Last Saturday I attended my first ever brewery pool party. I thought it a very novel idea that a brewery would host a pool party, uniting two great loves of mine. As was the case with Gnarly Barley’s party, social media would once again alert me of an upcoming event.
If y’all come to the brewery on July 4, bring a towel. 😉
— Courtyard Brewery (@CourtyardBrew) July 3, 2017
Being the great problem solver I am, I quickly determined that this was an invitation to attend my second brewery pool party in four days! Seeing as I had no solid plans for my 4th of July, I was as good as at Courtyard. Early Tuesday afternoon I showed up to the brewery at 12:15 and was slightly concerned that there was almost no people around. However, it was a great opportunity for a naked pool photo.
With a pool photo out of the way, it was time for my first brew. Over my last couple visits to Courtyard since moving to LA, I had tried all of their IPA offerings, so I decided to mix it up this time. See You In Mexico was (ironically?) an American pale wheat ale perfectly suited for a blisteringly hot day. The requisite beer by the pool pic was taken.
While enjoying my first beer, I struck up a conversation with Scott Wood, the affable owner of Courtyard, as he worked on getting ready for the party. He informed me that this was the 3rd year they had hosted a 4th of July pool party and that it was historically one of their least busy days of the year. Either that or the Big Easy time explained the lack of people when I arrived, but a healthy crowd would soon show up.
For my next brew, I chose the Poetry Vs Prose ESB. I’m not typically a big fan of the style as it tends to run too malt heavy for my liking, but I was pleasantly surprised by Courtyard’s offering. While there was certainly a strong English malt backbone, there was an undeniable hop presence that made this beer very enjoyable. Along with 3 Floyds Lord Rear Admiral, this was the best ESB I have ever had. Sweating from the heat and surprised that no one had gotten into the pool yet, I took the plunge and hopped into the cool welcoming waters. Shortly thereafter my friend arrived, and of course it was time for some pool selfies.
Having filled the pool pic hole I failed to fill during my last brewery pool party, my next beer choice was another non-IPA: Blanche De Orleans witbier. While not a favorite beer type of mine, this was a great representation of the style. Light and refreshing on the hot day, I enjoyed it while drying off outside the pool.
Because the 4th of July is about more than just booze, the brewery crew brought some munchies for the crowd. Incorporating a San Diego tradition of his into the party, Scott grilled up some Mexican street corn. While I do not have pictorial evidence of the deliciousness, I can confirm that it was amazing. We were also treated to tamales of which I do have a picture.
Along with its Mexican brethren, the tamale was likewise heavenly. Perfectly spiced and with a melt in your mouth texture, I enjoyed a couple before the supply ran out. Speaking of running out, it was time for a beer refill! This time around I went for No Sexual Connection Between Political Parties, a Foreign Export Stout. Although not a typical hot weather beer style, I nonetheless enjoyed this non-IPA. It had a strong roasted coffee flavor yet remained very drinkable. With an impending Baby Cakes baseball to attend, I had one more beer in me, and I opted to go for a non-Courtyard beer. The Brouwerij Het Anker Gouden Carolus Cuvee van de Keizer (say that 5 times fast!) was an 11% Belgian Strong Dark Ale that proved to be boozy yet still full of dark Belgian yeast goodness. It was a fitting strong and heavy end to an afternoon full of mostly refreshing brews.
Like the Gnarly Barley pool party the weekend before, Courtyard’s 4th of July get together was a great time that cleverly provided some cool pool relief from the sweltering conditions. I’m proudly starting to become an experienced brewery pool party attendee, and that’s a pleasantly surprising development for my introductory weeks to Louisiana. Who’s the next greater New Orleans area brewery to offer me beer and a pool? Let me know and I’ll be there!