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Flights Beer Bar

Strand Brewing Company

Photos from the 5th Annual Kraft Bierfest at Alpine Village

These photos were taken at the 5th Annual Kraft Bierfest that was held Saturday afternoon at Alpine Village in Torrance. Having attended every Kraft Bierfest since inception I can say that Saturday’s event reminded me of their first event in 2012 in that there was lots of quality beer but not very many people there to drink it. Since Alpine Village buys the beer they pour, rather than relying on donations, this means it is probably going to be a good time to visit there as their tap list probably has a lot of leftovers available.

In 2012 they had about 100 beers and maybe 200 attendees (probably a generous headcount); on Saturday they had about 50 beers, if there were 100 people that showed up I would be surprised. There was very little in the way of advertising, which was the obvious reason for so few showing up. But, as was pointed out to me by a few people, what was lacking in attendance was definitely made up for with the quality of beers available. In fact, this event was one of the “biggest” I have attended as far as ABV is concerned, in quite a while. Continue reading

Strand Brewing Celebrates 7 Years with Beer, Love & BBQ

This past weekend, Torrance’s oldest production brewery, Strand Brewing Company celebrated their 7th anniversary with a weekend of beer, love and BBQ at their new Dominguez Street location. The three day event featured new beers released by Strand along with food by Bartz Barbecue and live music from such artists as Big Bad Rooster and Strand co-founder Joel Elliott’s, Uncle Bill.

Due to time constraints I was only able to stop by on Saturday, which is when these photos were taken. If you have visited Strand Brewing’s new location, you know they have lots of space in their 36,000 square foot facility and they made the most of the space making it relatively easy for the more than 700 people a day that showed up to have room to eat, drink, play games and dance to the music.

Three years ago co-owner Rich Marcello confided in me that the morning of their 4th anniversary he was sitting on his surfboard wondering if anyone would show up to their anniversary party; they showed up in droves. I asked Marcello if he had those same concerns this year and he admitted that prior to opening the doors at 4:00 PM Friday he did wonder the same thing; however, those concerns were immediately put aside as more than 700 people showed up Friday evening. Continue reading

Photos from Rock & Brews 6th Annual Local Craft Beer Fest

These photos were taken at the 6th Annual Local Craft Beer Fest which was held at the El Segundo Rock & Brews on Sunday afternoon. Admission to the family and pet friendly event included 10 beer tickets, with a choice of 12 local breweries; as well as a barbecued tri-tip lunch.

As far as the breweries pouring at the event, there was the cast of usual attendees like El Segundo Brewing, Strand Brewing, King Harbor Brewing, Ohana Brewing, Barley Forge Brewing and Three Weavers. Relative newcomers like Iron Triangle, Indie Brewing, Reel Brewery and Solarc Brewing welcomed the new kids on the block, Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing and Two Coast Brewing Company.

While previous editions of the Local Craft Beer Fest featured games, this year they decided to replace the games with live music provided by local alternative 80’s band, The One 80’s. To say they were well received would be an understatement. They had everyone up on their feet rocking out; I think live music is a nice touch to this annual event, I hope they keep it up. Cheers! Continue reading

Pints for Prostates at Shade Hotel Redondo Beach

These photos are from the Pints for Prostates beer tasting that was put on by the Torrance Memorial Medical Center and held at the newly opened Shade Hotel Redondo Beach. The event was a kickoff to the annual Movember fundraiser that is meant to draw attention to men’s health issues; specifically prostate and testicular cancers as well as mental health and suicide prevention. When I grew a mustache for Movember back in 2010 the program was primarily to bring awareness that one in seven men would be diagnosed with prostate cancer, today it also includes suicide prevention as more men die from suicide than testicular or prostate cancer.

Pints for Prostates was sponsored by Shade Hotel, The South Bay Mo Bros’, King Harbor Brewing Company, Strand Brewing Company, and Hop Saint Brewing Company. Timothy Lesser, MD, Garret Matsunaga, MD, and David Wallis, MD each spoke on the importance of early detection and men’s health and a couple survivors spoke of their experience while one person told us what happened when his father delayed being examined. Continue reading

Media Night at Strand Brewing Company

Monday evening, Strand Brewing Company hosted members of the LA Beer Bloggers and other local media outlets with an intimate evening of craft beer, snacks and networking. Strand Brewing Company co-founder/co-owner Rich Marcello took time to speak with attendees individually; then took everyone on a tour of their [relatively] new 36,000 square foot facility on Dominguez Street. Marcello also showed off their shiny, new canning line which will be put into use shortly. He also made sure to let us all know that Strand Brewing will be celebrating their 7th Anniversary on the weekend of November 11 through the 13th.

In addition to the tour and plentiful beer, Marcello personally made up several snack trays that one would have thought were professionally done. Attendees also had a chance to chat with the reigning, and six times Tetris World Champion, Jonas Neubauer who also happens to run the tasting room. For those into Tetris, the World Championships have been going on for seven years, with Neubauer taking first place every year, except a couple years ago when he ranked second. We are all pretty proud of him.

Strand Brewing Company is located at 2201 Dominguez Street in Torrance. Their 7th Anniversary celebration will feature special beers, casks, music and general fun for the entire family. Visit the Strand Brewing website or their Facebook page for more information. Cheers! 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

Pub at the Club Beer and Food Festival Photos

The photos were taken Sunday at the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club where they held their inaugural Pub at the Club Craft Beer and Food Festival to benefit the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club’s Junior Foundation programs for special needs, Para and junior athletes. 100% of the ticket sales were donated to their Junior Foundation Programs; a charity dedicated to developing champions on and off the court by supporting all athletes, including special need and Para-athletes.

The intimate event had a couple hundred attendees who enjoyed the day in the sun with more than 30 craft breweries, a few crafty breweries and several local restaurants that provided unlimited craft beer pours and tasty food stuffs. 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

LMU Beer Festival 2016 Photos

These photos were taken Saturday at the LMU Beer Fest 2016, which was held on Hannon Field on the Loyola Marymount University campus. The event featured beer from 24 craft breweries, live music by Phoenix Rising, access to six food trucks and a few games of skill. As one person mentioned to me, it was one of the best inaugural events in recent memory.

The beer festival was hosted by the LMU Alumni Association and was a fundraiser to support student athletes through the Lions Athletic Fund. As it turns out there are a lot of brewery owners in the LA area that are LMU alumni, like Allison Kolb of Scholb Premium Ales and Tom Dunbabin of King Harbor Brewing; Steve Farguson of Absolution Brewing has a son that currently attends LMU.

Being the inaugural event, ticket sales were limited; I am going to guess that there were a lot of alumni that purchased tickets to the event with no real intention of attending. This is just a guess, but the VIP session had sold out and there were not very many people for that session. By the end of the day, I would guess that they had a few hundred attendees. 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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