This post is the first in an on-going series we’ll be doing on some of our favorite beermongers in the L.A. area. These stores include everything from a 100-year-old mom and pop grocer to a high-end wine and spirit purveyor and even a diamond-in-the-rough 7-11. They service distant zip codes (that we plan on exploring by bicycle on our up-coming Great L.A. Beer Run 2007) but they all share a dedication to beer kulture.
Cap’n Cork has been a regular beer haunt of ours going on three years. They have a huge selection of beer ranging from the more than mundane to the rarely seen in L.A. When Alex was stupid drunk at the Moylans bar/brewery in Novato last summer, he demanded a talk with the manager who could tell him when the Hopsickle would be back in L.A. They had no idea that anyone was selling it so far south. We had discovered it at Cap’n Cork for a ridiculously cheap $4.99.
There are two walls of reachin refrigerators in this edifice of hooch. Not a single beer is uncooled, which is not the norm for stores with this many beers. The selection ranges from domestic favorites like Moylans, Stone and Avery, to immaculate Belgians like Brasserie De Rocs and Trappists Rochforts. You will find something you like here (we can’t leave without at least four bombers in tow).
While this place boasts a great number of brews that we love, they are not without flaw. All the glory of the aforementioned array of fridges is contained in three of about twelve cabinets. The rest are filled with industry regulars like Corona and Tecate, which any liquor store is obligated to carry. What’s disappointing is the amount of space dedicated to really boring English, German, and American Microbrews. None of these beers suck, they just aren’t very noteworthy, and it rarely seems like they move from their shelves. If this place revitalized their offering and sold individual 12 oz. bottles? We’d have to shop here with chaperones.
Staff: Awesome. Mike (pictured above) isn’t the beer geek that he could be, but he’s always super nice and when you buy something he thinks rules (Rogue Imperial IPA) he’ll let you know.
Refrigeration: Yes. Everything.
Split Six Packs: Yes, but only for small Belgians.
Belgians: Good mix of American styles and old world bombers.
Microbrews: Small selection for a place this size, but all the heavy hitters are here.
Special Powers: All the Alesmiths, all the time. Hopsickle: when available. Munchies.
Achilles’ Heel: Too much space dedicated to uninteresting beer. This place would be unparalleled if they redesigned their stocking practices.
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