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Keith Dunne

A Tour of Beachwood Blendery

Readers may recall that at the beginning of October I was invited to an advanced tasting of Guinness’ new Nitro IPA; while the beer and meal was quite nice, the best part of the evening was meeting a couple Guinness representatives, Keith Dunne and Jonathan Urch who had hosted the event. Dunne came out from St. James’ Gate in Dublin while Urch came out from New York City. By the end of the evening we had formed a pretty good relationship and before I left they informed me that they had one day to explore the LA craft beer scene and asked what breweries were a “must” to visit before they left. While we have several breweries that could fall under that category, one that really stands out is Beachwood Brewing & BBQ; after all, they won gold in 2013 and 2014 for Best Mid-Size and Best Large Brewpub at GABF. When I suggested Beachwood and told them of some of the awards they had received it was decided that we would meet at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing the next day. Dunne mentioned that it would be great if he could meet the owners and I said I would do my best.

I reached out to Beachwood’s Creative/Marketing Manager, Aaron Carroll and was informed that co-owner/head brewer Julian Shrago was out of town and the other co-owner, Gabe Gordon might be at the Seal Beach location but he would do what he could.

The next day we all met at Beachwood and the Guinness reps loved everything they tried. During our tastings Carroll joined us at our table and informed us that Gordon would not be available, however, he did invite us to tour the new Beachwood Blendery. They jumped on the opportunity. Continue reading

Guinness Nitro IPA Advanced Tasting & Dinner at The Larchmont

These photos were taken at the advanced tasting of Guinness’ new Nitro IPA which was held Thursday evening at The Larchmont restaurant in Los Angeles. The event was put on by Taylor Strategy and featured Guinness Beer Ambassador, Keith Dunne and Diageo Customer Marketing Director, Jonathan Urch. While I am the Craft Beer Guy, we all had to start somewhere; for me, it was Guinness Draught. The fact of the matter is that if I was going to be stuck on a desert island and could only have one beer for the rest of my life, Guinness please.

For every article you read here about a beer dinner or special release I attend, there are probably five or six invitations I turn down; especially if it requires my driving to Los Angeles. When I got the invite to attend the Guinness Nitro IPA advanced tasting and dinner I put aside my disdain for rush hour traffic and accepted the invitation.

As Guinness has been doing these tastings around the country, I started seeing comments and links to articles about the experiences of others that had tried the Nitro IPA over the past week or so. Admittedly, the reviews were not exactly glowing but I am not the type to judge a beer by what someone else thinks (which is why this site is not a beer review site), and I had no idea if a guy from Philly even knew what a good IPA tasted like. Continue reading

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