Craft beers have long flourished in such places as San Francisco and Portland, Ore. But Los Angeles? The city is kind of flat when it comes to artisan lagers. But Reza Jadvar, a local radiologist, wants to put a little effervescence in the craft beer movement here.
Jadvar and his brother, Nader, formed SoCal Beer, and last week the Encino company launched its first two products.
Four area pubs are now pouring Red Carpet Ale and Seismic IPA. The brothers plan to donate some of the proceeds to health-related causes. Soon, SoCal will launch two more brews: Black Bear Porter and Angelino Pale Ale.
“If I can grow a company and support charities that I want to support and put a good product out that people enjoy, then why not?” said Reza Jadvar. “At this point, I’m just an infant trying to stand.”
The brothers learned brewing as kids growing up in Tehran, Iran, from their dad, a brew hobbyist. By the time Reza Jadvar got to the University of California, Davis, he had the urge to brew. Being a chemistry major helped him come up with what he calls his own style of brewing.
Later, during med school at Tufts University in Boston, Jadvar said he refined his batches of beer based on the English ales he discovered at local pubs.
Then the brothers got busy with their careers and put dreams of brewing on hold. But, using money from friends and family, they recently bought a brewery in Modesto and are starting to roll out the barrels.
Chris Spradley, sales manager for SoCal Beer, said the plan is to sell the beers on tap initially, and then start bottling and selling them in local stores sometime in the next six months or so.
The beers will be on tap at Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood, Santa Monica’s Library Alehouse, Congregation Ale House in Long Beach and Blue Dog Beer Tavern in Sherman Oaks. But it may not be an easy sell.
“L.A. has been a really tough market for craft beers,” Spradley said.
Clay Harding, who owns 38 Degrees Ale House & Grill in Alhambra, said craft brewing has yet to become a phenomenon in Los Angeles. But he’s optimistic, of course.
“The craft brew scene is just about to blow up,” Harding said, citing another half-dozen or so local craft brewers. “The amount of brewers will increase dramatically in the next two years. We’re on the brink of a dynamic beer culture.”
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