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Indiana Craft Beer: From North to South

If you have been following along you will recall that Craft Beer Tour 2016 technically began after visiting my buddy George in Reno, Nevada. It was there that I asked Tanya if she wanted to visit her family in Indiana; if she had not been up for it, my backup plan was to head to the Portland, Oregon area. When she said she wanted to go to Indiana, the only brewery that was a planned destination was Three Floyds Brewing in Munster. We have both been there numerous times; and while the rest of the trip would concentrate on visiting places I never heard of, there was no way I was going to northwest Indiana without another stop at Three Floyds.

I remember it was around 2:00 PM on Sunday afternoon at Big Grove Brewery when I told Big Grove managing partner Doug Goettsch and Tanya that we would be having dinner at Three Floyds Brewpub that evening. Goettsch reminded me that it was still another three or four hours to Munster; but as they would be open until 11:15 PM this would not be a problem; or so I thought. Continue reading

Red Rock Brewing Company – Salt Lake City

Tuesday morning we left Elko, Nevada and continued east on I-80 through the remaining Nevada desert into the Utah desert. If you think Nevada is flat and arid, the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah makes it look like an oasis. The fact of the matter is that until you hit Salt Lake City there is not much to speak of beer-wise between Elko and Salt Lake.

Tanya was seeking food and found Red Rock Brewing Company; a brewpub in Salt Lake City. Unfortunately for us, Red Rock Brewing has two locations; the brewery and tasting room; and a few blocks away, the brewpub. She had set the GPS for the brewery, which may have had snacks but they did not have the food she sought. The Red Rock Brewing Company brewery is located at 443 North 400 West in Salt Lake City and this is their production brewery where you can find the higher ABV brews. Utah has some of the weirder beer laws that we came across. Oh, Mountain West Cider is right next door; we did not make it back there but if you are in the neighborhood you might as well stop in. Continue reading

Business & Beer Visits Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing

These photos are from the August gathering of Business & Beer which was held Thursday evening at El Segundo’s newest production brewery, and Los Angeles’ only combination distillery and brewery, Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing. As a co-founder of the Business & Beer networking group I have come to expect smaller than normal turnouts when we bring the group to the outback of El Segundo, so I was pleasantly surprised at the large turnout we had last night.

Founder and Master Distiller, Rob Rubens gave the group a tour of their operation, discussing the distilling as well as the brewing sides, their similarities and the differences. The group seemed to really enjoy the tour as there were plenty of questions being asked. One of the main differences is that it is a lot faster to distill spirits than brew beer; so while the spirits are not quite ready, they should be soon. Continue reading

Cosmic Brewery Enters Soft Open Phase

The long awaited opening of Torrance’s newest production brewery, Cosmic Brewery, home of Cosmic Ales, is now a reality as they opened their tasting room to the public this past weekend. I only had a short window of opportunity to visit on Saturday evening but for making a last minute announcement on Friday that they would be open Saturday, the place was packed.

As you can see by my photos, as I watched the build-out of the brewery I never got any photos of the future tasting room. Owner Christopher Briles always kept that close to the vest and he did not want anyone to see it until it was ready. When it was revealed Saturday one had to admit, the cosmic theme is pretty cool.

The tap system is different than any tasting room I have visited in that you pour your own beer and are charged according to how much you pour. If you recall my article about zpizza a couple months ago, it is the same concept. You purchase a card that you insert on the tap, and you pour your beer. I did not play with it Saturday, but I will probably check it out this weekend. Continue reading

Business & Beer Celebrates Four Years

These photos are from the Business & Beer gathering that was held Thursday evening at the Smog City Brewing Company tasting room in Torrance. This marked the 4th anniversary of the networking group’s existence, which probably accounted for the better than average turnout. There was a mix of old and new in attendance with at least a couple first time attendees, and at least seven people that had attended the first Business & Beer at Select Beer Store back in 2012.

To help mark the occasion, Business & Beer co-founder Tanya Martin baked up a bunch of calzones which were readily consumed. Instead of having their monthly beer drawing, all attendees received a coupon for a free beer at an upcoming Business & Beer gathering.

The next Business & Beer will be held at El Segundo’s newest production brewery, Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing on August 11. You can find more details about the event on the Business & Beer website. Cheers! Continue reading

Jimmy’s Bar & Grill Beer Dinner Featuring Scholb Premium Ales

I guess the word has gotten out to the craft beer fans and foodies in the South Bay area; Jimmy’s Bar & Grill in Redondo Beach is the place to be on the second Wednesday of the month for their outstanding beer dinners. These photos were taken at Jimmy’s July beer dinner last night featuring the latest production brewery to open in Torrance, Scholb Premium Ales.

When we first started attending Jimmy’s Beer Dinner Series back in September the attendance was probably about 30 people. In the months following the numbers fluctuated a little, but I don’t recall there being more than maybe 50 people at any of them. Yesterday afternoon, Jimmy’s announced on their Facebook page that they had sold out at 60 attendees. I guess not everyone got the message because by the time all was said and done they had over 75 attendees at the dinner. It really was a sight to see. Continue reading

A Visit to the Palmdale Breweries

Since I was going to the Bravery Brewing 4th Anniversary celebration in Lancaster anyway, and Palmdale’s two new breweries are less than five miles from Bravery, I decided to stop in to visit Transplants Brewing Company and their neighbor across the way, Lucky Luke Brewing Company.

The last time I visited Palmdale was for the Transplants Brewing ribbon cutting back in January. If you look at the photos from that event you will probably notice that there was a large mural in progress, and you may have noticed that they were offering 10 beers for their opening day. When we arrived Sunday it was obvious that a lot more work has been done on the mural; I get the feeling it may never truly be completed, but it is very interesting to gaze upon. Continue reading

Bravery Brewing 4th Year Anniversary Photos

These photos are from Bravery Brewing’s 4th Year Anniversary party which was held Sunday at the Lancaster production brewery’s tasting room. In addition to the 30 brews available, there was live music by Blaktop, hamburgers and hot dogs from Hi Desert Mobile Catering, hourly raffles, cornhole, board games and surprisingly nice weather. Of course, co-founder and star of the big and small screen, R. Lee Ermey was there to chat with attendees.

Since I was there, I let Brian Avery take me on a tour of their new brewhouse, a three vessel, 15 bbl system that will allow them to brew a ton more beer than they were doing with the 3 bbl system they have been using.

Congratulations to Bart and Brian Avery and the entire Bravery Brewing team; I look forward to seeing what the next year brings you. Bravery Brewing is located at 42705 8th Street West in Lancaster. Cheers! Continue reading

Beachwood Brewing & Noble Ale Works Celebrate World Domination

Sometimes it comes down to timing; Wednesday evening is a perfect example of that. Tanya did not feel like cooking and I had just been paid, so she suggested we go to dinner. On the short list of brewpubs and gastropubs was one that we have not visited as much as we would like was Beachwood Brewing & BBQ in Long Beach. Truth be told, because it was the beginning of the rush hour traffic we were hesitant to head there when there were so many other great options that were a lot closer; but we both had a hankering for some barbecue and whatever was new at Beachwood, so we took our chances and headed to Long Beach.

One of the first things I noticed when we arrived at Beachwood was a sign that said something about a shuttle going between the Long Beach and Seal Beach locations. When I asked the hostess about it, I was informed that I got there just in time for Beachwood’s celebration with Noble Ale Works of their victories at the recent World Beer Cup where, among other awards, Beachwood BBQ & Brewing won World Beer Cup Champion Brewery and Brewmaster in the large brewpubs category and Noble Ale Works won World Beer Cup Champion Brewery and Brewmaster in the Small Brewing Company category. Beachwood was providing shuttle rides between their two locations in order that you might be able to try all the beers that Noble Ale Works brought with them. Continue reading

Business & Beer Returns to Monkish Brewing Company

These photos were taken Thursday evening when the Business & Beer networking group met at the Monkish Brewing Company tasting room. The group was small, but it did not prevent new relationships to be established as most of the attendees were first timers for Business & Beer and a couple had never visited Monkish before this event.

In addition to the beer and networking, the Mad Pambazos food truck was there with some pretty tasty sandwiches for those so inclined.

Business & Beer will celebrate their 4th Anniversary on July 14 at Smog City Brewing Company. The gatherings begin at 6:00 PM and last until people leave, but 8:00 PM is the official end time. If you own a small business or have a job that requires networking and you enjoy fresh craft beer you should look into Business & Beer. Cheers! Continue reading

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