It is an end of an era for the Los Angeles craft beer scene as long time craft beer photographer and general all-round nice guy, Bernie Wire enters his last few days as a Los Angeles resident.
Saturday afternoon, a steady stream of Bernie Wire fans and friends came to El Segundo Brewing Company to bid farewell to Bernie as he and his wife Anne Marie prepare to move back to Minnesota; Anne Marie hails from the Land of 10,000 (closer to 12,000 actually) Lakes, so they have plenty of family out there.
Bernie took time to visit with everyone that came out, and then treated us to a little concert. After the concert, I noticed lots of tears in the tasting room as people began to realize that this was really good-bye. Continue reading
These photos were taken Friday evening at The Standing Room, in Hermosa Beach, where local punk rock legends Pennywise held a private tasting of their new collaboration with Lost Coast Brewery, Pennywiser Session IPA.
All four members of Pennywise, Jim Lindberg, Fletcher Dragge, Byron McMackin, and Randy Bradbury, were in attendance along with huge contingent of their fans. The members of the band did interviews, posed for photos and enjoyed both pints and bombers of the tasty, low ABV IPA.
Since Pennywise is a South Bay band, they initially contacted a few of the South Bay’s numerous breweries to do the collaboration with, but they ended up going with Eureka’s Lost Coast Brewery, most likely because Lost Coast brews about 20 times more beer than any of our local breweries are capable. Apparently, Lost Coast Brewery owner/founder Barbara Groom came out of retirement to brew this particular IPA which was dry-hooped with Cascade, Crystal, Chinook and Citra hops, which provides a nice citrus nose and a pleasant, mild hoppy flavor. Continue reading
These photos were taken Tuesday evening at Los Angeles Ale Works, in Hawthorne, at the sixth edition of “So You Want to Open a Brewery in LA?” an LA Beer Week panel discussion moderated by Celebrator Beer News writer Tomm Carroll. If you have attended any of the previous five seminars hosted by Carroll, you know that he typically puts together a great group of panelists and last night was no exception.
The panelists included Laurie Porter of Smog City Brewing, Greg Bechtel of Simmzy’s Burbank, Gary Croft of Yorkshire Square, Bill Baker of Zymurgy Brew Works & Tasting Room, Rick Blankemeier of Modern Times, Will Shelton of Concrete Jungle Brewing Project, Brent Knapp of Common Space Brewery, Kip Barnes of LA Ale Works, and Brendan Lake of Burnin’ Daylight Brewing Company. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday at the Chad’s Beer Cellar IV bottle share which was held at King Harbor Brewing Company in Redondo Beach. This event was the fourth and possibly final bottle share put on by local beer hoarder and King Harbor Brewing investor, Chad Hazen. All the funds from the event went to benefit the Richstone Family Center which is located in Hawthorne. The Richstone Family Center is dedicated to preventing and treating child abuse.
First off, I would like to personally thank everyone that showed up. While my involvement with the event was limited to getting the word out, the previous events never sold out, which I found incredulous considering the quality of the beers that were made available. I made it a personal goal to see that they did sell all 100 tickets this year, and it happened. While all the monies have not been tabulated yet, with ticket sales, raffles and the silent auction, over $8,000 was raised for Richstone. Of course, none of this would have been possible without Chad.
The first of these bottle shares was held in December of 2014 when Hazen decided he wanted to quit drinking beer for a year while he trained for a marathon as he felt his collection of beer was just a little too much temptation. He got together with King Harbor Brewing Company and they decided they would have a bottle share benefiting Richstone Family Center. Continue reading
South Bay residents may recall hearing about a terrible crash that happened in Torrance on March 7 that resulted in the death of 16 year old South High School student, Jesse Esphorst, Jr. The circumstances surrounding the accident and Jesse’s death were bad enough; but Jesse’s father, who was driving when they were hit by two cars that blew through a red light, was also seriously injured. The family, who had numerous other obstacles draining their bank account at the time of the accident, now had to deal with funeral expenses for Jesse and medical expenses for his father who is currently unable to work due to his injuries.
If I have my facts right, Jonathan and Laurie Porter of Smog City Brewing live next door to a family whose mother went to school with Jesse’s mother. Being the community involved people that they are, Smog City Brewing held a fundraiser Thursday evening to assist the Esphorst family with their financial burden. Continue reading
On Tuesday evening, a couple dozen craft beer fans, social influencers and Guinness beer ambassadors met in Los Angeles at the Salt’s Cure restaurant to participate in the debut of the latest creation coming from Open Gate Brewery at St. James’s Gate, Guinness Irish Wheat.
Anyone that really knows me knows that my desert island beer is Guinness Stout, so whenever I am invited to try anything new from Guinness, you can be sure I will do my best to be there.
Guinness Irish Wheat is probably best described as a hefeweizen created with 100% wheat grown in Ireland and the same Guinness yeast found in every pint of Guinness Draught. My initial sip of Irish Wheat was crisp and seemed slightly lemony/citrusy flavor which was followed by subtle clove with a banana finish. My immediate thought was that this was the perfect time of year to release this beer as it comes across as very light compared to your standard creamy pint of Guinness; I was not the only one to suggest that this would be a very good beer to drink after mowing the yard or while grilling burgers and steaks in the back yard. I would go so far as to suggest that this might be one of the few beers I would consider drinking from a bottle at a barbecue. Continue reading
On Saturday afternoon, Select Beer Store, in Redondo Beach celebrated their 5th Anniversary by bringing in craft beer from some of their favorite local craft breweries. Barley Hops Grill was also there with their special style of barbecue.
As I was going through my notes I noticed that it was five years ago, during the 7th Annual American Craft Beer Week that I first visited Select Beer Store for their South Bay Tap Takeover which featured all four of the South Bay’s breweries; El Segundo Brewing, Monkish Brewing, Strand Brewing and Smog City Brewing.
Today the South Bay alone has more than 20 breweries; things have really grown in the last five years and Select Beer is not only selling craft beer but they have also been involved with a few collaborations, at least a couple of which were available at their anniversary celebration. Continue reading
These photos were taken Monday afternoon at the Beachwood Blendery in Long Beach, where employees, friends, and family gathered for the drawing of the raffle tickets sold for Beachwood’s 6th Annual Pliny Fights Cancer Charity Raffle.
To enter the raffle, you could buy a $5.00 raffle ticket at the Seal Beach or Long Beach restaurant locations. Winners will receive a full pint of the 2017 Pliny the Younger; those that were not picked can feel better knowing that their donation is going to a good cause, the Melanoma Research Foundation. Beachwood founder and co-owner Gabe Gordon stated that this year’s raffle brought the total raised over the past six years to almost $75,000. Continue reading
Laurie Porter, co-owner/founder of Smog City Brewing informed me that the decision was unanimous and they will begin offering growlers and bottles to-go beginning January 31, 2017.
I was unable to attend last night, but I did submit a written letter to the Planning Commission in support of the application. I have decided to post the letter I sent, not for any kind of “atta boy” but rather so others can use my letter as a template; trust me; I have used all my previos letters of support as a template for the next one I write. Feel free to use this to support your local craft brewery. Continue reading
The long anticipated opening of Smog City Brewing Company’s SteelCraft location has arrived. These photos were taken late Wednesday afternoon at the “friends and family” soft open that was held primarily for the friends and family of the people that assembled the SteelCraft enclave. After talking to a few attendees, it seemed like the news spread around the Bixby Knolls neighborhood quickly as the SteelCraft park began filling up with locals that expressed that they were happy to save the Uber expense of traveling to Torrance as the SteelCraft location was walking distance from their homes.
For those unfamiliar with the SteelCraft concept, essentially, a vacant 14,500 square-foot lot of the corner of Long Beach Boulevard and Bixby Road has been set up with about a dozen shipping containers that will house businesses selling various foods; such as hamburgers, ramen, and shaved ice, there is also a coffee shop, and of course, Smog City’s beer. Continue reading