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Rich Marcello

Birthday Party Pig Roast at Strand Brewing Co

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Strand Brewing Company, where they held a pig roast to celebrate three birthdays. The birthdays being celebrated included Strand Brewing Company co-founder Rich Marcello, Barley Hops Grill co-owner Alex Bouffiou, and long time Strand Brewing fan, Leslie Cortez.

Barley Hops Grill cooked up two pigs, so I am sure there was enough for everyone. The cookies Rich was passing around were only surpassed by his beer. Cheers! Continue reading

Strand Brewing Celebrates 7 Years with Beer, Love & BBQ

This past weekend, Torrance’s oldest production brewery, Strand Brewing Company celebrated their 7th anniversary with a weekend of beer, love and BBQ at their new Dominguez Street location. The three day event featured new beers released by Strand along with food by Bartz Barbecue and live music from such artists as Big Bad Rooster and Strand co-founder Joel Elliott’s, Uncle Bill.

Due to time constraints I was only able to stop by on Saturday, which is when these photos were taken. If you have visited Strand Brewing’s new location, you know they have lots of space in their 36,000 square foot facility and they made the most of the space making it relatively easy for the more than 700 people a day that showed up to have room to eat, drink, play games and dance to the music.

Three years ago co-owner Rich Marcello confided in me that the morning of their 4th anniversary he was sitting on his surfboard wondering if anyone would show up to their anniversary party; they showed up in droves. I asked Marcello if he had those same concerns this year and he admitted that prior to opening the doors at 4:00 PM Friday he did wonder the same thing; however, those concerns were immediately put aside as more than 700 people showed up Friday evening. Continue reading

Media Night at Strand Brewing Company

Monday evening, Strand Brewing Company hosted members of the LA Beer Bloggers and other local media outlets with an intimate evening of craft beer, snacks and networking. Strand Brewing Company co-founder/co-owner Rich Marcello took time to speak with attendees individually; then took everyone on a tour of their [relatively] new 36,000 square foot facility on Dominguez Street. Marcello also showed off their shiny, new canning line which will be put into use shortly. He also made sure to let us all know that Strand Brewing will be celebrating their 7th Anniversary on the weekend of November 11 through the 13th.

In addition to the tour and plentiful beer, Marcello personally made up several snack trays that one would have thought were professionally done. Attendees also had a chance to chat with the reigning, and six times Tetris World Champion, Jonas Neubauer who also happens to run the tasting room. For those into Tetris, the World Championships have been going on for seven years, with Neubauer taking first place every year, except a couple years ago when he ranked second. We are all pretty proud of him.

Strand Brewing Company is located at 2201 Dominguez Street in Torrance. Their 7th Anniversary celebration will feature special beers, casks, music and general fun for the entire family. Visit the Strand Brewing website or their Facebook page for more information. Cheers! Continue reading

Local Craft Brewing at the Torrance Library

On Saturday afternoon I moderated a panel at the Katy Geissert Civic Center Library to highlight Torrance’s prominence in the South Bay’s burgeoning craft beer industry. Hosted by the Torrance Public Library, the panel consisted of Rich Marcello from Strand Brewing Company, Laurie Porter from Smog City Brewing, Alex Rabe from The Dudes’ Brewing, and Bart Bullington from Absolution Brewing Company.

The questions ranged from why was Torrance chosen to set up shop, how they got into craft beer and challenges faced by new breweries, to what would you do if AB InBev approached with suitcases full of money (apparently $1 billion is the magic number).

It was a fun discussion and hopefully those that attended learned a little more about the breweries and the craft beer community in general; it was nice having two panelists that are primarily on the sales side of their respective breweries (Marcello and Porter); and two panelists that are the brewers for their brewery (Rabe and Bullington). Continue reading

Strand Brewing Company Soft Open at Dominguez Location

Fans of Torrance’s first production brewery, Strand Brewing Company, will be happy to learn that Strand has now officially moved to their new location at 2201 Dominguez Street in Torrance and they held a soft open over this past weekend.

On Friday evening I happened to notice on Strand’s co-founder and head brewer, Joel Elliott, Facebook page a hint that Strand might be opening on Saturday afternoon. I sent a text to Rich Marcello, Strand’s other co-founder, around 10:00 PM asking if I was interpreting the hint correctly and was told that they hoped to open Saturday, but I should check back the following morning.

The next morning, around 11:00 AM I contacted Rich again and asked if they were going to open and if so, should I announce it to my followers via social media. I was told, “Yes and no” meaning they would be open but I should hold off saying anything just yet. When I arrived I was told I could go ahead and announce the soft open to my Facebook followers; it did not take long for the room to begin filling up. Continue reading

Strand Brewing Company to Relocate: CUP Approved

2201 Dominguez

Future home of Strand Brewing Company

On Wednesday evening, Strand Brewing Company owners Joel Elliott and Rich Marcello appeared before the Torrance Planning Commission to request that their Conditional Use Permit, CUP15-00004 be approved. The gist of the request is that Strand Brewing Company wants to move to a bigger facility, be open longer and to be able to host special or private events on the days that they are not normally open. They also asked for the ability to bring in food trucks that comply with Torrance’s rules and have all the required permits.

Joel Elliott presented the request to the Planning Commission and addressed an email correspondence from one Torrance citizen that was very animate that she was against the idea of a “bar” moving into the neighborhood with its noisy drunks wandering into people’s homes by mistake. He agreed that if this was the case he would not want it either; but anyone that goes to Strand Brewing Company or any local tasting room, knows this is not the case. Fortunately, there were six letters in favor of approval from neighboring businesses, customers, a charitable organization and a mix of all of the above. In addition, there must have been 10-15 supporters in the audience, four of us who spoke in favor of approval including Monkish Brewery owner, Henry Nguyen. Smog City Brewing owner Porter was in the audience in support of Elliott and Marcello’s request.

After I gave my prepared speech, Planning Commission Chair Steven Polcari mentioned that three or four had been sitting on the commission when Strand Brewing first applied almost six years ago. It was Commissioner Steve Skoll that asked the question everyone in the room wanted to know; “When are you opening?” Elliott said that he hoped for the end of May 2015, to which Skoll said he would tell everyone June. Elliott smiled and thanked him. The Conditional Use Permit was approved unanimously. 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

Photos from Rock & Brews’ 4th Annual Local Craft Beer Fest

On Sunday afternoon, Rock & Brews held their 4th Annual Local Craft Beer Fest at their Rock & Brews Garden on Main in El Segundo. There were 15 breweries pouring 30 beers as well as food and a game or two to keep you occupied; but most people seemed content to enjoy the shade in what was a very hot afternoon at the beach. To be honest, there were fewer kids and dogs than last year which cut down of the carnival atmosphere that was experienced last year. I suspect the lower attendance was due in part to the sweltering heat and the fact that Main Street was blocked off for construction, at least in the beginning.

The breweries in attendance were El Segundo Brewing Company, Ohana Brewing Company, The Dudes’ Brewing Company, King Harbor Brewing Company, Strand Brewing Company, Monkish Brewing Company, Smog City Brewing Company, Angel City Brewery, The Brewery at Abigaile, Absolution Brewing Company, Congregation Ale House, Bootlegger’s Brewery, Cosmic Ales, Hangar 24 Craft Brewery and Golden Road Brewery. Also in attendance were Bowser Beer’s Dirty Dog Squad and Popcornopolis Gourmet Popcorn‎, who was giving away samples of their gourmet popcorn as well as their brand new, hop infused popcorn! This is still in the development stage so keep an eye out for it as they plan on having popcorn pairings with craft beer within the next few months.

In addition to everything else that was going on, a panel with a Question and Answer period was moderated by Celebrator Beer News contributor Tomm Carroll and included Brian Brewer from The Brewery at Abigaile, Christopher Briles from Cosmic Ales, Rich Marcello from Strand Brewing Company, Rob Croxall from El Segundo Brewing Company and Steve Farguson from Absolution Brewing Company. Continue reading

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