In March of 1996, the fledgling Firestone Walker Brewing Company out of Paso Robles, California released their first beer; DBA British Pale Ale. Thursday evening, 30 or 40 Firestone Walker fans met at Firestone Walker’s newest location, The Propagator, in Marina del Rey to celebrate DBA becoming of age, at the DBA Turns 21 beer dinner, hosted by Firestone Walkers first employee, Jeffers Richardson.
While we enjoyed a pour of Schwarzbier, a roasty German style black lager which was brewed at The Propagator by Ben Maushardt, Jeffers told us about the early days at Firestone Walker; go back as far as his initial job interview which involved babysitting a 5 year-old.
DBA, Double Barrel Ale, is often credit to being developed by Jeffers, but he gives full credit to Adam Firestone and David Walker as it was only because of their insistence that the beer be fermented using oak and stainless barrels, then blending them. It was obviously a great idea, and DBA has become not only a flagship brew for them, but it is also the base for several of their other beers. This beer dinner would celebrate the many uses of DBA as well as the beer itself. Continue reading
These photos were taken Wednesday evening as a couple dozen craft beer fans gathered at Rock & Brews in El Segundo, to watch and participate as Firestone Walker’s first employee and current Director of the Firestone Walker Barrelworks (aka Barrelmeister), Jeffers Richardson dropped massive amounts of acid knowledge on us.
I arrived early and immediately noticed that each setting at the tables had nine little cups; eight with what I thought was water and one with a jelly bean. I also noticed five plastic bottles labeled as either Lactic or Acetic Acid, with varying descriptions of their contents. In my head I thought this was going to be way out of my league and I would probably just take photos rather than participate. I could not have been more wrong; this was a very educational event. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday, March 18, at the Absolution Brewing Company tasting room in Torrance, where they celebrated their three year anniversary.
Say what you will about Absolution Brewing, these guys know how to throw a party, and Saturday’s extravaganza was no exception. In addition to the 20+ beers that were on tap at the main bar of the tasting room, they had four special firkins and about 10 other special brews which were available in the front office. For those with an appetite for food, Bartz Barbecue was there with their brisket and pork sandwich options.
As this was a daylong event, I split my day up with two visits. Continue reading
On Saturday afternoon, Select Beer Store, in Redondo Beach celebrated their 5th Anniversary by bringing in craft beer from some of their favorite local craft breweries. Barley Hops Grill was also there with their special style of barbecue.
As I was going through my notes I noticed that it was five years ago, during the 7th Annual American Craft Beer Week that I first visited Select Beer Store for their South Bay Tap Takeover which featured all four of the South Bay’s breweries; El Segundo Brewing, Monkish Brewing, Strand Brewing and Smog City Brewing.
Today the South Bay alone has more than 20 breweries; things have really grown in the last five years and Select Beer is not only selling craft beer but they have also been involved with a few collaborations, at least a couple of which were available at their anniversary celebration. Continue reading
On Saturday morning, a few dozen members of the Pacific Gravity Homebrewers Club met at Smog City Brewing Company for the Fourth Pacific Gravity Monster Brew. Smog City co-founder, Brewmaster, and Pacific Gravity member Jonathan Porter, teamed up with Pacific Gravity member Carl Townsend to develop the base wort for this event with an English theme. In keeping with past monster brews, the recipe was made so the base wort could be used for whatever kind of beer the brewer wanted. The hard part was done, and participants brought the wort home to add hops, roasted malts, the yeast of their choice or whatever adjuncts they might want to experiment with.
After everyone got their allotment of wort, there was a barbecue out back for those that wanted some burgers or brats. It was a nice way to start out a Saturday afternoon. Cheers! Continue reading
These photos were taken Monday afternoon at the Beachwood Blendery in Long Beach, where employees, friends, and family gathered for the drawing of the raffle tickets sold for Beachwood’s 6th Annual Pliny Fights Cancer Charity Raffle.
To enter the raffle, you could buy a $5.00 raffle ticket at the Seal Beach or Long Beach restaurant locations. Winners will receive a full pint of the 2017 Pliny the Younger; those that were not picked can feel better knowing that their donation is going to a good cause, the Melanoma Research Foundation. Beachwood founder and co-owner Gabe Gordon stated that this year’s raffle brought the total raised over the past six years to almost $75,000. Continue reading
The South Bay has a new production brewery and tasting room as Los Angeles Ale Works held their soft open over this past weekend. If you did not hear about it, do not feel too bad as it was intentionally kept under wraps since LA Ale Works wanted to make sure they were ready for their anticipated crowds. Founder/Partner Kristofor “Kip” Barnes said that he wanted to be sure that first time visitors had a pleasant experience; after my visit on Sunday, I do not think that is going to be a problem.
The soft open will continue every Wednesday through Sunday until their Grand Opening, which will be held Saturday, February 11. According to their website, their hours are currently 3:00 to 10:00 PM on Wednesday and Thursday; 3:00 to 11:00 PM on Fridays; 12:00 to 11:00 PM on Saturdays, and 12:00 to 8:00 PM on Sundays. The Grand Opening will likely be a ticketed event, but the details on that have not been figured out yet. Continue reading
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
These photos are from Wednesday evening at Zymurgy Brew Works & Tasting Room, when they held the third in a series of “Learn to Brew” guest brewer nights. Wednesday’s guest brewer was Phil McDaniel, the head brewer at King Harbor Brewing Company (KHBC) in Redondo Beach; the beer being brewed is one of my personal favorites from KHBC, Tiki Hut IPA.
About 15 people attended with a pretty even mix of homebrewers and those that had never tried brewing before; this was also the first time visiting Zymurgy for some with a few people that had yet to visit KHBC. This made for some interesting questions and McDaniel was more than willing to provide valuable answers; covering such subjects as various grain bills and their affect on a beer, as well how he decided on what hops to use.
McDaniel gave us a little background story on his brewing pedigree; including the fact that he started off by volunteering at Bootleggers Brewery (with about two hours notice), before moving on to such prestigious breweries as The Bruery and Stone Brewing Company. Continue reading
The long anticipated opening of Smog City Brewing Company’s SteelCraft location has arrived. These photos were taken late Wednesday afternoon at the “friends and family” soft open that was held primarily for the friends and family of the people that assembled the SteelCraft enclave. After talking to a few attendees, it seemed like the news spread around the Bixby Knolls neighborhood quickly as the SteelCraft park began filling up with locals that expressed that they were happy to save the Uber expense of traveling to Torrance as the SteelCraft location was walking distance from their homes.
For those unfamiliar with the SteelCraft concept, essentially, a vacant 14,500 square-foot lot of the corner of Long Beach Boulevard and Bixby Road has been set up with about a dozen shipping containers that will house businesses selling various foods; such as hamburgers, ramen, and shaved ice, there is also a coffee shop, and of course, Smog City’s beer. Continue reading