When titans of the grain industry unite truly legendary beers appear — take the “Works” and “Godmother” IPAS, birthed with grain from Bay Cities’ crackly filone bread and nurtured under Santa Monica Brew Works’ loving care.
The two IPAs launch today as the latest release in SMBW’s series of beers paying homage to iconic Santa Monica establishments.
“For nearly 100 years our neighbors at Bay Cities have been artfully crafting sandwiches using the freshest and highest quality ingredients available,” said Scott Francis, SMBW’s co-founder, president & CEO. “As Santa Monica’s first and only brewery we take pride in stacking our grains with the same commitment to excellence.”
The collaboration celebrates the tenacity of local businesses who are finding inventive ways to keep the soul of Santa Monica alive in an extraordinarily challenging year.
SMBW shut down and reopened its beer garden three times due to shifting restrictions and consistently pivoted its business model as restaurant closures rattled keg orders. Creativity has been key to their survival.
“This year has challenged small companies like ours to dig deep and get scrappy. We know from first-hand experience how difficult it’s been to stay afloat,” said Johnny Wardell, SMBW marketing director. “It’s our belief that local businesses shape the character of a city; that’s why we’re proud of our limited release series celebrating iconic neighborhood establishments.”
The latest IPAs incorporate fresh baguettes from Bay Cities Deli, giving the beer a slightly toasty flavor. The artwork features Bay Cities’ wax paper sandwich wrapper dressed up in festive green and red.
The “Godmother” IPA pays tribute to Bay Cities’ iconic top-selling sandwich that draws droves of meat lovers to the deli. It’s a hazy IPA with 7.5% ABV, which is SMBW’s most awarded beer style. “The Works” is a West Coast-style IPA stacked with a juicy blend of Simcoe, Hallertau Blanc, Nelson Sauvin, and Mosaic hops.
Bay Cities subs are known for their exceptional handmade bread, so in order to give these beers an authentic Bay Cities constitution, brewers added loaves right into the mash.
“Mashing happens at the beginning of the brewing process, where crushed grains—and in this case, fresh bread—are mixed with water to form a porridge-like mixture,” said Drew Pomatti, SMBW Head Brewer. “This “mash” is then transformed into sugars and proteins creating a sweet fermentable liquid called wort. Over time, yeast consumes the sugars turning them into alcohol and carbon dioxide – once that process is complete, you’ve got fresh beer!”
Previous locally inspired beer releases include an IPA honoring LA’s oldest operating skate shop Rip City Skates and a 310 Stomped Shandy made with fresh lemonade from Hot Dog on a Stick.
“As Santa Monica’s first and only craft brewery we have a unique platform to literally raise a toast to our community,” said Wardell. “Since April we’ve teamed up with UCLA Health to support frontline healthcare workers and we’ve helped nourish our homebound neighbors with Meals on Wheels West in tandem with local artists Corrie Mattie and Ruben Rojas of Beautify Earth.”
As much as Santa Monica Brew Works contributes to the community, community members give back to the brewery, which is leaning heavily on to-go orders to stay afloat. With no signs of outdoor dining returning in the near future, this support is now more essential than ever.
“We are struggling along with all breweries in the Los Angeles area,” said Francis. “The most recent closure is the hardest as we are still feeling the cumulative effect from the first two closures, and there is no government stimulus package in sight at the moment. Things feel to be more unknown this time around.”
These uncertain times required innovation and fueled SMBW’s creative collaborations. This works out well for Santa Monicans, most of whom could use a good drink right about now.
The Godmother” Hazy IPA and “The Works” West Coast-Style IPA can be purchased to-go from SMBW’s Tasting Room (1920 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90404). They are available for a limited time in 16 oz cans in combo 4-packs.