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Los Angeles Ale Works

Los Angeles Ale Works 1st Anniversary Photos

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Los Angeles Ale Works, where Hawthorne’s first craft brewery celebrated their first anniversary with a couple hundred close friends. The tasting room itself was pretty packed, so the overflow congregated on the patio or the parking lot, which they shared with multiple food vendors and other local artisans. LA Ale Works also marked the event with a can and bottle release.

LA Ale Works has grown since my last visit as was evidenced by the 20+ beers available. Judging by the size of the crowd this has not gone unnoticed by the locals.

Los Angeles Ale Works is located at 12918 Cerise Avenue in Hawthorne and are open seven days a week. They are dog friendly and offer beer to go in growlers, crowlers, bottles and cans. Cheers! Continue reading

The Craft Beer Guy 2017 Year in Review

As the year draws to a close, it is time to think back on what 2017 has brought to the craft beer world; more specifically what has happened in the Craft Beer Guy world. As 2016 came to a pretty crappy end for me, I did not do one last year; for that reason, I will begin with the end of 2016 as it segued into 2017.

steelcraft soft open

Smog City – Steelcraft – Bixby Knolls

My coverage of 2016 ended pretty much the way 2017 started, with the opening of Smog City Brewing Company’s satellite tasting room, Smog City – SteelCraft in the Bixby Knolls area of Long Beach. They opened the location at the end of December; by the middle of January they had applied for, and were granted the ability to sell growlers and bottles to go.

Later in January the inaugural L.A. Beer and Food Festival was presented by the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild. The sold-out event featured close to 50 member breweries of the LA Brewers Guild as well as 15 local food vendors. This year the L.A. Beer and Food Festival will be held Saturday, January 27. Buy your tickets now, before it sells out.

Just a bit of trivia; while there were about 50 LA County Brewers Guild members in January of 2017, today there are almost 70! Continue reading

Photos from the 3rd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover

These photos were taken Thursday at the 3rd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover, which was held at Flights, in Hawthorne. The event featured 18 of the South Bay’s best production breweries and brewpubs, filling up 39 tap handles.

Although I did not arrive until a little after 4:00 PM, my Facebook feed indicated that people began streaming in pretty much as soon as the doors opened. By 6:00 we had the place packed and it remained that way until close to 10:00; after that, people kept arriving to sample some outstanding brews.

I had the opportunity to speak with many of the attendees and discovered that this was the first time visiting Flights; it seems safe to say that they will all return. Continue reading

3rd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover to Feature 19 Local Breweries

HopSaint, The Dudes', Three Weavers

South Bay Tap Takeover Participants

I am happy to formally announce that Flights Beer Bar and CraftBeerGuy.com will be holding their 3rd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover on September 7, 2017; this time featuring 19 of the best craft breweries the South Bay has to offer.

It was two years ago that I made my first visit to Flights Beer Bar and met the owner Jerry “Jammer” Jamgotchian. Within days of our meeting, Jerry expressed interest in having a Craft Beer Guy event at his recently opened 40 tap gastropub. At the time, the South Bay had 10 production breweries and I requested that all 40 taps be dedicated to these 10 breweries for the 1st Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. Jerry not only agreed to this, but also invested in a new cold box so Flights could store the additional beers that were brought in for the event. To say the event was a rousing success would be an understatement. Continue reading

LABW9: So You Want to Open a Brewery in LA?

These photos were taken Tuesday evening at Los Angeles Ale Works, in Hawthorne, at the sixth edition of “So You Want to Open a Brewery in LA?” an LA Beer Week panel discussion moderated by Celebrator Beer News writer Tomm Carroll. If you have attended any of the previous five seminars hosted by Carroll, you know that he typically puts together a great group of panelists and last night was no exception.

The panelists included Laurie Porter of Smog City Brewing, Greg Bechtel of Simmzy’s Burbank, Gary Croft of Yorkshire Square, Bill Baker of Zymurgy Brew Works & Tasting Room, Rick Blankemeier of Modern Times, Will Shelton of Concrete Jungle Brewing Project, Brent Knapp of Common Space Brewery, Kip Barnes of LA Ale Works, and Brendan Lake of Burnin’ Daylight Brewing Company. Continue reading

Los Angeles Ale Works Begins Soft Open

The South Bay has a new production brewery and tasting room as Los Angeles Ale Works held their soft open over this past weekend. If you did not hear about it, do not feel too bad as it was intentionally kept under wraps since LA Ale Works wanted to make sure they were ready for their anticipated crowds. Founder/Partner Kristofor “Kip” Barnes said that he wanted to be sure that first time visitors had a pleasant experience; after my visit on Sunday, I do not think that is going to be a problem.

The soft open will continue every Wednesday through Sunday until their Grand Opening, which will be held Saturday, February 11. According to their website, their hours are currently 3:00 to 10:00 PM on Wednesday and Thursday; 3:00 to 11:00 PM on Fridays; 12:00 to 11:00 PM on Saturdays, and 12:00 to 8:00 PM on Sundays. The Grand Opening will likely be a ticketed event, but the details on that have not been figured out yet. Continue reading

LA County Brewers Guild Inaugural Beer and Food Fest Photos

These photos were taken at the inaugural L.A. Beer and Food Festival, which was presented by the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild Saturday afternoon at the Mack Sennett Studios in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles.

I was going to say that for an inaugural event, the turnout was outstanding; but the reality is that they sold out 650 tickets, which is pretty outstanding whether it was the inaugural or 10th annual event. The reality is that the venue probably could not hold much more and remain comfortable.

With close to 50 breweries, all members of the L.A. County Brewers Guild, and at least 15 food vendors there was something for everyone. Although the photos may give the impression that the place was packed, there were virtually no lines for beer. Some of the food vendors may have had a little trouble keeping up with demand, but I heard no complaints because everything (that I tried anyway) was delicious. Continue reading

Brewers Panel at Rock & Brews

Thursday evening, for LA Beer Week (LABW8), Rock & Brews in El Segundo hosted “So You Want to Open a Brewery in LA?” brewers panel, which was moderated by Celebrator Beer News writer Tomm Carroll and featured brewers and brewery owners from all ends of the Los Angeles area craft beer scene.

The breweries included a well established brewery like Firestone Walker, to contract brewers and breweries that have recently opened; to operations that are just getting started. In addition to David Walker of Firestone Walker, we heard from Bill Reider of Reel Brewery, Patrick Schulz of Scholb Premium Ales, Todd Tisdell of Pocock Brewing, Kristofor Barnes of Los Angeles Ale Works, Matthew Garcia of Homage Brewing, Kevin Osbourne of Cellador Ales, Mike Hancock of Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing, and Andy Black of Yorkshire Square Brewing Company. Continue reading

3rd Annual Alpine Kraft Bierfest Photos

When Alpine Village held their first Alpine Kraft Bierfest in the big tent back in 2012 they had almost as many beers as they did attendees. I suspect it had something to do with the timing in that it was held the week before Oktoberfest, so some people may have just thought the ads were for Oktoberfest rather than the American craft beer event it was intended to be.

In 2013, the 2nd Annual Alpine Kraft Bierfest was moved into the Alpine Inn, more breweries and beers were added, a little more advertising was done and the attendance level more than doubled.

For 2014 it was decided that the event would stay inside the Alpine Inn, but the event would be held over the course of two sessions; one on Friday evening with the second session being held Saturday afternoon. To avoid the possibility of the best brews running out during the first session, Alpine’s event coordinators decided to split up the beers by day and put up a schedule of appearance for the brews so people could choose which day would have the most beers that they wanted to try. It seemed to work pretty well. Continue reading

3rd Annual Alpine Kraft Bierfest Coming November 14-15: Promo Code

2nd Alpine Bierfest

Great beer and fun people

I am happy to announce that the Alpine Village in Torrance will be holding their 3rd Annual Alpine Kraft Bierfest over the course of two days; the first session will be held Friday November 14 with the second session taking place Saturday November 15. This craft beer festival will feature more than 40 craft breweries providing more than 100 craft beers and mead.

When it comes to the Alpine Kraft Bierfest I treat it almost like it is my own. I have watched this event evolve from the first one in 2012 that had almost as many beers as attendees, to last year’s amazing event that had closer to 500 attendees. Since Kraft Bierfest has become quite popular it was decided to split the event up into two sessions, over the course of two days.

While some past beer festivals have been less than successful with having multiple sessions, Alpine Village has something going for it that most beer festival promoters do not have; the ability to cellar beers. Last year there were discussions about having two sessions, but the real possibility of running out of “all the good beers” caused them to re-think the idea and have just one session. This year, more planning has been made to ensure both sessions have plenty of access to really good beer. For example, Alpine Kraft Bierfest will feature eight beers from Allagash; Fluxus 2014, Golden Brett, Interlude, James Bean, Red Howe’s, Saison Rye, Victor and Victoria. Four of them will be available at the first session on Friday and the other four will be at the second session on Saturday. And it is not just Allagash; Anderson Valley will have three split up over two days, Figueroa Mountain will have four, Stone will have eight and The Bruery will have five split between Friday and Saturday! The published beer list is only a partial list but I think it proves what I say when I mention that Alpine Inn at the Alpine Village is one of the best kept secrets when it comes to craft beer. You never know what they are going to pull out of the cellar. Continue reading

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