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Smog City Brewing

Photos of the 2nd Annual L.A. Local Craft Beer & Artisanal Food Fest

These photos were taken at the 2nd Annual L.A. Local Craft Beer & Artisanal Food Fest which was held at the Steinhaus at Alpine Village in Torrance on Saturday afternoon. The event featured 31 Los Angeles area craft breweries and maybe a dozen artisanal food vendors from the LA area.

L.A. Local provided the first opportunity for most of the attendees to try brews from several breweries that have opened within the last year like Scholb Premium Ales, Dry River Brewing, Brouwerij West, HopSaint, Iron Triangle, Mumford Brewing, State Brewing and Honest Abe. Other breweries in attendance included Three Weavers, Port Town, Smog City, Monkish, Phantom Carriage, The Dudes’, Claremont Craft Ales, Ohana, Enegren, California 101 Cider House, King Harbor, Strand, Absolution, MacLeod Ale Brewing and several others. Continue reading

Laughs By Volume III Updated Brewery Info

On April 23, PINT Magazine will hold their third in a continuing series of comedy shows that feature six comedians and unlimited pours of craft beer; all for less than you would pay to get in the door of any comedy club in Los Angeles, and no drink minimums! Laughs By Volume is returning April 23 to Honeypot LA for Laughs By Volume III.

Laughs By Volume II

Craft beer & comedy at one low price – Laughs By Volume

Since my last article, they have modified the breweries being featured; the beers being poured will come from The Dudes’, Stone Brewing, Absolution Brewing, Four Sons, Mission Brewery, El Segundo Brewing, Great Beer Co, Smog City, Refuge Brewery, Timeless Pints, Anaheim Brewery, Telegraph Brewing, Pizza Port Brewing, Julian Hard Cider, Tahoe Mountain Brewing, 21st Amendment, The Lost Abbey, Bear Republic, Victory Brewing, Oskar Blues, Ska Brewing, Alesmith, Brewery Ommegang, Boulevard Brewing, Maui Brewing, Double Mountain, Brouwerij Wolf, and Sixpoint Brewery. With a maximum of 150 tickets being available, you can see that there will be plenty for everyone and they never have lines. 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

Photos from Laughs By Volume II

On Sunday afternoon, PINT Magazine held their second in a series of comedy shows featuring craft beer, Laughs By Volume; this time held at Honeypot LA. One thing that was readily apparent to anyone that may have attended the inaugural Laughs By Volume is that practice makes perfect. While there may have been a couple issues that resulted in Laughs By Volume II getting a late start, it was like a well oiled machine when compared to the first one.

We had a pretty nice turnout considering only about 100 tickets were to be sold; I would venture to say that we had pretty close to that many in attendance, if not a few more. I took some time to chat with a few of the attendees, all of which were first time attendees, and everyone seemed to really enjoy everything about the event. There was plenty of beer, really funny comedians and virtually no lines; except maybe for the bathrooms.

The breweries featured included Sixpoint Brewery, The Lost Abbey, Anthem Cider, Brouwerij Wolf, Double Mountain Brewery, Tahoe Mountain Brewing Co., Anaheim Brewery, The Great Beer Co., Mission Brewery, Four Sons Brewing Co., Stone Brewing, Eagle Rock Brewery, Maui Brewing Co., Alesmith Brewing Co., 21st Amendment Brewery, Telegraph Brewing Co., Smog City Brewing, Absolution Brewing, Avery Brewing, The Dudes’ Brewing, Refuge Brewery, Timeless Pints, Boulevard Brewing, Brewery Ommegang, Three Weavers and El Segundo Brewing. Continue reading

Photos of The 3rd (Occasionally) Annual Froth Awards and Beer Experience

That was one busy Saturday, there were beer events going on all over the place; it took some careful planning to attend the events I did. One was a scheduling conflict between Phantom Carriage’s 1st Anniversary and Easy Reader’s 3rd Occasionally Annual Froth Awards and Beer Experience that was held at Saint Rocks at the same time. After lots of bouncing back and forth in my mind about which event to attend first, the Froth Awards won out; if for no other reason than I could stop by Monkish after Phantom’s event ended.

In the beginning, the first Froth Awards paired our five local breweries with five local restaurants and created a friendly competition between the breweries with the attendees voting on which pairing was best. The winners were those of us that attended. The Awards continued the following year, with five breweries again being paired with five restaurants. This time there was no voting because we all knew that we were the winners once again. Continue reading

Smog City Brewing Infinite Wishes Bottle Release

One of the greatest challenges I face in promoting the local craft beer scene is finding time to go to as many events as possible. On Saturday I started off with Laughs by Volume which meant I was going to be late for Smog City Brewing Company’s 2016 Infinite Wishes bottle release; but better late than never, right?

It was early evening by the time I arrived at Smog City and it was pretty obvious people were having a great time, no matter what brew they were drinking.

Smog City had done a pre-sale of bottles of the barrel-aged goodness, so people that had ordered online were able to pick up their bottles. The rest of us were able to enjoy the 2015 and 2016 versions of Infinite Wishes on tap, as well as The Nothing; Infinite Wishes is the barrel-aged version of The Nothing. Whatever bottles were not sold online were made available Sunday, but if you were not at Smog City on Sunday, I am sure they are all gone by now. Continue reading

Rock & Brews’ 5th Annual Local Craft Beer Fest

These photos were taken Sunday afternoon at the El Segundo Rock & Brews Garden on Main 5th Annual Local Craft Beer Fest. The family and pet friendly event featured beers by 16 breweries, from Valencia to Redlands and all over the South Bay area. Included in the price of admission, attendees were treated to a nice barbecue, a raffle, face painting, and games for people of all ages.

A few of the breweries in attendance included Absolution Brewing, Strand, El Segundo, Three Weavers, Phantom Carriage and Barley Forge. There was also a first time attendee for any festival I have attended, Reel Brewery. Reel Brewery is currently contract brewing but hope to open a tasting room in 2016 in Van Nuys, around the corner from MacLeod’s. I noticed that Santa Monica Brew Works was converting people with their PCH – Pale Chocolate Heaven. I tried Reel Brewery’s Hollywood Pilsner which was their take on Firestone’s Pivo Pils with their heavy dry-hopping; it was interesting enough that I look forward to visiting their tasting room when it does open. Continue reading

Dia de los Muertos at Smog City

The Dia de los Muertos weekend continued Sunday afternoon when Smog City Brewing celebrated the Day of the Dead at their tasting room with free calavera face painting, a community altar for anyone wanting to honor dead friends or relatives, and a special beer for the holiday, Boney Knuckle Mexican Chocolate Porter on Nitro.

Now I have to admit, until yesterday I do not recall hearing the word “calavera” so I had to Google it for us. A calavera is a representation of a human skull; for Dia de los Muertos this is usually a candy or clay decoration. So, when you see these cool Halloween costumes with the skeleton faces, now you know it is actually a calavera.

Anyway, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are a few thousand more words. Cheers! Continue reading

Photos from Back to the Future Day at Smog City Brewing

As I am sure everyone is aware of by now, October 21, 2015 was “Back to the Future Day.” The reason being, in “Back to the Future Part II,” Marty McFly travels to October 21, 2015 to save his future children. To be honest, I had to Google that part because I never saw any of the Back to the Future trilogy beyond the original; and I only saw that once, 30+ years ago.

While I may not be enough of a geek to know much about Back to the Future beyond Doc Brown, Marty McFly, flux capacitors, hooverboards and DeLorean, the cast and crew of Smog City Brewing are geek central. They used October 21 to not only celebrate Back to the Future but they did it in a big way by releasing their first ever triple IPA, 1.21 Gigawatts Triple IPA.

In addition to 1.21 Gigawatts Triple IPA, they also released their Hooverboards Don’t Run On Wet Hops, a pale ale done with hops they grew outside; and Run For It Marty!, a Belgian Dubbel. For entertainment and something to do while standing in line, they played the movie along the wall. People that came in costume got a discount on their beer and a chance to win prizes.

If I traveled into the future and ended up at Smog City yesterday, I doubt I would have left. Cheers! Continue reading

Photos from the 2015 Pacific Brewers Cup

These photos are from the 2015 Pacific Brewers Cup homebrew competition which was held Saturday afternoon at Four Points by Sheraton at LAX. The event was hosted by Strand Brewers Club, Long Beach Homebrewers, and Pacific Gravity. There were 458 entries consisting of beer, mead and ciders.

While these photos were all taken Saturday, the fact of the matter is that with 458 entries, the judging portion actually started two weeks ago when members of the Strand Brewers Club had to sort the 1300 plus bottles into categories and get all the information entered in the competitions database. I helped out on the sorting by scanning in the entries with their assigned competition number; this gave me an opportunity to see where the entries came from. I have to admit, I was pretty surprised at how far and wide they came from; with several entries coming from out of state. Because of the substantial number of entries, there were a couple judging sessions done ahead of time.

As you might think, it is quite the task to judge 458 beers, mead and ciders and it truly takes a lot of work by an organized team to pull that off. The team yesterday consisted of 70 judges and 42 stewards. I met one of the judges yesterday that came all the way from Chandler, Arizona “for the love of beer” as opposed to trying to escape Chandler’s 100+ weather. While the judges were truly put to the test, I doubt that the event could have moved as smoothly as it did without the efforts of the stewards. Head Steward Barbara Bovee is to be congratulated for keeping things as organized as they were. Continue reading

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