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Absolution Brewing Mug Club Christmas Party Photos

On Sunday evening, Absolution Brewing Company held their annual Christmas party for members of their MUG Club loyalty program. Attendees were provided with a wide variety of snacks and were treated to a pint of Absolution’s cellar-aged Anniversary Ale. Of course, there were specials on any of the 19 other brews they pour; I spent my time enjoying their new 405 IPA. Finally, Absolution has brewed a true west coast style IPA. For entertainment, we enjoyed the rock and blues sounds of Nasty Bad Habit; it really was a good time.

You know, the ABC MUG Club makes for a pretty nice Christmas gift; in fact, I know one couple that was at the party last night because they had just received a membership as an early Christmas present. Membership includes a nice growler, a hat, shirt, discounts on beer and invitations to these private events. You might want to give yourself one. Cheers! Continue reading

Great Society Cider & Mead Welcomes Moonlight Meadery

These photos were taken Thursday evening at Great Society Cider & Mead in Long Beach when they held another in their continuing series of “Meet the Maker”; where cider and mead aficionados get an opportunity to meet the owners behind the cideries and meaderies that produce the brews that are the primary focus of Great Society Cider & Mead. Thursday evening’s event featured Michael Fairbrother, founder of the world renowned Moonlight Meadery.

The evening was broken up in two sections; the first was open to the public and everyone was able to enjoy a Moonlight flight or any of ciders and mead that completed the 20 tap list while chatting with Fairbrother. It was obvious that many people had come from as far away as the San Diego area for the opportunity to speak with him. Some people just wanted to tell Fairbrother how much they enjoy his product while others brought samples and came with questions on the process when it comes to making cider or [especially] mead. The second portion of the evening was a private event featuring five pours of various Moonlight products paired with specific appetizers. Continue reading

An Accurate List of All the South Bay Breweries

Recently there have been a couple articles circulating around social media claiming to list all of the South Bay breweries; one that went around yesterday missed four or five of them, depending on whether or not a tasting room was required. As the Craft Beer Guy I have been fortunate to have this craft beer boom explode all around my home; I also feel obligated to provide an accurate list of all the breweries currently brewing in the South Bay as well as the next two scheduled to open.

In order to not show favoritism, and to give credit where credit is due, I will list all the South Bay breweries by the date they opened. As I have visited each brewery, I will provide a link to each so you can look at my articles to determine if you want to visit them. The photos are in order as well. Continue reading

LA Beer Bloggers Visit Brouwerij West

On Saturday afternoon, a small contingency of local craft beer writers, photographers and a brewer met at Brouwerij West in San Pedro for a personal tour given by Brouwerij West President and Chief Financial Officer, Dave Holop and Founder and Brewmaster, Brian Mercer, as well as their head brewer, Jeremy Czuleger.

As this was the first visit to Brouwerij West for several of the attendees, the tour included a brief history of Brouwerij West and how each of the principles became involved in craft beer as well as some history behind the warehouse that was built during World War II but did not get a whole lot of use because the war ended shortly after construction of the building was completed. Continue reading

Zymurgy Brew Works Guest Brewer Night with Patrick Schulz

These photos were taken Wednesday evening at Zymurgy Brew Works & Tasting Room when they held their second in a series of “Learn to Brew” guest brewer nights; this time featuring Patrick Schulz, a co-founder and head brewer for Scholb Premium Ales, located in Torrance. Patrick would be showing the group how to brew his Dad’s IPA.

As I missed the first guest brewer event, I was not entirely sure how the event would be completed in the scheduled three hours; but like a TV talk show that has a cooking segment, they had that worked out by doing two brews. One brew had already had the grain added by the time I got there, and the second kettle was in the process of heating the water. When everyone arrived they started by adding grain to the second kettle and after sparging the grain in the first kettle, the hop additions began. Continue reading

Beer Label Designs by Brittany

cwris label

Cold War Russian Imperial Stout label

Hopefully you recall that back in August I went to Zymurgy Brew Works & Tasting Room to brew my Cold War Russian Imperial Stout. After a few weeks of fermenting Zymurgy Brew Works founder, Bill Baker, contacted me to let me know that the beer had been bottled and all they were waiting for was the design for my label. I was afraid this might present a problem as I have zero artistic skills beyond the camera and my resident designer and I had just parted ways.

I put it out on my Facebook page that I was looking for someone to design a logo for the beer and it was not long before I heard back from Kim and Brian who have been Craft Beer Guy supporters for quite a while; and coincidentally, Brian is the best friend of one of my brothers. Kim and Brian have a son that has a girlfriend, Brittany, that is a designer and I was told that she would be come up with a label for me. I offered no advice as to what I was looking for, just the name of the beer. You can see the results in the accompanying photos. Continue reading

Firestone Walker- The Propagator Releases Generation 1

On Wednesday afternoon Firestone Walker’s Venice location, The Propagator, officially changed from being a gastropub to a brewpub with the release of their first beer from the million dollar brewhouse; aptly named, Generation 1. While the release of a beer may not necessarily be documented here, I know there are a lot of Firestone Walker fans out there and knowing that they are now able to use their beautiful brewhouse for something other than a display is news we have all been waiting for. The fact that Generation 1 is outstanding is icing on the cake.

Generation 1 is an IPA that is hopped with Citra, Mosaic and Mandarina hops; it is really smooth and has great flavors. It is quite drinkable; and it might be [one of] their best IPAs, in my opinion.

When I mentioned to Propagator General Manager Brad Ellis how impressed I was with the first batch from the new system, he immediately gave credit to the work ethic of Propagator brewer, Ben Maushardt. Ellis had first observed Maushardt up in Paso Robles and he apparently made quite the impression as the choice for brewer at Propagator involved input from the rank and file. Continue reading

Birthday Party Pig Roast at Strand Brewing Co

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Strand Brewing Company, where they held a pig roast to celebrate three birthdays. The birthdays being celebrated included Strand Brewing Company co-founder Rich Marcello, Barley Hops Grill co-owner Alex Bouffiou, and long time Strand Brewing fan, Leslie Cortez.

Barley Hops Grill cooked up two pigs, so I am sure there was enough for everyone. The cookies Rich was passing around were only surpassed by his beer. Cheers! Continue reading

Photos from the 5th Annual Kraft Bierfest at Alpine Village

These photos were taken at the 5th Annual Kraft Bierfest that was held Saturday afternoon at Alpine Village in Torrance. Having attended every Kraft Bierfest since inception I can say that Saturday’s event reminded me of their first event in 2012 in that there was lots of quality beer but not very many people there to drink it. Since Alpine Village buys the beer they pour, rather than relying on donations, this means it is probably going to be a good time to visit there as their tap list probably has a lot of leftovers available.

In 2012 they had about 100 beers and maybe 200 attendees (probably a generous headcount); on Saturday they had about 50 beers, if there were 100 people that showed up I would be surprised. There was very little in the way of advertising, which was the obvious reason for so few showing up. But, as was pointed out to me by a few people, what was lacking in attendance was definitely made up for with the quality of beers available. In fact, this event was one of the “biggest” I have attended as far as ABV is concerned, in quite a while. Continue reading

Taking a San Diego Beercation with Travelocity

I have traveled to breweries up and down the state and ventured east as far as Indiana and Louisiana but even though it is only a couple hours away, I have not covered much in the San Diego area. With more than 100 breweries in San Diego County, I had visited a total of two; Alpine Beer Company in Alpine, and Stone Brewing’s Escondido location. The main reason for this is probably because a trip to San Diego for a beer tour would pretty much require an overnight stay and a convenient time just never came up. About a month ago I received an email asking if I would like to join Travelocity on an overnight beercation in San Diego; my convenient time had arrived. The fact that it was during San Diego Beer Week was just icing on the cake.

Our group consisted of a variety of foodies, travel influencers and two beer writers; we would be staying at the Pearl Hotel and visit AleSmith Brewing, Ballast Point, Mission Brewing and end with dinner at Stone’s Liberty Station location. We were transported around the different breweries by HotShots Brewery Tours. The reason for the invitation was that Travelocity has realized how big craft beer is around the country and that people are traveling specifically to try craft beer; so they created a beer tourism index. Everything we did can be booked via Travelocity. Continue reading

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