by Brewhead Ted
The other day, I returned to my hometown of San Gabriel to revisit one of my favorite–if not my absolute favorite–breweries: Ogopogo Brewing. Founded in 2018 as the city’s first craft brewery, Ogopogo combines two of my favorite things: beer and mythological creatures. (The brewery itself is named after a Canadian lake monster.)
According to the “About” page on Ogopogo’s website, “Brewer-Owners Jason De La Torre and Ryan Edell are veterans of the Southern California brewing industry (Mason Aleworks, Saint Archer, Golden Road).”
The first thing I noticed when entering the space were the umbrellas hanging from the ceiling, canopies facing down. Or was it I who was hanging downwards? Briefly, I wondered: Was I still in San Gabriel, or had I somehow entered the Twilight Zone? Determined to discover what beer tastes like in an alternate dimension, I moved toward the bar. But wait – what was that? Out of the corner of my eye, I spied some massive, many-tentacled beast, slowly surfacing from the deep. A painting of a Kraken emerging from the depths. Only a painting, I reassured myself…
Before the Kraken could butt in line in front of me, I ordered myself a pint of Nix Pale Ale. The nix, a water sprite of Germanic origin, would, according to legend, attempt to drag its human prey into the water from whence it came. Thankfully, this Nix was much better behaved, not to mention delicious.
Ogopogo boasts quite a menagerie, aside from Nix. Other favorites include Lusca, a tropical sour IPA, and Ponaturi, a dry-hopped lager. Both are tasty, and both are named after water monsters. There are many other beers, many of which are not named after water monsters. But hey, I like what I like.
I finished my beer, and made my way out to my car, nervously eyeing that wily Kraken as I went past him. My adventure didn’t end there, though. Oh, no. When parking, I hadn’t thought to put up my disabled placard – I’d parked in an unmarked area on one side of the lot, as the disabled spot was already taken. When I got back to my car, I discovered that someone had parked extremely close to the driver’s side door, so I couldn’t get in. So, I opened the passenger side door, clambered over to the driver’s seat, then stretched over the passenger seat to dismantle and load my wheelchair into the car. As you can tell from this post, I’m clearly not superstitious. But, as I pulled out of the parking lot, huffing and puffing, I couldn’t help but think, given this trouble, that perhaps the nix or some other creature had put a curse on me.
The truth – and the delicious beer – is out there.
Until next time, cheers!