In the 6 months since we launched The Roaming Pint website we have been able to meet a bunch of great people in the beer industry, but no town has reached out to us quite like Agoura Hills.
Usually we are trying to contact breweries so we can check out there facilities, talk to the brewers, and of course drink their beer. Ladyface Ale Companie was the first brewery to turn the tables and invite US to come and visit. Unfortunately at the time we were in Wisconsin and they were in Agoura Hills, CA.
Fast forward three months and several states later and we found ourselves heading up the coast of California. Seemed like a perfect time to take them up on the offer.
Ladyface Ales is owned by Cyrena Nouzille and Dave Griffiths who is also the head brewer. They met as neighbors and would home brew together from time before they had the epiphany to take their beer to next level. Ladyface opened in 2009 and focuses on Californian, Belgian and French styles ales with many cask-conditioned seasonals.
When we showed up Cyrena greeted us with a sampler tray as we talked with her and Dave about the brewery and it’s unique atmosphere. Since Aguora HIlls isn’t a huge city their goal was to create a community atmosphere. Even the church next door played a part as two of the ministers were home brewers and happily blessed the the lauter tun. The whole art deco theme was actually created by Cyrena who drew the logo and other art for the Ladyface. The beers had a very unique belgian style to them and were quite good, some of which were also mixed with various tea’s, really the most interesting beers we had tried in a long time (maybe ever!).
Dave showed us around the brewery and we sampled a couple of barrel aged beers that were in the process of aging. Between brewing and helping manage the brewery Dave and Cyrena are pretty much always present to make sure everyone is having a good time and great beer is always ready.
Cyrena and Dave indicated there weren’t any other breweries in the town so we figured leaving Aguora Hills meant we wouldn’t be back in the near future. We were surprised then to get an invite several weeks later from LAB Brewing Co in the same city. Apparently they had just opened up when we visited Ladyface and weren’t even listed on Google yet.
On our way back to SoCal we were able to stop in a check out their set-up. LAB has a scientific theme that is present from giant beakers filled with grains to chemistry flasks used as water pitchers. Despite the science theme it has an upscale vibe with dim lighting and a nice interior.
We were greeted by, Alan, LAB’s marketing coordinator and enjoyed a beer while waiting to talk to the head brewer Roger Bott. Roger was nice enough to join us for dinner where we shared the inspiration for our endeavors and enjoyed some great company. As it turns out LAB has dual meanings along with the scientific aspect it also represents the Live Act of Brewing. With only a clear pane of glass separating brew area from the restaurant it is truly takes on a spectator vibe. We especially dug the brewers notes scribbled on the outside of the glass, letting others know what’s what.
Roger studied brewing in Belgium and loves IPA’s thus LAB focuses on these styles, but also features guest taps from other breweries. The food was amazing and Maria and I hung out the rest of the night with Alan, Roger, and his wife exchanging beer stories and and getting a tour of the brew house. Roger is one of the most hardworking brewers we know (I mean which ones aren’t really) but on top of being the head brewer, Roger has a full-time job as a super smart scientist. It was such a fun night we just stayed overnight in the parking lot. Despite the numerous “2-hour parking. Violators will be towed” signs we were able to camp without incident, which has been one of the many awesome perks about touring breweries in a RV.
If you are in the LA area or Santa Barbara area for a time, go the extra mile and check out the Agoura Hills emerging beer scene, it’s worth it!!