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
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
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
These photos were taken at the Endless Rant IPA Release Party that was held Saturday evening at the King Harbor Brewing Company tasting room in Redondo Beach. For those of you that were unaware, King Harbor Brewing created Endless Rant for Adam Carolla’s Carolla Drinks label. Although the beer officially became available a couple weeks ago, last night’s event was the official launch with friends, family and fans descending upon King Harbor Brewing for an evening of tasty beer, good food, music and laughs as attendees enjoyed pints of Endless Rant and other King Harbor brews.
I happened to try Endless Rant a couple weeks ago when it was first released to the public at the tasting room, and was lucky enough to run into King Harbor’s head brewer Phil McDaniel so I asked him how this opportunity came about. I did not take notes, but this is pretty accurate.
The three principles at King Harbor, Tom Dunbabin, Will Daines and McDaniel are all long time fans of Carolla. Apparently a friend of one of the regulars at King Harbor works with Carolla on one of his ventures and happened to mention it to one of them. One of the King Harbor guys casually mentioned that if Carolla wanted to hold some type of beer related event, King Harbor Brewing would be more than happy to host it. Continue reading
On Saturday evening, Monkish Brewing Company held a farewell party for their Beer Evangelist, Brian White. A couple dozen friends joined the Monkish staff in congratulating White and wishing him the best in his future.
White assures me we will still see him around at various craft breweries and functions. He is not leaving the beer scene, just changing it up a bit. I am sure this is not the last time his name will be mentioned or photo shown here. Good luck, Brian. Cheers! Continue reading
These photos are from the Dog Adoption Sunday event held at Brouwerij West this past Sunday afternoon. The Los Angeles Animal Services and ARF Harbor Shelter brought six dogs to the Brouwerij West tasting room for adoption; I know at least two of them found new homes that day. I have to say, I had an opportunity to meet most (if not all) of them, and they were really very well-behaved dogs. I kept thinking they must have brought the cream of the crop.
In addition to the adoptable dogs, many others brought their pups to the obviously dog friendly tasting room and they all seemed to enjoy the company of the others. ARF Harbor Shelter is looking for homes for their residents and I am sure volunteers are always welcome.
I also had a personal first, and that was my first time having chorizo. Apparently I had it from one of the best, The Chori Man; a fourth generation chorizo artisan from San Pedro. I definitely recommend stopping by if you see his food tent set up anywhere. Cheers! Continue reading
These photos were taken at the ribbon cutting for Torrance’s latest craft brewery, Scholb Premium Ales; which was held at the production brewery’s tasting room in Torrance on Friday afternoon. The Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce (TACC) ribbon cutting was attended by friends and family of the Schulz’s and Kolb’s as well as the City of Torrance Mayor Pat Furey and city council members Kurt Weideman, Heidi Ashcraft and Mike Griffiths along with many TACC representatives.
For their grand opening, Scholb introduced a couple new beers to their taps, bringing the number of brews currently available to eight. Today they offered their SoCal Blonde, Roll With It Brown, Cherry Wood Smoked Brown, Columbia Street Pale, Havanuther Session IPA, Dad’s IPA, Not Lyin’ Rye IPA and my current favorite, Bat Ray Red IPA. Continue reading
This past Sunday was Tanya’s birthday and I wanted to do something special for her. Initially we had discussed doing a craft beer tour down in San Diego or perhaps head up the California coast towards Paso Robles; both ideas were definite possibilities until I asked, “Do you want to go have sushi?” It was at that point that craft beer became a secondary destination and Matsuyama Japanese Fusion in Roseville became our primary destination.
Now, one might think that driving 400 miles for sushi was a little extreme, but if you have ever had a meal prepared by Matsuyama’s owner Song Kim, you know that it isn’t all that extreme. I have known Song since around 2008 and have introduced his work to friends of mine from around the world and everyone has loved it; even those that were not sure that they even liked sushi. Heck, Tanya would never consider sushi until she tried Song’s. I figured that since Roseville is up by Sacramento, and Sacramento’s craft beer scene has been growing, it should be easy to find a craft brewery not too far from Matsuyama. Continue reading
Torrance has a new tasting room to visit; production brewery Scholb Premium Ales has begun their soft open. A week ago they opened for a few hours on Sunday and this past weekend they were open on Saturday and Sunday. Beginning this next weekend they will add Fridays; on April 7 they will begin normal tasting room hours, Thursday and Friday 4:00-9:00 PM, Saturday 1:00-9:00 PM and Sunday 12:00-6:00 PM.
I stopped by Saturday afternoon after finishing the craft beer panel at the Torrance library primarily because it was virtually next door to the Torrance Civic Center library; they are a couple hundred yards west of Absolution Brewing, in the same business park. In the short time we were there I noticed a nice group of people coming and going; it was obvious that people were taking advantage of the fact that the two tasting are so very close to each other.
Scholb had four of their brews available when I was there Saturday; SoCal Blonde, Roll With it Brown, Havanuther Session IPA and my favorite, Bat Ray Red IPA. By next weekend they should have at least five beers on tap at which time they will begin serving flights. Continue reading
This weekend Monkish Brewing Company celebrated four years of brewing excellence by providing access to a half dozen of their rare fruited saisons as well as several barrel-aged and brett saisons. They also released their most recent collaboration with Select Beer Store, Select Monk 4.
I headed over to Monkish after Phantom Carriage’s One Year Anniversary party ended and found the tasting room packed and everyone in a great mood. Congratulations to Henry, Adriana and the entire Monkish team on a very successful four years. I feel fortunate to have you close enough to have witnessed the evolution. Cheers! Continue reading