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Indiana Craft Beer: From North to South

If you have been following along you will recall that Craft Beer Tour 2016 technically began after visiting my buddy George in Reno, Nevada. It was there that I asked Tanya if she wanted to visit her family in Indiana; if she had not been up for it, my backup plan was to head to the Portland, Oregon area. When she said she wanted to go to Indiana, the only brewery that was a planned destination was Three Floyds Brewing in Munster. We have both been there numerous times; and while the rest of the trip would concentrate on visiting places I never heard of, there was no way I was going to northwest Indiana without another stop at Three Floyds.

I remember it was around 2:00 PM on Sunday afternoon at Big Grove Brewery when I told Big Grove managing partner Doug Goettsch and Tanya that we would be having dinner at Three Floyds Brewpub that evening. Goettsch reminded me that it was still another three or four hours to Munster; but as they would be open until 11:15 PM this would not be a problem; or so I thought. Continue reading

Visits to Fort Collins Brewery, Colorado Plus and Baere Brewing

When we left Laramie on Thursday morning we cut across the bottom eastern half of Wyoming to get to I-25 southbound towards Denver. Denver has plenty of craft beer and if I was not careful I could end up there for a few days; however, the real reason I even drove down there was to see family that live in the Denver area.

Since food was a pretty important concern, and it was already after noon, we set the GPS for Fort Collins Brewery & Tavern, a massive brewpub located in Fort Collins.

When I say it was massive, I mean it was probably bigger than anything we have in the South Bay area. When we were there they had 12 brews on tap; each of them pretty solid for their style for the most part. I don’t recall thinking the Apricot Sour Ale was very sour; while I did enjoy the Far Away IPA. Oh yeah; their Oktoberfest was pretty dead on.

As we were going to meet my brother and his wife in a few hours for dinner, we had their Grilled Indian Fry Bread as an appetizer to hold us over; it was pretty tasty. Continue reading

Red Rock Brewing Company – Salt Lake City

Tuesday morning we left Elko, Nevada and continued east on I-80 through the remaining Nevada desert into the Utah desert. If you think Nevada is flat and arid, the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah makes it look like an oasis. The fact of the matter is that until you hit Salt Lake City there is not much to speak of beer-wise between Elko and Salt Lake.

Tanya was seeking food and found Red Rock Brewing Company; a brewpub in Salt Lake City. Unfortunately for us, Red Rock Brewing has two locations; the brewery and tasting room; and a few blocks away, the brewpub. She had set the GPS for the brewery, which may have had snacks but they did not have the food she sought. The Red Rock Brewing Company brewery is located at 443 North 400 West in Salt Lake City and this is their production brewery where you can find the higher ABV brews. Utah has some of the weirder beer laws that we came across. Oh, Mountain West Cider is right next door; we did not make it back there but if you are in the neighborhood you might as well stop in. Continue reading

Cold War Brewing at Zymurgy Brew Works & Tasting Room

On Wednesday evening, Tanya and I headed over to Zymurgy Brew Works & Tasting Room where we met up with co-founder Bill Baker to try out their new Do-It-Yourself craft brewery which is slated to begin their soft-open on September 10, 2016. My brew would not only add some beer to my collection, but it would give Zymurgy an opportunity to dial in their system and it would provide samples for future brewers to enjoy during subsequent brews. I opted to brew a recipe my son has for his Sochi to Stanley Stout; a delicious Russian Imperial Stout. The reason for this was primarily because I did not want to power drink five gallons of an IPA; I would much rather open one bomber every few months and this beer would be just perfect for that.

I had sent the recipe to Baker ahead of time in order to ensure that all the ingredients or applicable substitutes were available. One substitute was replacing the pound of Special B malt with a pound a Crystal 120 which was presented to me as C-120; I thought that sounded like an explosive so I changed the name of the beer to Cold War Russian Imperial Stout. Homebrewers will acknowledge that a Russian Imperial Stout is a pretty ambitious beer for the average homebrewer; Zymurgy was excited to do it as it was a pretty safe bet that this would be one of the biggest beers they will brew there. Continue reading

Business & Beer Visits Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing

These photos are from the August gathering of Business & Beer which was held Thursday evening at El Segundo’s newest production brewery, and Los Angeles’ only combination distillery and brewery, Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing. As a co-founder of the Business & Beer networking group I have come to expect smaller than normal turnouts when we bring the group to the outback of El Segundo, so I was pleasantly surprised at the large turnout we had last night.

Founder and Master Distiller, Rob Rubens gave the group a tour of their operation, discussing the distilling as well as the brewing sides, their similarities and the differences. The group seemed to really enjoy the tour as there were plenty of questions being asked. One of the main differences is that it is a lot faster to distill spirits than brew beer; so while the spirits are not quite ready, they should be soon. Continue reading

Cosmic Brewery Enters Soft Open Phase

The long awaited opening of Torrance’s newest production brewery, Cosmic Brewery, home of Cosmic Ales, is now a reality as they opened their tasting room to the public this past weekend. I only had a short window of opportunity to visit on Saturday evening but for making a last minute announcement on Friday that they would be open Saturday, the place was packed.

As you can see by my photos, as I watched the build-out of the brewery I never got any photos of the future tasting room. Owner Christopher Briles always kept that close to the vest and he did not want anyone to see it until it was ready. When it was revealed Saturday one had to admit, the cosmic theme is pretty cool.

The tap system is different than any tasting room I have visited in that you pour your own beer and are charged according to how much you pour. If you recall my article about zpizza a couple months ago, it is the same concept. You purchase a card that you insert on the tap, and you pour your beer. I did not play with it Saturday, but I will probably check it out this weekend. Continue reading

Bruery Terreux Now Open

These photos were taken Thursday afternoon at a preview of the new Bruery Terreux tasting room that is opening to the public at noon Friday. From this point forward they are open daily from 12:00-10:00 PM.

If you will recall, it was June 2014 that The Bruery announced that they were going to open Terreux (pronounced terr – ooh) as the location where they would concentrate on their wild ales and sours without risking the quality of the other fine brews The Bruery was turning out in Placentia. Because those pesky Brettanomyces really fly, they took no chances and opened the second facility three miles away in Anaheim; that and the City of Anaheim seemed really anxious to have them.

Bruery Terreux hoped to open their tasting room last summer, but I think we have all watched enough tasting rooms open around here to guess that wasn’t going to happen; permits, permits, permits. Anyway, it only took two years, which is not bad and it was worth the wait. Continue reading

A Visit to the Palmdale Breweries

Since I was going to the Bravery Brewing 4th Anniversary celebration in Lancaster anyway, and Palmdale’s two new breweries are less than five miles from Bravery, I decided to stop in to visit Transplants Brewing Company and their neighbor across the way, Lucky Luke Brewing Company.

The last time I visited Palmdale was for the Transplants Brewing ribbon cutting back in January. If you look at the photos from that event you will probably notice that there was a large mural in progress, and you may have noticed that they were offering 10 beers for their opening day. When we arrived Sunday it was obvious that a lot more work has been done on the mural; I get the feeling it may never truly be completed, but it is very interesting to gaze upon. Continue reading

Bravery Brewing 4th Year Anniversary Photos

These photos are from Bravery Brewing’s 4th Year Anniversary party which was held Sunday at the Lancaster production brewery’s tasting room. In addition to the 30 brews available, there was live music by Blaktop, hamburgers and hot dogs from Hi Desert Mobile Catering, hourly raffles, cornhole, board games and surprisingly nice weather. Of course, co-founder and star of the big and small screen, R. Lee Ermey was there to chat with attendees.

Since I was there, I let Brian Avery take me on a tour of their new brewhouse, a three vessel, 15 bbl system that will allow them to brew a ton more beer than they were doing with the 3 bbl system they have been using.

Congratulations to Bart and Brian Avery and the entire Bravery Brewing team; I look forward to seeing what the next year brings you. Bravery Brewing is located at 42705 8th Street West in Lancaster. Cheers! Continue reading

Business & Beer Returns to Monkish Brewing Company

These photos were taken Thursday evening when the Business & Beer networking group met at the Monkish Brewing Company tasting room. The group was small, but it did not prevent new relationships to be established as most of the attendees were first timers for Business & Beer and a couple had never visited Monkish before this event.

In addition to the beer and networking, the Mad Pambazos food truck was there with some pretty tasty sandwiches for those so inclined.

Business & Beer will celebrate their 4th Anniversary on July 14 at Smog City Brewing Company. The gatherings begin at 6:00 PM and last until people leave, but 8:00 PM is the official end time. If you own a small business or have a job that requires networking and you enjoy fresh craft beer you should look into Business & Beer. Cheers! Continue reading

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