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Media Night at Strand Brewing Company

Monday evening, Strand Brewing Company hosted members of the LA Beer Bloggers and other local media outlets with an intimate evening of craft beer, snacks and networking. Strand Brewing Company co-founder/co-owner Rich Marcello took time to speak with attendees individually; then took everyone on a tour of their [relatively] new 36,000 square foot facility on Dominguez Street. Marcello also showed off their shiny, new canning line which will be put into use shortly. He also made sure to let us all know that Strand Brewing will be celebrating their 7th Anniversary on the weekend of November 11 through the 13th.

In addition to the tour and plentiful beer, Marcello personally made up several snack trays that one would have thought were professionally done. Attendees also had a chance to chat with the reigning, and six times Tetris World Champion, Jonas Neubauer who also happens to run the tasting room. For those into Tetris, the World Championships have been going on for seven years, with Neubauer taking first place every year, except a couple years ago when he ranked second. We are all pretty proud of him.

Strand Brewing Company is located at 2201 Dominguez Street in Torrance. Their 7th Anniversary celebration will feature special beers, casks, music and general fun for the entire family. Visit the Strand Brewing website or their Facebook page for more information. Cheers! Continue reading

Cosmic Brewery Enters Soft Open Phase

The long awaited opening of Torrance’s newest production brewery, Cosmic Brewery, home of Cosmic Ales, is now a reality as they opened their tasting room to the public this past weekend. I only had a short window of opportunity to visit on Saturday evening but for making a last minute announcement on Friday that they would be open Saturday, the place was packed.

As you can see by my photos, as I watched the build-out of the brewery I never got any photos of the future tasting room. Owner Christopher Briles always kept that close to the vest and he did not want anyone to see it until it was ready. When it was revealed Saturday one had to admit, the cosmic theme is pretty cool.

The tap system is different than any tasting room I have visited in that you pour your own beer and are charged according to how much you pour. If you recall my article about zpizza a couple months ago, it is the same concept. You purchase a card that you insert on the tap, and you pour your beer. I did not play with it Saturday, but I will probably check it out this weekend. Continue reading

Bruery Terreux Now Open

These photos were taken Thursday afternoon at a preview of the new Bruery Terreux tasting room that is opening to the public at noon Friday. From this point forward they are open daily from 12:00-10:00 PM.

If you will recall, it was June 2014 that The Bruery announced that they were going to open Terreux (pronounced terr – ooh) as the location where they would concentrate on their wild ales and sours without risking the quality of the other fine brews The Bruery was turning out in Placentia. Because those pesky Brettanomyces really fly, they took no chances and opened the second facility three miles away in Anaheim; that and the City of Anaheim seemed really anxious to have them.

Bruery Terreux hoped to open their tasting room last summer, but I think we have all watched enough tasting rooms open around here to guess that wasn’t going to happen; permits, permits, permits. Anyway, it only took two years, which is not bad and it was worth the wait. Continue reading

A Visit to the Palmdale Breweries

Since I was going to the Bravery Brewing 4th Anniversary celebration in Lancaster anyway, and Palmdale’s two new breweries are less than five miles from Bravery, I decided to stop in to visit Transplants Brewing Company and their neighbor across the way, Lucky Luke Brewing Company.

The last time I visited Palmdale was for the Transplants Brewing ribbon cutting back in January. If you look at the photos from that event you will probably notice that there was a large mural in progress, and you may have noticed that they were offering 10 beers for their opening day. When we arrived Sunday it was obvious that a lot more work has been done on the mural; I get the feeling it may never truly be completed, but it is very interesting to gaze upon. Continue reading

Bravery Brewing 4th Year Anniversary Photos

These photos are from Bravery Brewing’s 4th Year Anniversary party which was held Sunday at the Lancaster production brewery’s tasting room. In addition to the 30 brews available, there was live music by Blaktop, hamburgers and hot dogs from Hi Desert Mobile Catering, hourly raffles, cornhole, board games and surprisingly nice weather. Of course, co-founder and star of the big and small screen, R. Lee Ermey was there to chat with attendees.

Since I was there, I let Brian Avery take me on a tour of their new brewhouse, a three vessel, 15 bbl system that will allow them to brew a ton more beer than they were doing with the 3 bbl system they have been using.

Congratulations to Bart and Brian Avery and the entire Bravery Brewing team; I look forward to seeing what the next year brings you. Bravery Brewing is located at 42705 8th Street West in Lancaster. Cheers! Continue reading

Ninja Turtles Invade El Segundo – Pizzas Devoured

After leaving the LA Beer Week Kickoff Festival we stopped by El Segundo Brewing Company (ESBC) for an after-party they were having. They were kind of on the way home anyway, so we headed over.

By the time we arrived the tasting room was jumping as a mixture of people that had obviously been to the LABW8 festival melded with the usual taproom crowd that flock to ESBC to enjoy their fresh brews. I had seen something mentioned on social media about the event, but I did not realize that this was more than just an after party; this was much more. Continue reading

Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing Opens This Weekend

Back in September I informed you that Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing would be opening in El Segundo; in fact, I predicted mid-2016 as when the doors would actually open. It turns out I was correct, as just in time for LA Beer Week, Rob Rubens will open their doors to the general public this Friday, June 17 with their soft open beginning at 4:30 PM and they will continue to be open seven days a week from that point on.

These photos include a few visits that I made over the past nine months while documenting their progress as well as their Friends & Family party that they had at the production brewery’s tasting room on Wednesday evening.

Since distilling spirits takes a little more time and money than brewing beer, Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing is starting off with providing craft beer with the spirits becoming available in the coming months. Last night we were able to sample a few of Ruben’s flagship beers, such as their Gunpowder Cream Ale, Hitman Ale Altbier, a yet to be named pale ale and a stout. The brews were all solid and I learned something about cream ales; it is not about vanilla flavors at all. Cream ale is essentially ale brewed with ale or lager yeast at lower temperatures, and then cold aged. It reminded me of a hoppy lager with a pilsner finish; it makes for a very tasty session brew. Continue reading

The Road Back From the 5th Annual Firestone Walker Invitational

When we left Paso Robles on Sunday morning I was not really sure where we would stop throughout the day; I had planned on visiting a brewery that shall remain nameless, but due to their only having two brews available it was decided to skip them. Two beers after three years just did not do it for me. The backup destination was an easy choice since I had been thinking it since I got my tickets on Wednesday, BarrelHouse Brewing Company.

Tanya and I first visited BarrelHouse Brewing in February 2014 when they were just announcing their first anniversary was coming up. We were both impressed with what we tried; so much so that our beer stash from that trip consisted of several bottles from BarrelHouse.

A couple weeks ago I was covering the South Bay Beer & Wine Festival and ran into Mathew Jacobs, lead brewer for BarrelHouse, and Billy Thompson, their sales manager. I told them how much I enjoyed everything about our experience two plus years ago when Jacobs expressed that I really should return to see how much they have progressed. Judging by the Curly Wolf they were pouring at the event, I totally agreed. Continue reading

Three Weavers 2016 Unity Bottle Release Party Photos

These photos were taken Friday at Three Weavers Brewing Company during their bottle release party for the official beer of the 2016 LA Beer Week, Unity. Unity is an “experimental IPA” in that it used a lot of an experimental hop so new it does not have a name yet, other than HBC 522. It got the name Unity because while it was brewed and bottled at Three Weavers, many members of the L.A. County Brewers Guild participated in the brew. While it has been said that too many cooks spoil the broth, that was definitely not the case with Unity. Unity is a delicious resinous American IPA with a slight sweetness in the finish.

Admittedly, I do not get over to Three Weavers as frequently as I might like but it is pretty obvious that they are doing quite well. I arrived early to the event and the tasting room was already packed with more people coming in the entire time I was there. Another sign of success is the growth of the brewery itself which will be seeing a new, larger brewhouse in the upcoming weeks. Congratulations to Lynne Weaver, Alexandra Nowell and the entire staff at Three Weavers.

Speaking of the 8th Annual LA Beer Week, the event runs from June 18-26 and begins with the kickoff festival which will be held Saturday, June 18 at the Los Angeles Center Studios. All 45 brewery members of the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild will be represented along with about 30 other craft breweries from around the state. If you missed last year’s kickoff event you missed a great time and this year’s event promises to be even bigger and better; you do not want to miss it. While this year’s event will be bigger, they will not be selling additional tickets so do yourself a favor and buy your tickets today. You can get more information and purchase your tickets at LABeerWeek.org. Cheers! Continue reading

Smog City & El Segundo Brewing Birthday Bash Photos

These photos were taken Saturday, when Smog City Brewing in Torrance and El Segundo Brewing in El Segundo combined forces to celebrate Smog City’s third and El Segundo’s fifth anniversaries.

I started the morning off at the VIP session of Smog City’s festivities. They had opened up the cellar room that connects directly to the south of the main tasting room where they added two beer stations. One had their sours, like Cuddlebug, Snugglebug and Jason’s now famous Cuddle Paloma; and a citrus station where you would find Bloody Optimist, Mexican Vacation and Kumquat Saison. The main taproom had an additional Brewers Station back in the brewhouse where you would find brews like Bourbon O.E., Infinite Wishes and The Nothing. The Old Fashioned O.E. made its return from last year; I was glad Tanya got one so I could taste it.

The group was limited to 200 people which might sound like a lot for the tasting room, but with the cellar room being opened up, it was quite comfortable and the Smog City staff was keeping up handily with any lines that formed. Continue reading

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