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State Brewing Company Ribbon Cutting Photos

These photos were taken Thursday evening at the State Brewing Company ribbon cutting, which was held at the production brewery’s tasting room in Gardena. The event was attended by several members of the Gardena City Council, as well as representatives from the California state assembly and congress and other various City of Gardena representatives.

As I was going through my notes I realized that State’s soft open began about three months ago, but there were a couple cosmetic changes that had to be made before they could officially open; I have to say, the tasting room looks great now. Continue reading

Canning Expatriate at Three Weavers Brewing

Last week I was asked to meet a potential client at Three Weavers Brewing Company in Inglewood; since I don’t seem to get out there enough, I agreed and intentionally arrived a little early. It wasn’t long before Three Weavers Production Team Member, my buddy and all round nice guy Jared Gonzalez noticed my presence and offered to take me on a little tour of the production facility since I had not been there in a while.

Three Weavers has grown a lot as far as production capacity is concerned; including something like five new 90 bbl fermenters that were recently obtained. I did not have my camera with me and mentioned that I wanted to return to photograph this for comparison, if nothing else. It was then that Jared asked if I had seen the new canning line; I had not.

I guess this is where the geeks separate from the crowd; as I looked at the idle canning line and heard that it is capable of filling 250 cans a minute with its 30 head Innofill Can DVD can filler, I was impressed. However, it was when I turned around and saw the Ska Fab Can-i-Bus Depalletizer that I knew I wanted to come back and watch this thing in action. I did that Wednesday morning and these are the photos I took of the process.

I got there fairly early Wednesday morning and found Jared had already begun the setup that would allow three bodies to blast through so many cans so quickly. I could see by the empty cans that they would be canning their Expatriate IPA, but when they flushed the system with fresh beer the room immediately filled up with the recognizable smell of their crowd favorite IPA.

Jared had already started using the depalletizer to send the first level of cans to the line itself to get it primed, so to speak. If you have never seen the process, the brewery usually gets a tall pallet of empty cans wrapped in sheet plastic; they have to manually take the plastic off, and then set up the cans to begin the filling process. The depalletizer can take care of up to 400 cans a minute! I think I would need to get up on a ladder to get the best photos of it in action, but I didn’t want to press my luck.

One of the coolest gadgets was the FILTEC Full Can Inspection unit; this thing shoots gamma rays through the can to make sure it is full enough, and kicks out the ones that fail. It was pretty darn cool to watch and I got a few photos of cans being kicked.

If you have never noticed, at the bottom of every Three Weavers can is a “Born on” date accompanied by something “witty” that includes the can theme; I was asked to come up with something, Canned Heat is what I came up with. So the next time you open an Expatriate, check the bottom; if it says it was born on 2/14/18 and Canned Heat, it might be in this gallery.

I had a great time and would like to thank Jared and Three Weavers for the opportunity to observe and document the process.

Three Weavers Brewing is located at 1031 W Manchester Boulevard in Inglewood and they are open seven days a week. They are dog friendly and offer growlers, bottles and cans to go. Cheers!

Back to Canning Expatriate Photos

Back to Canning Expatriate Photos

7th Annual Pliny Fights Cancer Charity Raffle Results

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 7th Annual Pliny Fights Cancer Charity Raffle which is done in memory of a long time Beachwood friend, Tony Carbone who passed away in 2008 from stage 3 melanoma.

This morning, Beachwood BBQ & Brewing held their drawing for the 7th Annual Pliny Fights Cancer Charity Raffle at their Long Beach Blendery location. To enter the contest, one could purchase a ticket for $5.00 for a chance at a full pint of the 2018 Pliny the Younger. This year Beachwood raised over $10,000 from the ticket sales; which means they have raised over $85,000 over the past seven years for the beneficiary of the raffle, the Melanoma Research Foundation. The drawing was streamed live via the Four Brewers podcast and like last year, 200 winners were picked. Continue reading

Los Angeles Ale Works 1st Anniversary Photos

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Los Angeles Ale Works, where Hawthorne’s first craft brewery celebrated their first anniversary with a couple hundred close friends. The tasting room itself was pretty packed, so the overflow congregated on the patio or the parking lot, which they shared with multiple food vendors and other local artisans. LA Ale Works also marked the event with a can and bottle release.

LA Ale Works has grown since my last visit as was evidenced by the 20+ beers available. Judging by the size of the crowd this has not gone unnoticed by the locals.

Los Angeles Ale Works is located at 12918 Cerise Avenue in Hawthorne and are open seven days a week. They are dog friendly and offer beer to go in growlers, crowlers, bottles and cans. Cheers! Continue reading

Boomtown Brewery 3 Year Anniversary Photos

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Boomtown Brewery’s three years anniversary celebration. The event featured multiple food vendors, several DJs, and 17 Boomtown Brewery beers, including about three special beer releases. Later in the evening (after the kids and I had left) there were three performances of a burlesque show.

If it seems impossible for Boomtown to be open that long, one must think back to their beginning. The production brewery opened three years ago, but it took two years to satisfy the City of Los Angeles to the point that they could open their tasting room which occurred in February of 2017.

Although I have tried a half-dozen of Boomtown’s brews at various events and craft beer bars, this was my first visit to their facility, located in the Arts District area of Los Angeles; in a word, the place is huge. Continue reading

Pints with Purpose at Smog City Brewing

Towards the end of 2017 I started noticing that Torrance’s Smog City Brewing Company was holding a Pints with Purpose fundraiser every Thursday. After speaking with Smog City co-founder/owner Laurie Porter about it, I discovered that, being the socially conscious brewery that they are, they were donating 10% of their sales every Thursday of each month to a different non-profit. In the past they raised funds for such organizations as Food Forward and the Keep a Breast Foundation.

Since the Porter family was busy in January, they took the month off and restarted it again last night; for the month of February, every Thursday 10% of their sales goes to Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles. These photos were taken at Smog City, where Marine Mammal Care Center had brought their Mobile Visitors Center. Continue reading

Photos from the 2nd Annual LA Beer & Food Festival

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at the Mack Sennett Studios in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles, where the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild held their second annual L.A. Beer and Food Festival.

The event featured 50 LA Brewers Guild member breweries and brewpubs, pouring at least 100 different beers; as well as a half dozen local eateries providing samples of their specialties.

One thing that going to events like this does, is emphasize how fast the brewing community around us is growing. When I first started visiting craft breweries, it was easy to keep current with growth; I even covered grand openings in Pacoima, San Fernando and Lancaster. These days there are probably more breweries in the brewers guild that I have not visited, than have. For the record, I have visited more than half of the breweries that were there Saturday. Continue reading

A Visit to Kern River Brewing Company

These photos were taken Wednesday afternoon at Kern River Brewing Company in Kernville, and Lucky Luke Brewing Company in Palmdale. I needed to do someone a favor in Gorman, and since that was 75 miles of a 175 mile drive, I decided it was time for me to make my long overdue visit to Kern River Brewing Company (KRBC).

As I drove along the Kern River I thought back to the days that I used to ride up to Kernville with my buddy Gary; it was then that I realized that it had to be close to 40 years since the last time I was up in that area. I wondered if I would even recognize the few landmarks that I remembered from our exploits of the late 70’s and early 80’s. Continue reading

The Craft Beer Guy 2017 Year in Review

As the year draws to a close, it is time to think back on what 2017 has brought to the craft beer world; more specifically what has happened in the Craft Beer Guy world. As 2016 came to a pretty crappy end for me, I did not do one last year; for that reason, I will begin with the end of 2016 as it segued into 2017.

steelcraft soft open

Smog City – Steelcraft – Bixby Knolls

My coverage of 2016 ended pretty much the way 2017 started, with the opening of Smog City Brewing Company’s satellite tasting room, Smog City – SteelCraft in the Bixby Knolls area of Long Beach. They opened the location at the end of December; by the middle of January they had applied for, and were granted the ability to sell growlers and bottles to go.

Later in January the inaugural L.A. Beer and Food Festival was presented by the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild. The sold-out event featured close to 50 member breweries of the LA Brewers Guild as well as 15 local food vendors. This year the L.A. Beer and Food Festival will be held Saturday, January 27. Buy your tickets now, before it sells out.

Just a bit of trivia; while there were about 50 LA County Brewers Guild members in January of 2017, today there are almost 70! Continue reading

Chad’s Beer Cellar V Bottle Share Photos

These photos were taken Thursday evening at a Christmas Bottle Share benefiting the Richstone Family Center, which was held at the King Harbor Brewing tasting room.

In what has become a Christmas tradition in the South Bay, local craft beer aficionado and beer hoarder Chad Hazen, held the fifth in a series of bottle shares benefiting Richstone Family Center.

The first of the bottle shares was in December of 2014 when Hazen decided he wanted to quit drinking beer for a year while he trained for a marathon. As he travels a lot for work he had built up quite a collection of craft beer and he felt it would be too much temptation to have all that beer around while he trained. He got together with King Harbor Brewing Company, he is one of the investors, and they decided they would have a bottle share benefiting Richstone Family Center. Continue reading

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