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4th Annual South Bay Beer & Wine Festival Photos

These photos were taken Sunday at the 4th Annual South Bay Beer & Wine Festival which was held at Ernie Howlett Park in Rolling Hills Estates. This annual fundraising event was presented by the Rotary Clubs of El Segundo, Palos Verdes Peninsula and South Bay Sunrise; the event featured about 30 craft breweries as well as 15 wineries and food from close to 30 local restaurants. All proceeds fund the community outreach programs of Rotary Clubs within the South Bay and Harbor cities of Los Angeles.

The beer portion of the event was curated with the assistance of Beer Paper L.A.’s own Daniel Drennon, which has caused some to know the festival as the Daniel Drennon (DFD) Invitational. The list of breweries pouring was pretty much an A to Z list of craft with everything from Absolution Brewing and Arts District Brewing to Yorkshire Square Brewery and Zymurgy Brew Works. Of course, the selections were not limited to Los Angeles area breweries as we were joined by Avery Brewing and Ska Brewing from Colorado, as well as such California powerhouses as Sierra Nevada and Firestone Walker. Continue reading

DBA Turns 21 Beer Dinner at The Propagator

In March of 1996, the fledgling Firestone Walker Brewing Company out of Paso Robles, California released their first beer; DBA British Pale Ale. Thursday evening, 30 or 40 Firestone Walker fans met at Firestone Walker’s newest location, The Propagator, in Marina del Rey to celebrate DBA becoming of age, at the DBA Turns 21 beer dinner, hosted by Firestone Walkers first employee, Jeffers Richardson.

While we enjoyed a pour of Schwarzbier, a roasty German style black lager which was brewed at The Propagator by Ben Maushardt, Jeffers told us about the early days at Firestone Walker; go back as far as his initial job interview which involved babysitting a 5 year-old.

DBA, Double Barrel Ale, is often credit to being developed by Jeffers, but he gives full credit to Adam Firestone and David Walker as it was only because of their insistence that the beer be fermented using oak and stainless barrels, then blending them. It was obviously a great idea, and DBA has become not only a flagship brew for them, but it is also the base for several of their other beers. This beer dinner would celebrate the many uses of DBA as well as the beer itself. Continue reading

Jeffers Drops Acid at Rock & Brews

These photos were taken Wednesday evening as a couple dozen craft beer fans gathered at Rock & Brews in El Segundo, to watch and participate as Firestone Walker’s first employee and current Director of the Firestone Walker Barrelworks (aka Barrelmeister), Jeffers Richardson dropped massive amounts of acid knowledge on us.

I arrived early and immediately noticed that each setting at the tables had nine little cups; eight with what I thought was water and one with a jelly bean. I also noticed five plastic bottles labeled as either Lactic or Acetic Acid, with varying descriptions of their contents. In my head I thought this was going to be way out of my league and I would probably just take photos rather than participate. I could not have been more wrong; this was a very educational event. Continue reading

Firestone Walker- The Propagator Releases Generation 1

On Wednesday afternoon Firestone Walker’s Venice location, The Propagator, officially changed from being a gastropub to a brewpub with the release of their first beer from the million dollar brewhouse; aptly named, Generation 1. While the release of a beer may not necessarily be documented here, I know there are a lot of Firestone Walker fans out there and knowing that they are now able to use their beautiful brewhouse for something other than a display is news we have all been waiting for. The fact that Generation 1 is outstanding is icing on the cake.

Generation 1 is an IPA that is hopped with Citra, Mosaic and Mandarina hops; it is really smooth and has great flavors. It is quite drinkable; and it might be [one of] their best IPAs, in my opinion.

When I mentioned to Propagator General Manager Brad Ellis how impressed I was with the first batch from the new system, he immediately gave credit to the work ethic of Propagator brewer, Ben Maushardt. Ellis had first observed Maushardt up in Paso Robles and he apparently made quite the impression as the choice for brewer at Propagator involved input from the rank and file. Continue reading

Photos from the 2nd Annual Oktoberfest at Astro Pub

These photos were taken Friday evening at the 2nd Annual Oktoberfest, which was held at the Astro Pub in Whole Foods Market, Playa Vista. They had a pretty nice turnout which was probably due in part to the pleasant weather which resulted in a lot of foot traffic; this combined with the aroma of German food and the sound of oompah music resulted in many passersby making a detour to join the festivities.

For a mere $20.00 attendees were able to have seven pours of various Oktoberfest brews including Goose Island, Spaten, Becks, Karl Strauss, Firestone Walker, Hofbräu and Weihenstephan. To go along with the bier there were pretzel bites, German potatoes, sauerkraut, and your choice of schnitzel or bacon wrapped brats.

The Astro Pub is located at 12746 W. Jefferson Boulevard in the Whole Foods Market, Playa Vista. Their beer buyer, Raul Moran puts on various beer events every few months so you might want to follow the Whole Foods Facebook page to be kept in the loop. He also keeps a nice selection of craft beer on tap and available to takeout. Prost! Continue reading

Photos from the 2nd Annual Summit Beer Festival

These photos were taken Saturday at Matsuyama Japanese Fusion in Roseville, and the 2nd Annual Summit Beer Festival which was held at the Capitol Mall in Sacramento.

While I knew I would be attending the Craft Beer Summit, I was undecided as to whether or not I would be attending the Summit Beer Festival because I have friends that are a lot closer to Sacramento than I am and I really wanted to visit them. On Friday I discovered that the Summit Beer Festival was just a few blocks from my motel; when I realized that the festival did not start until 3:00 PM I figured I could drive 20 minutes to Roseville and visit my friend Song Kim, the owner of Matsuyama Japanese Fusion. I have mentioned Matsuyama once before here; suffice it to say, if you enjoy sushi and are anywhere in the Roseville area, you owe it to yourself to visit Matsuyama Japanese Fusion. You will not regret it; be sure to tell Song I sent you. Continue reading

LMU Beer Festival 2016 Photos

These photos were taken Saturday at the LMU Beer Fest 2016, which was held on Hannon Field on the Loyola Marymount University campus. The event featured beer from 24 craft breweries, live music by Phoenix Rising, access to six food trucks and a few games of skill. As one person mentioned to me, it was one of the best inaugural events in recent memory.

The beer festival was hosted by the LMU Alumni Association and was a fundraiser to support student athletes through the Lions Athletic Fund. As it turns out there are a lot of brewery owners in the LA area that are LMU alumni, like Allison Kolb of Scholb Premium Ales and Tom Dunbabin of King Harbor Brewing; Steve Farguson of Absolution Brewing has a son that currently attends LMU.

Being the inaugural event, ticket sales were limited; I am going to guess that there were a lot of alumni that purchased tickets to the event with no real intention of attending. This is just a guess, but the VIP session had sold out and there were not very many people for that session. By the end of the day, I would guess that they had a few hundred attendees. Continue reading

Brewers Panel at Rock & Brews

Thursday evening, for LA Beer Week (LABW8), Rock & Brews in El Segundo hosted “So You Want to Open a Brewery in LA?” brewers panel, which was moderated by Celebrator Beer News writer Tomm Carroll and featured brewers and brewery owners from all ends of the Los Angeles area craft beer scene.

The breweries included a well established brewery like Firestone Walker, to contract brewers and breweries that have recently opened; to operations that are just getting started. In addition to David Walker of Firestone Walker, we heard from Bill Reider of Reel Brewery, Patrick Schulz of Scholb Premium Ales, Todd Tisdell of Pocock Brewing, Kristofor Barnes of Los Angeles Ale Works, Matthew Garcia of Homage Brewing, Kevin Osbourne of Cellador Ales, Mike Hancock of Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing, and Andy Black of Yorkshire Square Brewing Company. Continue reading

Firestone Walker Beer Dinner at Jimmys Bar & Grill

When I stop to think about it, I only have two things that I do every month like clockwork. One is Business & Beer which we will be celebrating four years of in a couple weeks; that has the second Thursday of every month dedicated to it. The other, more recent addition to my routine are the beer dinners held the second Wednesday of every month at Jimmy’s Bar Grill in Redondo Beach. In the past we have enjoyed co-owner/chef Marc Dix’s delightful food pairings with beers from Smog City Brewing, El Segundo Brewing, Avery, Bell’s Brewery and a night of Belgian ales. They have all been great experiences, but I admit I got a little giddy a month ago when I saw that Firestone Walker would be the featured brewery for this month’s beer dinner. As I started trying to guess what might be poured that night I knew one thing for sure, this was going to be a great meal; I was correct.

Joe Cartlidge, LA Market Manager at Firestone Walker Brewing Company, was there to give a little history of Firestone Walker while we enjoyed our welcome beer, Pivo Pils. I know Dix likes to open up our taste buds with a hoppy brew and the Pivo Pils did the trick. Continue reading

5th Annual Firestone Walker Invitational Photos: FWIBF16

These photos are from the 5th Annual Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival (FWIBF16) which was held this past Saturday afternoon at the Paso Robles Event Center and featured about 50 breweries and 200 craft beers from around the world as well as foods from 33 local area restaurants.

The Firestone Invitational is one of, if not the best run craft beer events I have ever attended. I remember attending last year’s Invitational and being quite surprised to learn that it was only the fourth one as it was run so smoothly; from ensuring ticketed attendees were in the gates and ready to go by the time the event officially started, to making sure water was readily available no matter where you happened to be in the venue. If I did not know better, I would have guessed that they had to be doing it for 10 years instead of four.

Since this was my second opportunity to attend the Firestone Walker Invitational, I used my experience from last year to make this year’s event even more fun. Continue reading

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