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Photos from the Scholb Premium Ales Ribbon Cutting

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

Craft Beer and Sushi

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

Scholb Premium Ales – From the Beginning

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

Monkish Brewing Celebrates Four Years

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

Phantom Carriage Celebrates One Year

When I left off, we had left the Froth Awards at Saint Rocke and headed to Carson to catch the tail end of Phantom Carriage’s One Year Anniversary party which was held Saturday afternoon. Phantom Carriage pulled out all the stops which required them to take over the parking lot as well as the blendery’s tasting room.

I got there pretty late, but even as it may have been clearing out you could tell that this sold out event was rocking as everyone was in full party mode. With the beer selections that had been available earlier, it is no wonder why everyone was in a great mood. They had cellar blends Volume 1 through 5 to accompany Oude Muis, Muis, Citra Muis, barrel-aged Centennial Muis, Broadacres, Strawberry Broadacres, Triple Berry Melange Broadacres, Dragonfruit Broadacres, barrel-aged Peach/Nectarine Broadacres, Bergman, Blackberry Bergman, Baskerville (clean and on Brett), Wit Zombie, Pineapple Wit Zombie, Amarantha, Lugosi, Dolores, Tagalong Dolores, Toasted Coconut Dolores, Fleet Street IPA, Tripel Curse and Fog Island. As soon as I walked in, brewer Brendan Lake approached me with the last of the Vermiste Kat which was their collaboration with Cascade, so even though a lot of the super-rare varieties were already gone by the time I got there, the Vermiste Kat was a great way to start off. Continue reading

Nick Shattuck Live at King Harbor Brewing Company

On Friday evening, North Redondo was mellowed by the gentle tunes of local musician and general nice guy, Nick Shattuck as he performed at the King Harbor Brewing Company tasting room to a crowd of what seemed thousands. In addition to Shattuck’s tender tunes, attendees had their first opportunity to try King Harbor’s latest release, St. Jameson Stout. To be completely honest, I was there for the St. Jameson, which is a delicious Irish Dry Stout aged on Jameson soaked oak chips, having Shattuck there just ensured that King Harbor would be hopping with lots of photo ops. He did, it was.

I have to think back to two years ago and remember how empty King Harbor’s brewhouse was compared to today; and the tap list has literally tripled in size with a lot more diversity. Speaking of two years ago, King Harbor’s 2nd Anniversary is coming up on April 2. If you were at last year’s event you know what a good time it was; this year it is going to be even bigger. While everyone is welcome to come to the tasting room, if you want to participate in the festivities you will need a ticket. They have two prices, depending on if you want a bottle of their anniversary beer or not. You can get details and order on BrownPaperTickets.com. Cheers! Continue reading

Hoppy 2nd Birthday at Absolution Brewing Company

These photos are from Absolution Brewing Company’s Hoppy 2nd Birthday celebration that was held at the production brewery’s Torrance location on Saturday, March 5. The event featured the release of their Anniversary Ale which was featured on CO2 and cask, as well as cask versions of Angel’s Demise, Fallen Archangel and Padre Bravo.

For entertainment, the overcast day began with the bluesy sounds of Nasty Bad Habit; then as the day cleared up a bit the rocking music of Barley Legal kept everyone on their feet. Since it would be irresponsible to provide so much beer and not have food, there were two options available; Barley Hops Grill and Felice Italian Catering.

Several hundred people showed up throughout the course of the day, many from as far as San Diego where Absolution’s roots sprouted; and one guy from Milwaukee showed up. It was kind of funny because I met him a year or so ago at The Bruery but he did not know the party was going on and I did not know he was back in town; he just happened to be around and showed up. He really enjoyed the tasting room scene as they have mostly brewpubs in his part of the country and brewpubs tend to be less social than a tasting room. Continue reading

A Visit to The Honest Abe Cidery

A couple weeks ago, Honest Abe Hard Ciders owner Spencer Chambers invited me to come down and visit The Honest Abe Cidery, as LA Beer Hop was bringing a group there and Chambers would be having a little soft open of sorts. I got there a little early and had a chance to talk with Chambers and his significant other, Kimberly.

While enjoying samples of his [current] four ciders, apple, pineapple, honey and blueberry (with Mosaic hops) I asked Chambers about how long he had been making ciders and what got him into it. It turns out the answer was rather simple and logical. Growing up in Kentucky and being surrounded by apple orchards, it was just something the kids did around there. Since Abraham Lincoln was from Kentucky, the name was a no-brainer.

When I asked Kimberly about her cider experience she confessed that she was more of a wine person but that palate has pretty much made her the official taste tester for Honest Abe. Chambers said his ciders are pretty much designed for her palate. Continue reading

Photos of the Brouwerij West Grand Opening

On Saturday, San Pedro’s latest production brewery opened their doors to the general public as Brouwerij West held their grand opening. To say it was well attended would be on the same level as suggesting beer is damp. When I was at Brouwerij West on Friday evening for the Founders’ Club pre-opening party I was speaking with the ever humble co-owner and head brewer, Brian Mercer, and he seemed to have concerns on whether people would show up the next day or not. When their event coordinator asked me how many people I thought would show up, I guessed that they would probably hit 1,000 with ease. The event began at noon, when I arrived a little after 3:00 I immediately knew I had severely underestimated the turnout. I had failed to take into consideration how supportive San Pedro residents are to their local businesses. I would be willing to bet they had at least 2,000 people show up throughout the course of the day.

Update: On Sunday evening Brian Mercer texted me to say that they actually had 4,500 people attend their event with a maximum of 1,500 at any point in the day. I don’t know who else around here could handle a day like that with virtually no issues other than maybe running out of a couple beers. They are definitely to be congratulated.

While most craft beer tasting rooms could not handle a group of that size, Brouwerij West has a couple advantages over the others. Their tasting room is huge and they have a large area outside that not only took care of the overflow of people, but it also held four food trucks, an auxiliary pouring station and a stage for the live entertainment. If there is any brewery around here that is built for a crowd as large as they had Saturday, Brouwerij West is the place. Continue reading

Founders Club Party at Brouwerij West

These photos are from the Founders’ Club party that was held at the Brouwerij West tasting room on Friday evening. The Founders’ Club is a yearlong membership for supporters of Brouwerij West, and one of the many perks is invitations to special events at the brewery; as their Grand Opening is Saturday, this pre-opening party was the first event for Founders’ members.

We were treated to samples of their latest releases, Buckwheat Sour and Mør Mør, as well as the seven other brews they had on tap including Sour Orange Wit, Super Orange, Bitter Blonde, Dog Ate My Homework, My First Rodeo, Tripel and Spelt Saison. Vella Pizza was also on hand providing their delicious pizza slices. There were a few hundred supporters in attendance and everyone seemed to have a great time.

The Founders’ Club is $175.00 for a year-long membership and benefits include six Brouwerij West bottle releases, 10% off Brouwerij West beer and merchandise, a growler and fill, a limited edition Founders’ Club t-shirt and glass, and other perks like VIP access to special events as well as events just for Founders’ members. Continue reading

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