BOYLE HEIGHTS – If Boyle Heights was a beer, what would it taste like? Beer drinkers will soon find out after a new neighborhood brewery – the second now underway in the neighborhood – opens and starts making beers featuring wild, airborne yeast from Boyle Heights.
Dry River Brewing has leased an approximately 5,000-square-foot building on Anderson Street, down the block from where Indie Brewing Co. is planning to make beer and operate a tasting room. Naga Reshi, brewmaster and co-founder of Dry River, said the brewery will begin as a production facility then plans to open a tasting room in the building, a former warehouse for rare and classic cars. Eventually, Reshi plans to bring in food trucks after the tasting rooms is open.
It’s a coincidence that the two craft beer breweries are opening within walking distance of each other but their proximity could help attract more customers to the area, Reshi said.
“People can park and enjoy the fine wares of two of L.A.’s newest breweries,” he said via email. “The L.A. craft scene is about to explode and we are really excited to be apart of it. There is plenty of room for good breweries here.”
While Reshi said he expects to be brewing beer in Boyle Heights in a few months, obtaining the necessary city permits to serve alcohol on the premises could be difficult.
“Our challenge with opening the tasting room in Boyle Heights is the general opposition for granting [conditional use permit] licenses there,” he said. “Both breweries face a challenge in getting local approval for tasting rooms. We are initiating a petition on our website this week to gather local endorsements.”
Perhaps Dry River’s plans to make a beer using Boyle Heights yeasts will win some support. He provided some details about this special brew:
We will be doing a special line of beers utilizing our local wild yeast. These beers will be open fermented with a yeast strain cultivated from a airborne yeast from Boyle Heights. The beer is further aged in wine barrels procured in Sonoma Valley. Finally, the beers are bottled and allowed to create natural carbonation. They are aged in the bottle for several months to allow the flavors to mature and develop. These beers are able to be aged like fine wines for up to 5 years, slowly transforming the nuances over time. This is a tradition from Belgium dating back several hundred years. Using a local yeast strain also provides the beer with a unique and sour finish.