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
These photos are from the 3rd Annual South Bay Beer & Wine Festival, which was held Sunday afternoon at Ernie Howlett Park in Rolling Hills Estates. Presented by the Rotary Clubs of El Segundo, Palos Verdes Peninsula and South Bay Sunrise this charity event featured almost 40 craft breweries as well as 15 wineries and food from about 36 local restaurants. In addition to the beer, wine and food, music was provided by Detour.
Moving the festival to Ernie Howlett Park was a smart move as it is much more spacious than the South Coast Botanical Gardens, where the event was held last year, as there were probably 10 more breweries than last year and it allowed them to sell more tickets. When I asked how many attendees came out, I was told they sold about 1,400 tickets, which was almost double from last year. The additional space made it really difficult to judge the number of people in attendance because it was so spread out. The main thing is that there were no lines that had more than four or five people in them. Continue reading
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
This event will be pretty similar to their inaugural event in that all the beer and food will come from the Los Angeles area and you will get unlimited pours of beer and unlimited samplings. Just so there are no surprises, many of the food vendors make jams or sauces, so you get a spoonful. You are probably not going to fill up on the food, but there were some tasty items there. Continue reading
The craft breweries were assembled by Beer Paper L.A.’s own Daniel Drennon; if you were there last year and thought he did a great job, wait until you see who is scheduled for this year’s event. On tap include Absolution Brewing, Anchor Brewing, Artifex, Avery, Ballast Point, Beachwood, Bottle Logic, Drake’s, Arts District, Brouwerij West, El Segundo Brewing, Firestone Walker, Fireman’s Brew, Founder’s, Ironfire Brewing, King Harbor Brewing, Ladyface, Mission Brewery, New Belgium, Phantom Carriage, Pizza Port Brewing, Red Car Brewery, Baja Brewing, Headlands, HopSaint, Sierra Nevada, Smog City, Stone Brewing, Strand Brewing, Tenaya Creek, Mother Earth, Ska and Three Weavers will all be providing brews to sample. Continue reading
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
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
Last night the Torrance Planning Commission met and one of the items on the agenda was to hear a report prepared by the Community Development Department which was to discuss the current state of the craft breweries in Torrance. The report included discussion on what the current procedures are to open a brewery, what the Torrance Municipal Code says about breweries in Torrance, why so many breweries are opting to open in Torrance and what affect the influx of breweries has had on the crime rate in Torrance. In the audience I saw Laurie Porter from Smog City Brewing, Henry Nguyen from Monkish Brewing, and Joel Elliott from Strand Brewing Company.
For a little background, I ask you to recall back in August when I attended the CUP Hearing for Scholb Premium Ales. At that time, the Torrance City Attorney mentioned that there might be a way to streamline the modification process for Conditional Use Permits that would eliminate the need for a hearing every time someone wanted a simple modification of their existing Conditional Use Permit. The Planning Commission agreed that if the modification of an existing CUP was not changing the intent of the permit issued the modification hearing should not be required. What this means is that if Scholb, or Smog City or any of the other Torrance breweries want to modify their Conditional Use Permit as far as their hours of operation they could save time and expense by having the Planning Department modify their permit without having to appear before the Planning Commission. Continue reading
There were several beer buyouts that seemed to dominate most other craft beer sites, but the craft world in my immediate domain only seemed to increase. Yeah, Golden Road got bought, but I only went there for special events and I guess that means there will be fewer of them there in the future. In the meantime, the reach of this site seems to be increasing. In the beginning people pretty much pigeonholed this site as covering the South Bay craft beer scene only. This year I covered various local beer events from the Antelope Valley to Orange County. Attendees have come up asking if I am now covering the west side, or wherever we might be. I guess the answer is yes; and I will expand my area as long as it is requested.
2015 in the South Bay ended pretty much as it started, with the soft open of a new brewpub. In January Phantom Carriage officially opened, and at the end of December HopSaint Brewing Company opened their doors. While they are open daily, the official opening of HopSaint will be January 1, 2016 when they will start serving lunch at 11:30 AM. Continue reading
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