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Photos from The Propagator Turns 2

These photos were taken early Saturday afternoon at Firestone Walker Brewing Company’s, The Propagator Turns 2! celebration, held at the Venice, with a Marina del Rey mailing address, location. These photos are primarily from the VIP session which was held from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

It is hard to believe it has been two years already, but that could be because it was almost eight months after The Propagator opened before they were able to make The Propagator the R&D brewery it was intended to be.

Ticket holders to the sold out VIP session received a brewhouse tour, several tastes of Propagator and/or Barrelworks beers, light bites to eat and a crowler of Propagator brew to take home. Several of people were also able to take part in a taste comparison of three different hazy IPAs brewed with same recipe but fermented with different yeast strains; we were given samples of what each tasted like prior to being dry hopped and after being dry hopped. It was interesting how much difference the yeast made, both before and after being dry hopped. Continue reading

Taking a Craft Beer Tour of the SpaceX Corridor

I was going to begin this article by suggesting, “unless you have been living under a rock, you know of Elon Musk’s SpaceX” but I discovered there actually are some people that are unfamiliar with SpaceX; so I will presume that if you are into American craft beer and follow this site, you are at least somewhat familiar with Elon Musk and/or SpaceX.

What you may not be aware of is that SpaceX is headquartered in the City of Hawthorne and craft breweries and craft beer bars have been springing up in what I now call the SpaceX Corridor and all of them have been vying for the attention of SpaceX employees; and from what I have been able to see, those employees have been enjoying the attention.

Since I named it the SpaceX Corridor, I also get to define the boundaries. El Segundo Boulevard is a little over 5 miles long from the Harbor Freeway (110) and the San Diego Freeway (405). In that stretch there are now four craft breweries and one craft beer bar; all of which I have no problem recommending. Here is how you can complete the SpaceX Corridor Craft Beer Tour from one end to the other in one day, with relative ease. Be advised, this can currently only be done Thursday through Sunday; if you are reading this in six months or a year from now, the hours may be expanded by then.

The locations we will visit are State Brewing Company, Ximix Craft Exploration, Common Space Brewery, Los Angeles Ale Works, and Flights Beer Bar.

For the purposes of this tour, we will begin on the east end of the SpaceX Corridor, at State Brewing Company in Gardena. Continue reading

R. Lee Gunny Ermey Dies at 74

Ermey photos

R. Lee Ermey
March 24, 1944 – April 15, 2018

It was announced Sunday that actor R. Lee “Gunny” Ermey, of ‘Full Metal Jacket’ fame, died from complications due to pneumonia. The following statement was issued on Twitter by Ermey’s long time manager, Bill Rogin:

It is with deep sadness that I regret to inform you all that R. Lee Ermey (“The Gunny”) passed away this morning from complications of pneumonia. He will be greatly missed by all of us. Semper Fi, Gunny. Godspeed.

While this article may not seem beer related, Ermey was a co-owner of Lancaster’s own Bravery Brewing. I first met Ermey at Bravery Brewing in 2015, and my observations of him were that he was approachable and always had a smile on his face; unlike the persona he took on in his film and television roles. Continue reading

8th Annual San Clemente Micro-Brew Festival Photos

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at the 8th Annual San Clemente Micro-Brew Festival, which was held in the Left Coast Brewing Company parking lot in San Clemente. Proceeds from the event went to benefit military welcome-home events hosted by the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce. Presented by Left Coast Brewing, the craft beer festival was sponsored by Sunwest Bank, MURF Electric Bikes and Essentia Water.

This was my second time attending, and the festival was significantly larger this year than last. In 2017 they had 13 craft breweries and one food truck; this year’s event featured 17 Orange County breweries and three food trucks. In addition, Sunwest Bank had some pretty tasty Mexican food available for VIP ticket holders.

In addition to the wide selection of beers and food stuffs that were available, local band Special Blend was there, playing their special blend of surf music, reggae, rock, and hip-hop. VIP ticket holders were also able to sign up for a tour of Left Coast Brewing’s production brewery. Continue reading

Zymurgy Brew Works Brewing Class: Hazy IPA

These photos were taken Thursday evening at Zymurgy Brew Works & Tasting Room in Torrance, where they held another in their series of “every once in a while” brewing classes. Thursday’s class was to learn how to brew a hazy IPA using all grain and was led by Zymurgy Brew Works brewer Richard Wirsing. Each of the attendees will receive one 22oz bottle of the beer they brewed at a later date.

Wirsing explained the brewing process, complete with the Brewers Association newly defined description of the “hazy IPA”. Wirsing even went so far as to pass around bags of various hop varieties so the class participants could have some say as to the hop profile of their IPA. Continue reading

King Harbor Brewing 4th Anniversary Photos

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at King Harbor Brewing Company’s production brewery and tasting room in Redondo Beach, where King Harbor Brewing and their many fans celebrated King Harbor’s 4th Anniversary and National Beer Day with a four hour long party.

The ticketed event featured more than 30 King Harbor beers, beer cocktails, live music, plenty of food and games.

King Harbor Brewing is known for throwing a great party, and Saturday they lived up to their reputation. Live music was provided by the Royal Rats, The Kira Lingman Band, and The Thirsty Crows. DJ Denny Bales of Vinyl Club warmed up the crowd ahead of time. Continue reading

Photos from Smokefest at Los Angeles Ale Works

These photos were taken Saturday, April 7, at Smokefest; which was held at Los Angeles Ale Works in the Spacex Corridor area of Hawthorne. The event, which coincidentally was held on National Beer Day 2018, featured lots of barbecue, kid friendly games, live music and special beer releases.

Vendors that participated in the event included A’s BBQ, Bartz Barbecue, Hayseed BBQ, Oak Smoke BBQ and Hustle ‘N Dough Donuts. Live music, while I was there, was provided by Brothers Pine.

I was only there for the first couple of hours, but it was easy to see that it was going to be a busy day with plenty of good food to go along with the LA Ale Works brews. Continue reading

Ximix Craft Exploration Brewery Grand Opening

These photos were taken Thursday at day one of Ximix Craft Exploration’s grand opening weekend. Ximix is Gardena’s second craft brewery and if Thursday’s turnout was any indication, they have been welcomed with open arms by the surrounding community.

Ximix opened Thursday with eight brews to chose from; four of which are full batches, with the other four being small batches made with the Ximix pilot system. In addition to the beer, Chef C’S Smhokin Pot food truck was there serving their authentic Cajun food. Continue reading

Introducing Ximix Craft Exploration Brewery

Gardena now has two craft breweries; State Brewing Company and a little under a mile away, Ximix Craft Exploration, which will officially open Thursday, April 5, 2018.

I first met Ximix (pronounced “zim ex”) co-founder and head brewer Erik DeBellis 18 months ago during a visit to HopSaint Brewing Company; at the time he told me he was opening a brewery and we exchanged numbers. But you know the old saying, “out of sight, out of mind”; we had not seen each other since then and DeBellis was keeping things pretty close to the vest so I had completely forgotten about them until the owner of Lawndale Brewhouse asked me what I knew about Ximix. As the name did not ring a bell I was pretty surprised when I discovered I had already liked their Facebook page. When I reached out to them, DeBellis reminded me we had met previously; a couple days later I headed out to Gardena for my first visit to Ximix Craft Exploration. Continue reading

A Return Visit to the Valley of the Sun

Every year at this time, I make my annual trek to the Valley of the Sun, which is essentially the Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe area of Arizona. I returned there last week and as I was preparing to write my article about my most recent beer travel, I came to the realization that while I went to Arizona last year and took photos, I never wrote about it. These photos will begin with my visits to O.H.S.O. Eatery & nano-Brewery, and McFate Brewing Company in 2017; and will end with my visits to Wren House Brewing, Scottsdale Beer Company, and Blasted Barley in 2018.

My typical Valley of the Sun weekend begins with go-kart racing in Scottsdale and ends with a convention in Tempe. This means that I set my GPS for a brewery that will get me closest to the race track in Scottsdale. In 2017 my first destination was O.H.S.O. Eatery & nano-Brewery, a brewpub located in the Arcadia area of Phoenix. Continue reading

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