On a weekend where I had family commitments in the Los Angeles area, I had made the assumption that I would not get the opportunity to really indulge in much beer drinking. Most of the people in my family still consider Budweiser “The good stuff”. It really didn’t seem like I was gonna be able to pull off any quality beer time after the plan got all jumbled up just before the trip. But, as they say, “where there is beer, there is a way”…I think that’s how that goes.
My mother lives in the Santa Clarita area. Not exactly a hotbed of craft brewing. Before leaving San Diego after work on Friday, I took a moment to check yelp and see what restaurants are near my mom’s house where I would take her for dinner. One caught my eye immediately Wolf Creek Restaurant & Brewing Company. I did not, however, pick this spot to take my mom. Just didn’t think going beer tasting with my mother sounded all that much fun. So I tucked that name away in my brain and hoped I could find a little time on Saturday. Which worked out well because my Mom said she wanted to go for pizza at Oggi’s nearby anyway. Oggi’s is a popular San Diego pizza and brewery chain that has several location in Orange County and Los Angeles now. I enjoy the Torrey Pines IPA, and the fact I can get it in a 22oz glass is even better. I will have more to say about Oggi’s in a later post, I promise, but in the meantime go get that Torrey Pines IPA.
On Saturday, plans changed again and all of a sudden I had a ton of time to play with. I wrapped up a few errands and checked in with my brother who was in the area as well. We agreed to meet up after he finished a few things he was doing at the time. This was my window of opportunity to check out Wolf Creek.
I’d also like to point out, at this point in the afternoon, temperatures outside were reading 104 degrees. It was hot and I was a sweaty mess. Beer sounded like just what I needed… or maybe it was just a great excuse to sit in a nice cool building.
Wolf Creek Restaurant & Brewing Company is tucked away in a small shopping center that I’ve driven past many times on trips to visit family but had never stopped in before. Walking in, you couldn’t help but notice the very busy lunch crowd that was here on this super hot Saturday. Not that I was going to let the lunch crowd stop me. I pulled up a rustic looking wooden stool and sat at the end of the bar. The TV was playing gold medal round women’s basketball and most of the people there seemed to have there attention on it…even though the US was up by 30 points.
Looking around the bar, there is a good feel to the place. A glass window behind the bar shows where the magic happens – where they make the beer! Hanging proudly on display are the various medals the beers have won over the years, a nice accolade that I enjoy seeing prominently placed. Framing the window are rows and rows of mugs for a mug club that the bar has going on. What I like most about the mugs is that they are all individualized, I saw no two mugs that I saw were the same. Very neat.
The time to place my order arrives and would it surprise you to find out I ordered a flight of tasters? Predictable but worth it in every way. Check out of the photo and you’ll see these are pretty nice 4oz tasters.
The flight is six of the house beers, sadly, two of the house beers were out on this day. They were happy to substitute two of the guest drafts in their place, so Green Flash IPA and Great Divide’s Titan IPA rounded out my flight. Here are my thoughts on what Wolf Creek was brewing.
Golden Eagle – 4.5%ABV - A light blonde ale that is easy drinking, especially on a day when it’s 104 degrees outside! Light on the hops but clean and refreshing.
Wild Angels Dubbel Trubbel – 9.0%ABV - Belgian style, smooth drinking and very sweet. Brown sugar and notes of chocolate. I did like it, but probably too sweet for me to order on a regular basis.
Howlin Hefeweizen – 6.2%ABV - Yeah, this is hef. It’s got a fruity quality to it, strong wheat flavor and, thank god, no need to drop a damn lemon in it. Good color too. A very enjoyable and solid hefeweizen.
Midnight Howl Black IPA – 8.5%ABV - Roasted bittersweet chocolate and caramel malts was the first thing I noticed, then the big hops flavor came on and was a very nice surprise! This is an award winner for a reason, it has an excellent balance which I think most Hop heads would enjoy! My big winner of the day for sure!
The two beers they were out of, Surfin Monks Tripel, which sounded amazing from the description I was told, and the Renegade Rye Imperial IPA, so I guess that means on my next trip up north I will swing by again and gladly. Also, from perusing their website I learned that they have several other tasty treats that they are known to brew up depending on the season. I’ll be keeping my eyes out for Alpha Wolf IPA, Big Bear Brown Ale, Desperado IPA, Don’t Tread Red, Hopdazed Imperial IPA, Irish Red Ale, Mountain Hawk Red Ale, Timber Wolf Bourbon-Oaked Ale, Werewolf Harvest Ale, Winter Wonderland Ale, Wolfpack Pale Ale and Yellowstone Wolf Pale Ale.
So as you can see, they have some pretty serious brewing going on in Santa Clarita at Wolf Creek. My only real complaint is that all those beers I just listed weren’t currently on tap. The opposite side of that coin is that after what I drank on Saturday, I have full confidence that when I do have the chance for those beers, they are gonna be pretty damn good.
Wolf Creek also boasts an impressive rotating guest draft selection and a bottle selection that would make any craft beer enthusiast weep with joy! There really isn’t a bad beer to be found in the place. Color me impressed!
They have two locations – the one I visited is located at 27746 McBean Parkway, Santa Clarita CA 91354 and their newest location in Calabasas at 26787 Agoura Rd Calabasas CA 91302. I do suggest that the next time you find yourself in the LA area and in need of some tasty craft beers, this is a pretty can’t miss spot.
Maybe LA isn’t so bad after all…unless we’re talking about the people who still root for the Raiders. Or USC. Or the Dodgers….
I kid I kid, (or do I?)