As the year draws to a close, it is time to think back on what 2017 has brought to the craft beer world; more specifically what has happened in the Craft Beer Guy world. As 2016 came to a pretty crappy end for me, I did not do one last year; for that reason, I will begin with the end of 2016 as it segued into 2017.
My coverage of 2016 ended pretty much the way 2017 started, with the opening of Smog City Brewing Company’s satellite tasting room, Smog City – SteelCraft in the Bixby Knolls area of Long Beach. They opened the location at the end of December; by the middle of January they had applied for, and were granted the ability to sell growlers and bottles to go.
Later in January the inaugural L.A. Beer and Food Festival was presented by the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild. The sold-out event featured close to 50 member breweries of the LA Brewers Guild as well as 15 local food vendors. This year the L.A. Beer and Food Festival will be held Saturday, January 27. Buy your tickets now, before it sells out.
These photos were taken Thursday at the 3rd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover, which was held at Flights, in Hawthorne. The event featured 18 of the South Bay’s best production breweries and brewpubs, filling up 39 tap handles.
Although I did not arrive until a little after 4:00 PM, my Facebook feed indicated that people began streaming in pretty much as soon as the doors opened. By 6:00 we had the place packed and it remained that way until close to 10:00; after that, people kept arriving to sample some outstanding brews.
I had the opportunity to speak with many of the attendees and discovered that this was the first time visiting Flights; it seems safe to say that they will all return. Continue reading
It was two years ago that I made my first visit to Flights Beer Bar and met the owner Jerry “Jammer” Jamgotchian. Within days of our meeting, Jerry expressed interest in having a Craft Beer Guy event at his recently opened 40 tap gastropub. At the time, the South Bay had 10 production breweries and I requested that all 40 taps be dedicated to these 10 breweries for the 1st Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. Jerry not only agreed to this, but also invested in a new cold box so Flights could store the additional beers that were brought in for the event. To say the event was a rousing success would be an understatement. Continue reading
Recently there have been a couple articles circulating around social media claiming to list all of the South Bay breweries; one that went around yesterday missed four or five of them, depending on whether or not a tasting room was required. As the Craft Beer Guy I have been fortunate to have this craft beer boom explode all around my home; I also feel obligated to provide an accurate list of all the breweries currently brewing in the South Bay as well as the next two scheduled to open.
In order to not show favoritism, and to give credit where credit is due, I will list all the South Bay breweries by the date they opened. As I have visited each brewery, I will provide a link to each so you can look at my articles to determine if you want to visit them. The photos are in order as well. Continue reading
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
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
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
A couple weeks ago, Honest Abe Hard Ciders owner Spencer Chambers invited me to come down and visit The Honest Abe Cidery, as LA Beer Hop was bringing a group there and Chambers would be having a little soft open of sorts. I got there a little early and had a chance to talk with Chambers and his significant other, Kimberly.
While enjoying samples of his [current] four ciders, apple, pineapple, honey and blueberry (with Mosaic hops) I asked Chambers about how long he had been making ciders and what got him into it. It turns out the answer was rather simple and logical. Growing up in Kentucky and being surrounded by apple orchards, it was just something the kids did around there. Since Abraham Lincoln was from Kentucky, the name was a no-brainer.
When I asked Kimberly about her cider experience she confessed that she was more of a wine person but that palate has pretty much made her the official taste tester for Honest Abe. Chambers said his ciders are pretty much designed for her palate. Continue reading