On Saturday afternoon Tap & Cheer Events presented their 6th Annual Beer, Art and Music Festival, lovingly known as BAM Fest, which was held at the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica. The 18th Street Arts Center is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization and is the beneficiary of all the proceeds from the BAM Fest fundraiser. The event featured beers and ciders from more than 30 craft breweries as well as foods from six food trucks and live music provided by Nick Shattuck, Heaps N Heaps and Whiskey Sunday.
Considering the heat index was well over 100 degrees out when BAM Fest started, they had a very nice turnout. I am not really sure how the crowd size compared to previous years because people seemed to be seeking shade more than normal which probably resulted in more art being seen this time; it did appear that there were more art exhibits opened to the public this year and I am sure everyone that took advantage of them appreciated it. The weather pretty much forced everyone to get to know their neighbor since the parking lot had about three umbrellas that most attendees tried to fit under at some point. Continue reading
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
Two weeks ago I was out in Covina visiting REV Brewing and Alosta Brewing companies and during my conversations with the owners of both breweries a common thought was made; there is no love shown for the breweries on the east side of town. What they were talking about was not about acceptance by the local community, but rather they did not see things like stories about their breweries and the beers tours that have become so prevalent on the west side of Los Angeles County never come out there. As I pressed for more information a couple breweries I was unfamiliar with were mentioned at both locations; Rök House Brewing Company and Dale Bros. Brewery, both located in Upland. Since Claremont Craft Ales was in the vicinity and I had not been there in over 18 months, I decided to stop by there as well. I had an event to photograph in Irwindale on Sunday evening so I decided to head out to the Pomona Valley early and make a day of it.
You should not feel too bad if you are unfamiliar with Rok House Brewery as they have only been open for six or seven months. Brewing with a 6 Bbl brew house, Rok House offered 10 different options from their taps ranging from their Kiska Blond Kölsch and Battle’s End Orange Wit to their Eric the Red Ale and Midnight Sun Black IPA with a couple IPAs, porters and brown ales for good measure.
A “Rök House” was the stone structures that Vikings brewed their beers in and co-owner/brewmeister Lars Bennett has Norse heritage so together with co-owner/brewmeister Mark Heffernan they took on the Icelandic/Norse/Viking theme in both decor and names for their tasty brews. Continue reading
On Saturday I had a couple of events to photograph out in Irwindale so I decided to use the opportunity to visit two new craft breweries in neighboring Covina; REV Brewing Company and Alosta Brewing Company.
Our first stop was REV Brewing Company, a production brewery that opened the doors to their tasting room a week ago. REV Brewing is a craft brewery that grew from their original REV Winery, so this tasting room offers beer and wine and provides lots of wine barrels that will be used later in the brewery’s upcoming barrel program.
REV’s Brew Master is Erick “Riggz” Villar, a home brewer for 10 years and most recently was the head brewer at Ohana Brewing Company. Since Riggz is an old friend of wine maker and owner Eddie Romero it did not take much for Riggz to come on board with REV Brewing. Continue reading