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Bart Bullington

Absolution Brewing Celebrates 3 Year Anniversary

These photos were taken Saturday, March 18, at the Absolution Brewing Company tasting room in Torrance, where they celebrated their three year anniversary.

Say what you will about Absolution Brewing, these guys know how to throw a party, and Saturday’s extravaganza was no exception. In addition to the 20+ beers that were on tap at the main bar of the tasting room, they had four special firkins and about 10 other special brews which were available in the front office. For those with an appetite for food, Bartz Barbecue was there with their brisket and pork sandwich options.

As this was a daylong event, I split my day up with two visits. Continue reading

Absolution Brewing Mug Club Christmas Party Photos

On Sunday evening, Absolution Brewing Company held their annual Christmas party for members of their MUG Club loyalty program. Attendees were provided with a wide variety of snacks and were treated to a pint of Absolution’s cellar-aged Anniversary Ale. Of course, there were specials on any of the 19 other brews they pour; I spent my time enjoying their new 405 IPA. Finally, Absolution has brewed a true west coast style IPA. For entertainment, we enjoyed the rock and blues sounds of Nasty Bad Habit; it really was a good time.

You know, the ABC MUG Club makes for a pretty nice Christmas gift; in fact, I know one couple that was at the party last night because they had just received a membership as an early Christmas present. Membership includes a nice growler, a hat, shirt, discounts on beer and invitations to these private events. You might want to give yourself one. Cheers! Continue reading

Local Craft Brewing at the Torrance Library

On Saturday afternoon I moderated a panel at the Katy Geissert Civic Center Library to highlight Torrance’s prominence in the South Bay’s burgeoning craft beer industry. Hosted by the Torrance Public Library, the panel consisted of Rich Marcello from Strand Brewing Company, Laurie Porter from Smog City Brewing, Alex Rabe from The Dudes’ Brewing, and Bart Bullington from Absolution Brewing Company.

The questions ranged from why was Torrance chosen to set up shop, how they got into craft beer and challenges faced by new breweries, to what would you do if AB InBev approached with suitcases full of money (apparently $1 billion is the magic number).

It was a fun discussion and hopefully those that attended learned a little more about the breweries and the craft beer community in general; it was nice having two panelists that are primarily on the sales side of their respective breweries (Marcello and Porter); and two panelists that are the brewers for their brewery (Rabe and Bullington). Continue reading

Absolution Brewing Begins Expansion

It seems like only yesterday that I was reporting that the City of Torrance had granted production brewery Absolution Brewing Company their Conditional Use Permit. The reality is that it was just two years ago, November 19, 2013 that Absolution appeared before the Planning Commission. In that time they have gotten a new brewer, Bart Bullington; as the initial brewer, Wes McCann went back east to brew when his wife was reassigned in the Navy. They bottled a barrel-aged brew and then began brewing in Denver so they could begin bottling six-packs of their Cardinal Sin red ale and Angel’s Demise IPA. Now they have removed their original brewhouse and have begun some pretty massive expansion at the Torrance tasting room.

Today I was there when they received a new boiler and three new 30 bbl fermenters. When I spoke with Bullington about their immediate plans, they plan on getting five more 30 bbl fermenters but in the meantime they will utilize the 15 and 20 bbl fermenters they started with. A couple more brite tanks are on the way as I write this; I will go back tomorrow and see what else is new.

Absolution has stocked up on a few of their brews, but some options will be removed from the tap list as the expansion proceeds and some tap out. If push comes to shove they can get some of their beer back from the distributor, but they have enough to hold them over for a while. They hope to be brewing again by the end of the year. Continue reading

Absolution Brewing Company Celebrates One Year

These photos are from Absolution Brewing Company’s one year anniversary party that was held at their tasting room this past Saturday. While Absolution may have gotten off to a shaky start with their Grand Opening that found several brews tapping out before the day was over, I do not think anyone that has watched their progress over the past year can deny that Absolution Brewing has weathered the storm and have established themselves as a brewery that will be here for the long run.

When Absolution Brewing first opened the initial goal was to gain acceptance with the style of beers they brewed. Using “Old World styles and New World ingredients” their beers are not your typical “west coast” style; for example, you would never confuse any of their IPAs with any of the others brewed around here. Variety is what prevents over-saturation, so their style was welcomed by me and obviously many others as their tasting room always seems to have a nice group sampling their beers.

In November their original head brewer, Wes McCann, moved back east as his wife was transferred; so Absolution was forced to find a replacement which they did by bringing in Bart Bullington. The change in style and recipes was noticed almost immediately; Bullington’s tweaks to McCann’s recipes seemed to be just what Absolution needed to satisfy the palates of South Bay beer drinkers. Continue reading

Business & Beer returns to Absolution Brewing Company

On Thursday evening, the South Bay’s Business & Beer networking group returned to Absolution Brewing Company, a relatively new production brewery and tasting room located in Torrance. In the eight months since the first time Business & Beer visited Absolution Brewing there have been several changes with more on the way. Probably the most visible changes were the available brews, including three barrel-aged varieties and a sour; aesthetically, the changes included a lot more seating along with strategically placed tables so visitors have a place to sit their beers while chatting with other visitors. Probably less obvious was the fact that they have a new head brewer, Bart Bullington, as their former head brewer Wes McCann recently moved back east. Bullington took some time to visit with the group, giving some details of his brewing past as well as his plans for the future. Bullington’s brews should be ready for consumption by next week, so it will be interesting to see if there is any detectable difference.

The Business & Beer networking group is open to all and meets on the second Thursday of every month at a different brewery tasting room or brewpub in the South Bay area. There are currently eight locations in the rotation including The Brewery at Abigaile, El Segundo Brewing Company, Strand Brewing Company, Monkish Brewing Company, King Harbor Brewing Company, The Dudes’ Brewing and Smog City Brewing. There are no dues or other requirements to join Business & Beer, just an appreciation of craft beer and a desire to network with others of the same mindset. You can see the schedule of upcoming events on the Business & Beer home page where you can also sign up to get on their mailing list. You can also Like them on Facebook to be kept in the loop. It is a nice group of people and believe it or not, real business does get done. Cheers! Continue reading

Absolution Brewing Company Welcomes Bullington as Brewmaster

On Friday evening I headed over to Absolution Brewing Company, the newest production brewery to open in Torrance, where they were holding a small gathering to welcome their new brew master, Bart Bullington. Bullington, who will begin his brewing tasks on Monday, has quite a few years of brewing history under his belt including stints at a couple Southern California craft breweries including the Laguna Beach Brewing Company back in the mid-90s, as well as a couple others that are no longer around and most recently (going by memory) Solvang Brewing Company.

I was able to talk to him briefly and while he has no intention of changing the recipes of Absolution Brewing’s flagship brews he said that we should probably notice a slight difference as he adds his touch to them.

Absolution’s original head brewer, Wes McCann will be moving back to the Washington, D.C. area as his wife Ann will be decommissioning her Navy ship in San Diego this winter and is transferring to duties at the Pentagon. McCann has already been in talks with a brewery or two back east so I suspect we have not seen the last of him. We wish Wes and Ann the best of luck in their future. Cheers! Continue reading

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