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Abigaile to host first ever Novem-BEER-Fest

Novem-Beer-Fest

22 Craft Breweries under one roof

As the craft beer festival season draws to a close, Abigaile Restaurant and The Brewery at Abigaile will host their inaugural Novem-BEER-Fest Beer Garden on Sunday, November 16 from noon until 7:00 PM. The event will feature 22 craft breweries from Lancaster to Lakewood and Covina to the Pacific; just about every production brewery (and a couple brewpubs) in this massive geographic area will be included. To give you an idea of what a great list of local breweries are attending, there are three breweries I have yet to visit and one (Alosta) whose beer I have never even tasted yet.

The breweries in attendance include Absolution Brewing, Alosta Brewing, Angel City, Beachwood, Bravery Brewing, Eagle Rock Brewing, El Segundo Brewing, Golden Road, Kinetic Brewing, King Harbor Brewing, Ladyface, Monkish Brewing, MacLeod Ale, Ohana Brewing, Progress Brewing, Smog City, Strand Brewing, Timeless Pints, The Dudes, Three Weavers, Wolf Creek and, of course, The Brewery at Abigaile. Several of these breweries are very new, like Three Weavers that just opened their tasting room this past weekend. To visit each of these breweries tasting rooms would take a month of weekends and Abigaile has brought them all together under one roof.

The Novem-BEER-Fest beer garden will take advantage of the entire Abigaile facility including the Ocean Bar, which can have some very nice views, weather permitting. Admission to this first ever event is $30 for General Admission; which includes a commemorative tasting glass, 10 4oz. pours from any of the breweries and one food item from the grill. VIP admission is $50 and includes the commemorative tasting glass, unlimited 4oz. pours from any of the breweries and one food item from the grill. If you have never eaten at Abigaile I have to say that Chef Tin creates some amazing dishes and Chef Jorge is a great addition to the kitchen. I am sure you will enjoy it. Continue reading

The Brewery at Abigaile hosts September Business & Beer

On Thursday evening Business & Beer, arguably one of the South Bay’s more fun business networking groups, returned to the Brewery at Abigaile in Hermosa Beach. The Business & Beer networking group has been meeting since July of 2012 and The Brewery at Abigaile was the second venue visited, making it the longest running in the Business & Beer rotation. The Brewery at Abigaile is the only brewery in Hermosa Beach and is probably the biggest brewpub in the South Bay. We had a pretty nice turnout considering the number of competing beer events going on at the same time. There was a great mix of regulars and first time attendees which allowed everyone to get to know each other a little better; and about five minutes after everyone left a second wave of first timers showed up. I guess I will have to be sure to include the end time (8:00 PM) along with the start time for future events.

The Business & Beer networking group meets on the second Thursday of every month at a different production brewery tasting room or brewpub in the South Bay. Currently, that includes The Brewery at Abigaile, El Segundo Brewing Company, Strand Brewing Company, Monkish Brewing Company, The Dudes’ Brewing Company, King Harbor Brewing Company, Absolution Brewing Company and Smog City Brewing. The October 9 gathering will be held at King Harbor Brewing Company. If you live or work in the South Bay and networking is important to your business success or it falls under your job description and you enjoy craft beer, Business & Beer is going to be right up your alley.

You can sign up to the Business & Beer mailing list on their website or you can Like them on Facebook to be kept in the loop for upcoming events. All upcoming Business & Beer upcoming events can be found on the free craftbeerguy mobile app which is available for download on iTunes or Google Play. Cheers! Continue reading

Stone Brewery Dinner at The Brewery at Abigaile Photos

On Wednesday evening, Hermosa Beach brewpub The Brewery at Abigaile held another of their delicious Brewery Dinners, this time featuring Stone Brewing Company. The event was attended by a couple dozen craft beer fans and we were all treated to quite a meal with the food menu put together by Chef Tin and Chef Jorge.

The meal started with Stone’s Go To IPA paired with a grilled peach and arugula salad then progressed to Stone’s Saison paired with a Cuban sandwich that was unbelievable with its intense flavors. The third course consisted of a Sprocketbier paired with Patatas Bravas; which I think would make an amazing breakfast dish. The main course was the Collective Distortion IPA paired with Egyptian curried baramundi (a very tasty fish dish) and for dessert; Chipotle Smoked Porter paired with torn chocolate cake, sweet pickled mangoes, pinenut and roasted banana gelato. I know I am not alone in saying that by the time the meal was completed, we were stuffed; Chefs Tin and Jorge are to be congratulated for putting together another tasty meal. Abigaile Restaurant and The Brewery at Abigaile is located at 1301 Manhattan Avenue in Hermosa Beach. Cheers! Continue reading

Photos from South Bay Progressive II

Saturday evening I joined a few dozen others for the South Bay Progressive’s second “pub crawl” which included five South Bay venues that specialize in craft beer; each of whom showcased a different American craft brewery. The five venues and the breweries they featured were Brewco, Manhattan Beach featuring Smog City Brewing; The Brewery at Abigaile featuring Stone Brewing Company; Silvio’s Brazilian Barbecue featuring Modern Times Beer; Naja’s Place featuring The Bruery; and Select Beer Store who featured Great Divide Brewing Company. Transportation for the event was provided by LA Craft Beer Tours.

We started our tour at Naja’s Place since it was the closest with the best parking options; the fact that they were showcasing The Bruery made the decision process a little easier. I have to admit, I was a little shocked when I saw the Naja’s tap list as it was emptier than I have ever seen. I was then reminded that Naja’s is having their 6th Annual IPA Festival this coming Wednesday so they are in the process of cleaning all their lines. If you enjoy IPAs you will want to head to Naja’s Place for this week long event.

My intent was to visit The Brewery at Abigaile next with a stop by Silvio’s on the way back but a scheduling conflict resulted in Silvio’s closing at 7:00 PM for a private party so we headed to Silvio’s first then walked up the street to Abigaile. After grabbing a beer, some food and photos we headed to Brewco in Manhattan Beach. As one might imagine, Saturday night in Manhattan Beach meant a pretty large crowd but the service was fast and the people were friendly. After enjoying a beer most of us got back on the bus and headed back to Naja’s Place which was now jumping with live music and an even more lively audience.

South Bay Progressive is a collaboration between the five South Bay venues with a cross-promotion of some of the production breweries that have helped make the South Bay a craft beer destination. The event started last September for LA Beer Week and included four of last night’s participating five venues, with The Brewery at Abigaile joining in the fun this time around. This was the first time I have participated in an event like this but I have to say, if South Bay Progressive continues I will do my best to be there next time as well. Cheers! Continue reading

Stone Brewery Dinner at The Brewery at Abigaile

stone brewery dinner

Come to the Stone Brewery Dinner, June 25 at Abigaile

It is no secret that I am a big fan of Abigaile Restaurant and The Brewery at Abigaile, not only for the fine beers produced by Brian Brewer but for the food that comes out of their kitchen. It is pretty easy to see that the food menu is meant to compliment Brewer’s brews. On Wednesday June 25 the Abigaile kitchen will pair their foods with Southern California craft beer icon, Stone Brewing Company.

The five course meal will feature Stone’s Go to IPA paired with a grilled peach and arugula salad, Stone’s Saison paired with a Cuban sandwich, Sprocketbier paired with Patatas bravas, Keri Kelli/Kyle Hollingsworth/Stone Collective Distortion IPA paired with Egyptian curried baramundi and for dessert, Chipotle Smoked Porter paired with torn chocolate cake, sweet pickled mangoes, pinenut and roasted banana gelato. Having attended a couple beer dinners at Abigaile I think it is safe to say that there could be some special surprises in store as Brewery at Abigaile head brewer, Brian Brewer will be joining us to answer all your beer questions.

The Stone Brewery Dinner will begin at 6:30 PM on June 25; tickets are $68.00 each plus tax and gratuity. There are limited tickets available so if you want to guarantee a seat or two you can purchase your tickets ahead of time by sending an email to abigaile.specialevents@gmail.com or by calling (310) 798-8227 (ask for Kyle). You can also buy them at Abigaile ahead on time or if you feel lucky you can try coming down Wednesday evening and ask if there are any seats available. Personally, I would not risk it; get your tickets early and be guaranteed a fun time with great beers and amazing food. You will not be disappointed; I hope to see you there.

The Brewery at Abigaile is located at 1301 Manhattan Avenue in Hermosa Beach. That is at the northwest corner of Manhattan Avenue and Pier Avenue. They do have underground parking for your convenience. Cheers!

American Craft Beer Week 2014, Day 5: Beers of Summer & Fine Dining

Friday was day five of the 9th Annual American Craft Beer Week and the day consisted of some ups and downs and twists and turns. I started off at the Total Wine in Redondo Beach because my friend Shane Kral, the local face of Firestone Walker, was hosting a Beers of Summer beer tasting. The beers being featured were the 805, Pivo Pils, Opal and Easy Jack. These are all great beers for the hot days we have been experiencing lately, with the Easy Jack being a personal favorite. I heard that Easy Jack has gotten so popular that Firestone Walker has to scale back on it due to a lack of hops. This is terrible news and could mean trouble for us hopheads if the shortage is getting that bad. Anyway, all four are fine beers and I drink them frequently; and Shane is a great guy and I see him frequently but neither of those was the main reason we went there. I had been informed that bottles of Firestone’s Stickee Monkee were going to be made available for purchase before anywhere else. At the last minute the distributor changed their mind; there were several disappointed faces in Total Wine at hearing this news.

As we walked around the store looking for some bottles of beer to buy one of the store employees approached and informed us that there was another beer tasting going on in the back room. We headed over and discovered that Omission Beer and Goose Island were both offering pours. Omission Beer is a new [to me anyway] brewery from Oregon that specializes in gluten free beer. It was pretty good. While we were sampling a third beer rep showed up representing Fruli, Fuller’s and Paulaner breweries. Continue reading

Taking a self-guided craft beer tour of the South Bay

I am a firm believer that if one person suggests something, there is a good chance that dozens of others are thinking the same thing. Since I have had many people tell me that I should include maps of the craft brewery tours I write about, I have decided to add a new feature, maps of the various breweries and their relationship to each other. I have decided to use MapQuest since they allow you to plug in your starting point; Google Maps seems to eliminated that feature, so we will use MapQuest until something better comes along.

These maps will be set up to show the easiest way to visit each of the breweries visited and will usually form a circular pattern so you are not bouncing around from one end of town to another and back again. I am beginning with the South Bay area of Southern California for a couple reasons. The first, and most logical, is because that is where I live. The second being that there has been such an explosion of microbreweries around here that I know people from other areas would like to know the easiest way to see all that the South Bay offers. Whenever possible, these tours will begin with one freeway close location and end with another freeway close destination. If you are a first time visitor to any of these locations I recommend a purchasing a flight so you can sample what each brewery offers,

Continue reading

Photos from the 2nd Annual Froth Awards at Saint Rocke

Saturday afternoon, the Saint Rocke concert club in Hermosa Beach held their 2nd Annual Froth Awards: Craft Beer Experience and Gastropub Invitational featuring five of the South Bay’s finest craft breweries paired with dishes provided by four South Bay gastropubs. In addition to the beer and food pairings, there was live music provided by the Aaron White Band, the Get Down Boys and Johnny Jump Up. There were also raffles with prizes such as growlers, hats and other swag donated by the participating breweries and gastropubs and free pizza provided by Fresh Brothers Pizza. They even had a “Best Beard” contest which was won by yours truly.

It was a fun day of music, beer and food that consisted of five courses. The first course featured Strand Brewing Company’s White Sand Double IPA with marinated short rib tacos from The Rockefeller gastropub. This was followed by El Segundo Brewing Company’s White Dog IPA paired with tri-tip sliders from California Rancher. The third course featured The Dudes’ Brewing Company and their Kolschtal Eddy which was paired with a Tuscan white braised pork shoulder provided by Bouzy Gastropub. Our fourth pairing was The Brewery at Abigaile’s 002 2nd Anniversary Double IPA with waffles and chicken provided by R10 Social House. The final course introduced everyone to the two newest participants, King Harbor Brewing Company with The Quest (Rakau) Pale Ale and Saint Rocke’s own Kitchen 142.

It really was a lot of fun with great beer, good food and fun people. If there is a third annual Froth Awards you can be sure I will be there; you should too. Cheers! Continue reading

2nd Annual Froth Awards Coming March 15

Froth Awards banner

2nd Annual Froth Awards, March 15

The 2nd Annual Froth Awards will be returning to Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach, California. Presented by Easy Reader this Beer Experience and Gastropub Invitational will feature craft beers from local breweries El Segundo Brewing Company, Strand Brewing Company, The Brewery at Abigaile, The Dudes’ Brewing Company and the South Bay’s newest production brewery, King Harbor Brewing Company. Food dishes from The Rockefeller, R10 Social House, Chez Melange’s Bouzy Gastropub and Saint Rocke’s own kitchen will be included in the price of admission.

Those of you that attended last year’s event will recall that it was originally set up as a competition with each brewery pairing one of their beers with a dish prepared by a local gastropub. This year it will be a little different in that the “competition” has been eliminated and instead it will be a day of craft beers and tasty locally prepared foods. As they put it, this year it will be “less of a competition and more of a party.” I don’t know; last year was a pretty great party. Just like last year, there will be live Bluegrass and Irish music all day as well as various raffles and contests going on.

The 2nd Annual Froth Awards: Beer Experience and Gastropub Invitational begins at 2:00 PM Saturday, March 15, 2014. The doors open at 1:00 PM. Tickets are $25 each, but because you read CraftBeerGuy.com you are entitled to a 20% discount; that means you get in for $20 each if you purchase your ticket ahead of time online. After you choose the number of tickets you want, click Checkout; on the top of the next page is a spot for you to put in your Promo Code: BADDOG (all caps) and your discount will be applied. Admission includes entry into the event; 8 oz tasters from all participants, raffle tickets to win valuable prizes and a commemorative glass. Saint Rocke is located at 142 Pacific Coast Highway in Hermosa Beach. I hope to see you there; I had a great time last year. Cheers! Continue reading

South Bay Breweries Valentines Weekend

Since we have been on the road lately, I decided that this weekend we would stick around and give a little love to the South Bay’s craft beer brewers for the Valentine’s Day weekend. Friday, Valentine’s Day, we headed over to The Brewery at Abigaile, a brewpub in Hermosa Beach. Since it was Valentine’s Day and we had not made any reservations we took advantage of their Happy Hour seating and grabbed a couple seats at the bar where we were able to enjoy a flight of their brews; including their 002 2nd Anniversary DIPA and Dark Matter a Belgian dark ale that can only get better with age. One of the best things about the release of the 002 DIPA is that it means the anniversary party for Abigaile must be coming soon.

On Saturday I headed over to Smog City Brewing where they were hosting a fundraiser for the LA Derby Dolls Enforcers. The Derby Dolls are a Southern California, all-female banked track roller derby league. The Enforcers are the referees for the league. The fundraiser consisted of a raffle for Derby Dolls and Smog City swag as well as beer floats in four different varieties and a pie versus cake sale. Between the people that came out specifically for the fundraiser, the various beer tour buses and those that just wanted to come have a beer, Smog City was packed to the brim. After sampling a couple beers and Tanya’s Death by Chocolate (The Nothing with chocolate ice cream beer float) we headed over to Monkish Brewing.

We got there about the same time as the LA Craft Beer Tours van, so we found Monkish to be almost as crowded as Smog City. When I think back to when we first started going to Monkish and compare it to today it is pretty obvious that the craft beer scene in Torrance is really exploding. People frequently ask me if there are too many breweries here; when I visit multiple local breweries like I did Saturday I can’t help but think how crowded these locations would be if there were only one or two available. Continue reading

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