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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

Absolution Brewing Shelby Beer Release Photos

Those of you that have been paying close attention may recall that back in May I mentioned that Absolution Brewing had entered into an agreement with Shelby Craft Beer & Beverages to begin brewing beers under the Shelby Craft Beer label. A couple months ago Shelby started showing off the first two brews, Shelby Snake Bite Lager and Big Block IPA at a few car events; this past Saturday at the Shelby Beer Bash 01 they officially released them at the Absolution Brewing tasting room, and it became available on draft.

To help celebrate the release, a contingent of Carroll Shelby vehicles were on display at Absolution’s parking lot with a couple Cobras and several Mustangs showing up. I showed up rather early and the tasting room was already packed with what had to have been primarily gear-heads as I recognized exactly one person that did not work there.

While I have had an opportunity to try the bottled version of the Snake Bite lager and Big Block IPA previously, this was my first opportunity to try it on tap and it was delicious. Big Block was appropriately named as it is definitely a big hop bomb. If you did not have an opportunity to get over to Absolution Brewing over the weekend, you can still try the two new releases on tap at the tasting room; and they may still have some bottles available to take home. Cheers! Continue reading

Lugosi Bottle Premiere and Halloween Celebration at Phantom Carriage

These photos were taken at the Lugosi Bottle Premiere and Halloween Celebration that was held Saturday evening at Phantom Carriage blendery and tasting room in Carson. The event featured the release of a bottled version of Lugosi, a high gravity dark wild sour ale aged in oak with Brettanomyces, lactobacillus, and Pediococcus; featuring sweet cherry, vanilla, and stone fruit.

Since it was also a Halloween party, Phantom Carriage played Universal Studio’s 1931 version of “Dracula” on a large screen in the back parking lot. As Dracula starred Bela Lugosi, and they were releasing the bottled version of Lugosi, it only made sense that this would be a good time to invite Bela Lugosi, Jr. to join the fun, which he accepted and brought along a good portion of his family. 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

Missouri Craft Beer on I-44

This portion of our Craft Beer Tour 2016 will be eastbound; beginning in Missouri and ending in Arizona. All of the Missouri portion can be found along I-44.

While it has been five years since the last time I drove along I-44, I seem to have driven this route more than anyone I know. The only reason I mention this is because I have driven through St. James, Missouri many times; so much so that I am readily familiar with some of the billboards you will see along the way. One of those billboards is for St. James Winery; so imagine my surprise when I saw an attachment to the winery’s billboard that suggested there might be a brewery now associated with the winery. Our first stop in Missouri would be Public House Brewing Company, which is located right next door to St. James Winery. Continue reading

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

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