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LA Beer Week Kickoff Festival Photos

LA Beer Week 2016 (LABW8) started off in prime form Saturday afternoon by showcasing more than 45 of the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild breweries with almost as many special guest breweries, pouring more than 200 different beers; a few of the breweries represented used the LA Beer Week Kickoff Festival to release new beers.

The sold out kickoff festival was held at the Los Angeles Center Studios and in addition to the massive amount of beer there was live music, plenty of food trucks, and lots of water. Luckily, the heat wave that struck Los Angeles was kind enough to wait until the next day; that is not to say it wasn’t hot, but it probably wasn’t over 90. Luckily, the Los Angeles Center Studios is a pretty massive location so there was plenty of shade and somewhere to go sit if desired. Continue reading

L.A. Brewers Beer Week 2015 Kickoff Party Photos

These photos were taken at the LA Brewers Beer Week Kickoff which was held Saturday afternoon, June 20 at Exposition Park. The kickoff was the official launch of LA Beer Week 2015 (#LABW7) and was a fundraiser with a portion of the proceeds being donated to L.A. Kitchen. The event featured more than 75 breweries pouring a reported 200+ beers, ciders and home brewed sodas. I did not count them but I can assure you there were so many outstanding options that it would have been virtually impossible to try them all in the five hours we had available. There were numerous times I headed off to try a beer that I wanted only to be distracted by something else on the way. I was pleasantly surprised at how many of the available options were brews I had yet to try.

In addition to the massive quantities of beer, there were eight food trucks, four bands, educational panels and a few games. There were about 3,000 people including attendees, volunteers and the breweries but there was very little in the way of lines. I think the longest line I saw was for people waiting to buy tote bags that were being offered there.

As it is Father’s Day and there are a lot of things going on, so I will go ahead and post the photos now and give an in-depth review later in the week. Suffice it to say, it was a great time with very little to find negative about the entire experience. The LA County Brewers Guild did a great job and is to be commended on putting on a great event. Of course, I am extremely appreciative of Absolution Brewing Company for sponsoring me at the LA Beer Week Kickoff. Cheers! Continue reading

Brewtopia at Abigaile: Sunday, March 8

Novem-BEER-Fest attendees

Join the Fun at Brewtopia – March 8, 2015

Next Sunday, March 8, Abigaile Restaurant and Ocean Bar in Hermosa Beach will hold their inaugural Brewtopia Beer Garden, featuring 23 of Los Angeles’ finest craft breweries and food prepared by Abigail’s Chef Tin who will be providing his latest barbecue grill creations. This is the second beer garden event hosted by Abigaile, with the last one being their Novem-BEER-Fest which was held in the middle of last November. If you did not make it to Novem-BEER-Fest you missed a great event that featured some very good brews and lots of really tasty foods. Brewtopia will have even more breweries represented with more food at the same price as Novem-BEER-Fest.

The breweries scheduled to attend include Absolution, Alosta, Angel City, Beachwood, Bootlegger’s, Bravery, The Bruery, Eagle Rock, El Segundo, Golden Road, Kinetic, King Harbor, Ladyface, Monkish, MacLeod, Noble, Phantom, Progress, Smog City, Strand, Timeless Pints, The Dudes’ and Three Weavers. The food menu includes short-ribs, skewers, sliders, garlic knots and a lot more. If you have ever been to an Abigaile event you know the special treats that Chef Tin comes up with; if you have not, you are in for a special treat. I could tell you that the skewers will be made up of Katsu glazed salmon or Korean beef coconut or curry chicken sate; or that there will be Chilled Peanut Somen Noodle but the names, as exotic as they are, will fall short in describing the tasty foods you will experience if you show up at Brewtopia.

Brewtopia Beer Garden featuring 23 local craft breweries

Brewtopia Beer Garden featuring 23 local craft breweries

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The 2014 Craft Beer Guy Year in Review

As 2014 winds down I faced the question posed to me by a few people; “Will Craft Beer Guy be writing an article about the year?” Initially I thought I would do a Top 10 list and just discuss the Top 10 breweries and brewpubs in the South Bay. I figured it would be easy because there were only 10 craft brewers here, but in the last month so many new locations have opened that we now have 12 if you count Phantom Carriage that has not “officially” opened yet. The South Bay now has the following breweries and brewpubs in its confines; in order of seniority (I think) they are: Red Car Brewery, San Pedro Brewing Company, Strand Brewing Company, El Segundo Brewing Company, Monkish Brewing Company, The Brewery at Abigaile, Smog City Brewing, The Dudes’ Brewing Company, Absolution Brewing Company, King Harbor Brewing Company, Three Weavers Brewing and Phantom Carriage. 2015 should bring us a few more including Hop Saint, Brouwerij West and Port Town Brewing; and those are just the ones that come to mind. There will also be some moves and expansions among those listed above. With that I now present you The 2014 Craft Beer Guy Year in Review.

January 2014

Noble flight

Noble Ale Works Flight

As I look through my articles from January I see that it was a pretty mellow month or the calm before the storm if you prefer. I would have to say my personal highlight of the month was a Sunday afternoon that we spent visiting several of the Orange County craft brewery tasting rooms and brewpubs. The day included stops at Bootlegger’s Brewery, Taps Fish House & Brewery, Noble Ale Works, Tustin Brewing Company and Brewbakers. Each of these stops were first time visits and I would not have a problem recommending any of them. The thing is, in the past year Orange County has opened so many new tasting rooms and brewpubs that it is getting tough to try and keep up with them all; but I will try. Continue reading

Abigaile Restaurant Hosts Novem-BEER-Fest

On Sunday afternoon, Abigaile Restaurant and The Brewery at Abigaile in Hermosa Beach hosted their inaugural Novem-BEER-Fest beer garden, featuring 20 of Los Angeles’ finest craft breweries. While the event was initially scheduled to take over the entire Abigaile complex, it was later decided to keep it confined to the Ocean Bar and its rooftop lounge. It was a great decision as it was a beautiful day to hang out with a couple hundred craft beer drinkers outside a block from the beach and it made it easy to see who was there for the beer.

The breweries in attendance brought out some very interesting brews. Some of my favorites included Alosta Brewing Company’s Saison Bleu, Angel City’s Rum Barrel Aged Mexican Cola Ale, El Segundo Brewing’s Ka-PAU! IPA, Back Home Gingerbread Stout by Golden Road Brewing and Progress Brewing’s Mustang Tripel. I would say my overall favorite was Wicked White IPA by Timeless Pints. Other offerings included Wanderin’ Possessed Pumpkin Porter by Absolution Brewing Company, Citraholic by Beachwood Brewing, Pomegranate Saison by Angel City, Buster’s Brown Ale by Bravery Brewing, Revolution XPA by Eagle Rock Brewing, Potential Blonde by Kinetic, Post-Season DIPA by King Harbor Brewing, Blind Ambition by Ladyface, False Prophet by Monkish Brewing, The King’s Taxes by MacLeod Ale Brewing, Acorn Ambition by Ohana Brewing, Smog City’s Groundwork Coffee Porter, Stand Brewing’s Harvest Ball, Three Weaver’s Knotty DIPA and Golden Eagle Ale by Wolf Creek Brewery.

In addition to the beers, several of the breweries had owners and/or brewers with them to socialize with their fans. Celebrity sightings included Alexandra Nowell of Three Weavers, Brian Avery and Roger Morrissey of Bravery Brewing, Rob Croxall of El Segundo Brewing Company, Steve Farguson of Absolution Brewing, Phil McDaniel and Tom Dunbabin of King Harbor Brewing, Rich Marcello of Strand Brewing and Brian Brewer of The Brewery at Abigaile. Continue reading

Abigaile to host first ever Novem-BEER-Fest

Novem-Beer-Fest

22 Craft Breweries under one roof

As the craft beer festival season draws to a close, Abigaile Restaurant and The Brewery at Abigaile will host their inaugural Novem-BEER-Fest Beer Garden on Sunday, November 16 from noon until 7:00 PM. The event will feature 22 craft breweries from Lancaster to Lakewood and Covina to the Pacific; just about every production brewery (and a couple brewpubs) in this massive geographic area will be included. To give you an idea of what a great list of local breweries are attending, there are three breweries I have yet to visit and one (Alosta) whose beer I have never even tasted yet.

The breweries in attendance include Absolution Brewing, Alosta Brewing, Angel City, Beachwood, Bravery Brewing, Eagle Rock Brewing, El Segundo Brewing, Golden Road, Kinetic Brewing, King Harbor Brewing, Ladyface, Monkish Brewing, MacLeod Ale, Ohana Brewing, Progress Brewing, Smog City, Strand Brewing, Timeless Pints, The Dudes, Three Weavers, Wolf Creek and, of course, The Brewery at Abigaile. Several of these breweries are very new, like Three Weavers that just opened their tasting room this past weekend. To visit each of these breweries tasting rooms would take a month of weekends and Abigaile has brought them all together under one roof.

The Novem-BEER-Fest beer garden will take advantage of the entire Abigaile facility including the Ocean Bar, which can have some very nice views, weather permitting. Admission to this first ever event is $30 for General Admission; which includes a commemorative tasting glass, 10 4oz. pours from any of the breweries and one food item from the grill. VIP admission is $50 and includes the commemorative tasting glass, unlimited 4oz. pours from any of the breweries and one food item from the grill. If you have never eaten at Abigaile I have to say that Chef Tin creates some amazing dishes and Chef Jorge is a great addition to the kitchen. I am sure you will enjoy it. Continue reading

A visit to Progress Brewing and an Angry Horse Brewing tasting party

I was invited to attend an event on Saturday featuring an Angry Horse Brewing tasting party for supporters of their Indiegogo campaign which was immediately followed by a birthday party for Angry Horse co-owner and head brewer Luis “Angry Lou” Michel. Before heading out to Montebello for the party I decided to read over their Indiegogo page again and noticed that they spoke of being inspired by the recent opening of Progress Brewing in a neighboring city. Since I was unfamiliar with Progress Brewing I decided to Google them and find out where they were in relation to the Angry Horse event. When I saw that they were only about five miles away from each other it was decided that we would stop by Progress Brewing in South El Monte before going to Montebello.

I will admit that after visiting the Progress Brewing website I was not really sure what to expect; I read a couple articles that seemed to emphasize the fact that Progress was in a Latino neighborhood, the brewer was Latino and they were the first microbrewery in South El Monte which was 85% Latino. When we first pulled up to Progress Brewing the Latino influence was readily apparent from the building design and the painted advertising on the walls. If I had not been looking for a brewery I would have thought it was a neighborhood carniceria. When I walked inside the motif continued to remind me of some cantinas I have visited in Baja with its bare walls, bench seating and tile floors. What really surprised me was their tap list and the pricing.

I started talking with co-owner Kevin Ogilby and discovered that Progress Brewing has only been open for about 10 months. I was immediately impressed because their tap list offered 10 different brews ranging from their Blonde Kölsch and Gold Rush Witbier to a really nice Porter and Fat Henry Russian Imperial Stout. In fact, at one point Tanya (my fiancee) mentioned that they had everything but a sour or barrel-aged option. When Ogilby asked our thoughts about their brews I mentioned Tanya’s observation and he said they were preparing a barrel-aged anniversary brew with a sour soon to be available. Continue reading

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