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Flights Beer Bar

Smog City Brewing Company

3rd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover to Feature 19 Local Breweries

HopSaint, The Dudes', Three Weavers

South Bay Tap Takeover Participants

I am happy to formally announce that Flights Beer Bar and CraftBeerGuy.com will be holding their 3rd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover on September 7, 2017; this time featuring 19 of the best craft breweries the South Bay has to offer.

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

Smog City Brewing Celebrates 4th Anniversary

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

2nd Annual Jeff Sanders Memorial Homebrew Competition

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

Tap It for 10 Fundraiser for Jesse Esphorst at Smog City

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

Select Beer Store Celebrates 5 Years of Craft Beer

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

LA County Brewers Guild Inaugural Beer and Food Fest Photos

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

Smog City Brewing – SteelCraft Soft Open Begins

The long anticipated opening of Smog City Brewing Company’s SteelCraft location has arrived. These photos were taken late Wednesday afternoon at the “friends and family” soft open that was held primarily for the friends and family of the people that assembled the SteelCraft enclave. After talking to a few attendees, it seemed like the news spread around the Bixby Knolls neighborhood quickly as the SteelCraft park began filling up with locals that expressed that they were happy to save the Uber expense of traveling to Torrance as the SteelCraft location was walking distance from their homes.

For those unfamiliar with the SteelCraft concept, essentially, a vacant 14,500 square-foot lot of the corner of Long Beach Boulevard and Bixby Road has been set up with about a dozen shipping containers that will house businesses selling various foods; such as hamburgers, ramen, and shaved ice, there is also a coffee shop, and of course, Smog City’s beer. Continue reading

An Accurate List of All the South Bay Breweries

Recently there have been a couple articles circulating around social media claiming to list all of the South Bay breweries; one that went around yesterday missed four or five of them, depending on whether or not a tasting room was required. As the Craft Beer Guy I have been fortunate to have this craft beer boom explode all around my home; I also feel obligated to provide an accurate list of all the breweries currently brewing in the South Bay as well as the next two scheduled to open.

In order to not show favoritism, and to give credit where credit is due, I will list all the South Bay breweries by the date they opened. As I have visited each brewery, I will provide a link to each so you can look at my articles to determine if you want to visit them. The photos are in order as well. Continue reading

Inaugural Long Beach Craft Beer Festival Photos

These photos were taken at the inaugural Long Beach Craft Beer Festival which was held Saturday afternoon and put on by the Forty-Niner Shops at California State University Long Beach (CSULB). Proceeds from the event went to help support student education through the growth and development of the Hospitality Management program at CSULB.

When I first started thinking about what I would write about this event, I was going to say that for an inaugural event it was very well run; but the fact of the matter is that would not really be a fair assessment. This may have been their inaugural event but you would not know it if you had not been told beforehand. Someone had done their homework; it was run like they had been putting on craft beer festivals for years.

I could nitpick and complain about the plastic tasting “glassware”, or maybe suggest that the food options be spread out a little more equally; but other than that I am not sure what anyone could complain about. One thing is for sure, the beer options were outstanding. Continue reading

Photos from the 2nd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover at Flights

These photos were taken Thursday evening at Flights during their 2nd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. This year we featured 15 of the best production breweries in the South Bay; with Absolution Brewing, Brouwerij West, El Segundo Brewing, Honest Abe Hard Ciders, HopSaint Brewing Company, King Harbor Brewing, Phantom Carriage, Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing, San Pedro Brewing Company, Scholb Premium Ales, Smog City Brewing, State Brewing Company, Strand Brewing Company, The Dudes’ Brewing, and Three Weavers Brewing filling all four tap lines. I watched as people in the craft beer industry as well as the hundreds of craft beer fans looked with amazement at what a South Bay tap list looks like.

While it did get a little crowded during the peak hours, Flights staff, under the guidance of their manager Michelle Pettie kept food and beer flowing with ease. It was pretty obvious that the additional year of experience by the serving staff made a huge difference; I did not notice any of the delays that were experienced last year. I am sure cutting back on the food menu helped as the kitchen was faster which meant people could eat and drink a little quicker and the steady flow of new guests did not cause any of the lines I heard existed last year. Continue reading

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