As I sat down to write this, I asked Tanya what we did last year for Valentine’s Day. Neither of us could recall off hand but after a little research we discovered that we may be becoming creatures of habit with traditions we did not realize we had.
Anyway, this year Smog City Brewing re-released their Death By Hops DIPA so we decided to start the day off there. They had a brisk business going on with many beerlebrity sightings as hop heads from near and far came to check out the latest release; they would not be disappointed. Regular readers of Craft Beer Guy have probably noticed that I do not do beer reviews on this site (you can visit my Untappd account if you want those) but I will say that this batch is amazing. If you enjoy a good in-your-face hop bomb you will want to get over there before it is all gone. One thing that came to mind as I enjoyed it was just how lucky we are to live in an area that turns out so many great brews and the double IPAs. When you stop to think about Smog City’s Death By Hops, Strand Brewing’s White Sand, El Segundo Brewing’s Hammerland, and The Brewery at Abigaile’s Beetlejuice, to name but a few, the South Bay is turning out some of the best brews around.
After enjoying a beer at Smog City and speaking with a few people we headed down Western to Mulligan Family Fun Center to race go-karts. They have gas powered karts and governors equipped to prevent them from going very fast but it was still a lot of fun. No photos of this part of the day are available because I have yet to figure out how to race and work the camera at the same time. Continue reading
As 2014 winds down I faced the question posed to me by a few people; “Will Craft Beer Guy be writing an article about the year?” Initially I thought I would do a Top 10 list and just discuss the Top 10 breweries and brewpubs in the South Bay. I figured it would be easy because there were only 10 craft brewers here, but in the last month so many new locations have opened that we now have 12 if you count Phantom Carriage that has not “officially” opened yet. The South Bay now has the following breweries and brewpubs in its confines; in order of seniority (I think) they are: Red Car Brewery, San Pedro Brewing Company, Strand Brewing Company, El Segundo Brewing Company, Monkish Brewing Company, The Brewery at Abigaile, Smog City Brewing, The Dudes’ Brewing Company, Absolution Brewing Company, King Harbor Brewing Company, Three Weavers Brewing and Phantom Carriage. 2015 should bring us a few more including Hop Saint, Brouwerij West and Port Town Brewing; and those are just the ones that come to mind. There will also be some moves and expansions among those listed above. With that I now present you The 2014 Craft Beer Guy Year in Review.
As I look through my articles from January I see that it was a pretty mellow month or the calm before the storm if you prefer. I would have to say my personal highlight of the month was a Sunday afternoon that we spent visiting several of the Orange County craft brewery tasting rooms and brewpubs. The day included stops at Bootlegger’s Brewery, Taps Fish House & Brewery, Noble Ale Works, Tustin Brewing Company and Brewbakers. Each of these stops were first time visits and I would not have a problem recommending any of them. The thing is, in the past year Orange County has opened so many new tasting rooms and brewpubs that it is getting tough to try and keep up with them all; but I will try. Continue reading
On Sunday afternoon, Abigaile Restaurant and The Brewery at Abigaile in Hermosa Beach hosted their inaugural Novem-BEER-Fest beer garden, featuring 20 of Los Angeles’ finest craft breweries. While the event was initially scheduled to take over the entire Abigaile complex, it was later decided to keep it confined to the Ocean Bar and its rooftop lounge. It was a great decision as it was a beautiful day to hang out with a couple hundred craft beer drinkers outside a block from the beach and it made it easy to see who was there for the beer.
The breweries in attendance brought out some very interesting brews. Some of my favorites included Alosta Brewing Company’s Saison Bleu, Angel City’s Rum Barrel Aged Mexican Cola Ale, El Segundo Brewing’s Ka-PAU! IPA, Back Home Gingerbread Stout by Golden Road Brewing and Progress Brewing’s Mustang Tripel. I would say my overall favorite was Wicked White IPA by Timeless Pints. Other offerings included Wanderin’ Possessed Pumpkin Porter by Absolution Brewing Company, Citraholic by Beachwood Brewing, Pomegranate Saison by Angel City, Buster’s Brown Ale by Bravery Brewing, Revolution XPA by Eagle Rock Brewing, Potential Blonde by Kinetic, Post-Season DIPA by King Harbor Brewing, Blind Ambition by Ladyface, False Prophet by Monkish Brewing, The King’s Taxes by MacLeod Ale Brewing, Acorn Ambition by Ohana Brewing, Smog City’s Groundwork Coffee Porter, Stand Brewing’s Harvest Ball, Three Weaver’s Knotty DIPA and Golden Eagle Ale by Wolf Creek Brewery.
In addition to the beers, several of the breweries had owners and/or brewers with them to socialize with their fans. Celebrity sightings included Alexandra Nowell of Three Weavers, Brian Avery and Roger Morrissey of Bravery Brewing, Rob Croxall of El Segundo Brewing Company, Steve Farguson of Absolution Brewing, Phil McDaniel and Tom Dunbabin of King Harbor Brewing, Rich Marcello of Strand Brewing and Brian Brewer of The Brewery at Abigaile. Continue reading
The breweries in attendance include Absolution Brewing, Alosta Brewing, Angel City, Beachwood, Bravery Brewing, Eagle Rock Brewing, El Segundo Brewing, Golden Road, Kinetic Brewing, King Harbor Brewing, Ladyface, Monkish Brewing, MacLeod Ale, Ohana Brewing, Progress Brewing, Smog City, Strand Brewing, Timeless Pints, The Dudes, Three Weavers, Wolf Creek and, of course, The Brewery at Abigaile. Several of these breweries are very new, like Three Weavers that just opened their tasting room this past weekend. To visit each of these breweries tasting rooms would take a month of weekends and Abigaile has brought them all together under one roof.
The Novem-BEER-Fest beer garden will take advantage of the entire Abigaile facility including the Ocean Bar, which can have some very nice views, weather permitting. Admission to this first ever event is $30 for General Admission; which includes a commemorative tasting glass, 10 4oz. pours from any of the breweries and one food item from the grill. VIP admission is $50 and includes the commemorative tasting glass, unlimited 4oz. pours from any of the breweries and one food item from the grill. If you have never eaten at Abigaile I have to say that Chef Tin creates some amazing dishes and Chef Jorge is a great addition to the kitchen. I am sure you will enjoy it. Continue reading
The 6th Annual LA Beer Week begins Saturday, September 20 but Naja’s Place in Redondo Beach kicked it off a day early with their “Locals Night” which included close to 50 beers on tap from 18 local craft breweries. The local breweries spotlighted in last night’s event included, The Brewery at Abigaile, Angel City, Beachwood, Bottle Logic, The Bruery, The Dudes’ Brewing, Eagle Rock Brewing, El Segundo Brewing, Golden Road, Hangar 24, Kinetic Brewing, King Harbor Brewing, Ladyface, LA Ale Works, Monkish Brewing, Noble Ale Works, Smog City and Strand Brewing Company.
Naja’s Place will continue their celebration of LA Beer Week on Saturday by showcasing 30+ Pizza Port beers, followed by an Allagash tap takeover on Wednesday and a Firestone takeover next Saturday, September 27.
Los Angeles Beer Week (LABW6) officially runs from September 20 through September 28. There are events happening all over the Greater Los Angeles area; you can find the most up to date schedule of events on the LA Beer Week website. There are some great beers being brewed around here now, go out and celebrate it. Cheers! Continue reading
On Sunday afternoon, Rock & Brews held their 4th Annual Local Craft Beer Fest at their Rock & Brews Garden on Main in El Segundo. There were 15 breweries pouring 30 beers as well as food and a game or two to keep you occupied; but most people seemed content to enjoy the shade in what was a very hot afternoon at the beach. To be honest, there were fewer kids and dogs than last year which cut down of the carnival atmosphere that was experienced last year. I suspect the lower attendance was due in part to the sweltering heat and the fact that Main Street was blocked off for construction, at least in the beginning.
The breweries in attendance were El Segundo Brewing Company, Ohana Brewing Company, The Dudes’ Brewing Company, King Harbor Brewing Company, Strand Brewing Company, Monkish Brewing Company, Smog City Brewing Company, Angel City Brewery, The Brewery at Abigaile, Absolution Brewing Company, Congregation Ale House, Bootlegger’s Brewery, Cosmic Ales, Hangar 24 Craft Brewery and Golden Road Brewery. Also in attendance were Bowser Beer’s Dirty Dog Squad and Popcornopolis Gourmet Popcorn, who was giving away samples of their gourmet popcorn as well as their brand new, hop infused popcorn! This is still in the development stage so keep an eye out for it as they plan on having popcorn pairings with craft beer within the next few months.
In addition to everything else that was going on, a panel with a Question and Answer period was moderated by Celebrator Beer News contributor Tomm Carroll and included Brian Brewer from The Brewery at Abigaile, Christopher Briles from Cosmic Ales, Rich Marcello from Strand Brewing Company, Rob Croxall from El Segundo Brewing Company and Steve Farguson from Absolution Brewing Company. Continue reading
On Thursday evening Business & Beer, arguably one of the South Bay’s more fun business networking groups, returned to the Brewery at Abigaile in Hermosa Beach. The Business & Beer networking group has been meeting since July of 2012 and The Brewery at Abigaile was the second venue visited, making it the longest running in the Business & Beer rotation. The Brewery at Abigaile is the only brewery in Hermosa Beach and is probably the biggest brewpub in the South Bay. We had a pretty nice turnout considering the number of competing beer events going on at the same time. There was a great mix of regulars and first time attendees which allowed everyone to get to know each other a little better; and about five minutes after everyone left a second wave of first timers showed up. I guess I will have to be sure to include the end time (8:00 PM) along with the start time for future events.
The Business & Beer networking group meets on the second Thursday of every month at a different production brewery tasting room or brewpub in the South Bay. Currently, that includes The Brewery at Abigaile, El Segundo Brewing Company, Strand Brewing Company, Monkish Brewing Company, The Dudes’ Brewing Company, King Harbor Brewing Company, Absolution Brewing Company and Smog City Brewing. The October 9 gathering will be held at King Harbor Brewing Company. If you live or work in the South Bay and networking is important to your business success or it falls under your job description and you enjoy craft beer, Business & Beer is going to be right up your alley.
You can sign up to the Business & Beer mailing list on their website or you can Like them on Facebook to be kept in the loop for upcoming events. All upcoming Business & Beer upcoming events can be found on the free craftbeerguy mobile app which is available for download on iTunes or Google Play. Cheers! Continue reading
The craft breweries that will be represented include El Segundo Brewing, Monkish Brewing, Smog City Brewing, Golden Road Brewing, Eagle Rock Brewing, The Dudes’ Brewing, Strand Brewing, Angel City Brewing, Cosmic Ales, Bootlegger’s Brewery, The Brewery at Abigaile, King Harbor Brewing, Congregation Ale House, Absolution Brewing and Ohana Brewing Company.
While you may be familiar with many of these breweries, you never know what they may bring with them. Last year, El Segundo Brewing Company used the event to introduce their Casa Azul Pale Lager, so I look forward to seeing what might show up at the 4th Annual Local Craft Beer Fest. Two of the breweries, Absolution Brewing Company and King Harbor Brewing Company, were still in the planning stages last year at this time; so if you have not had an opportunity to try their brews yet this will be a great opportunity. This year’s event will include a brewer panel where representatives from a few of the local breweries will discuss the local craft beer scene, the origins of their brand and field questions from the audience. Continue reading
On Wednesday evening, Hermosa Beach brewpub The Brewery at Abigaile held another of their delicious Brewery Dinners, this time featuring Stone Brewing Company. The event was attended by a couple dozen craft beer fans and we were all treated to quite a meal with the food menu put together by Chef Tin and Chef Jorge.
The meal started with Stone’s Go To IPA paired with a grilled peach and arugula salad then progressed to Stone’s Saison paired with a Cuban sandwich that was unbelievable with its intense flavors. The third course consisted of a Sprocketbier paired with Patatas Bravas; which I think would make an amazing breakfast dish. The main course was the Collective Distortion IPA paired with Egyptian curried baramundi (a very tasty fish dish) and for dessert; Chipotle Smoked Porter paired with torn chocolate cake, sweet pickled mangoes, pinenut and roasted banana gelato. I know I am not alone in saying that by the time the meal was completed, we were stuffed; Chefs Tin and Jorge are to be congratulated for putting together another tasty meal. Abigaile Restaurant and The Brewery at Abigaile is located at 1301 Manhattan Avenue in Hermosa Beach. Cheers! Continue reading
Saturday evening I joined a few dozen others for the South Bay Progressive’s second “pub crawl” which included five South Bay venues that specialize in craft beer; each of whom showcased a different American craft brewery. The five venues and the breweries they featured were Brewco, Manhattan Beach featuring Smog City Brewing; The Brewery at Abigaile featuring Stone Brewing Company; Silvio’s Brazilian Barbecue featuring Modern Times Beer; Naja’s Place featuring The Bruery; and Select Beer Store who featured Great Divide Brewing Company. Transportation for the event was provided by LA Craft Beer Tours.
We started our tour at Naja’s Place since it was the closest with the best parking options; the fact that they were showcasing The Bruery made the decision process a little easier. I have to admit, I was a little shocked when I saw the Naja’s tap list as it was emptier than I have ever seen. I was then reminded that Naja’s is having their 6th Annual IPA Festival this coming Wednesday so they are in the process of cleaning all their lines. If you enjoy IPAs you will want to head to Naja’s Place for this week long event.
My intent was to visit The Brewery at Abigaile next with a stop by Silvio’s on the way back but a scheduling conflict resulted in Silvio’s closing at 7:00 PM for a private party so we headed to Silvio’s first then walked up the street to Abigaile. After grabbing a beer, some food and photos we headed to Brewco in Manhattan Beach. As one might imagine, Saturday night in Manhattan Beach meant a pretty large crowd but the service was fast and the people were friendly. After enjoying a beer most of us got back on the bus and headed back to Naja’s Place which was now jumping with live music and an even more lively audience.
South Bay Progressive is a collaboration between the five South Bay venues with a cross-promotion of some of the production breweries that have helped make the South Bay a craft beer destination. The event started last September for LA Beer Week and included four of last night’s participating five venues, with The Brewery at Abigaile joining in the fun this time around. This was the first time I have participated in an event like this but I have to say, if South Bay Progressive continues I will do my best to be there next time as well. Cheers! Continue reading