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Photos from Day One of Naja’s 9th Annual IPA Festival

Late Wednesday morning, I jumped in a Lyft and headed towards the International Boardwalk at King Harbor in Redondo Beach for day one of Naja’s Place 9th Annual IPA Festival.

In the past, the event started at 2:00 or 3:00 PM, and there would be a pretty decent line of people waiting to get in; this year, Naja’s is opening at 11:30 AM and when I arrived at 11:31 there was only four or five people waiting, so that was nice.

Another change this year is the printed beer menu. In the past they have printed one menu for the entire event, so you had to hope the beer you heart was set on was available that day. This year the menu only listed the beers that were available that day; additional menus will be printed daily as some beers tap out and are replaced. Continue reading

4th Annual South Bay Beer & Wine Festival Photos

These photos were taken Sunday at the 4th Annual South Bay Beer & Wine Festival which was held at Ernie Howlett Park in Rolling Hills Estates. This annual fundraising event was presented by the Rotary Clubs of El Segundo, Palos Verdes Peninsula and South Bay Sunrise; the event featured about 30 craft breweries as well as 15 wineries and food from close to 30 local restaurants. All proceeds fund the community outreach programs of Rotary Clubs within the South Bay and Harbor cities of Los Angeles.

The beer portion of the event was curated with the assistance of Beer Paper L.A.’s own Daniel Drennon, which has caused some to know the festival as the Daniel Drennon (DFD) Invitational. The list of breweries pouring was pretty much an A to Z list of craft with everything from Absolution Brewing and Arts District Brewing to Yorkshire Square Brewery and Zymurgy Brew Works. Of course, the selections were not limited to Los Angeles area breweries as we were joined by Avery Brewing and Ska Brewing from Colorado, as well as such California powerhouses as Sierra Nevada and Firestone Walker. Continue reading

Smog City Brewing Celebrates 4th Anniversary

These photos were taken Saturday at Smog City Brewing Company where several hundred of Smog City’s fans gathered to help Jonathan and Laurie Porter celebrate four years of brewing at their Torrance location.

It has been a lot of fun watching Smog City grow since their soft open; not only in the number of beers and styles that they turn out, but the massive growth of the brewery itself and the fact that they now have their satellite SteelCraft location in Long Beach. If you look at the photos of the brewery from the soft open the brewery and tasting room were vast; compare it to the photos from Saturday and you can see that it has almost become a forest of stainless steel. According to Jonathan, there is even more to come. Continue reading

Yorkshire Square Brewery Ribbon Cutting

If it seemed a little overcast and drizzly Saturday afternoon, it was most likely because Yorkshire Square Brewery held their ribbon cutting and grand opening and along with the genuine English-style cask ales, they also furnished us with some authentic English-style weather.

No matter the weather, friends, family and craft beer aficionados were gathering outside in the Yorkshire Square parking lot for up to a half hour before opening time, anxiously awaiting a pour of their first authentic English pint in the South Bay.

The ribbon cutting was attended by Torrance Mayor Pat Furey, and city council members Mike Griffiths and Kurt Weideman; who presented Yorkshire Square with a Certificate of Recognition . . . and noted that Yorkshire Square is the 10th brewery for the City of Torrance (11th if you count Zymurgy) Continue reading

Zymurgy Brew Works Guest Brewer Night with Graham Strong

These photos were taken Tuesday evening at Zymurgy Brew Works & Tasting Room in Torrance as they continued their series of guest brewer nights; this time featuring Graham Strong, an assistant brewer at Brouwerij West in San Pedro.

While the previous guest brewer nights I have attended brewed different versions of IPAs, last night we brewed Brouwerij West’s Saison. While IPAs may be “all about the hops”, Brouwerij West’s Saison is more about the grain bill and the yeast. A definite example of brewers make the wort, yeast makes the beer.

While there may have been a few people that were at Zymurgy for the first time, it seemed that almost everyone was a homebrewer with some experience; but that did not stop anyone from wanting to participate in the process, from adding the grain to stirring or adding the hops. In the dead time we were able to sample a finished example of the Brouwerij West Saison as well as their new IPA, Picnic Lightning. Continue reading

7th Annual San Clemente Micro-Brew Festival Photos

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at the 7th Annual San Clemente Micro-Brew Festival, which was held in the Left Coast Brewing Company parking lot between their brewery and the tasting room. Proceeds from the event went to benefit military welcome-home events hosted by the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce. The event featured a little over a dozen local to San Clemente breweries as well as live music provided by Kalama Brothers, Special Blend and Rascalin. Wahoo’s food truck was also there for those that wanted food.

This was my first time attending this event, but just from the name “Micro-Brew Festival” I knew it was going to be old-school. When I arrived I noticed my preconceived notions were correct; not that this is a bad thing. It was nice and compact, with more than enough different beers available for any responsible craft beer fan, and they had plenty of bathrooms and free water. Continue reading

Yorkshire Square Brewery: From the Beginning

A Yorkshire Square vessel is a two-story brewing system consisting of a shallow chamber approximately two meters high, above which is a walled deck. Cooled wort, the liquid extracted from malted barley, is fermented in the lower chamber, while the yeasty head settles on the deck above.

So, what I learned was that Yorkshire Square was not a place in England, former home of Yorkshire Square Brewery founder, Gary Croft, but rather a brewing system popular in the northern portion of England. Croft informed me that there are no Yorkshire Square fermenters in the US, but he is going to do his best to change that before too long. In the meantime, he is happy to announce that the Yorkshire Square Brewery in Torrance is now brewing beer, and they will be having their soft open beginning Wednesday, April 19 at 5:00 PM. Continue reading

2nd Annual Jeff Sanders Memorial Homebrew Competition

These photos were taken at the 2nd Annual Jeff Sanders Memorial Homebrew Competition which was held Saturday at the Robert Gennaria Memorial Odd Fellows Hall in Redondo Beach. The event was put on by the Strand Brewers Club and was sponsored by South Bay Brewing Supply, King Harbor Brewing Company, Naja’s Place, Smog City Brewing Company, and Strand Brewing Company.

There were 47 entries judged, all of which were limited the Jeff’s favorite styles, which meant there were lots of barleywines, English-style ales, porters and such.

As of this writing, the winners had not been announced, so check the Strand Brewers Club website or Facebook page over the next few days for the announcement. Cheers! Continue reading

Tap It for 10 Fundraiser for Jesse Esphorst at Smog City

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

Guinness Beer Dinner Debuts Guinness Irish Wheat

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

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