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Zymurgy Brew Works Brewing Class: Hazy IPA

These photos were taken Thursday evening at Zymurgy Brew Works & Tasting Room in Torrance, where they held another in their series of “every once in a while” brewing classes. Thursday’s class was to learn how to brew a hazy IPA using all grain and was led by Zymurgy Brew Works brewer Richard Wirsing. Each of the attendees will receive one 22oz bottle of the beer they brewed at a later date.

Wirsing explained the brewing process, complete with the Brewers Association newly defined description of the “hazy IPA”. Wirsing even went so far as to pass around bags of various hop varieties so the class participants could have some say as to the hop profile of their IPA. Continue reading

Ximix Craft Exploration Brewery Grand Opening

These photos were taken Thursday at day one of Ximix Craft Exploration’s grand opening weekend. Ximix is Gardena’s second craft brewery and if Thursday’s turnout was any indication, they have been welcomed with open arms by the surrounding community.

Ximix opened Thursday with eight brews to chose from; four of which are full batches, with the other four being small batches made with the Ximix pilot system. In addition to the beer, Chef C’S Smhokin Pot food truck was there serving their authentic Cajun food. Continue reading

Introducing Ximix Craft Exploration Brewery

Gardena now has two craft breweries; State Brewing Company and a little under a mile away, Ximix Craft Exploration, which will officially open Thursday, April 5, 2018.

I first met Ximix (pronounced “zim ex”) co-founder and head brewer Erik DeBellis 18 months ago during a visit to HopSaint Brewing Company; at the time he told me he was opening a brewery and we exchanged numbers. But you know the old saying, “out of sight, out of mind”; we had not seen each other since then and DeBellis was keeping things pretty close to the vest so I had completely forgotten about them until the owner of Lawndale Brewhouse asked me what I knew about Ximix. As the name did not ring a bell I was pretty surprised when I discovered I had already liked their Facebook page. When I reached out to them, DeBellis reminded me we had met previously; a couple days later I headed out to Gardena for my first visit to Ximix Craft Exploration. Continue reading

A Return Visit to the Valley of the Sun

Every year at this time, I make my annual trek to the Valley of the Sun, which is essentially the Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe area of Arizona. I returned there last week and as I was preparing to write my article about my most recent beer travel, I came to the realization that while I went to Arizona last year and took photos, I never wrote about it. These photos will begin with my visits to O.H.S.O. Eatery & nano-Brewery, and McFate Brewing Company in 2017; and will end with my visits to Wren House Brewing, Scottsdale Beer Company, and Blasted Barley in 2018.

My typical Valley of the Sun weekend begins with go-kart racing in Scottsdale and ends with a convention in Tempe. This means that I set my GPS for a brewery that will get me closest to the race track in Scottsdale. In 2017 my first destination was O.H.S.O. Eatery & nano-Brewery, a brewpub located in the Arcadia area of Phoenix. Continue reading

Pints with Purpose: International Bird Rescue

These photos were taken Thursday evening at Smog City Brewing Company, where they held their weekly Pints with Purpose fundraiser; this month the beneficiary is International Bird Rescue, a global leader in responding to man-made disasters affecting wildlife, such as oil spills and marine debris.

Every Thursday in March, Smog City will donate a portion of their gross daily receipts to the International Bird Rescue, which has a San Pedro location. Continue reading

Common Space Brewery Ribbon Cutting

These photos were taken Thursday afternoon at the ribbon cutting for Hawthorne’s newest craft brewery, Common Space Brewery. The event was attended by several City of Hawthorne representatives, as well as numerous friends and family. There were games set up for the kids, food was made available by The Berlin Truck; naturally, there was plenty of Common Space beer for the rest of us.

Thursday was the first official day of Common Space’s grand opening weekend. On Friday the festivities continue from noon to midnight with food trucks, ice cream and DJs. Saturday will be the main day, again being open from noon to midnight, but there will be multiple food trucks, ice cream, face painting and balloon animals for the kids. Sunday they will conclude the festivities from noon to 10:00 PM with a food truck, live music, and an Oscars watch and after party. It should be a great weekend. Continue reading

Common Space Brewery: From the Beginning

Hawthorne now has their second craft brewery, Common Space Brewery, and these photos document their build since I started visiting their location in July of 2017 up through their soft open which ended Wednesday evening. The production brewery and tasting room are massive, utilizing a 24,000 square foot warehouse with 27′ high ceilings and a 1,000 square foot outdoor patio. The beer is pretty good too.

Founded by South Bay local Brent Knapp, Common Space brought on former Speakeasy Ales & Lagers Head of Brewing Operations, Kushal Hall, which means Common Space is starting off with a brewer that is well-versed in brewing large amounts capable of distributing. As you look through the photos you can’t help but notice how large the brewhouse is and they have plenty of fermentation vessels to keep the South Bay and beyond satiated with Common Space brews. Continue reading

Canning Expatriate at Three Weavers Brewing

Last week I was asked to meet a potential client at Three Weavers Brewing Company in Inglewood; since I don’t seem to get out there enough, I agreed and intentionally arrived a little early. It wasn’t long before Three Weavers Production Team Member, my buddy and all round nice guy Jared Gonzalez noticed my presence and offered to take me on a little tour of the production facility since I had not been there in a while.

Three Weavers has grown a lot as far as production capacity is concerned; including something like five new 90 bbl fermenters that were recently obtained. I did not have my camera with me and mentioned that I wanted to return to photograph this for comparison, if nothing else. It was then that Jared asked if I had seen the new canning line; I had not.

I guess this is where the geeks separate from the crowd; as I looked at the idle canning line and heard that it is capable of filling 250 cans a minute with its 30 head Innofill Can DVD can filler, I was impressed. However, it was when I turned around and saw the Ska Fab Can-i-Bus Depalletizer that I knew I wanted to come back and watch this thing in action. I did that Wednesday morning and these are the photos I took of the process. Continue reading

Los Angeles Ale Works 1st Anniversary Photos

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Los Angeles Ale Works, where Hawthorne’s first craft brewery celebrated their first anniversary with a couple hundred close friends. The tasting room itself was pretty packed, so the overflow congregated on the patio or the parking lot, which they shared with multiple food vendors and other local artisans. LA Ale Works also marked the event with a can and bottle release.

LA Ale Works has grown since my last visit as was evidenced by the 20+ beers available. Judging by the size of the crowd this has not gone unnoticed by the locals.

Los Angeles Ale Works is located at 12918 Cerise Avenue in Hawthorne and are open seven days a week. They are dog friendly and offer beer to go in growlers, crowlers, bottles and cans. Cheers! Continue reading

Boomtown Brewery 3 Year Anniversary Photos

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Boomtown Brewery’s three years anniversary celebration. The event featured multiple food vendors, several DJs, and 17 Boomtown Brewery beers, including about three special beer releases. Later in the evening (after the kids and I had left) there were three performances of a burlesque show.

If it seems impossible for Boomtown to be open that long, one must think back to their beginning. The production brewery opened three years ago, but it took two years to satisfy the City of Los Angeles to the point that they could open their tasting room which occurred in February of 2017.

Although I have tried a half-dozen of Boomtown’s brews at various events and craft beer bars, this was my first visit to their facility, located in the Arts District area of Los Angeles; in a word, the place is huge. Continue reading

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