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The Dudes’ Bring Back Business n Beer

On Thursday evening the Business & Beer networking group returned to The Dudes’ Brewing Company’s tasting room in Torrance. To be honest, the turnout was low but that did not stop those that did come out from enjoying some delicious beer and doing some business together. We also had the pleasure of having Master Brewer Alex Rabe join the group for a while; as he starts work at 4:00 AM we definitely appreciate him taking his time to chat with us.

I have actually had an opportunity to speak with the Head Dude Toby Humes about what has been going on with The Dudes’ and he is pretty enthusiastic about how things are going. They have a scientist on board and combined with the talents of Rabe and a new head brewer they really are turning out a lot of new, tasty brews and maintaining consistency on their flagship beers. You can expect to see lots of rotating handles featuring seasonal brews like their Hugs & Kisses, a fruit stout that tastes like chocolate covered cherries. Their Bohemian Hopsody session IPA is one of the best I have tried and the Groundhog’s Day black session IPA comes across as a big, black IPA. It will be interesting to see what happens there over the next year.

If you live or work in the Los Angeles area and networking is important to you or is part of your job description you should check out BusinessNBeer.com. This is the South Bay’s most fun and relaxed business networking group. They meet on the second Thursday of every month at a different production brewery or brewpub in the South Bay area. With all the new tasting rooms there is a good chance you have not had a chance to visit some of them; this is your chance and you might even do some business. Events are scheduled from 6:00-8:00 PM and you can bring your significant other so there is no need to rush home. There are no rules and no dues; just come have a good time, meet some good people and enjoy a beer or two. You can find the schedule of upcoming events on the front page of BusinessnBeer.com or by Liking them on Facebook. The next gathering will be March 10 at King Harbor Brewing Company.

Welcome to photo sponsor Calibrated Solutions, for your business’ voice, data and IT solutions. Cheers! Continue reading

The Dudes’ & KLOS Bohemian Hopsody Release Party Photos

These photos were taken at The Dudes’ Brewing Company’s release of Bohemian Hopsody that was held at The Dudes’ tasting room on Friday evening. While the release of a session IPA might not usually be very newsworthy, Bohemian Hopsody was done in collaboration with KLOS 95.5 radio, in that it was named the “Official beer of KLOS” so the release definitely became an event. Heidi Hamilton and Frank Kramer of The Heidi and Frank morning show on KLOS were in attendance so The Dudes’ was packed with fans of craft beer and Heidi and Frank.

To me the star of the evening was Alex Rabe, the new Master Brewer at The Dudes’ and his Bohemian Hopsody. I will be honest with you, when I first heard about the beer with its blend of Mosaic, Simcoe and Citra hops I was interested but so many session IPA’s seem to try to make up for the lack of ABV by smacking you in the face with bitterness, I was not really expecting a lot. The reality is that The Dudes’ had a session IPA that did just that.

I was offered a pour from a can before they opened the taps and was immediately blown away. You know I do not rate beers on this site; if you want that follow me on Untapped, but this was outstanding. Bohemian Hopsody may be the best beer to come out of The Dudes'; Rabe has definitely changed the game over there. I tried his Groundhog Day black IPA and was just surprised it was only 5.0 ABV.

Things are definitely changing at The Dudes’ and there are lots of changes coming. I have mentioned before that they keep things close to the vest but I will keep you posted as much as I can. Cheers!

Back to The Dudes’ and KLOS Bohemian Hopsody Release Photos

Back to The Dudes’ and KLOS Bohemian Hopsody Release Photos

Transplants Brewing Grand Opening & a Tour of the Antelope Valley Craft Beer Scene

Back in July I told you that the Antelope Valley, about an hour northeast of Los Angeles, would soon become a craft beer destination; as of Saturday afternoon, I officially proclaim the Antelope Valley a bona fide craft beer destination when Transplants Brewing Company held their Grand Opening and ribbon cutting at their tasting room in Palmdale.

These photos were taken at the four craft breweries that are now open and brewing in the Antelope Valley. They include Transplants Brewing and Lucky Luke Brewing which are across the street from each other in Palmdale; and Bravery Brewing and Kinetic Brewing Company in Lancaster. The accompanying map is set up for doing your own self-guided craft beer tour of the Antelope Valley. Less than 10 miles separate Transplants and Kinetic which are at the far ends of the tour; they may catch up to Torrance at their current rate of expansion and after talking to a couple of the brewery owners, the owners would love it.

I started off at Transplants Brewing Company (Location A on map) for their ribbon cutting. I had visited the facility a couple times since July so I had a general idea of what they had in mind but was blown away by the visuals that immediately pounce on you. The mural is a work in progress but has so much going on; one could spend hours checking out all the intricacies of it. The artist, Brandon “BL” Singleton worked in collaboration with an artist he has worked with before and they do good work together. He worked on the front mural during the grand opening so visitors were able to watch his work progress. Continue reading

Absolution Brewing Begins Expansion

It seems like only yesterday that I was reporting that the City of Torrance had granted production brewery Absolution Brewing Company their Conditional Use Permit. The reality is that it was just two years ago, November 19, 2013 that Absolution appeared before the Planning Commission. In that time they have gotten a new brewer, Bart Bullington; as the initial brewer, Wes McCann went back east to brew when his wife was reassigned in the Navy. They bottled a barrel-aged brew and then began brewing in Denver so they could begin bottling six-packs of their Cardinal Sin red ale and Angel’s Demise IPA. Now they have removed their original brewhouse and have begun some pretty massive expansion at the Torrance tasting room.

Today I was there when they received a new boiler and three new 30 bbl fermenters. When I spoke with Bullington about their immediate plans, they plan on getting five more 30 bbl fermenters but in the meantime they will utilize the 15 and 20 bbl fermenters they started with. A couple more brite tanks are on the way as I write this; I will go back tomorrow and see what else is new.

Absolution has stocked up on a few of their brews, but some options will be removed from the tap list as the expansion proceeds and some tap out. If push comes to shove they can get some of their beer back from the distributor, but they have enough to hold them over for a while. They hope to be brewing again by the end of the year. Continue reading

Business & Beer Visits the New Strand Brewing Company

These photos are from the last Business & Beer gathering which was held Thursday evening at Strand Brewing Company’s new tasting room located on Dominguez Street. There was a pretty nice group including several of our charter members as well as a couple first timers.

Since Strand just opened the new location last month, the production brewery was a little light on choices, but their 24th Street Pale Ale and Atticus IPA have both been brewed on the new system and were tasting delicious. To make up for the lack of their flagship beers, they did have bottles of their Batch 100 Stout aged in Masterson’s Rye whiskey barrels; it was pretty darn good. The Barley Hops Grill was there for people that wanted food to go along with their beer.

Business & Beer is a local business networking group that has been around since July 2012. There are no rules like mandatory meetings or dues, so if networking is an important part of your job description and you enjoy craft beer, Business & Beer is probably just right for you. They meet at a different brewery or brewpub on the second Thursday of every month from 6:00-8:00 PM. You do not need reservations and you can consider this your personal invitation. Continue reading

Photos from Back to the Future Day at Smog City Brewing

As I am sure everyone is aware of by now, October 21, 2015 was “Back to the Future Day.” The reason being, in “Back to the Future Part II,” Marty McFly travels to October 21, 2015 to save his future children. To be honest, I had to Google that part because I never saw any of the Back to the Future trilogy beyond the original; and I only saw that once, 30+ years ago.

While I may not be enough of a geek to know much about Back to the Future beyond Doc Brown, Marty McFly, flux capacitors, hooverboards and DeLorean, the cast and crew of Smog City Brewing are geek central. They used October 21 to not only celebrate Back to the Future but they did it in a big way by releasing their first ever triple IPA, 1.21 Gigawatts Triple IPA.

In addition to 1.21 Gigawatts Triple IPA, they also released their Hooverboards Don’t Run On Wet Hops, a pale ale done with hops they grew outside; and Run For It Marty!, a Belgian Dubbel. For entertainment and something to do while standing in line, they played the movie along the wall. People that came in costume got a discount on their beer and a chance to win prizes.

If I traveled into the future and ended up at Smog City yesterday, I doubt I would have left. Cheers! Continue reading

Business & Beer visits the new ESBC tasting room

These photos are from the Business & Beer networking event that was held Thursday evening at El Segundo Brewing Company. As this was Business & Beer’s first return to El Segundo Brewing since they opened the new tasting room, there was a lower than expected turnout; although I did get a text 10 minutes after I left that a couple more people had arrived. Those that did attend were treated to pizza and some of Tanya’s mustards that she created using El Segundo’s White Dog IPA; it turns out that homemade mustard and pizza go pretty well together. And of course, there was the beer. El Segundo has a couple new brews up including Pine Tar Incident, Wet Hop Simcoe Pale and Spark Plug; of course, Power Plant has returned as well. In addition to the Free Beer drawing, Reverend Dee brought some Mystifying Mints that she gave away in a drawing.

Business & Beer is a small networking group that meets on the second Tuesday of every month and has been doing this for over three years. If you are a small business owner or networking is what you do and you enjoy craft beer, this is the group for you. Friendly people, no dues, great beer and they meet at all the production breweries and brewpubs in the South Bay that you have always wanted to visit. Next month they are meeting at the new Strand Brewing Company location. You can get on their mailing list, found on the BusinessNBeer website or Like them on Facebook to be kept in the loop. Cheers! Continue reading

Coming Soon to El Segundo: Rubens Distilling & Brewing

Rubens street view

Rubens Distilling & Brewing

As you might imagine, I hear a lot of rumors about what may or may not be happening as far as the craft beer scene in this area. As a result, I get asked questions like, “What is happening with Strand Brewing Company’s old brewhouse?” Well, while the fermenting tanks are moving to their new Dominguez location, the brewhouse is moving to a new home in El Segundo; Rubens Distilling & Brewing. Yes, I said distilling and brewing. Wednesday morning I made a visit to the home of this future distillery and craft brewery and met Rob Rubens, the owner of Rubens Distilling & Brewing to find out a little more about what the plans are.

Rubens grew up in Illinois and he has relatives that opened a speakeasy in Chicago during Prohibition, so I guess one could say that whiskey is in his blood. Rubens Distilling & Brewing will be the first combination distillery and brewery in the Los Angeles area, and one of three in the state; the others being Ballast Point and Anchor Steam.

Rubens today

Future distillery and brewery

Continue reading

A Visit to the L.A. Arts District: Mumford Brewing & Angel City

If you have been following along you know that on Saturday I was at the BEERS Summer Fest in downtown Los Angeles. As the day approached I could see by the weather reports that it was going to be a hot day in DTLA, and unless The Chair parking lot, where the event was being held, had a lot of trees it was going to have to be a pretty entertaining event for me to stay long. Luckily, I knew that Mumford Brewing was just a couple miles away and I knew Angel City was walking distance from there, so I had a backup plan. If not for the BEERS festival, I was going to save my visit to the L.A. Arts District breweries for when everyone was up and running. I had heard good things about Mumford and I think Angel City’s location is one of the more interesting breweries to photograph so it did not take much convincing to head over to the Arts District for some exploring.

When we arrived at Mumford Brewing I was not really sure what I thought. The exterior of the building was brightly colored, but as soon as you see the door you are greeted by the face of a stern Mr. Mumford and the first seating looked like something found in a hip or hep coffee shop. As I turned my gaze to the left I noticed the familiar chalkboards listing the available brews and a room that looked more like the tasting rooms I am familiar with; lots of concrete and basic tables with stools. There were not very many people at the time when compared to what I see in the South Bay breweries, but they had a fair number of customers. By the time we finished our flight it seemed like most tables had suddenly become occupied. Continue reading

Business & Beer joins the crowd at Monkish Brewing Company

These photos were taken at the last Business and Beer which was held Thursday, August 13 at the Monkish Brewing Company tasting room in Torrance. Do not let the lack of photos lead you to believe that there wasn’t much of a turnout, because that would not be accurate. The reality is that Monkish was so crowded it was a little difficult to move around to set up shots!

As one of the co-founders of the Business & Beer networking group, our goal was two-fold; the first was to provide a networking opportunity for small business owners beyond what a typical Chamber of Commerce might provide and to give greater exposure to our local breweries, brewpubs and gastropubs. I remember a time that when we brought a group of 5, 10 or 15 people to one of our local tasting rooms it actually made an impact on the number of patrons the brewery was having that night. Last night, someone happened to share a photo on Facebook from September 2012; it is fun to remember when we could all fit into the front alcove of the tasting room and there would still be room for the other patrons. On Thursday there was a line out the front door most of the evening; I guess we can declare mission accomplished as far as garnering exposure to our craft breweries. Cheers! Continue reading

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