Pints for what ales you: pipers open piping-inspired craft brew-pub in California

Published: June 25, 2014
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MacLeodAle_LogoIt might not yet be the Park Bar or the Snaffle Bit in terms of piping lore, but the piper-owned MacLeod Ale Brewing Company in sunny Van Nuys, California, makes its own beer, each named for famous pipe tunes.

After years of planning, the new brewpub officially opened on June 23rd to much fanfare and acclaim and the sound of the Grade 3 Pasadena Scots Pipe Band, in which owners Jennifer Febre and Alastair Boase play, with Febre as pipe-major.

Febre and her husband, with the help of a master brewer who moved to the Los Angeles area from Rhode Island, make traditional British cask ales, each pulled from tap handles custom-made by McCallum Bagpipes of Kilmarnock, Scotland. The company’s logo features a piping and drumming inspired image of a glengarry hat.

Jennifer Febre

Jennifer Febre

“The King’s Taxes” (a 60-shilling), “The Little Spree” (a Yorkshire pale ale), “Old Toasty” (dark mild), “The Session Gap” (a bitter), and “Jackie Tar” (a stout) are a few of the handcrafted libations on offer

“Originally the idea was to get a brewery to sponsor the Pasadena Scots,” Febre said, “but I’m too shy to ask a brewery for money, so I decided to start my own.”

The new venture has been met with wide acclaim and positive reviews from highbrow beer publications and even the LA Times newspaper, which said, “The tasting room . . .is will be welcomed by the beer lovers in the [San Fernando] who’ve been growing thirsty while craft breweries sprouted from downtown to the South Bay.”

Due to local ordinances, live music is not allowed in the brewpub, but, as with the Snaffle Bit and Park Bar, exceptions might be made when someone gets out a set of pipes . . . or tries to play one of the tap-handles.

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