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Craft Beer Tour 2017: West Michigan

These photos are of the breweries I visited in Michigan; in order, they were Founders Brewing (two visits), Bell’s Brewery, New Holland Brewing, Our Brewing, Rockford Brewing, Perrin Brewing, Elk Brewing, and Greyline Brewing Company.

After driving back and forth between Grand Rapids and Detroit, in the pouring rain, and another four hours of technical work, I was ready for Craft Beer Tour 2017 to get back on course. First stop would be the Founders Brewing taproom.

As we were pulling off the freeway it was easy to spot the huge red brick building with “Founders Brewing” emblazoned with yellow letters. As we were parking I could not but help notice the fermenters in the windows; they appeared to be three stories tall, but I could not see clearly enough to see where their feet were. I hoped I would have a good view of the brewhouse, because it looked a little too busy for me to ask for a quick personal tour like I do at the smaller breweries. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2017: Iowa and Indiana

By the time I finished exploring the craft breweries in Nebraska, it was getting late Monday afternoon and I had an appointment in Detroit on Wednesday morning, so the road trip of my Craft Beer Tour 2017 suddenly became a drive; which is not nearly as much fun. It did not help that as I continued eastbound, I would lose another hour before I hit Michigan. Anyway, enough complaining.

Exiting Nebraska, I entered Iowa. I drove through Iowa last year and was tempted to divert to Salon and Big Grove Brewery, but I also wanted to go up to Toppling Goliath; but the time thing was becoming an issue. I decided to power through Iowa, because there was a brewery in Indiana that I was stopping at, no matter what. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2017: Nebraska

When the Brewers Association offered me the opportunity to cover the 2017 Great American Beer Festival I decided that I would use the opportunity to visit some of my siblings and perhaps enjoy some craft beer along the way. These photos were taken at Blue Blood Brewing, Zipline Brewing, Upstream Brewing, and Kros Strain Brewing. Continue reading

3rd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover to Feature 19 Local Breweries

HopSaint, The Dudes', Three Weavers

South Bay Tap Takeover Participants

I am happy to formally announce that Flights Beer Bar and CraftBeerGuy.com will be holding their 3rd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover on September 7, 2017; this time featuring 19 of the best craft breweries the South Bay has to offer.

It was two years ago that I made my first visit to Flights Beer Bar and met the owner Jerry “Jammer” Jamgotchian. Within days of our meeting, Jerry expressed interest in having a Craft Beer Guy event at his recently opened 40 tap gastropub. At the time, the South Bay had 10 production breweries and I requested that all 40 taps be dedicated to these 10 breweries for the 1st Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. Jerry not only agreed to this, but also invested in a new cold box so Flights could store the additional beers that were brought in for the event. To say the event was a rousing success would be an understatement. Continue reading

DTLA Breweries United Fest Photos

These photos were taken Sunday afternoon at the Triangle Lot where DTLA Breweries United held their second annual DTLA Breweries United Fest. The event featured limited edition and specialty beers from the seven Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) breweries that make up DTLA Breweries United. Those breweries include Angel City, Mumford Brewing, Boomtown Brewery, Arts District Brewing, Iron Triangle, Indie Brewing and Dry River Brewing.

The proceeds from the event went to the Keep A Breast Foundation.

I had to take advantage of attending this event as I just never seem to get to DTLA when it comes to craft beer; in fact, I was going through my notes and realized that it has been almost two years since my last visit there. Back then only Angel City and Mumford had tasting rooms open to the public; as of today all seven members of the DTLA Breweries United have tasting rooms. Continue reading

LABW9: So You Want to Open a Brewery in LA?

These photos were taken Tuesday evening at Los Angeles Ale Works, in Hawthorne, at the sixth edition of “So You Want to Open a Brewery in LA?” an LA Beer Week panel discussion moderated by Celebrator Beer News writer Tomm Carroll. If you have attended any of the previous five seminars hosted by Carroll, you know that he typically puts together a great group of panelists and last night was no exception.

The panelists included Laurie Porter of Smog City Brewing, Greg Bechtel of Simmzy’s Burbank, Gary Croft of Yorkshire Square, Bill Baker of Zymurgy Brew Works & Tasting Room, Rick Blankemeier of Modern Times, Will Shelton of Concrete Jungle Brewing Project, Brent Knapp of Common Space Brewery, Kip Barnes of LA Ale Works, and Brendan Lake of Burnin’ Daylight Brewing Company. Continue reading

Smog City Brewing Celebrates 4th Anniversary

These photos were taken Saturday at Smog City Brewing Company where several hundred of Smog City’s fans gathered to help Jonathan and Laurie Porter celebrate four years of brewing at their Torrance location.

It has been a lot of fun watching Smog City grow since their soft open; not only in the number of beers and styles that they turn out, but the massive growth of the brewery itself and the fact that they now have their satellite SteelCraft location in Long Beach. If you look at the photos of the brewery from the soft open the brewery and tasting room were vast; compare it to the photos from Saturday and you can see that it has almost become a forest of stainless steel. According to Jonathan, there is even more to come. Continue reading

7th Annual San Clemente Micro-Brew Festival Photos

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at the 7th Annual San Clemente Micro-Brew Festival, which was held in the Left Coast Brewing Company parking lot between their brewery and the tasting room. Proceeds from the event went to benefit military welcome-home events hosted by the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce. The event featured a little over a dozen local to San Clemente breweries as well as live music provided by Kalama Brothers, Special Blend and Rascalin. Wahoo’s food truck was also there for those that wanted food.

This was my first time attending this event, but just from the name “Micro-Brew Festival” I knew it was going to be old-school. When I arrived I noticed my preconceived notions were correct; not that this is a bad thing. It was nice and compact, with more than enough different beers available for any responsible craft beer fan, and they had plenty of bathrooms and free water. Continue reading

Photos from the King Harbor Brewing 3rd Anniversary

These photos were taken Saturday at the King Harbor Brewing Company 3rd Anniversary celebration. The event featured three bands, three food trucks and over 30 variations of King Harbor Brewing’s craft beer which was enjoyed by well over 500 attendees.

To give you an idea of how much progress King Harbor has made since they opened their doors in 2014; on their opening day they had two variations of The Quest, and two variations of Abel Brown. On Saturday they had three variations of their King Swirly the 3rd anniversary ale.

In addition to the music, food and King Harbor brews that were available, there were games like corn hole, giant beer pong, a dunk tank and Jenga. There was also an Employee Beer Contest which consisted of six beers that were created by teams made up of King Harbor’s employees. The beers included Guava Lava Gose, One Night in Brussels Belgian Strong Ale, Muffin Top Sour, Just a pHaze Pale Ale, The Real Slim Hazy NE IPA, and Ruby Redondo Rye IPA. Attendees voted on their favorite which gives the brewers bragging rights; the winner has not been announced at the time of this writing. Continue reading

Absolution Brewing Celebrates 3 Year Anniversary

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

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