From peanut butter stouts to earl grey tea IPAs to brews fermented and aged in french oak barrels, if you’re looking to expand, or challenge, your beer palate, the the Lemus brothers at Weird Beers have got you covered. Erwinson, 28, and his brother Jorge, 26, always had a natural interest in the craft and have been refining their store’s collection since it opened nearly four years ago, creating a haven for those who seek exploration and adventure in the shape of craft beers. When Jorge and Erwinson realized the rest of Los Angeles was hopping on board they decided to open a shop that would allow them to share their experiences and tastes with the growing community of craft drinkers. Their goal being to deliver what they believe to be some of the best bottled and canned beverages money can buy. Their wide selection is forged by what’s good, what’s in season and what’s local and over the years the Lemus brothers have developed partnerships with some of L.A.’s finest breweries to ensure they have the latest, greatest, freshest, and, of course, the weirdest available.
“It’s a whole research thing we do,” Jorge explained. “It has its own culture, what’s in season, what’s brewing.” The strange craft brew shop is more than just its namesake. Weird Beers also offers up a selection of handpicked wines, taste tested and approved by Erwinson, and the shop always keeps stock of the tried and true domestic tallboys that immediately dispel any preconception of craft beer exclusivity.
“People like all kinds of beers,” Jorge said. “So we don’t like to tell people this isn’t good beer if it is what you like.” In fact the brothers developed and grew their palate like just about everyone else, throwing back classics like Modelo and Budweiser. “I grew up just drinking random stuff,” Erwinson said. “I love craft beer, but sometimes I’ll go and pick up a Modelo. It’s inviting to people and maybe they’ll see the other options and give it a shot.”
By welcoming all beers and beer drinkers, they have fostered an organic relationship with L.A. locals and the clientele. If the people don’t like it, they won’t carry it. But if late night debauchery and libations are not your bag the Lemus brothers have an assortment of healthy snacks or if you’re recovering from the night before some coconut and alkaline water will get you back in shape. Need a bit more of a pick-me-up? They’ll brew you a simple cup of coffee with beans they hand selected from their home country of Guatemala. Where does Weird Beers go next? Both of the brothers studied art at Pasadena’s ArtCenter, and the store currently showcases art from themselves and their friends, and they envision incorporating humanity into the store, expanding the sense of community by pairing well crafted drinks with well crafted art.
Written by Brian Chernick
Photographed by Caleb Thal