on the more subtle flavor of jasmine green tea, which adds a subtle element of possibility to the Kolsch while keeping things simple.Tap & Cheer Karma Kolsch

Greg Nagel, who was originally interested in something with a mimosa like taste, decided on a chrysanthemum flower infusion that mixed citrus and a note of masala chai tea, which hints at an interesting fusion with the Kolsch.

Last, but not least, I was originally interested in something tropical and reminiscent of my Cuban roots, but took another exotic route by choosing Indian Black Tea with ginger.

Having said that, who will get to taste the final product after these interesting and exotic flavors finish their journey from idea to brew? There will be a few opportunities to taste the fruits of Kip’s labors.

Greg will have his own personal Karma Kolsch, ready to be be tapped, at his upcoming Firkfest event on March 22 down in Anaheim, CA. This event will benefit the Anaheim Family YMCA and boasts 30 local breweries from Southern California representing.

Tap & Cheer will have my Indian Black Tea with ginger Karma Kolsch at our TAP, CHEER, & GIVE event in Santa Monica, CA on March 29th from 2-6 p.m.Tap & Cheer Karma Kolsch

Our all-access pass for this event includes unlimited sampling from the local breweries involved with LA Ale Works, Golden Road Brewing, Angel City Brewery, and Firestone Walker Brewery to name a few. There will also be educational courses, music, and opportunities to support some of the most innovative socially-responsible brands and the nonprofit causes they support.

Come on down and have a great time with us as we enjoy what promises to be some interesting beer.