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Laughs By Volume: Do you enoy comedy & craft beer?

Laughs By Volume 1

Laughs By Volume – Comedy and Craft Beer

Since the beginning of the year you have heard me talk about PINT Magazine’s Laughs By Volume, but after speaking with several Craft Beer Guy followers, I don’t think I have really explained the concept of the Laughs By Volume experience properly; at least when it comes to what should be expected, and whether or not this event is really for you. Let’s begin with the latter first.

If your idea of a beer festival is something like BAM Fest, Taste of Brews or the Firestone Invitational, Laughs By Volume may not be the event for you. Yes, it will be cheaper; and there will only be 100 people there so there won’t be any lines. It is inside so weather is not an issue and there is plenty of seating; but there may not be as many beer varieties available. The upcoming Laughs By Volume II will feature about 36 or 37 beers from 25 breweries. Here is the list as of the moment. Continue reading

Photos of The 3rd (Occasionally) Annual Froth Awards and Beer Experience

That was one busy Saturday, there were beer events going on all over the place; it took some careful planning to attend the events I did. One was a scheduling conflict between Phantom Carriage’s 1st Anniversary and Easy Reader’s 3rd Occasionally Annual Froth Awards and Beer Experience that was held at Saint Rocks at the same time. After lots of bouncing back and forth in my mind about which event to attend first, the Froth Awards won out; if for no other reason than I could stop by Monkish after Phantom’s event ended.

In the beginning, the first Froth Awards paired our five local breweries with five local restaurants and created a friendly competition between the breweries with the attendees voting on which pairing was best. The winners were those of us that attended. The Awards continued the following year, with five breweries again being paired with five restaurants. This time there was no voting because we all knew that we were the winners once again. Continue reading

Brouwerij West: From the Beginning

I guess it was at The Festival 2014 put on by the Shelton Brothers back in November of 2014 that many learned that Brouwerij West was planning on opening in the warehouse next to CRAFTED at the Port of Los Angeles. As people waited in line to enter The Festival, it would have been tough to not see the notice painted on the side of Warehouse No. 9 declaring that Brouwerij West was planning on opening in the spring of 2015. Of course, anyone that has been paying attention has probably noticed that the actual opening of a brewery is rarely constant with the dreams and desires of the brewery owners. But good things come to those that wait and patience is a virtue; Brouwerij West will have their Grand Opening on Saturday, February 27, 2016 from 12:00-9:00 PM!

Brouwerij West’s owners/founders Brian Mercer and Dave Holop were kind enough to allow me to photograph the building of their brewery so these photos begin back in March of 2015 when it consisted of a huge room with an old leaky roof. As time went on I was able to be there when their brewhouse was being assembled, during one of their first brews, and ending with the Hoppy Valentine’s Dinner that was held this past weekend.

Saturday’s Grand Opening will feature brewery tours, a beer garden, live music and food trucks. The live music begins at 5:00 PM featuring three local San Pedro bands; Bombon, Crow Baby and Underground Railroad to Candyland. After experiencing their Valentine’s dinner I can say with no reservation that this is going to be a fun event; you are going to want to come out to San Pedro if you can. Continue reading

Laughs By Volume II, March 20 – Discount Code

UPDATE – Price Change: After some discussions we have decided to lower the price to $25.00 for General Admission ($26.62 with fee) and Designated Driver tickets are $12.00 ($13.29 with fee). The CBG10 Promo Code will save you 10% on admission and you will get an extra 30 minutes at the end of the event.

laughs by volume 2 flyer

Laughs By Volume II, March 20 – Use promo code CBG10 to save $$

Some of you may recall that at the end of January I attended PINT Magazine’s inaugural Laughs By Volume. While attendance was not very good, I know that several tickets were purchased using the promo code I provided, so hopefully you had a good time. Well, PINT Magazine is going to have Laughs By Volume II on March 20 and things will be even better this time.

Since the inaugural event the organizers and I have been working together, in that they bounce ideas off me and if I have a suggestion that makes sense they modify things accordingly. For instance, the first event had three sessions; it turned out that was not the best idea. The mid-afternoon session was the best attended of the three, so Laughs By Volume II will be one session, from 2:00 to 5:00 PM.

When I mentioned that there was going to be a series of these events the plan was to use different venues around Southern California. It was decided that this was a little too ambitious for a new venture, so it was decided that they would keep these shows a little more local to the Greater Los Angeles area. Laughs By Volume II will be held at Honeypot LA instead of out in Chino. Continue reading

Jimmy’s Beer Dinner Featuring Avery Brewing Company

Last night we attended the monthly beer dinner held at Jimmy’s Bar & Grill in Redondo Beach, which featured beers from Avery Brewing Company to go along with the custom dinner menu prepared by chef/partner, Marc Dix. Avery Brewing Company was represented by their regional brewery rep, Christina Roberts who was more than happy to explain the history and nuance of each brew.

I know I have said it before, and I am sure this will not be the last time I write something similar, but of all the beer dinners I have attended, no one does it better than Marc Dix and his staff at Jimmy’s Bar & Grill. The primary reason, in my opinion anyway, is that Dix does not choose something off his menu and pair it with one of the available beers; he chooses the beer then tailors the dish around it so they complement each other. Since Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, and many people do not eat meat on that day, our meal consisted of different fish variations.

Last night began with a Joe’s Pilsner as a welcome beer which was followed with our first course; a delicious salmon with a sweet chili ginger glaze that was topped with a pineapple mango salsa. This was paired with a Raja Double IPA. The tropical nose of the Raja made perfect sense when paired with the salsa. Continue reading

The Dudes’ & KLOS Bohemian Hopsody Release Party Photos

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!

Back to The Dudes’ and KLOS Bohemian Hopsody Release Photos

Back to The Dudes’ and KLOS Bohemian Hopsody Release Photos

Flame Pizzeria, Reseda: Best Pizza & Beer or Best Anywhere?

The other day I got a phone call from “Joseph” telling me that he had just gotten involved with a pizzeria and that they had an outstanding tap list that I really should try. In the course of discussion he mentioned that he and his business partner were the new owners of Old Orange Brewing Company. Oh yeah, he did mention that his partner was one of the founders of Shelton Brothers; the importers that bring you great beer and outstanding beer festivals. My interest was slightly piqued; but as I told Joseph, Reseda is kind of a drive from the South Bay. I would “try” to make it out but in my heart, I had a feeling it wasn’t happening because pizza and beer is rarely worth a 60 mile round trip drive in LA traffic. That’s just reality.

Joseph had followed up the telephone call with an email containing a PDF of the craft brews they had on tap. The only ones I was readily familiar with came from Old Orange, and I probably knew more about the brewery than the beer. But I was definitely intrigued, the fact that I would have to look up every beer made me very interested.

I perused the Flame Pizzeria website that listed none of the beers I had been presented but it spoke highly of their chef, Chef Richard Florczak. Chef Richard has been a personal chef for such local celebrities as Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tyson Chandler and Kevin Nealon. Continue reading

Transplants Brewing Grand Opening & a Tour of the Antelope Valley Craft Beer Scene

Back in July I told you that the Antelope Valley, about an hour northeast of Los Angeles, would soon become a craft beer destination; as of Saturday afternoon, I officially proclaim the Antelope Valley a bona fide craft beer destination when Transplants Brewing Company held their Grand Opening and ribbon cutting at their tasting room in Palmdale.

These photos were taken at the four craft breweries that are now open and brewing in the Antelope Valley. They include Transplants Brewing and Lucky Luke Brewing which are across the street from each other in Palmdale; and Bravery Brewing and Kinetic Brewing Company in Lancaster. The accompanying map is set up for doing your own self-guided craft beer tour of the Antelope Valley. Less than 10 miles separate Transplants and Kinetic which are at the far ends of the tour; they may catch up to Torrance at their current rate of expansion and after talking to a couple of the brewery owners, the owners would love it.

I started off at Transplants Brewing Company (Location A on map) for their ribbon cutting. I had visited the facility a couple times since July so I had a general idea of what they had in mind but was blown away by the visuals that immediately pounce on you. The mural is a work in progress but has so much going on; one could spend hours checking out all the intricacies of it. The artist, Brandon “BL” Singleton worked in collaboration with an artist he has worked with before and they do good work together. He worked on the front mural during the grand opening so visitors were able to watch his work progress. Continue reading

Laughs By Volume, January 30: Discount Code

Happy New Year, everyone; I have a feeling this is going to be a fun, beer-filled year. I would like to tell you about an upcoming craft beer event that will be held January 30, 2016. Laughs By Volume, presented by PINT Magazine will present a new twist on your typical local craft beer festival by including comedy from local comedians. Included in the price of admission is a souvenir PINT glass, three hours of unlimited tastings of at least 20 different brews, six comedy acts and an amateur comedy contest with a cash prize. So, if you get funnier the more you drink, you might want to enter the contest.

As far as the breweries represented, at this time they will have Santa Monica Brew Works, Absolution Brewing, The Good Beer Company, Hand-Brewed Beer, Fireman’s Brew, The Bruery, The Great Beer Company, Four Sons Brewing, Kinetic Brewing Company, Congregation Ale House and Pacific Plate Brewing.

Comedians scheduled to appear include Evan Wecksell, Sammy Obeid, Jason Love, Atsuko Okatsuka, Jonesy and Stevie Mack. These guys have been on everything from MTV to David Letterman so it should be pretty fun. Continue reading

2nd Annual Holiday Bottle Share Benefiting Richstone Family Center

On Saturday afternoon, local craft beer hoarder Chad Hazen put about 150 bottles of his collection of rare craft beer up for his 2nd Annual Holiday Bottle Share Benefiting the Richstone Family Center; the event was held at the King Harbor Brewing Company’s tasting room. All of the monies raised went to the Richstone Family Center which is located in Hawthorne. The Richstone Family Center is dedicated to preventing and treating child abuse.

I tried making sure all of you knew about this event, but a relatively few showed up. There was a cap of 100 tickets being sold, but if they sold 50, I would be surprised. If you meant to go but forgot, you blew it. Take a look at the list of brews we had available to us:
Continue reading

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