As I left Yuma I thought about the epic craft beer tour I was completing and decided that if I was going to make this series of articles truly coast-to-coast-to-coast, I was going to have to end it by visiting a California craft brewery that won a medal at the most recent GABF.
With at least 15 breweries in Southern California to choose from, my main obstacles were going to be the same as I had encountered over the past several weeks; day of the week, and time of day. As I looked over the list of GABF winners I realized that if I wanted to avoid rush hour traffic I was going to have to aim for breweries close to me. Fortunately, I live where I do and two of my favorite local breweries had won medals and they are both brewpubs, meaning they would be open by noon; Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, and HopSaint Brewing Company in Torrance. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Strand Brewing Company’s 8th Anniversary Party. The event featured live music, food by Chefs in Shorts Catering, and 12 Strand Brewing beers on tap. As fate would have it, it was also Strand Brewing Company co-founder Rich Marcello’s 50th birthday, so everyone had even more reason to celebrate.
Congratulations to Joel Elliott, Rich Marcello and the entire Strand Brewing Company team on your success; and happy birthday to Rich.
Strand Brewing Company is located at 2201 Dominguez Street in Torrance; they are open Tuesday through Sunday, sell cans, bottles and growlers to go and are dog friendly. Cheers!
These photos were taken Saturday at Strand Brewing Company’s Backyard Barbecue (first three pages); and King Harbor Brewing Company’s Summer Fun Feast, as both production breweries celebrated summer with craft beer, barbecues, and games.
The Backyard Barbecue at Strand Brewing featured 15 taps spread out over two bars, food from Chefs in Shorts, and live music by Bill Benzel and Jim Earp, Jim Kimo West, Ryan Collazo, and Big Bad Rooster. With all the kids, dogs and families in attendance, as well as the aroma wafting from the grill, it really did feel like a backyard barbecue. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday at Smog City Brewing Company where several hundred of Smog City’s fans gathered to help Jonathan and Laurie Porter celebrate four years of brewing at their Torrance location.
It has been a lot of fun watching Smog City grow since their soft open; not only in the number of beers and styles that they turn out, but the massive growth of the brewery itself and the fact that they now have their satellite SteelCraft location in Long Beach. If you look at the photos of the brewery from the soft open the brewery and tasting room were vast; compare it to the photos from Saturday and you can see that it has almost become a forest of stainless steel. According to Jonathan, there is even more to come. Continue reading
If it seemed a little overcast and drizzly Saturday afternoon, it was most likely because Yorkshire Square Brewery held their ribbon cutting and grand opening and along with the genuine English-style cask ales, they also furnished us with some authentic English-style weather.
No matter the weather, friends, family and craft beer aficionados were gathering outside in the Yorkshire Square parking lot for up to a half hour before opening time, anxiously awaiting a pour of their first authentic English pint in the South Bay.
The ribbon cutting was attended by Torrance Mayor Pat Furey, and city council members Mike Griffiths and Kurt Weideman; who presented Yorkshire Square with a Certificate of Recognition . . . and noted that Yorkshire Square is the 10th brewery for the City of Torrance (11th if you count Zymurgy) Continue reading
These photos were taken Tuesday evening at Zymurgy Brew Works & Tasting Room in Torrance as they continued their series of guest brewer nights; this time featuring Graham Strong, an assistant brewer at Brouwerij West in San Pedro.
While the previous guest brewer nights I have attended brewed different versions of IPAs, last night we brewed Brouwerij West’s Saison. While IPAs may be “all about the hops”, Brouwerij West’s Saison is more about the grain bill and the yeast. A definite example of brewers make the wort, yeast makes the beer.
While there may have been a few people that were at Zymurgy for the first time, it seemed that almost everyone was a homebrewer with some experience; but that did not stop anyone from wanting to participate in the process, from adding the grain to stirring or adding the hops. In the dead time we were able to sample a finished example of the Brouwerij West Saison as well as their new IPA, Picnic Lightning. Continue reading
A Yorkshire Square vessel is a two-story brewing system consisting of a shallow chamber approximately two meters high, above which is a walled deck. Cooled wort, the liquid extracted from malted barley, is fermented in the lower chamber, while the yeasty head settles on the deck above.
So, what I learned was that Yorkshire Square was not a place in England, former home of Yorkshire Square Brewery founder, Gary Croft, but rather a brewing system popular in the northern portion of England. Croft informed me that there are no Yorkshire Square fermenters in the US, but he is going to do his best to change that before too long. In the meantime, he is happy to announce that the Yorkshire Square Brewery in Torrance is now brewing beer, and they will be having their soft open beginning Wednesday, April 19 at 5:00 PM. Continue reading
South Bay residents may recall hearing about a terrible crash that happened in Torrance on March 7 that resulted in the death of 16 year old South High School student, Jesse Esphorst, Jr. The circumstances surrounding the accident and Jesse’s death were bad enough; but Jesse’s father, who was driving when they were hit by two cars that blew through a red light, was also seriously injured. The family, who had numerous other obstacles draining their bank account at the time of the accident, now had to deal with funeral expenses for Jesse and medical expenses for his father who is currently unable to work due to his injuries.
If I have my facts right, Jonathan and Laurie Porter of Smog City Brewing live next door to a family whose mother went to school with Jesse’s mother. Being the community involved people that they are, Smog City Brewing held a fundraiser Thursday evening to assist the Esphorst family with their financial burden. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday, March 18, at the Absolution Brewing Company tasting room in Torrance, where they celebrated their three year anniversary.
Say what you will about Absolution Brewing, these guys know how to throw a party, and Saturday’s extravaganza was no exception. In addition to the 20+ beers that were on tap at the main bar of the tasting room, they had four special firkins and about 10 other special brews which were available in the front office. For those with an appetite for food, Bartz Barbecue was there with their brisket and pork sandwich options.
As this was a daylong event, I split my day up with two visits. Continue reading
On Saturday morning, a few dozen members of the Pacific Gravity Homebrewers Club met at Smog City Brewing Company for the Fourth Pacific Gravity Monster Brew. Smog City co-founder, Brewmaster, and Pacific Gravity member Jonathan Porter, teamed up with Pacific Gravity member Carl Townsend to develop the base wort for this event with an English theme. In keeping with past monster brews, the recipe was made so the base wort could be used for whatever kind of beer the brewer wanted. The hard part was done, and participants brought the wort home to add hops, roasted malts, the yeast of their choice or whatever adjuncts they might want to experiment with.
After everyone got their allotment of wort, there was a barbecue out back for those that wanted some burgers or brats. It was a nice way to start out a Saturday afternoon. Cheers! Continue reading