It must have been six or seven months ago when Alpine Village General Manager Otto Radtke first mentioned the idea of a European beer festival to me. While I was not entirely sure how well it would be received, there was one thing I was quite confident of, the Alpine Village in Torrance would be the one logical location in the South Bay, possibly in Southern California that could pull this off. Saturday afternoon they proved me right by holding their first ever Euro Bierfest 2014, featuring more than 50 beers from France, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Iceland, England, Czech Republic and Sweden to probably 300 attendees.
I do not know if I have ever attended a beer festival that had so few IPAs; there were three only Belgian IPAs, none of which displayed the hoppiness to which Southern Californians have become accustomed but the ciders, sours, Pilsners, stouts, porters, guezes, tripels, quads and various bocks more than made up for it. For people with Untappd accounts, this was an excellent opportunity to rack up some of those more difficult to achieve badges like Belgian Holiday, Johnny Appleseed and Crisp as Day. Even more important was the opportunity to try beers that are rarely seen in any of the beer bars I frequent. It was really fun trying brews that I really had zero knowledge of only to discover how delicious they were.
In addition to the fine biers, there was a buffet of German and American foods available to help soak up some of the alcohol; and there was a Chicken Dance in which contestants displayed their Oktoberfest dancing skills for a chance to win some Alpine Village t-shirts. All in all, this was a blast and I personally enjoyed meeting those of you that came up to say hello. Meeting you people is part of what makes my covering of these events so enjoyable; I thank you. Continue reading
Having attended several craft beer events at Alpine Village I feel confident in saying this event is going to be amazing. Euro Bierfest 2014 will run from 1:00-4:00 PM for general admission attendees and is priced at $40 each which includes unlimited tastings and a commemorative tasting glass. VIP tickets are $60 each and will get you in an hour early and you will get a Euro Bierfest t-shirt. There are discounts available with a built in $7.50 off for tickets purchased online before July 5, 2014; you will get another $7.50 off if you use PROMO CODE: ‘craftbeerguy’. That is a total of $15 off per General Admission or VIP ticket purchased online by Friday, the 4th of July. After July 4 you will still receive $7.50 off if you purchase your tickets online and use the craftbeerguy promo code (be sure to click APPLY on the order form). You can order your tickets online at https://events.admitoneproducts.com/tkt_sales.php?test=true&event_id=793814
I was talking to a friend the other day and she mentioned that she needed to practice up on her European beers for her cicerone test; so if you are in the same boat, Euro Bierfest 2014 is going to be a great way to try many European beers under one roof. So cram for that exam at Euro Bierfest 2014, Saturday July 19, 2014. I hope to see you there. Alpine Village is located at 833 W Torrance Boulevard in Torrance; that is where the 405 and 110 meet. Cheers!
Alpine Village, located in Torrance at the 405 and 110 freeways was established in 1968 and has been the home of the biggest Oktoberfest celebration in Southern California for more than 40 years. In 2012 they held their first Alpine Bier Fest which had more than 100 beers with almost as many attendees. Believe me when I say, if you did not attend it was your loss; there were amazing brews there. Last year they had their 2nd Annual Alpine Bierfest which many of you did attend and can attest to the fact that this was another great beer event and possibly the best value of any beer festival I attended in 2013. The point is, Alpine Village has been doing beer festivals longer than anyone I can think of on this side of the Mississippi River. When Alpine Village says they are providing some of the most amazing beers from across the Atlantic for your tasting pleasure, they mean it. Belgian Sours, German Bocks, English Porters, French Ciders and more. Continue reading
The 1,900 square foot space, which was pretty much used as a storage space for the last several years, is in the process of being cleared of extra walls and is now available for viewing by interested parties. The middle 450 square feet of the space has an 18′ ceiling which would accommodate fermentation tanks. The remaining space has a 10′ ceiling. Natural gas is available and there are numerous floor sinks and floor drains although their condition is currently unknown. There is a 110 square foot office in one corner and an additional 50 square foot room available that could be used for storing equipment or supplies.
Although the Alpine Village Complex has a Torrance mailing address, it is actually in an unincorporated portion of Los Angeles County. Alpine Village is essentially located at the intersection of the 110 and 405 freeways so anyone coming into the South Bay to check out the craft beer scene probably drives right by this location. Add to that the ample parking, the proximity to the Alpine Inn Restaurant and the eagerness of the Alpine Village Board of Directors to help this venture succeed you have a lot of great potential for a successful tasting room. Continue reading
These photos are from the 2nd Annual Alpine Kraft Bierfest which was held Sunday afternoon in the Alpine Inn at Alpine Village in Torrance, CA. For those of you that attended, thank you very much; for those of you that missed it, you really missed it. I will admit that I took special interest in seeing this event succeed because I went to the first Alpine Kraft Bierfest and I did not want to see a repeat of last year’s dismal attendance. I was aware of the vision Otto Radtke, GM Of the Alpine Village Center, to see his craft beer festival bloom and grow into an internationally recognized beer festival. Last year there may have been 200 attendees; this year there were closer to 500. With growth like that, Radtke’s vision may come to fruition before too long.
An event of this size is rarely going to come off trouble free, but whatever issues were encountered yesterday were relatively minor and everyone seemed to be having a great time. There were about 50 breweries represented with [I am told] 101 different beers to choose from. Probably the most difficult task was tracking down specific beers that I wanted to try because many of the breweries did not send representatives or signage. Luckily, the organizers put together a map to assist attendees locate their favorite brews. Then it was just a matter of figuring out where to start and in what order. One day I am going to sit down and figure out a game plan before the event begins; I have heard of people that tried doing that, although I have yet to meet anyone that was able to stick to their plan.
I would like to congratulate Radtke, Todd Worley and the entire staff of the Alpine Inn for a job well done and I would like to thank all the Craft Beer Guy followers that came up an introduced themselves; I truly do enjoy meeting you. I hope to see all of you next year at the 3rd Annual Alpine Kraft Bierfest. Cheers! Continue reading
Next Sunday, November 17, Alpine Village will host their 2nd Annual Alpine Kraft Bierfest in the Alpine Inn from 3:00-8:00 PM. This American craft beer festival is shaping up to be an outstanding event with at least 50 different breweries being represented, which means there will be at least 100 different beers to choose from.
According to the Alpine Village website, the craft beers scheduled to be poured are:
If you are thinking, “Second annual, I don’t remember the first one,” do not feel too bad, last year’s event was not very well promoted so it meant that more than 35 brewers providing more than 100 different beers and no lines. This year promises to be even better as the event is being moved inside to the Alpine Inn rather than the big tent that houses Oktoberfest. What this means to you is more beer, limited capacity of the Alpine Inn and the availability of their restaurant if you want to pause from your beer tasting and try some authentic German food. Since November 17 is a Sunday, they will be having their brunch, so you might consider attending their Sunday brunch before the bier fest begins.
So, what sets Alpine’s Kraft Bierfest apart from the others? Most of the beer festivals I cover are a fundraiser of one sort or another. As a result, most of the breweries are asked to donate a keg or two and you frequently find the flagship beers as the only options. Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that model, but if you attend a lot of beer festivals you eventually start running into the same beers over and over. The Alpine Kraft Bierfest is not a fundraiser; it is all about the beer. Alpine Village has gone out, sought and bought the beers that will be available at this event. Last year they purchased the last two kegs of Enjoy By 09.21.12 which was poured at the event; luckily, Alpine has a great beer cellar so beer that was not poured at the first bierfest was available for sale later at the Alpine Inn. For the next several months after the event, they had one of the better rotating tap lists in town. This year promises to be even better as there are some beers that have been aging a while, like Stone’s 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale. A few of the other breweries and beers I know about are Allagash’s Saison Rye, Hugh Malone and Bourbon Barrel; The Bruery’s Bryeian; Uinta Brewing Company’s Sea Legs Baltic Porter; Napa Smith’s Grateful Dog; North Coast’s Grand Cru; Mission Brewery’s Mission Armada; Manzanita Brewing Company’s 3rd Anniversary Ale; and North Coast Brewing’s Barrel Aged Old Rasputin XV. As you can tell, this is going to be a great event for craft beer aficionados. Continue reading
Sunday, day 11 of LA Beer Week (LABW5) and congratulations to those of you that survived. While I did not attend the event at Union Station a week ago, I cannot imagine trying to do it at the end of an 11 day week. I started the day by heading over to King Harbor Brewing Company where I got the opportunity to meet their head brewer as he christened the location by brewing a small batch saison. A little later in the day I was informed that Smog City Brewing was hosting a panel, School of BJ’s Brewer Panel Discussion featuring Jonathan Porter of Smog City, Tyler King of The Bruery, David Griffiths of Ladyface Alehouse & Brasserie, Evan Price of Noble Ale Works and Owen Williams of Ritual Brewing Company. It turns out that the common denominator between the five of them is that they all brewed at BJ’s; who would have guessed? We decided to begin by going to Monkish Brewing to try their LABW5 entry, End of Summer, a Belgian Honey Ale. We then headed around the corner to Smog City.
As it turned out the event was not really supposed to be public as Beer Paper LA was using the opportunity to interview the brewers for an upcoming issue and they were concerned I would scoop them; so I bailed. You should be able to read about it and see any photos in their upcoming issue.
It really was a fun week and I had a great time. I would like to extend special thanks to The Brewery at Abigaile, Naja’s Place, Rock & Brews PCH, Monkish Brewing Company, Strand Brewing Company, San Pedro Brewing Company, Alpine Village and El Segundo Brewing Company for their hospitality and generosity over the past week. It was truly appreciated. Cheers! Continue reading
It may have been day 10 of LA Beer Week (LABW5) but the list of available events to attend gave no indication that we were wrapping things up as far as “beer week” was concerned. I could not help but think back to an article I read while researching American Craft beer Week; at one point it was actually American Craft Beer Month! I can understand why they decided to cut back to a week, but I had to wonder how long an LA Beer Month would last. Luckily, there were lots of great events in my own backyard, so I kept it local.
I started Saturday off at Smog City Brewing in Torrance and their Rarest of the Rare and event that pulled in beer geeks from all over the LA and Orange Counties. Their owner, Porter, has a reputation for “hoarding” beers and he brought out a good number of them Saturday. There were barrel aged, sours, and collaboratives; there were 19 or 20 different brews in total. As I knew I had a long day ahead of me, I stuck to taking photos knowing I would return later.
A little later I headed over to El Segundo Brewing Company (ESBC) for their Hop Tanker DIPA Release Party. To celebrate LABW5 and the addition of Hop Tanker to their tap list, they brought out many of the different beers head brewer Rob Croxall has produced over the years. As expected, they had a great turnout so they opened up the entire brewery, utilizing taps in the front and rear as well as a separate filling station for growlers. Making special on cask appearances were Melon Collie, White Dog on Ogen heirloom melons; Blue Cubed, Blue House IPA with Sugar Cube heirloom melons; and Blue House IPA on peaches. Continue reading
Sunday was day 4 of LA Beer Week (LABW5) and as I did not feel inclined to go out to Union Station I decided to take a little ride around the South Bay. My friends at Alpine Village in Torrance told me about a Street Toys car show they were having in conjunction with Sunday’s Oktoberfest festivities, so I pointed my bike out that way. After an hour or so of photographing cars I headed into the big tent they hold Oktoberfest in.
Alpine Village has been having Oktoberfest there for the past 46 years which makes it the largest and longest running Oktoberfest celebration this side of the Rockies. If you have never been, it is a lot of fun. They sell Warsteiner Oktoberfest and Pilsener as well as PBR in the big tent as well as brats and pretzels and other good German snacks to go along with your beer. They have oompah bands, the Chicken Dance and lots of general insanity on Friday and Saturday nights. These photos were from early Sunday, so you can see it is okay to bring your kids, they will have a good time too. You can find out more about the 46th Annual Oktoberfest and purchase tickets online by visiting the Alpine Village website.
Since it was a nice day and it was LA Beer Week, I decided to take a ride out to El Segundo and see what was happening at El Segundo Brewing Company. I had to try that Casa Azul again. Cheers! Continue reading