As the year draws to a close, it is time to think back on what 2017 has brought to the craft beer world; more specifically what has happened in the Craft Beer Guy world. As 2016 came to a pretty crappy end for me, I did not do one last year; for that reason, I will begin with the end of 2016 as it segued into 2017.
My coverage of 2016 ended pretty much the way 2017 started, with the opening of Smog City Brewing Company’s satellite tasting room, Smog City – SteelCraft in the Bixby Knolls area of Long Beach. They opened the location at the end of December; by the middle of January they had applied for, and were granted the ability to sell growlers and bottles to go.
Later in January the inaugural L.A. Beer and Food Festival was presented by the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild. The sold-out event featured close to 50 member breweries of the LA Brewers Guild as well as 15 local food vendors. This year the L.A. Beer and Food Festival will be held Saturday, January 27. Buy your tickets now, before it sells out.
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at the inaugural Craft Beer LB Fest, which was held at the Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site. The event featured craft beer from 12 Long Beach breweries, as well as food from Long Beach restaurants The Red Leprechaun and Roe Seafood. The event also featured live music from several bands and a Kid Zone, making the event truly family friendly.
It seems that this is a great time to live in Long Beach if you enjoy craft beer. As someone pointed out, it is almost as if Long Beach has been watching what is happening in Torrance and has decided to get on board the craft beer revolution.
Featured breweries included old-timer Belmont Brewing Company, who has been open since 1990, as well as breweries that just opened within the last week or so, like Long Beach Beer Lab and Ten Mile Brewing. There were also a couple that have not opened yet, but hope to be open soon, such as Liberation Brewing and Hog Canyon Brewing. Other breweries in attendance included Beachwood Brewing, Beachwood Blendery, Ballast Point, Congregation Ale House, Smog City, Rock Bottom, Dutch’s Brewhouse, and Timeless Pints. Continue reading
These photos were taken Sunday afternoon at the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club, where the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club Junior Foundation held their 2nd Annual Pub at the Club Craft Beer, Wine and Food Festival. 100% of the ticket sales went to the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club Junior Foundation, a charity dedicated to developing champions on and off the court by supporting all athletes, including special needs and Para-athletes.
Price of admission included unlimited tastings from more than 15 breweries, 10 vintners, and 10 local restaurants. The breweries that I noticed in attendance included El Segundo Brewing Company, Strand Brewing Company, Stone Brewing, Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing, Lagunitas, Eel River Brewing, Coronado Brewing Company, Black Market Brewing Company, Bootleggers Brewery, Smog City Brewing, Sierra Nevada, Speakeasy Ales and Lagers, Los Angeles Ale Works, Ritual Brewing Company, and Santa Monica Brew Works. Continue reading
These photos were taken Thursday at the 3rd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover, which was held at Flights, in Hawthorne. The event featured 18 of the South Bay’s best production breweries and brewpubs, filling up 39 tap handles.
Although I did not arrive until a little after 4:00 PM, my Facebook feed indicated that people began streaming in pretty much as soon as the doors opened. By 6:00 we had the place packed and it remained that way until close to 10:00; after that, people kept arriving to sample some outstanding brews.
I had the opportunity to speak with many of the attendees and discovered that this was the first time visiting Flights; it seems safe to say that they will all return. Continue reading
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
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
These photos were taken at the 2nd Annual Jeff Sanders Memorial Homebrew Competition which was held Saturday at the Robert Gennaria Memorial Odd Fellows Hall in Redondo Beach. The event was put on by the Strand Brewers Club and was sponsored by South Bay Brewing Supply, King Harbor Brewing Company, Naja’s Place, Smog City Brewing Company, and Strand Brewing Company.
There were 47 entries judged, all of which were limited the Jeff’s favorite styles, which meant there were lots of barleywines, English-style ales, porters and such.
As of this writing, the winners had not been announced, so check the Strand Brewers Club website or Facebook page over the next few days for the announcement. Cheers! Continue reading
South Bay residents may recall hearing about a terrible crash that happened in Torrance on March 7 that resulted in the death of 16 year old South High School student, Jesse Esphorst, Jr. The circumstances surrounding the accident and Jesse’s death were bad enough; but Jesse’s father, who was driving when they were hit by two cars that blew through a red light, was also seriously injured. The family, who had numerous other obstacles draining their bank account at the time of the accident, now had to deal with funeral expenses for Jesse and medical expenses for his father who is currently unable to work due to his injuries.
If I have my facts right, Jonathan and Laurie Porter of Smog City Brewing live next door to a family whose mother went to school with Jesse’s mother. Being the community involved people that they are, Smog City Brewing held a fundraiser Thursday evening to assist the Esphorst family with their financial burden. Continue reading
On Saturday afternoon, Select Beer Store, in Redondo Beach celebrated their 5th Anniversary by bringing in craft beer from some of their favorite local craft breweries. Barley Hops Grill was also there with their special style of barbecue.
As I was going through my notes I noticed that it was five years ago, during the 7th Annual American Craft Beer Week that I first visited Select Beer Store for their South Bay Tap Takeover which featured all four of the South Bay’s breweries; El Segundo Brewing, Monkish Brewing, Strand Brewing and Smog City Brewing.
Today the South Bay alone has more than 20 breweries; things have really grown in the last five years and Select Beer is not only selling craft beer but they have also been involved with a few collaborations, at least a couple of which were available at their anniversary celebration. Continue reading
These photos were taken at the inaugural L.A. Beer and Food Festival, which was presented by the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild Saturday afternoon at the Mack Sennett Studios in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles.
I was going to say that for an inaugural event, the turnout was outstanding; but the reality is that they sold out 650 tickets, which is pretty outstanding whether it was the inaugural or 10th annual event. The reality is that the venue probably could not hold much more and remain comfortable.
With close to 50 breweries, all members of the L.A. County Brewers Guild, and at least 15 food vendors there was something for everyone. Although the photos may give the impression that the place was packed, there were virtually no lines for beer. Some of the food vendors may have had a little trouble keeping up with demand, but I heard no complaints because everything (that I tried anyway) was delicious. Continue reading