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A Class of Beer Graduation Party

A couple weeks ago I told you about the UCLA Extension course being taught by taught by local beerlebrity and writer for Celebrator Beer News and Beer Paper L.A., Tomm Carroll. The course, A Class of Beer: An Overview of the Craft Brewing Renaissance, covered the history of beer from ancient times to today’s craft beer explosion. Students learned about different styles of beers as well as how to differentiate between a flawed beer and a good one. Essentially, by the time they completed the eight week class, attendees should be well on their way to being capable of pursuing a rank from the Beer Judge Certification Program or to begin the Brewers Association’s program to be certified as a Cicerone.

Well, last week was their final class and Monday evening, Carroll invited his students to the infamous Trux Stop for some camaraderie and to enjoy some food and good beer outside of the classroom setting. I used the opportunity to talk with some of the students I missed when we were at Select Beer Store. Continue reading

Photos from the 3rd Annual South Bay Beer & Wine Festival

These photos are from the 3rd Annual South Bay Beer & Wine Festival, which was held Sunday afternoon at Ernie Howlett Park in Rolling Hills Estates. Presented by the Rotary Clubs of El Segundo, Palos Verdes Peninsula and South Bay Sunrise this charity event featured almost 40 craft breweries as well as 15 wineries and food from about 36 local restaurants. In addition to the beer, wine and food, music was provided by Detour.

Moving the festival to Ernie Howlett Park was a smart move as it is much more spacious than the South Coast Botanical Gardens, where the event was held last year, as there were probably 10 more breweries than last year and it allowed them to sell more tickets. When I asked how many attendees came out, I was told they sold about 1,400 tickets, which was almost double from last year. The additional space made it really difficult to judge the number of people in attendance because it was so spread out. The main thing is that there were no lines that had more than four or five people in them. Continue reading

A Class of Beer at Select Beer Store

For those that think I made a typo in the title, I didn’t. A Class of Beer: An Overview of the Craft Brewing Renaissance is a class that was offered this spring through UCLA’s continuing education program; UCLA Extension. The class, taught by local beerlebrity, beer hoarder and writer for Celebrator Beer News and Beer Paper L.A. Tomm Carroll, explored the history of beer from ancient times to today’s craft beer explosion. With Carroll leading the class, students learned about different styles of beers as well as how to differentiate between a flawed beer and a good one. Essentially, by the time they completed the eight week class, attendees should be well on their way to being capable of pursuing a rank from the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) or to begin the Brewers Association’s program to be certified as a Cicerone.

As we all know, sitting in a classroom listening to beer experts like Carroll, John Palmer, author of Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers; Devon Randall of Arts District Brewing; Rob Croxall of El Segundo Brewing, as well as various craft beer bar owners, homebrewers and judges is all well and good but until you can see, smell and taste the beer the talking can only go so far. To remedy this, Carroll has beer tastings of four different beers for each classroom session and arranged a few field trips to locations like Monkish Brewing to discuss brewing styles and yeasts; Mohawk Bend to learn about running a craft beer bar or brewpub; and this past Monday they visited Select Beer Store in Redondo Beach, where I caught up to them. Continue reading

3rd Annual South Bay Beer & Wine Festival Coming May 15, 2016

South Bay Beer & Wine Fest

Join Us Sunday, May 15

The 3rd Annual South Bay Beer & Wine Festival will be held on Sunday afternoon, May 15 from 1:00-5:00 PM at Ernie Howlett Park in Rolling Hills Estates. Proceeds from this charity fundraising event will go to support the humanitarian programs of the El Segundo Rotary Club, Palos Verdes Peninsula Rotary Club, and South Bay Rotary Club. The Rotary Club supports community programs focused on health and nutrition, high school Interact and leadership, education and literacy, vocational training, and community space restoration and renovation. A few of the organizations they support include El Segundo Teen Center, C.A.S.E. Food Pantry, Switzer Learning Center, Mychal’s Learning Place, Cancer Support Community, Caring House, ARC House, Norris Theatre and South Bay Mobile Medical Clinics.

The craft breweries were assembled by Beer Paper L.A.’s own Daniel Drennon; if you were there last year and thought he did a great job, wait until you see who is scheduled for this year’s event. On tap include Absolution Brewing, Anchor Brewing, Artifex, Avery, Ballast Point, Beachwood, Bottle Logic, Drake’s, Arts District, Brouwerij West, El Segundo Brewing, Firestone Walker, Fireman’s Brew, Founder’s, Ironfire Brewing, King Harbor Brewing, Ladyface, Mission Brewery, New Belgium, Phantom Carriage, Pizza Port Brewing, Red Car Brewery, Baja Brewing, Headlands, HopSaint, Sierra Nevada, Smog City, Stone Brewing, Strand Brewing, Tenaya Creek, Mother Earth, Ska and Three Weavers will all be providing brews to sample. Continue reading

Additional Photos of the Craft Beer Guy Birthday Party

A little over a week ago Absolution Brewing Company, along with El Segundo Brewing, Strand Brewing Company, Smog City Brewing, Phantom Carriage and King Harbor Brewing Company threw a birthday party for me at Absolution’s tasting room. Since I was the guest of honor, Tanya and I had decided that it would not be very polite for me to spend time taking photos instead of interacting with the guests that showed up. Tanya brought her camera, but we both knew that the photos would be rather minimal in comparison to what I would normally shoot if I was behind the camera, but hey, it was a party.

When we arrived at the Absolution Brewing Company tasting room, Absolution’s CTO (Chief Tasting Officer), Nigel Heath approached me and said, “You cannot take photos of your own party,” at which time he introduced me to one of the Absolution patrons, Luis Paredes, who just happened to be there with his big Nikon. Luis had offered to take photos in exchange for some free beer and food. I was more than happy to include Luis in the shindig.

Luis owns LP Photography and he can be reached via his Instagram page, https://instagram.com/luisparedesphotography/. These are some of the photos he took.

Thanks again to Luis, Absolution Brewing, Strand Brewing, Phantom Carriage, King Harbor Brewing, Smog City, El Segundo Brewing and everyone that came out. I hope you had as good a time as I did. Cheers! Continue reading

Photos from the 2nd Annual South Bay Beer & Wine Festival

These photos were taken at the 2nd Annual South Bay Beer & Wine Festival which was held at the South Coast Botanical Garden in Rancho Palos Verdes on Sunday afternoon. This outstanding event was hosted by Toyota and South Bay Equity Lending and sponsored by the Rotary Clubs of El Segundo, Palos Verdes Peninsula, and South Bay Sunrise. 100% of the proceeds from the event will go to support the humanitarian programs of the El Segundo Rotary Club, Palos Verdes Peninsula Rotary Club, and South Bay Rotary Club. Live music was provided by Detour.

While this was the 2nd Annual South Bay Beer & Wine Festival it was the first one that I attended, so I cannot compare it to last year’s event other than to say that I overheard a couple people that suggested that yesterday’s festival was bigger than their inaugural event. As a first time attendee I have to say that the stars must have been in perfect alignment as it appeared that Sunday’s event went off flawlessly.

I do not know how many people were in attendance, but when divided up between almost 30 breweries, close to 10 wineries and more than 20 restaurants lines were pretty much non-existent. There were not even lines for the restrooms. Continue reading

2nd Annual South Bay Beer & Wine Festival Coming May 3

botanic garden

A beautiful outdoor venue

I recently crossed paths with Beer Paper L.A.’s head writer and man-about-town, Daniel Drennon, who suggested that I might want to help promote the upcoming South Bay Beer & Wine Festival that is going to be held at the South Coast Botanical Garden in Rancho Palos Verdes. I had seen flyers posted at various tasting rooms around town, but it was not until I visited the South Bay Beer & Wine Festival website that I realized what a great event was being planned literally right up the street from me.

The 2nd Annual South Bay Beer & Wine Festival is hosted by Toyota and South Bay Equity Lending and sponsored by the Rotary Clubs of El Segundo, Palos Verdes Peninsula, and South Bay Sunrise. Proceeds from this event will go to support the humanitarian programs of the El Segundo Rotary Club, Palos Verdes Peninsula Rotary Club, and South Bay Rotary Club. The Rotary Club supports community programs focused on health and nutrition, high school Interact and leadership, education and literacy, vocational training, and community space restoration and renovation. They also support international projects such as worldwide eradication of polio, clean water projects, and wheelchair purchases and distribution. Continue reading

Photos from King Harbor Brewing Company’s 1 Year Anniversary Party

On Saturday afternoon King Harbor Brewing Company (KHBC), Redondo Beach’s only production brewery, held their one year anniversary party at their tasting room. King harbor used the celebration to raise funds for the Richstone Family Center in Hawthorne. And when I say celebrate let there be no mistake, King Harbor pulled all the stops with this event.

While the tasting room remained open for the general public to join the party for free, the parking lot was transformed into party central for those that wanted to attend the fundraising portion of the event. Included in the price of admission was access to many cask and one offs brews including their Single-Barrel Anniversary Ale and a Belgian style pale ale that King Harbor did in collaboration with Telegraph Brewing Company. Live music was provided by local musicians Nick Shattuck, Dankrupt and The Thirsty Crows. There was also a dunk tank that featured local celebrities and a couple craft beer celebs such as Beer Paper L.A.’s Daniel Drennon and yours truly. Everyone that came to the parking lot portion also received a nice commemorative mug and a bottle of their Sh!ft 1 Anniversary Ale, an Imperial Brown Ale aged in Corsair Whiskey Barrels with graham crackers and cacao nibs. Food was available for purchase from Fill R Up Gastro Garage and Los Angeles Fry Company. Continue reading

The 2014 Craft Beer Guy Year in Review

As 2014 winds down I faced the question posed to me by a few people; “Will Craft Beer Guy be writing an article about the year?” Initially I thought I would do a Top 10 list and just discuss the Top 10 breweries and brewpubs in the South Bay. I figured it would be easy because there were only 10 craft brewers here, but in the last month so many new locations have opened that we now have 12 if you count Phantom Carriage that has not “officially” opened yet. The South Bay now has the following breweries and brewpubs in its confines; in order of seniority (I think) they are: Red Car Brewery, San Pedro Brewing Company, Strand Brewing Company, El Segundo Brewing Company, Monkish Brewing Company, The Brewery at Abigaile, Smog City Brewing, The Dudes’ Brewing Company, Absolution Brewing Company, King Harbor Brewing Company, Three Weavers Brewing and Phantom Carriage. 2015 should bring us a few more including Hop Saint, Brouwerij West and Port Town Brewing; and those are just the ones that come to mind. There will also be some moves and expansions among those listed above. With that I now present you The 2014 Craft Beer Guy Year in Review.

January 2014

Noble flight

Noble Ale Works Flight

As I look through my articles from January I see that it was a pretty mellow month or the calm before the storm if you prefer. I would have to say my personal highlight of the month was a Sunday afternoon that we spent visiting several of the Orange County craft brewery tasting rooms and brewpubs. The day included stops at Bootlegger’s Brewery, Taps Fish House & Brewery, Noble Ale Works, Tustin Brewing Company and Brewbakers. Each of these stops were first time visits and I would not have a problem recommending any of them. The thing is, in the past year Orange County has opened so many new tasting rooms and brewpubs that it is getting tough to try and keep up with them all; but I will try. Continue reading

Locals Night at Naja’s Place LA Beer Week 2014

The 6th Annual LA Beer Week begins Saturday, September 20 but Naja’s Place in Redondo Beach kicked it off a day early with their “Locals Night” which included close to 50 beers on tap from 18 local craft breweries. The local breweries spotlighted in last night’s event included, The Brewery at Abigaile, Angel City, Beachwood, Bottle Logic, The Bruery, The Dudes’ Brewing, Eagle Rock Brewing, El Segundo Brewing, Golden Road, Hangar 24, Kinetic Brewing, King Harbor Brewing, Ladyface, LA Ale Works, Monkish Brewing, Noble Ale Works, Smog City and Strand Brewing Company.

Naja’s Place will continue their celebration of LA Beer Week on Saturday by showcasing 30+ Pizza Port beers, followed by an Allagash tap takeover on Wednesday and a Firestone takeover next Saturday, September 27.

Los Angeles Beer Week (LABW6) officially runs from September 20 through September 28. There are events happening all over the Greater Los Angeles area; you can find the most up to date schedule of events on the LA Beer Week website. There are some great beers being brewed around here now, go out and celebrate it. Cheers! Continue reading

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