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Flights Beer Bar

Hop Saint

Business & Beer Welcomes 2016 at HopSaint Brewing Company

Thursday evening the Business & Beer networking group met at the newest craft beer location to open in the South Bay, HopSaint Brewing Company, a brewpub in Torrance. They had a very nice turnout with attendees rotating in and out throughout the evening. Most of the attendees had never been to HopSaint before so it was nice to be able to introduce them to what will inevitably be a Torrance favorite in no time at all.

HopSaint is still in their soft-open phase but it would be tough to notice that once you try one of Brian Brewers’ five brews; Eleven-Eight ESB, Get Out of the Way IPA, Pure Intention Pale Ale, Bubble Butt Blonde and Illumination Pilsner. The Pure Intention is a hophead’s dreams.

Their food menu is still turning out some delicious dishes with the barbecue ribs, an off-menu special, definitely being a crowd favorite among those attending the event. Of course, the hamburger and deviled eggs seemed rather popular as well. What you should take away from this, is always ask what the food specials are, the ones we have tried have been outstanding. Continue reading

For your eyes only: HopSaint Soft Open Going on Now

Okay, I am going to make this short and sweet; the HopSaint Brewing Company brewpub in Torrance has unofficially begun their soft open. I say “unofficially” because they are not really advertising it quite yet; consider it a soft, soft open.

The photos were taken over 14 months, but primarily from their initial opening for investors and family and then again Saturday night. They are open seven (7) days a week, but right now food service will not begin until 4:00 or 5:00 PM and some items may be limited. Tonight was the first time I had an opportunity to look at the food menu and there are a few items that I cannot wait to try.

Currently, Brian Brewer has three of his brews on tap; Cacophony IPA, $1.00 from every pint sold goes to Ales for ALS, Eleven-Eight which is like an ESB and Bubble Butt Blonde which is as tasty as it sounds. They have a very extensive tap list so there are no worries about not finding something you will like. Continue reading

Business & Beer Ends 2015 at The Brewery at Abigaile

These photos are from the December gathering of the Business & Beer networking group which met at The Brewery at Abigaile in Hermosa Beach. It was Business & Beer’s first return to the Hermosa Beach brewpub since they brought on the new brewer, Paul Papantonio. The last time I visited Abigaile in mid-October, Papantonio had only one brew under his belt with his new brewing system; a very nice black IPA. As of last night he had added three more brews to his portfolio, including a Vienna lager, a brown ale and an IPA. Everyone in our group seemed to enjoy the brews, with special praise given to the barrel-aged Sugar Daddy that I am sure has been aging since Brian Brewer’s days.

Next month, January 14, Business & Beer will be meeting at Torrance’s newest brewery, HopSaint Brewing Company. HopSaint is a brewpub and the brewer is Brian Brewer, who most of you know from his stint at The Brewery at Abigaile. I have had a little preview so you can trust me when I say that you definitely want to be there on January 14 between 6:00 and 8:00 PM. Please RSVP on Business & Beer or the Business & Beer Facebook page. Cheers! Continue reading

Photos from the 2015 Pacific Brewers Cup

These photos are from the 2015 Pacific Brewers Cup homebrew competition which was held Saturday afternoon at Four Points by Sheraton at LAX. The event was hosted by Strand Brewers Club, Long Beach Homebrewers, and Pacific Gravity. There were 458 entries consisting of beer, mead and ciders.

While these photos were all taken Saturday, the fact of the matter is that with 458 entries, the judging portion actually started two weeks ago when members of the Strand Brewers Club had to sort the 1300 plus bottles into categories and get all the information entered in the competitions database. I helped out on the sorting by scanning in the entries with their assigned competition number; this gave me an opportunity to see where the entries came from. I have to admit, I was pretty surprised at how far and wide they came from; with several entries coming from out of state. Because of the substantial number of entries, there were a couple judging sessions done ahead of time.

As you might think, it is quite the task to judge 458 beers, mead and ciders and it truly takes a lot of work by an organized team to pull that off. The team yesterday consisted of 70 judges and 42 stewards. I met one of the judges yesterday that came all the way from Chandler, Arizona “for the love of beer” as opposed to trying to escape Chandler’s 100+ weather. While the judges were truly put to the test, I doubt that the event could have moved as smoothly as it did without the efforts of the stewards. Head Steward Barbara Bovee is to be congratulated for keeping things as organized as they were. Continue reading

Craft Beer Guy Presents: A 40 Tap South Bay Tap Takeover

tap-takeover

40 Taps of South Bay Craft!

If you follow this site with any regularity you may recall that a few weeks ago I visited Flights Beer Bar in Hawthorne for the first time. To say that I was impressed would be an understatement and I believe I got that message across in the article that I wrote. A couple days after writing the article I received an email from Flights owner Jerry Jamgotchian suggesting that they would like to throw a private party for Craft Beer Guy. While I was definitely flattered, several of the local craft breweries had just had a birthday party for me a couple days before so I suggested that I would rather have a party that showcased all the breweries that had made the South Bay the craft beer destination that is has become. After speaking with Jerry and his manager/beer buyer Marc Dacal it was decided that they would let me curate a 40 tap, tap takeover featuring 10 production breweries that were based in the South Bay. That’s right, 40 taps of South Bay craft from 10 South Bay breweries.

While I have been to a few “South Bay tap takeovers” over the past few years, never before have we had 40 taps dedicated to just the South Bay’s breweries. The 10 that will be participating include Strand Brewing Company, Monkish Brewing, El Segundo Brewing, Absolution Brewing Company, Smog City Brewing, Three Weavers, The Dudes’, King Harbor Brewing, Phantom Carriage and introducing HopSaint! If you are thinking, “But HopSaint isn’t open yet.” you would be correct, but the brewhouse has been delivered and Brian Brewer will be brewing before their new brewpub opens. This tap takeover will likely be the first time any of us will be able to try Brian’s brews under the new label. UPDATE: HopSaint will not be able to make it, in their stead, Cosmic Brewery will step up. Continue reading

Brewtopia at Abigaile Restaurant Photos

These photos are from the Brewtopia Beer Garden which was held at Abigaile Restaurant and the Ocean Bar & Lounge located in Hermosa Beach. This was the second “beer garden” event held at Abigaile in the last four months that showcased LA Brewers Guild breweries and this time it featured a few breweries that came from out of the area.

The breweries that I noticed in attendance included Mammoth Brewing Company, Bootlegger’s, Hangar 24, Bravery, Kinetic, El Segundo Brewing, Monkish, Smog City, Taps Fish House, The Bruery, Three Weavers, Absolution, Golden Road, Eagle Rock, Coachella Valley Brewing, King Harbor and Noble Ale Works. Included in the price of admission was all the food you could get your hands on from Chef Tin’s grill which appeared to be quite popular; I just wish I had three hands so I could hold food and beer while still taking photos.

While this event seemed to be as well attended as the prior Novem-BEER-Fest as far as beer drinkers, the faces behind the breweries were not very well represented. Beerlebrity sightings while I was there was limited to Nigel Heath from Absolution Brewing and Brian Brewer, former brewer for The Brewery at Abigaile and brewer for the soon to be HopSaint brewpub that will be opening in Torrance. I also noticed several Craft Beer Guy followers, and I always personally appreciate that. Continue reading

Photos from the 1st Super Bowl Warmup Brewery Walk

At the end of 2014, my wife Tanya decided that she was going to start doing some extensive walking. We already walk twice a day, every day for a little over a mile each time; but she wanted to do some distance walking, with hills to build up the strength she lost because of years of a misdiagnosed illness. She decided she was going to walk to the beach every day. Now, the beach is only about three miles from here, but there are some pretty steep hills involved so an indirect route is a little longer but the hills are not as intense; it also ends around Naja’s Place by the Redondo Beach Pier. A couple weeks ago we attempted to get people to join us for an eight mile round trip walk to Naja’s and back; I wasn’t too surprised when we ended up walking it by ourselves.

In the meantime I started noticing articles discussing the craft beer boom in the South Bay; some even included inane suggestions of potential “pub crawls” that could now be done in the Torrance area. Perhaps I was reading “pub crawl” too literally, but a pub crawl to be has always meant to walk between the locations; it was pretty obvious to me that the authors were not all that familiar with the Torrance area and had not bothered to use Google Maps to see how far apart some of the breweries are from each other. Since I am from the area and well-familiar with where the breweries are in relation to each other I knew a brewery crawl could be done as long as we picked the right breweries.

I posed a question on the Craft Beer Guy Facebook page about a week ago asking if there was any interest in participating in a realistic South Bay Brewery Crawl; I must admit, I was a little surprised at the number of people that said they would be interested. As a result I scheduled the first in what will hopefully become a weekly series of craft beer walks; we had our first walk on Saturday afternoon. Continue reading

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