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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

La Quinta Brewing Co. has been busy making beer for Coachella Valley locals and visitors since late 2013. Last year, the brewery delivered 1,000 barrels from its Wildcat Drive location in Palm Desert. This year, the brewery is on pace to brew 2,000 barrels.

Owner Scott Stokes said La Quinta may be expanding even more in the near future.

“We’re gonna have to get a couple more fermenters, probably a couple of 60 barrel-fermenters. These are 30s,” he said, pointing to brewery’s fermenters.

However, it looks mighty crowded at the brewery’s current location.

“Well, we would have to modify some of the ceiling, and (the new fermenters) would be taller. There are a couple places. Some people say there’s no room, but I say there is,” he said, smiling.

The quality of the beers at La Quinta—one of the valley’s three microbreweries—has been verified by several awards. Brewmaster Ryan Pearson and the La Quinta team won a bronze medal for the Indian Canyon IPA at the 2014 San Diego International Beer Festival—and they just took home silver for the Tan Line Brown Ale at this year’s festival. The brown ale also brought home a gold medal in this year’s World Beer Championships.

Pearson and his crew recently canned more than 100 cases of their popular Indian Canyon IPA, and 200 cases of the Poolside Blonde. The brewery will be releasing more Windy Point Wheat in June—a great warm-weather brew, coming in at 4.9 percent alcohol by volume.

Also coming in July is one of my favorites, the Sand Storm Double IPA, in 22-ounce bottles. Until then, enjoy it at the taproom on draft.

Session IPAs are all the rage. In fact, the name of this IPA subcategory offers some history: World War I workers in England were allotted two drinking periods (or “sessions”) of four hours each workday. This practice, of course, called for a lower-alcohol beer. Some define the style as meaning that no beer is higher than 3 or 4 percent alcohol, but most in the States categorize any IPA with 5 percent ABV or less as a “session.”

La Quinta’s Sundaze Session IPA is brewed with Citra, Cascade, Ahtanum and Chinook hops and comes in at 4.6 percent alcohol. Expect awesome citrus (grapefruit) and floral aromas—perfect for summer. It’s been such a popular brew among locals and tourists that La Quinta is canning it mid-June for availability at the end of the month.

La Quinta is also releasing a second batch of the barrel-aged Koffi Porter any time now. Also, keep a look out around November for an Imperial Stout aged in barrels, for the brewery’s second anniversary ale.

As for events: On Friday, May 29, play some holes with the brewery at the “9 and Stein,” La Quinta’s golf outing at Desert Falls Country Club.

“Every month, we have our Desert Cancer Foundation fundraiser,” Stokes explained. “…We are talking about having another golf tournament in early-to-mid June. It will be an 18-hole golf tournament … and we’ll probably bring our beer truck.”

Wednesday, June 10, is Ladies’ night, featuring Koffi Porter ice cream floats. Saturday, June 20 is the brewery’s popular “Acoustic Night” with local music and barbecue. On Wednesday, June 24, help the community with a canned food drive. Keep a look out at www.facebook.com/LaQuintaBrewingCo for more upcoming events.

Want to keep up to date on everything that’s happening with La Quinta Brewing, for less? The brewery’s “Inner Circle” will be opening back up on Sept. 1. Members receive a 20-ounce personalized mug, stored at the brewery. Members also can purchase gallon growlers for the same price as a half-gallon growler, and are first to receive specialty growler fills. Every draft beer members purchase in the brewery is 50 percent off, while cans, bottles and kegs are 25 percent off. The annual fee will be $165.

It’s exciting to see La Quinta and our valley’s other breweries thrive! Visit www.laquintabrewing.com for more information.

Published in Beer

The soon-to-open La Quinta Brewing Company is part of a deliciously welcome trend.

According to the national Brewers Association, as of June 2013, 2,483 craft breweries were operating in the United States. That number is up 6 percent over just a year—and it’s the most craft breweries the U.S. has ever seen.

Whether the craft-beer boom is due to new beer-friendly state laws, or the fact that more Americans are realizing that beer can have a variety of flavors that are perfect for food-pairings, the boom means there’s more choice for all of us.

The Coachella Valley has taken part in the recent craft-beer boom. Coachella Valley Brewing Co. opened in August in Thousand Palms, and the folks at Palm Desert’s La Quinta Brewing Co. are busy getting ready for production.

The County of Riverside approved La Quinta Brewing’s conditional-use permit in August. By the end of September, the owners hope the brewery will be fully operational.

Palm Springs native and former real-estate developer Scott Stokes started making the plans for LQBC in December 2012. After retiring in 2005 and taking up home-brewing a few years ago, Scott wanted to start something new, and make something that the Coachella Valley could use more of—great craft beer.

Green Flash Brewing alum Ryan Pearson will be brewing 2,000 barrels per year to start. La Quinta Brewing has a 15-barrel Premier Stainless system. Currently, the brewery holds two 30-barrel fermenters, with one more arriving soon. The facility has room for four additional fermenters, which would allow Stokes and Pearson to expand to 5,000 barrels annually.

“Considering it is 100-plus degrees nearly half the year, and craft beer is in its infancy in the desert, our focus for the beers we distribute to local accounts will be on ‘drinkable’ beers,” said Stokes.

Initially, La Quinta Brewing will have three flagship beers: One Eleven Pale Ale, Windy Point Wheat and Poolside Blonde, with a West Coast-style IPA likely joining the group soon thereafter.

The IPA (which has yet to be named) is a dry, crisp beer, using at least three hops: Columbus, Cascade and Chinook. High on the bittering scale, Columbus is typically regarded as having a nice herbal character that offers an interesting dichotomy of sharp and herbal. It can be used to flavor everything from IPAs and lagers to all types of stouts. Cascade is often used in highly hopped West Coast ales that have citrus-floral and spice accents. Hailing from Washington, Chinook is a bittering variety with aroma characteristics of a dank, piney forest.

The addition of the IPA to La Quinta’s initial three offerings is a smart move; it’s sure to be a hit in hot weather. Ryan Pearson is no stranger to West Coast-style IPAs; after all, he came directly from one of the most highly regarded brewers of the West Coast-style IPA, Green Flash Brewing, in San Diego.

In addition to the four staple beer styles, Pearson plans on brewing small batches using their pilot system, specifically for their tasting room. From there, they will see what’s popular and possibly expand those brews to a larger scale.

At first, La Quinta Brewing plans to offer their beers by draft, in bars and restaurants throughout the valley. The director of sales, Derek Lloyd, was formerly the Coachella Valley division sales manager with Young’s Market Company and is reportedly getting a great reception from potential accounts.

Stokes’ next undertaking will be bottling and canning the beers for pools, golf courses and various hotels. The guys at La Quinta Brewing have a mobile bar, and they plan on using it to distribute their product at events and various venues. The mobile bar holds 25 kegs and has multiple taps on one side—so they can serve beer, food-truck style.

Eventually, they would like to open additional tasting rooms in the desert, and distribute the beer outside of the desert to neighboring cities.

Part of the draw of craft beer is offering people new suds to sample, and it’s great to see Coachella Valley residents working hard to increase crafty offerings to tourists and locals alike. Camaraderie and collaboration are common in the craft-beer industry; considering the burgeoning scene in the desert, it will be interesting to see if these breweries will work together—and to watch how they will grow.

For more information on La Quinta Brewing Company, visit www.facebook.com/LaQuintaBrewingCo. The Beer Goddess’ column appears every month at CVIndependent.com and in the print version of the Independent. Read more by Erin Peters at www.thebeergoddess.com. Below: The folks at La Quinta Brewing Company plan on taking their beer on the road, food-truck style.

Published in Beer