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home brewing club

St. Patrick’s Day with the Crude Brew Crew

Last night we joined the Crude Brew Crew (CBC) Homebrew Club whose March meeting just happened to fall on St. Patrick’s Day this year. The event with was held at CBC member Noel’s home and featured the brewing of a Heady Topper clone that smelled delicious with its almost one pound of hops added. In addition there was an Irish Kissed Ale that was homebrewed by Michael last month and an outstanding Wild Smog City that Noel brewer from wort obtained at a Smog City Monster Brew. There were also a few bottles shared including The Bruery’s Mocha Wednesday and Kern River’s Citra that Keith and April brought along with them; if you have not had a chance to try that yet it is fantastic. The club’s president Jules brought his Kiwi’s Big Adventure that he brewed with Phantom Ales and he brought the fixings for some delicious corned beef tacos. We also got an opportunity to try Leprechaun Balls, clipped and prepared by April. They are even better than they sound.

If you are a home brewer and do not belong to a homebrew club you should really consider joining one. It is a great way to interact with others that share your passion for brewing and they are always willing to help you learn to brew better beer. You can learn more about the Crude Brew Crew by visiting their Facebook page. Cheers! Continue reading

Crude Brew Crew Farewell to Uncle Jeff

Over the past two years I have spoken before multiple planning commissions in support of the issuance of Conditional Use Permits for a few of the recently opened brewery tasting rooms in the South Bay. While each speech has been tailored around the city, brewery and prior experience, there is one comment that has remained the same in each. Strangers become acquaintances then friends as a result of American craft beer. Anyone that has spent time in the numerous tasting rooms around here will likely nod in agreement; it is something I see and experience on a regular basis.

Two weeks ago I was at the Holiday Bottle Share put on by Chad Hazen and King Harbor Brewing Company benefiting the Richstone Family Center. While I was there I was approached by one of the attendees, April, that I have seen around but had never really talked to. April informed me that she and her husband Keith were having a bottle share and they invited me to attend. These photos are from the bottle share that was held last night. Continue reading

Strand Brewers Club at South Bay Brewing Supply

I have a confession to make; I have never tried home brewing beer. That is about to change as I received a beer making kit for a birthday present last month. Since I plan on doing a pictorial on the process I have been reading and re-reading the instructions and I have been asking questions of those that I know that have been home brewing for a while. I want my first time to have positive results so I will feel comfortable breaking away from the beer making kit so when I received an invitation to visit the Strand Brewers Club at their monthly meeting last night I accepted and headed over to South Bay Brewing Supply in Old Torrance for the Strand Brewers’ August meeting.

While I only knew a person or two, I was made to feel quite welcome. The first hour or so was spent networking with other home brewers and sampling the many home brews that were brought in by members. To say that there was a wide variety of beers being brewed by this group would be an understatement; you would be hard pressed to find as many different styles of beer at your favorite gastropub. That is not to suggest that Strand Brewers Club is only for experienced brewers. While many of their members have been brewing for a couple years, there are also those that have 20 years of experience and one of last night’s attendees had only started drinking craft beer two months ago. The current president, Rives Borland, told me that when he joined Strand Brewers Club he was quite new to brewing and told me that coming to the monthly meetings had a lot to do with his current brewing success (he has won a few awards for his beers).

After the networking, there was a presentation given on Oxygenation as part of their continuing efforts to include educational discussions at their meetings. On occasion they do brewing at their events, so if you are interested in learning to brew or you are a home brewer and want to hang out and exchange ideas with other home brewers, you should probably consider looking for a home brew club like Strand Brewers Club. Visitors are welcome to join them and if you like the group, then join. Dues are only $37 a year ($48 for couples) which I think is quite reasonable considering the wealth of information you can gain just by hanging around and listening. Continue reading

Crude Brew Crew Taste-cast at Smog City Brewing

According to the Brewers Association there are more than 2,400 craft and microbreweries around the United States. Even before craft beer became so popular there were home brewers experimenting with various hops, malts and yeasts to create their own special brews. One might ascertain that due in part to the Internet, these home brewers would start socializing with each other and soon there were home brewing clubs popping up where their members could brew together as well share their ingredients and ideas and drink the results of this social interaction. In fact, if you read the biography of many of craft beers head brewers; they started off as home brewers with many of them being members of home brewing clubs. One of these local home brewing clubs is the Crude Brew Crew which is located in Torrance, CA.

This past Saturday, June 22, the Crude Brew Crew (CBC) met for their monthly meeting and podcast at Smog City Brewing Company, also in Torrance. Head brewer and co-owner of Smog City, Jonathan Porter was at one time a home brewer and a member of a local home brewer club so it made perfect sense that the CBC hold a meeting at Smog City. They did a podcast, with an interview of Jonathan and Laurie Porter that was supposed to be followed with a Q and A session. Smog City’s building is large and there were a lot of people there, so they had to improvise on the Q and A portion but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves as well as enjoying the new releases the Smog City was pouring. They also brought out a Hop Rocket which infuses fresh hops to their Amarilla Gorilla IPA which made it almost creamy. The Little Bo Pils was quite refreshing.

While the podcast was not available at the time of this writing, it should be available on the Crude Brew Crew website before too long. Smog City Brewing Company is located at 1901 Del Amo Blvd, Torrance, CA. Continue reading

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