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Pac City Brewery

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

Pac City Brewery to Close Doors

Pac City staff

Pac City Brewery to Close

Pac City Brewery, Pacoima’s first and one of the San Fernando Valley’s only craft breweries will be closing their doors at the end of November. I spoke with Pac City Brewery owner, Robert Cortez, last night and he explained that it is with a heavy heart that he closes the doors at his current location but it just is not safe for their customers to come to the tasting room.

Ever since Pac City opened in April of 2014 they have been dealing with gang activity due in part to the fact that a housing project was virtually across the street and they considered Pac City to be on their turf. Attempts to get help from the City of Pacoima or LAPD were futile. When I visited them a month ago someone had attempted to break into their location the previous evening. Every time I spoke with Cortez he expressed his frustration and disgust at how his neighbors were treating his customers and his business. There were extortion attempts and even death threats. As there have been at least six homicides within a mile of the brewery this past summer, Cortez made the decision last night to close the doors at this location. 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

Visits to Bottle Logic, Pacific Plate and Pac City Brewing

Saturday afternoon I decided to check out a couple relatively new production breweries that I had not visited yet and pay a return visit to the only craft brewery that has seen fit to name a beer after me. The tasting rooms I visited were Bottle Logic Brewing, Pacific Plate Brewing and Pac City Brewery; with a stop by Lucky Baldwin’s Delirium for a bite to eat.

Our first stop was Bottle Logic Brewing in Anaheim. Bottle Logic opened in February of this year and while this was my first visit to their tasting room, I did have an opportunity to try a couple of their beers at The Bruery’s Sucr√©versary event back in May so I had a fairly good idea of what to expect as far as their brews were concerned; I was not disappointed. On the day of our visit they had about 14 beers on tap, with the tap list being broken up to their five “Constants” which make up their flagship beers; and their six “Variables” which consist of their seasonal beers. There were also a few others that are experimental and one-offs. We started off with a flight of their Constants and their Lucky Panda; my fiancee really enjoyed their rice lagers, Hanamichi and Lucky Panda. For me, the Double Actuator Double IPA was my favorite, by far. I then tried the Dr. Strangematter Imperial Saison and immediately requested a bottle to go; it is delicious.

Bottle Logic founder and president Steve Napolitano gave me a little tour of the brewhouse and I have to say that for a brewery that is only six months old they have a pretty impressive setup with room to grow. Included in the growth plans is a barrel program that will soon include sours, which will require an additional brewhouse to avoid cross-contamination. I look forward to visiting them again in a few months to see how much they have progressed. Bottle Logic Brewing is located at 1072 N. Armando Street in Anaheim and is open Thursday through Monday. Continue reading

L.A. Beer Bloggers Summit No. 11

On Sunday afternoon the L.A. Beer Bloggers held their LA Beer Bloggers Summit No. 11 with tours of two of L.A.’s newest production craft breweries; Pac City Brewery in Pacoima and MacLeod Ale Brewing Company in Van Nuys.

Pac City Brewery had their ribbon cutting was held at the end of April and since then they have been brewing up a storm, including the first beer ever named after me; Lloyd’s Hazel Nuts. While the beer was only a few days old it was pretty tasty, especially if you enjoy hazelnuts. I look forward to trying it again in a couple of weeks.

Because of the type of license Pac City Brewery has they cannot sell their brews at their tasting room, but they can give it away if having a function that is a fundraiser for a 501(C)(3) organization. So, while they work on getting the word out that Pacoima now has a craft brewery they have been displaying their beers by holding fundraisers such as their Beer Nights with Pac City which is being held Saturday, June 21 from 6:30-9:00. The $40 entry fee gets you full pint pours of whichever beer you desire, good music and Pac City tri-tip chili. A major portion of the monies raised will go to the LAPD Baker to Vegas running team. I sponsored Riverside Sheriffs a few years ago and went to photograph it; these guys are madmen. If you are interested, you can purchase tickets through Eventbrite. Pac City Brewery is located at 12780 Pierce Street in Pacoima. Continue reading

Photos from the Pac City Brewery ribbon cutting

Tuesday afternoon I took advantage of the great Earth Day weather and rode out to the Los Angeles suburb of Pacoima to attend the ribbon cutting and soft opening of Pacoima’s first production brewery, Pac City Brewery. Pac City Brewery is a three (3) barrel microbrewery that will not have a tasting room in the foreseeable future but plans on working closely with local eateries and drinking holes to ensure their beers are readily available to those seeking it out. While they cannot have a tasting room, they will be able to hold events that include their beers on the spacious property that their brewery is located on.

The Pac City Brewing team is made up of CEO and head brewer Robert Cortez, Miguel Duran, Fernando Palacios and Robert’s brother Art Cortez. The ribbon cutting was attended by several friends and family members as well as the LA City Council, the Chamber of Commerce, LAPD and several representatives of the local craft beer scene.

After a short speech the ribbon was cut and guests were invited in to sample four of their brews, their Caramel IPA, Not so Amber Ale, Toasted Oat American Wheat Ale and their Chocolate Raspberry Coconut Porter. They also offered ginger ale and tea that are brewed on-site as well as pizza and sandwiches. Judging by the smiles, everyone had a good time. I will be sure to let you know when I hear about any special events that are open to the public. Pac City Brewing is located at 12780 Pierce Street, Unit #5 in Pacoima. Congratulations and good luck to Robert and all the team. Cheers! Continue reading

Business & Beer meets at Monkish Brewing Company

Thursday evening, the Business & Beer networking group met for their October gathering at Monkish Brewing Company; a microbrewery in Torrance that specializes in Belgian style ales. We had another fine turnout, with this one being one of the most diversified since we first started back in July 2012. We had a nice mixture of regular attendees as well as several new faces and a few second timers. Included in our group were the owners of two microbreweries that are still in the building phase; Pac City Brewery from Pacoima and Absolution Brewing Company of Torrance. Vella Pizza was also there with their mobile brick oven so we had some good food to go along with the networking and beer. Many thanks to Monkish Brewing Company for hosting our event.

If you live or work in the South Bay area or are willing to make the drive to us and find networking to be valuable to your business model, you might want to consider joining us for one of our upcoming Business & Beer meetups. We meet on the second Thursday of every month at 6:00 PM at a different microbrewery or brewpub in the South Bay. We currently have five locations we visit between Torrance, Hermosa Beach and El Segundo with three more microbreweries slated to have tasting rooms in our geographical area within the next several months. There are no dues, no mandatory meetings or other rules that might make you hesitant to join us. It really is a nice group of people that show up and as you can see from the photos, strangers soon become friends and acquaintances at our gatherings. You can get on the mailing list or see our upcoming schedule and past events on BusinessNBeer.com Cheers! Continue reading

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