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Flights Beer Bar

State Brewing Company

State Brewing Company: From the Beginning

Arguably, one of the most awaited tasting room openings in the South Bay has been that of State Brewing Company in Gardena. These photos have been taken at State Brewing, periodically since June of 2016 and through today, November 10, 2017; the official day of the beginning of State Brewing Company’s soft open.

When I first started going to State Brewing, they had a different brewer and a different idea of what kind of beers they would brew. At the beginning of 2017, State said farewell to their original brewer and welcomed Robert Sanchez and Rob Scott, both formerly of Kinetic Brewing, and things immediately changed. Continue reading

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

LA Brewers Kickoff and a Proposal

These photos are from Saturday at the LA Brewers Kickoff of Los Angeles Beer Week 9 (LABW9), which was held at the Los Angeles Center Studios in downtown Los Angeles. This outstanding event featured close to 60 Los Angeles craft breweries along with 30 out of town craft brewers and about 10 food trucks. In addition to the beer and food there were games, live music and plenty of water and shade for those seeking to escape the high air temperature.

I did not ask how many tickets were sold, but I suspect there were about 1,000 people in attendance. With close to 100 booths to visit, lines were never really an issue; with the exception being when a brewery had a scheduled release of a special beer they brought. Even then, once the beer was opened, the lines seemed to disappear rather quickly. Continue reading

Photos from Day One of Naja’s 9th Annual IPA Festival

Late Wednesday morning, I jumped in a Lyft and headed towards the International Boardwalk at King Harbor in Redondo Beach for day one of Naja’s Place 9th Annual IPA Festival.

In the past, the event started at 2:00 or 3:00 PM, and there would be a pretty decent line of people waiting to get in; this year, Naja’s is opening at 11:30 AM and when I arrived at 11:31 there was only four or five people waiting, so that was nice.

Another change this year is the printed beer menu. In the past they have printed one menu for the entire event, so you had to hope the beer you heart was set on was available that day. This year the menu only listed the beers that were available that day; additional menus will be printed daily as some beers tap out and are replaced. 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

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

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

2nd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover at Flights – September 1

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2nd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover, September 1

Those of you that follow the Pilot Batch column or my Facebook page have probably heard, but for everyone else, I am happy to announce that Craft Beer Guy and Flights will be holding their 2nd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover on September 1, 2016 at Flights beer bar in Hawthorne, from noon until at least midnight.

Those of you that attended our inaugural event last year will recall what a great time was had, with an amazing turnout; we had 40 taps of South Bay craft beer from 10 South Bay production breweries. This year we are going to make it even better by featuring 15 breweries from the South Bay. Continue reading

LA Beer Week Kickoff Festival Photos

LA Beer Week 2016 (LABW8) started off in prime form Saturday afternoon by showcasing more than 45 of the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild breweries with almost as many special guest breweries, pouring more than 200 different beers; a few of the breweries represented used the LA Beer Week Kickoff Festival to release new beers.

The sold out kickoff festival was held at the Los Angeles Center Studios and in addition to the massive amount of beer there was live music, plenty of food trucks, and lots of water. Luckily, the heat wave that struck Los Angeles was kind enough to wait until the next day; that is not to say it wasn’t hot, but it probably wasn’t over 90. Luckily, the Los Angeles Center Studios is a pretty massive location so there was plenty of shade and somewhere to go sit if desired. Continue reading

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