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Zymurgy Brew Works Guest Brewer Night with Phil McDaniel

These photos are from Wednesday evening at Zymurgy Brew Works & Tasting Room, when they held the third in a series of “Learn to Brew” guest brewer nights. Wednesday’s guest brewer was Phil McDaniel, the head brewer at King Harbor Brewing Company (KHBC) in Redondo Beach; the beer being brewed is one of my personal favorites from KHBC, Tiki Hut IPA.

About 15 people attended with a pretty even mix of homebrewers and those that had never tried brewing before; this was also the first time visiting Zymurgy for some with a few people that had yet to visit KHBC. This made for some interesting questions and McDaniel was more than willing to provide valuable answers; covering such subjects as various grain bills and their affect on a beer, as well how he decided on what hops to use.

McDaniel gave us a little background story on his brewing pedigree; including the fact that he started off by volunteering at Bootleggers Brewery (with about two hours notice), before moving on to such prestigious breweries as The Bruery and Stone Brewing Company. Continue reading

King Harbor Brewing Company: On the Waterfront

A few months ago, King Harbor Brewing Company co-owner Tom Dunbabin mentioned to me that they might be opening a satellite tasting room on the Redondo Beach Pier. Admittedly, I kind of filed it in the back of my mind as something that might happen in the future, but not something that would be happening in the immediate future. Last night, after our Business & Beer gathering at The Brewery at Abigaile I sent a message to Dunbabin to see if King Harbor Brewing would be interested in hosting the June meeting of Business & Beer. His response was immediate and with a twist I was not expecting, “Yes. Let’s do it at the new tasting room at the Redondo pier.”

Having watched the build-outs of numerous tasting rooms over the last few years, my immediate thought was; “Really? Next month?” I had serious doubts that this could be done that quickly so I headed over today to check it out. I was pleasantly surprised.

Apparently, the City of Redondo Beach and King Harbor Brewing Company has been working on this deal since September of last year. Redondo Beach owns the property and they approached King Harbor Brewing with the idea of them opening a satellite tasting room on the International Boardwalk. The location needed a lot of work but the city was eager to get King Harbor in there and within a few months it had been cleaned up enough for King Harbor Brewing to enter a three year lease with them.

They only started working on it Wednesday, but they have the cold box in and the bar top is close to being completed. They plan to have about 12 seats at the bar with another 12 at tables with some standing room along the side. When all is said and done there should be room for about 30 people to enjoy their brews at the new location. Continue reading

Business & Beer returns to King Harbor Brewing

The Business & Beer networking group returned to King Harbor Brewing Company on Thursday evening for the first time since their soft open back in February. Back in February the King Harbor brewhouse was not yet powered up and all the available beers had been brewed via their pilot system. Eight months later a fully functional brewhouse provided the brews including The Quest Pale Ale with Mosaic Hops, their California Saison, the Abel Brown American Brown Ale and Swirly, which is essentially Abel Brown with vanilla.

In addition to the functioning brewhouse there have been several aesthetic improvements made with more seating at the bar, more tables and more decorations. King Harbor’s success has also resulted in their having more employees to make the customer experience more enjoyable.

Since it was Thursday that meant that it was also Bring Your Own Beer Mug night which allows customers to bring their favorite beer mug or stein and have it filled at the standard price. Those that brought their own mugs were entered into a contest King Harbor runs on their Instagram account; next week the photos will be posted and whoever gets the most votes will win a free growler and fill courtesy of King Harbor Brewing Company. This is a weekly event, so remember to bring your mugs on any Thursday you visit. Continue reading

LA Beer Bloggers Holiday Potluck at Sunset Beer Company

Back in June I became familiar with the LA Beer Bloggers, a group of altruistic craft beer bloggers living or working in or around the City of Los Angeles; working together to foster craft beer culture. As King Harbor Brewing Company’s Head Brewer Philip McDaniel put it, these are the people that keep the local craft beer breweries in business and help make them successful. After all, there is only so much one can hope to accomplish with paid advertising, especially for start-ups that do not really have a large advertising budget. Nothing beats word of mouth when it comes to referrals and the LA Beer Bloggers do just that via their blogs and other forms of social media.

Sunday evening, December 8, the LA Beer Bloggers held their first annual Holiday Potluck at Sunset Beer Company, a bottle shop and tasting room located in Los Angeles. We had about 20 people show up with munchies ranging from bread sticks to shrimp and hummus to salads. As it is the Christmas season, there were quite a few sweets involved but when mixed with craft beer it made for a pretty healthy meal. For our part, Tanya made breadsticks, pretzel rolls and mustards using spent grains and beers donated by Redondo Beach’s first production craft brewery, King Harbor Brewing Company (KHBC). For dessert she made Russian Tea Cakes / Mexican Wedding Cakes from flour she produced using brown ale malted grains also donated by KHBC along with various dipping sauces; some of which were flavored with KHBC’s Brown Ale. Judging by the responses to these treats, I suspect all the LA Beer Bloggers will be heading to Redondo Beach when King Harbor opens their doors early next year.

It was a good time of networking and enjoying beer and food; as you can see from the photos, everyone seemed to be having a good time. Thank you to the LA Beer Bloggers for the invitation and to Sunset Beer Company for hosting the event. Special thanks to those that contributed to the meal with food or special beers that were brought from home or purchased in the bottle shop; and extra special thanks to King Harbor Brewing Company for donating the main ingredients to our contributions.

Sunset Beer Company is located at 1498 Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles. King Harbor Brewing will be at 2907 W. 182nd Street in Redondo Beach. Happy Holidays and cheers! Continue reading

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