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Flights Beer Bar

MacLeod Ale Brewing Company

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

LA Beer Week Kickoff Festival Photos

LA Beer Week 2016 (LABW8) started off in prime form Saturday afternoon by showcasing more than 45 of the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild breweries with almost as many special guest breweries, pouring more than 200 different beers; a few of the breweries represented used the LA Beer Week Kickoff Festival to release new beers.

The sold out kickoff festival was held at the Los Angeles Center Studios and in addition to the massive amount of beer there was live music, plenty of food trucks, and lots of water. Luckily, the heat wave that struck Los Angeles was kind enough to wait until the next day; that is not to say it wasn’t hot, but it probably wasn’t over 90. Luckily, the Los Angeles Center Studios is a pretty massive location so there was plenty of shade and somewhere to go sit if desired. Continue reading

Photos of the 2nd Annual L.A. Local Craft Beer & Artisanal Food Fest

These photos were taken at the 2nd Annual L.A. Local Craft Beer & Artisanal Food Fest which was held at the Steinhaus at Alpine Village in Torrance on Saturday afternoon. The event featured 31 Los Angeles area craft breweries and maybe a dozen artisanal food vendors from the LA area.

L.A. Local provided the first opportunity for most of the attendees to try brews from several breweries that have opened within the last year like Scholb Premium Ales, Dry River Brewing, Brouwerij West, HopSaint, Iron Triangle, Mumford Brewing, State Brewing and Honest Abe. Other breweries in attendance included Three Weavers, Port Town, Smog City, Monkish, Phantom Carriage, The Dudes’, Claremont Craft Ales, Ohana, Enegren, California 101 Cider House, King Harbor, Strand, Absolution, MacLeod Ale Brewing and several others. Continue reading

2nd Annual LA Local Craft Beer & Artisanal Food Fest Discount Code

1st LA Local attendees

Good beer, good, food, good people at LA Local Craft Beer Fest

The L.A. Local Craft Beer & Artisanal Food Fest will return Saturday, April 16 from 12:00-4:00 PM at the Steinhaus Restaurant & Beerhall at Alpine Village for the 2nd Annual L.A. Local Craft Beer & Artisanal Food Fest. For those wondering, Steinhaus is the new name for the former Alpine Inn; in other words it is the same location as the inaugural event.

This event will be pretty similar to their inaugural event in that all the beer and food will come from the Los Angeles area and you will get unlimited pours of beer and unlimited samplings. Just so there are no surprises, many of the food vendors make jams or sauces, so you get a spoonful. You are probably not going to fill up on the food, but there were some tasty items there. Continue reading

The Craft Beer Guy 2015 Year in Review

HopSaint brewpub

HopSaint Brewing Company Now Soon!

Well, there are still a couple of days left in 2015 but I think it is safe to write my year-end review of 2015. To be honest, there has been so much activity in the craft beer world this past year that I would not be surprised to have something new pop up before Thursday night.(So, this is taking me a while to write, and yes, there have been updates since I started).

There were several beer buyouts that seemed to dominate most other craft beer sites, but the craft world in my immediate domain only seemed to increase. Yeah, Golden Road got bought, but I only went there for special events and I guess that means there will be fewer of them there in the future. In the meantime, the reach of this site seems to be increasing. In the beginning people pretty much pigeonholed this site as covering the South Bay craft beer scene only. This year I covered various local beer events from the Antelope Valley to Orange County. Attendees have come up asking if I am now covering the west side, or wherever we might be. I guess the answer is yes; and I will expand my area as long as it is requested.

2015 in the South Bay ended pretty much as it started, with the soft open of a new brewpub. In January Phantom Carriage officially opened, and at the end of December HopSaint Brewing Company opened their doors. While they are open daily, the official opening of HopSaint will be January 1, 2016 when they will start serving lunch at 11:30 AM. Continue reading

Photos of the 2015 BAM Fest

On Saturday afternoon Tap & Cheer Events presented their 6th Annual Beer, Art and Music Festival, lovingly known as BAM Fest, which was held at the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica. The 18th Street Arts Center is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization and is the beneficiary of all the proceeds from the BAM Fest fundraiser. The event featured beers and ciders from more than 30 craft breweries as well as foods from six food trucks and live music provided by Nick Shattuck, Heaps N Heaps and Whiskey Sunday.

Considering the heat index was well over 100 degrees out when BAM Fest started, they had a very nice turnout. I am not really sure how the crowd size compared to previous years because people seemed to be seeking shade more than normal which probably resulted in more art being seen this time; it did appear that there were more art exhibits opened to the public this year and I am sure everyone that took advantage of them appreciated it. The weather pretty much forced everyone to get to know their neighbor since the parking lot had about three umbrellas that most attendees tried to fit under at some point. 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

6th Annual BAM Fest Coming October 10 – Promo Code

BAM Fest attendee

Join the fun at BAM Fest 2015

It is that time of year again; the 6th Annual Beer, Art & Music Festival (BAM Fest) will be held Saturday afternoon, October 10, in Santa Monica at the 18th Street Arts Center. The 18th Street Arts Center is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization and is the beneficiary of all the proceeds from this fundraiser.

This will be my fourth time attending BAM Fest and all I can say is that if you enjoy craft beer, live in the Los Angeles area and have never attended BAM Fest, you are doing yourself a disservice. From the first time I attended in 2012 I have been nothing but impressed; and the event just seems to get bigger and better every year and 2015 appears to be no exception.

The current list of beer and cider vendors totals 38, with six food trucks available to pair with your favorite beer and live music provided by three groups. Continue reading

San Fernando Brewing Ribbon Cutting: The Valley is Now a Destination

On Friday afternoon the San Fernando Valley officially became a craft beer destination when San Fernando Brewing Company held their grand opening, making them the third craft brewery in the San Fernando Valley (SFV) with a tasting room. The accompanying photos are from their ribbon cutting which was attended by friends, family, various representatives of the City of San Fernando including the mayor and chief of police as well as lots of craft beer fans.

San Fernando Brewing Company is definitely a family operation with brothers Vic (the brewer) and Joe Chouchanian heading up things but you could tell that there were lots of family members involved, including mom. The tasting room was quite welcoming, not only in its clean appearance and setup, but they are one of the only brewery tasting rooms I can remember visiting that actually has air conditioning. Considering it was well over 100 yesterday, and even hotter the day before when one of the A/C units failed and had to be replaced.

San Fernando Brewing has had a soft open for the past six weeks, but used their grand opening to release the latest of their five brews, Sonora Wheat, which was definitely a crowd favorite while I was there and was probably my favorite as well. Sonora wheat was used in this beer because it used to be one of the natural crops in the San Fernando Valley. The other four included their Wolfskill IPA, O’Melveny Red Ale, Royal Road Pale Ale and Stoney Point Stout. One advantage San Fernando Brewing has that is rather unusual is that the city of San Fernando gets their water from a well; this water really brings out the flavor in the Stoney Point Stout. Continue reading

Flights Beer Bar: Craft Beer for Hawthorne

As I have mentioned before, friends and followers of this site frequently direct me to the latest beer bar that they visited, or that they had heard was opening in the area. I have learned to not bother rushing off because as often as not the selection isn’t really that special or the business is not going to survive the winter. I first heard about Flights Beer Bar in late March or very early April. When I asked my informant what was special about the place they could not tell me as they had yet to visit.

Over the next two months a few more people approached me; some inquiring because they had not been there yet either, and a couple that had made their way over to Hawthorne to check it out. I ended up getting a personal invitation from the owner and another recommendation or two from people that have similar tastes as me, so I decided that I would begin my birthday weekend by going to Flights for a beer and maybe take some photos if it was warranted.

Flights is located at 5119 W. El Segundo Boulevard in Hawthorne, which means it is right off the 405 on the east side of the freeway; it is also on the north side of the street so you need to know it is there or you will do some u-turns to get back there. To make it easy, it is between the Subway and Burger King. The sign is big, but the color scheme isn’t ideal at 12:30 PM. I was told it does light up at night and they have several runway lights above it on the roof. I will have to return at night time to see how visible it is. Continue reading

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