Valley News -

By Alex Groves
Associate Editor 

Garage Brewing offers selection of award-winning beers

 

Last updated 5/17/2018 at 9:02am

Alex Groves

The Hopped Up Red double red ale and a pizza with Alfredo sauce, Monterey Jack cheese, chicken, bacon, sun-dried tomato and green onion was the meal of choice for Associate Editor Alex Groves.

Take a trip down Old Town Front Street and follow it as it becomes Jefferson Avenue, and one thing will become abundantly clear: Temecula is no longer just for the wine connoisseur.

Many breweries have set up shop, offering a wide selection of IPAs, porters, red ales, lagers and more. Some breweries, such as Garage Brewing Co., are even winning awards.

The Old Town Front Street brewery took home a total of six medals in 2018 from the Los Angeles International Beer Competition for such beers as its Hopped Up Red, Raspberry Twist, Citrus IPA and Green Tea Bird.

Brewer Bret Stitzman said the folks at Garage were confident their beers would fare well, but it was surprising to see just how well the brewery did this year.

"We make all our beers for the general public," Stitzman said. "And if we pick it and say, 'that might win a medal here,' then we'll submit that, but we don't ever really just go for medals. Some breweries will do that, or some brewers will be specifically brewing beers to win medals, but we don't."

Inside of Garage's south Temecula location, there are numerous beers on tap, from light and crisp fruit-flavored beers, to complex IPAs. There are also unusual options such as a Marshmallow Milk Stout and an Imperial Breakfast Stout with hints of bacon and coffee. Stitzman said the goal of having so many offerings is to make sure visitors can find at least one beer they like.

Every week, the brewery tests out small batches of beer to see what customers think. Last week it was a Manganero Lager, which had strong notes of mango accentuated by a slight kick of jalapeno pepper that lingers on the tongue.

Stitzman said coming up with new beers involves a combination of research and creativity.

"Trends are one thing because you want to see what's popular – hazy IPAs right now; everyone's doing those," Stitzman said. "You kind of want to see what the trend is but you also want to do something of your own so you try to do your own take on the trend."

On tap last week were two of the gold medal award-winners – the Raspberry Twist and Hopped Up Red.

The Raspberry Twist was a crispy, light-bodied lager with raspberry and cranberry flavors. The beer was refreshing and sweet with a balancing tartness from the cranberry. Stitzman said it's a beer intended to appeal to non-beer drinkers.

The Hopped Up Red was a double red ale with a rich flavor and just the right amount of bitterness.

"We were going for this beautiful, red crimson color, which is not an easy thing to get without it being over-malty," Stitzman said. "What this beer really is, is it is great hops and great malt, so you get kind of both of those things going on there."

Carb lovers can delight because Garage is not just a place to grab a beer, but also offers make-your-own pizzas ($9.99), and salads ($9.99).

Visitors can choose from a selection of sauces, cheeses and toppings to put on their pizza before its fired up crispy and hot.

Kids – and kids at heart – can enjoy one of Garage's sweet pizzas ($6.99). There's a pizza with caramel apples and walnuts; a pizza with chocolate hazelnut spread and a pizza with cinnamon sugar and icing.

For more information on Garage Brewing Co.'s beers and food, visit their website at http://www.garagebrewpizza.com.

Alex Groves can be reached by email at [email protected]

 

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