Craft breweries are trying to feel the pulse of their community, so we’re literally tailoring beers to the taste of the people in our neighborhood and community
— Dieter Foerstner

It's a good name for a brewery in Los Angeles. Quite apropos. 

And we're glad they're making it happen in LA. As one of the countries most eclectic cities, it deserves a jamming craft beer scene to compliment their chaotic kaleidoscope of culture and politics.

And make sure you drink Angel City's beer, because it rocks. But before you do that...read our interview. We sat down with the head brewer at ACB, Dieter Foerstner, and got his take.

 

This handsome chap is Dieter.

 

Hi Dieter. Tell us about yourself.

Hey there. I’m the head brewer at Angel City brewery. My role, first and foremost, is to make beer and develop the recipes. I also get to go to the events we put on, which is one of my favorite parts of the job. Events are always fun and I get to do a lot of shaking hands and kissing babies.

What’s the history of Angel City Brewing?

Photo credit to Jackie Dodd

Angel City Brewing started in 2007-2008, originally in Torrance, CA. In 2010, the brewery was moved to downtown LA. In late 2011, Alan Newman of Alchemy & Science (founder of Magic Hat Brewing Company in Vermont) came out to LA looking to buy a brewery. He's friends with the original owner of Angel City Brewery, and after some discussions, Alan learned that he was trying to sell the brewery.  The two parties were able to reach a deal, and in early 2012 Alchemy & Science became the proud new owners of Angel City Brewery.

Why are you so excited about the beer that you’re putting out right now?

I get to see my imagination come to life. I came up with most of the recipes here at Angel City and it’s really rewarding to see my ideas turned into something real. It’s a fun process. I’ll stay up all night long scribbling down ideas, and then the big challenge is to find a hole in the schedule to actual implement these ideas. A lot of hard work goes into creating those new recipes, so it’s exciting when they finally get released into the world, it’s really rewarding to see people spending their hard earned money on something I created.

Talk to us about the LA craft beer scene. You don’t hear much about it.

The LA beer scene is developing right now, so it’s an exciting time to be apart of it. Craft beer here has a really small market share, and there’s no specific craft beer “identity” per say. You head to a lot of places in California and they have a strong craft identity. San Diego has big, hoppy beers. Northern California has some great lagers and pale ales. LA is still trying to figure what is we “do” here. We’re hoping to really make Angel City LA’s beer.           

What sort of beer does Angel City make?

We’ve got three main stays right now.

Interior bar at Angel City Brewery

  • Angelino IPA - West coast IPA – hop-forward high IBU brew.
  • Eureka Wit - Hop forward wit beer that’s balanced out with orange and coriander, along with some citra hops.
  • Gold Line Pilsner. 45 IBU’s – really nice, dry hopped and delicious. Just a great pilsner.

We love Pilsners. In our humble opinion, it’s an entirely underrated style of beer.

My family is German and I used to brew German-style lagers and pilsners. People get into craft beer and they forget about the lagers. Pilsners are like my comfort food. Sessionable and easy drinking and wonderful. Perfect on a hot day.

What do you think about the current growth in the industry?

It’s an exciting time to be working in craft beer. But as always, the most important thing for new brewers to focus on is quality. The second most important thing to focus on is also quality. Paul Gatza, director of the Brewer’s Association, said that. As long as everyone is making clean, high quality beers, I’m a happy camper.

Here’s a stupid question for a brewer. Why do people like craft beer?

Photo credit to Jackie Dodd

Consumers like the taste. As a brewer, I’m going to point toward the beer itself. It’s that easy. Craft breweries are trying to feel the pulse of their community, so we’re literally tailoring beers to the taste of the people in our neighborhood and community. We try hard to identify what our drinkers want and try to make it for them.

What are you drinking right now that’s not an Angel City beer?

Hmmm. I drink a lot of seasonals. I’ve been going more toward the sessionable IPA’s right now. Lagunitas DayTime IPA, Hanger 24 Betty IPA, Cabrillo Kölsch from Golden Road, Pistol Whip’d Pils from Noble Ale Works…I could keep going if you want!

 

Article published June 2014.