Here and Gone: The Pop-up Beer Garden
Following the lead of pop-up restaurants, where a dining experience appears in a place it had not previously stood and is gone before you can make reservations for a return visit, a Los Angeles group has introduced the pop-up beer garden.
Brain child of four beer bar owners in the L.A. area, the ColLAboration Craft Beer Gardens and Events brings tents, tables, chairs and, most importantly, good beer to parking lots and parks across the City of Angels.
It’s for beer geeks and beyond,” says Tony Yanow, owner of Tony’s Darts Away & Mohawk Bend. The group sells 21 oz glasses that serves as a ticket for entry and patrons can choose the pour amount, as indicated by notches on the glass. The smallest pour available is 8 oz, good for say, a barrel-aged barley wine.
Along with Yanow, ColLAboration is run by Ryan Sweeney of Verdugo Bar & The Surly Goat, Brian Lenzo of Blue Palms Brewhouse and Clay Harding of the 38° Ale House & Grill.
All are personally invested in the promotion of American craft beer and enjoy good relationships with brewers large and small. Yanow says that those relationships help get smaller breweries involved in a large gatherings that they might not otherwise be able to afford.
The pop-up gardens do not serve food but organizers work with local restaurants and post menus on tables, encouraging patrons to call for delivery. There is no music, just conversation and Yanow says that the bartender staffs from the restaurants work the gardens, ensuring that those unfamiliar with a particular beer can get an education along with a taste.
The whole point is to make it comfortable,” says Yanow. “We want to drink beer in the way we want to drink beer. This is the way we see beer drinking as it ought to be.”
A journalist since 1996, John Holl writes about beer and the culture of drinking. His first book, Indiana Breweries, is available in stores and online. He lives in New Jersey and blogs at his website beerbriefing.com.