These photos were taken at the Lugosi Bottle Premiere and Halloween Celebration that was held Saturday evening at Phantom Carriage blendery and tasting room in Carson. The event featured the release of a bottled version of Lugosi, a high gravity dark wild sour ale aged in oak with Brettanomyces, lactobacillus, and Pediococcus; featuring sweet cherry, vanilla, and stone fruit.
Since it was also a Halloween party, Phantom Carriage played Universal Studio’s 1931 version of “Dracula” on a large screen in the back parking lot. As Dracula starred Bela Lugosi, and they were releasing the bottled version of Lugosi, it only made sense that this would be a good time to invite Bela Lugosi, Jr. to join the fun, which he accepted and brought along a good portion of his family. Continue reading
These photos were taken at the Endless Rant IPA Release Party that was held Saturday evening at the King Harbor Brewing Company tasting room in Redondo Beach. For those of you that were unaware, King Harbor Brewing created Endless Rant for Adam Carolla’s Carolla Drinks label. Although the beer officially became available a couple weeks ago, last night’s event was the official launch with friends, family and fans descending upon King Harbor Brewing for an evening of tasty beer, good food, music and laughs as attendees enjoyed pints of Endless Rant and other King Harbor brews.
I happened to try Endless Rant a couple weeks ago when it was first released to the public at the tasting room, and was lucky enough to run into King Harbor’s head brewer Phil McDaniel so I asked him how this opportunity came about. I did not take notes, but this is pretty accurate.
The three principles at King Harbor, Tom Dunbabin, Will Daines and McDaniel are all long time fans of Carolla. Apparently a friend of one of the regulars at King Harbor works with Carolla on one of his ventures and happened to mention it to one of them. One of the King Harbor guys casually mentioned that if Carolla wanted to hold some type of beer related event, King Harbor Brewing would be more than happy to host it. Continue reading
One of the greatest challenges I face in promoting the local craft beer scene is finding time to go to as many events as possible. On Saturday I started off with Laughs by Volume which meant I was going to be late for Smog City Brewing Company’s 2016 Infinite Wishes bottle release; but better late than never, right?
It was early evening by the time I arrived at Smog City and it was pretty obvious people were having a great time, no matter what brew they were drinking.
Smog City had done a pre-sale of bottles of the barrel-aged goodness, so people that had ordered online were able to pick up their bottles. The rest of us were able to enjoy the 2015 and 2016 versions of Infinite Wishes on tap, as well as The Nothing; Infinite Wishes is the barrel-aged version of The Nothing. Whatever bottles were not sold online were made available Sunday, but if you were not at Smog City on Sunday, I am sure they are all gone by now. Continue reading
These photos were taken at The Dudes’ Brewing Company’s release of Bohemian Hopsody that was held at The Dudes’ tasting room on Friday evening. While the release of a session IPA might not usually be very newsworthy, Bohemian Hopsody was done in collaboration with KLOS 95.5 radio, in that it was named the “Official beer of KLOS” so the release definitely became an event. Heidi Hamilton and Frank Kramer of The Heidi and Frank morning show on KLOS were in attendance so The Dudes’ was packed with fans of craft beer and Heidi and Frank.
To me the star of the evening was Alex Rabe, the new Master Brewer at The Dudes’ and his Bohemian Hopsody. I will be honest with you, when I first heard about the beer with its blend of Mosaic, Simcoe and Citra hops I was interested but so many session IPA’s seem to try to make up for the lack of ABV by smacking you in the face with bitterness, I was not really expecting a lot. The reality is that The Dudes’ had a session IPA that did just that.
I was offered a pour from a can before they opened the taps and was immediately blown away. You know I do not rate beers on this site; if you want that follow me on Untapped, but this was outstanding. Bohemian Hopsody may be the best beer to come out of The Dudes'; Rabe has definitely changed the game over there. I tried his Groundhog Day black IPA and was just surprised it was only 5.0 ABV.
Things are definitely changing at The Dudes’ and there are lots of changes coming. I have mentioned before that they keep things close to the vest but I will keep you posted as much as I can. Cheers!
These photos are from the Black Friday Goose Island bottle release which was held at the Whole Foods Market in Playa Vista on Friday afternoon. According to Whole Foods beer buyer Raul Moran, this particular location had one of the highest allocations of the new Bourbon County series in the entire Los Angeles area; judging by the number of cases they had I have no doubts. In fact, they had five of the six varietals available for purchase; Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout, Bourbon County Brand Stout, Bourbon County Brand Barleywine, Bourbon County Brand Regal Rye Stout and Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout.
In addition to the bottle release, the Astro Pub featured several flight options for those that wanted to compare various releases as well as some pretty tasty food to go along with it. The preset flights included 2013 through 2015 of BCBS with a Sophie, and a 2013 and 2015 Barleywine with a 2015 Coffee Stout and a Matilda.
While there was a pretty good crowd, Whole Foods managed it quite nicely; they were quick and efficient and I think everyone that showed up was able to purchase at least one bottle. Cheers! Continue reading
These photos are from Smog City Brewing Company’s Bourbon O.E. Barleywine and Goldie Golden Ale bottle release that was held Saturday afternoon at the Smog City tasting room. I got a somewhat late start, not arriving until a couple hours after they opened, but photos I saw on my Facebook feed indicated that there was a line of Smog City fans waiting outside when they opened. By the time I got there the tasting room was still pretty crowded but the lines moved quickly for those that came for bottles to go, and for those that wanted to try the new releases.
To be honest, my main concern with my late arrival was that the bottles might be sold out; luckily, they bottled about 500 more of each than the last time and there were still bottles of both left when I left. Since Smog City is closed today, Easter Sunday, there might be some bottles available if you show up when they open their doors next Wednesday; I highly doubt they will last much longer than that.
If you do show up at Smog and they are out of bottles, do not despair as there is plenty on tap. They are not selling growlers but a bourbon barrel-aged flight would be highly recommended. They brought out last year’s Goldie to compare to the newest release and the difference is pretty noticeable right from the start with the nose revealing that the bourbon is going to be pretty forward. I believe Belgian Bourbon Candy was the phrase I heard most often. Continue reading
Anyone that goes to Smog City Brewing Company on even rare occasions has noticed the oak bourbon barrels that have lined the walls for the past year or so. In them we have seen such wonders as Goldie, their bourbon barrel-aged Belgian Golden Strong Ale and today they released Infinite Wishes, a bourbon barrel-aged version of The Nothing Imperial Stout. If you got to Smog City by 2:00 PM you may have been lucky enough to purchase a bottle; if not, sorry. They sold the bottles out quickly and it really should be no surprise. The Nothing is an amazing imperial stout and to age it in bourbon barrels can only serve to make it better, and it did. While the bottles of Infinite Wishes sold out in about two hours, they still had it on tap; at least they did when I left. If you enjoy bourbon barrel-aged beers and will be in the South Bay area Sunday, I suggest stopping by Smog City and trying it before it is gone. By the way, there is a new batch of Infinite Wishes in the bourbon barrels for next year’s release.
While the Infinite Wishes was probably the main draw, they also re-released bottles of The Nothing. This is going to be a seasonal release and they still had plenty of bottles the last I saw. They have both the 2014 and 2015 versions of The Nothing on tap so you can use the opportunity to compare the difference after a year of aging. If you still have a bottle of the 2014 version of The Nothing you can start building your vertical. Unfortunately, I opened my bottle a couple months ago without realizing it was my last and not going to be replaceable; oh well.
For those that have not been to Smog City, they are located at 1901 Del Amo Boulevard in Torrance. You have a good reason to head over there this weekend with these limited release brews. Cheers! Continue reading