Howdy Nation! Artsy Guy here posting from sunny Southern California. Before there was a craft beer "scene" in the greater LA area, there was Sam and Marlene and The Stuffed Sandwich. The place is not a beer bar or a beer store but it truly is a haven for beer lovers.
In order to get to the beer, you have to buy food (due to stipulations of their liquor license). They offer sandwiches of all sorts, spaghetti, ribs, and salads. On this visit, I enjoyed a delicious, super-buttery grilled cheese with deli pickle on the side.
And then... Oh the beer! Sam has gathered a truly inspired bottle list from all over the world including plenty of US craft. I was particularly taken with the list of various vintages of Stone anniversary, vertical epic, and collaboration brews. And there are nine taps which follow a different theme each month: a specific brewery or beer style or region. February's theme is barleywines, so my sampler included such treasures as Firestone Abacus, Rogue XS Old Crustacean, Victory Old Horizontal 2010, and North Coast Old Stock 2009. My sampler came with instructions on how best to enjoy the experience, showing a true affinity for the amazing art form of craft brewing.
Sam is a legend in the LA beer community. He has earned the title "Beer Nazi" which is a term of endearment from the multitudes who are of like mind... and a warning to those who are found to be inconsiderate or otherwise unruly or – God forbid – attempt to order a Miller Light. He pours his brews with pride and deep knowledge (and his personal beer cellar is supposedly vast). Sadly, though, he has been under the weather for some time and is currently in a rehab facility as he slowly improves. The Happy Hour Guys send our best wishes to him as he recovers and to Marlene as she handily holds down the fort. Sam and Marlene and The Stuffed Sandwich. That's what's HOPpenin', y'all!