This will be my fourth time attending BAM Fest and all I can say is that if you enjoy craft beer, live in the Los Angeles area and have never attended BAM Fest, you are doing yourself a disservice. From the first time I attended in 2012 I have been nothing but impressed; and the event just seems to get bigger and better every year and 2015 appears to be no exception.
These photos were taken at the September 2015 Business & Beer which was held at Smog City Brewing Company on Thursday evening. There was a pretty decent turnout considering how hot it has been around here lately; plus Back-to-School Nights have been going on, so that might have influenced the overall turnout. Those that attended had a great time and were able to enjoy a couple new Smog City Brewing brews, including Cuddlebug and California Love.
The next meeting of Business & Beer will be held October 8, 2015 at El Segundo Brewing Company from 6:00-8:00 PM. This is Business & Beer’s first return to El Segundo Brewing Company since they expanded their tasting room, so if you have not been there lately prepare to be surprised. It is probably three or four times bigger than the last time we were there. Please check the Business & Beer website or their Facebook page for more information. Cheers! Continue reading
These photos were taken at the Smog City Beer Dinner which was held Wednesday evening at Jimmy’s Bar & Grill in Redondo Beach. I want to begin this by stating that over the past few years I have attended quite a few beer dinners but I am not sure that I have ever attended one that had such obvious thought put into the pairing of the food and beer as what we experienced last night at Jimmy’s. Marc Dix is the chef/partner at Jimmy’s and he is one of the owners of Barley Hops Grill, a popular food truck frequently seen at various tasting rooms. Regular readers have probably picked up on the fact that I don’t usually pay much attention to the food trucks I run across at various events, preferring to leave the food choices to Tanya. After experiencing our meal last night and speaking with attendees that assured me that Barley Hops Grill is one of the best food trucks in the area, I am sure I will give more input when Tanya asks what I want to eat.
I live around the corner from Jimmy’s and have been here for 30 years, so I have seen lots of businesses come and go from that location. A few years ago a sports bar, 20/20, opened there, but did not last long. We had checked them out as a possible location to have a Business & Beer gathering but were left unimpressed. It was not long before I noticed 20/20 was closed and a lot of remodeling was being done. A short time later, Jimmy’s Bar & Grill was opened. I suppose I was misled by the “bar & grill” portion of Jimmy’s name as I had a preconceived idea that burgers and fries would be the main fare but last night’s menu definitely cleared up any misconceptions I may have had. Continue reading
These photos are from the South Bay Tap Takeover that was held Thursday evening at Flights Beer Bar in Hawthorne. To say that this event was a success would be an understatement; some might suggest that it was too successful as there were times that the staff seemed overwhelmed with all the customers. The event officially began at 4:00 PM, but when I arrived at 3:30 people had already arrived and by 4:30 it was pretty well packed; and it stayed that way until about 11:30.
There were some delays in getting the beer served in the beginning because there were 40 new taps with beers that had never been poured there and many people were ordering flights. Flights brought in some additional help and eventually the beers were learned and things moved faster. The food situation was pretty much a no-win situation because while Flights could install a new walk-in to store beer, there was no way to increase the size of the kitchen. The food took a little longer to get out to us, but it was the same high quality that we have come to expect.
I do not know how many people showed up last night but I do know that we had 200 t-shirts to give away and I would venture to guess that at least as many people did not get shirts as those that did, so I don’t think estimating a turnout of at least 400 people would not be a stretch. Continue reading
First off, the beer. When I was approached about the idea of having a “Craft Beer Guy” party I immediately knew that I wanted to showcase the South Bay’s breweries. I also knew that 40 new kegs was quite an order so I was pleasantly surprised when Flights owner Jerry Jamgotchian didn’t blink an eye and said that 40 kegs was not a problem. A couple people asked me, “But where is he going to keep all that beer?” It was a great question that only had one solution; he was going to need a bigger cold box; so that is what he did. He had a second, bigger cold box added.
A couple weeks ago someone suggested maybe having a few shirts made and raffle them off; buy a beer, get a ticket. I brought it to Jerry for some input and his response was, “How about we make hundreds and give them to everybody?” Well, that is what he did; there will be free t-shirts for the first couple hundred people that ask for one (as supplies/sizes last). Continue reading
While I have been to a few “South Bay tap takeovers” over the past few years, never before have we had 40 taps dedicated to just the South Bay’s breweries. The 10 that will be participating include Strand Brewing Company, Monkish Brewing, El Segundo Brewing, Absolution Brewing Company, Smog City Brewing, Three Weavers, The Dudes’, King Harbor Brewing, Phantom Carriage
and introducing HopSaint! If you are thinking, “But HopSaint isn’t open yet.” you would be correct, but the brewhouse has been delivered and Brian Brewer will be brewing before their new brewpub opens. This tap takeover will likely be the first time any of us will be able to try Brian’s brews under the new label. UPDATE: HopSaint will not be able to make it, in their stead, Cosmic Brewery will step up. Continue reading
A little over a week ago Absolution Brewing Company, along with El Segundo Brewing, Strand Brewing Company, Smog City Brewing, Phantom Carriage and King Harbor Brewing Company threw a birthday party for me at Absolution’s tasting room. Since I was the guest of honor, Tanya and I had decided that it would not be very polite for me to spend time taking photos instead of interacting with the guests that showed up. Tanya brought her camera, but we both knew that the photos would be rather minimal in comparison to what I would normally shoot if I was behind the camera, but hey, it was a party.
When we arrived at the Absolution Brewing Company tasting room, Absolution’s CTO (Chief Tasting Officer), Nigel Heath approached me and said, “You cannot take photos of your own party,” at which time he introduced me to one of the Absolution patrons, Luis Paredes, who just happened to be there with his big Nikon. Luis had offered to take photos in exchange for some free beer and food. I was more than happy to include Luis in the shindig.
Luis owns LP Photography and he can be reached via his Instagram page, https://instagram.com/luisparedesphotography/. These are some of the photos he took.
Thanks again to Luis, Absolution Brewing, Strand Brewing, Phantom Carriage, King Harbor Brewing, Smog City, El Segundo Brewing and everyone that came out. I hope you had as good a time as I did. Cheers! Continue reading
On July 9, the Business & Beer networking group had their July gathering at Torrance production brewery, Absolution Brewing Company. As we were saying our goodbyes, Absolution Brewing co-owner and main sales guru Steve Farguson happened to overhear a conversation I was having with an old friend when the topic of my upcoming birthday came up. When Steve heard “birthday” his ears perked up and he suggested that perhaps they would have a birthday party for me if he could generate enough interest with the other local breweries. I was flattered, but I explained that my birthday was in 10 days and that really did not seem like enough time to pull something like that off. It was decided that Steve would ask around and we would play it by ear.
To my surprise, a couple days later Steve informed me that El Segundo Brewing and Phantom Carriage were on board; then it just started to grow with eventually Strand Brewing, Smog City and King Harbor Brewing Company also joining in. By the time all was said and done we had representatives from local breweries and various craft beer industry types joining a few of my family members and personal friends.
My darling Tanya spent the two days prior slaving over a hot stove creating treats for the guests including pulled pork with homemade rolls made from spent grain and carrot cake. Others brought in treats like cheeses, meatballs and shrimp; and of course, there were lots of growlers and crowlers so everyone had an opportunity to try a wide variety of locally crafted beer. Continue reading
As I have mentioned before, friends and followers of this site frequently direct me to the latest beer bar that they visited, or that they had heard was opening in the area. I have learned to not bother rushing off because as often as not the selection isn’t really that special or the business is not going to survive the winter. I first heard about Flights Beer Bar in late March or very early April. When I asked my informant what was special about the place they could not tell me as they had yet to visit.
Over the next two months a few more people approached me; some inquiring because they had not been there yet either, and a couple that had made their way over to Hawthorne to check it out. I ended up getting a personal invitation from the owner and another recommendation or two from people that have similar tastes as me, so I decided that I would begin my birthday weekend by going to Flights for a beer and maybe take some photos if it was warranted.
Flights is located at 5119 W. El Segundo Boulevard in Hawthorne, which means it is right off the 405 on the east side of the freeway; it is also on the north side of the street so you need to know it is there or you will do some u-turns to get back there. To make it easy, it is between the Subway and Burger King. The sign is big, but the color scheme isn’t ideal at 12:30 PM. I was told it does light up at night and they have several runway lights above it on the roof. I will have to return at night time to see how visible it is. Continue reading
The LA Beer Week Kickoff Party was held Saturday, June 20 at Exposition Park. I have to be honest, even though I have been documenting LA Beer Week since LABW4 in 2012 I have never attended any of their kickoff events. This was due primarily to preconceived misconceptions of what a madhouse it would be; plus I really do not like driving to DTLA. On the Wednesday before the kickoff party I happened to notice an email that came in from Absolution Brewing to members of their Mug Club in which they were offering VIP tickets to the first five “Muggers” that asked for them. I asked Tanya if she wanted to go and she responded immediately with, “No!.” This was because I had been saying we were not going for the past week, so I think she was just making sure I knew she was okay with it.
As I was going to the Torrance City Hall that night anyway for a Planning Commission hearing and Absolution was basically on the way home, it was decided that we would stop by after the Planning Commission hearing and see if any passes were still available. In other words, I was going to let others have an opportunity to score the passes before me. We showed up to Absolution shortly before they closed and no one had claimed any of the passes, so we decided to attend the kickoff.Continue reading