On Saturday evening, Monkish Brewing Company held a farewell party for their Beer Evangelist, Brian White. A couple dozen friends joined the Monkish staff in congratulating White and wishing him the best in his future.
White assures me we will still see him around at various craft breweries and functions. He is not leaving the beer scene, just changing it up a bit. I am sure this is not the last time his name will be mentioned or photo shown here. Good luck, Brian. Cheers! Continue reading
These photos were taken at the ribbon cutting for Torrance’s latest craft brewery, Scholb Premium Ales; which was held at the production brewery’s tasting room in Torrance on Friday afternoon. The Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce (TACC) ribbon cutting was attended by friends and family of the Schulz’s and Kolb’s as well as the City of Torrance Mayor Pat Furey and city council members Kurt Weideman, Heidi Ashcraft and Mike Griffiths along with many TACC representatives.
For their grand opening, Scholb introduced a couple new beers to their taps, bringing the number of brews currently available to eight. Today they offered their SoCal Blonde, Roll With It Brown, Cherry Wood Smoked Brown, Columbia Street Pale, Havanuther Session IPA, Dad’s IPA, Not Lyin’ Rye IPA and my current favorite, Bat Ray Red IPA. Continue reading
This event will be pretty similar to their inaugural event in that all the beer and food will come from the Los Angeles area and you will get unlimited pours of beer and unlimited samplings. Just so there are no surprises, many of the food vendors make jams or sauces, so you get a spoonful. You are probably not going to fill up on the food, but there were some tasty items there. Continue reading
Torrance has a new tasting room to visit; production brewery Scholb Premium Ales has begun their soft open. A week ago they opened for a few hours on Sunday and this past weekend they were open on Saturday and Sunday. Beginning this next weekend they will add Fridays; on April 7 they will begin normal tasting room hours, Thursday and Friday 4:00-9:00 PM, Saturday 1:00-9:00 PM and Sunday 12:00-6:00 PM.
I stopped by Saturday afternoon after finishing the craft beer panel at the Torrance library primarily because it was virtually next door to the Torrance Civic Center library; they are a couple hundred yards west of Absolution Brewing, in the same business park. In the short time we were there I noticed a nice group of people coming and going; it was obvious that people were taking advantage of the fact that the two tasting are so very close to each other.
Scholb had four of their brews available when I was there Saturday; SoCal Blonde, Roll With it Brown, Havanuther Session IPA and my favorite, Bat Ray Red IPA. By next weekend they should have at least five beers on tap at which time they will begin serving flights. Continue reading
On Saturday afternoon I moderated a panel at the Katy Geissert Civic Center Library to highlight Torrance’s prominence in the South Bay’s burgeoning craft beer industry. Hosted by the Torrance Public Library, the panel consisted of Rich Marcello from Strand Brewing Company, Laurie Porter from Smog City Brewing, Alex Rabe from The Dudes’ Brewing, and Bart Bullington from Absolution Brewing Company.
The questions ranged from why was Torrance chosen to set up shop, how they got into craft beer and challenges faced by new breweries, to what would you do if AB InBev approached with suitcases full of money (apparently $1 billion is the magic number).
It was a fun discussion and hopefully those that attended learned a little more about the breweries and the craft beer community in general; it was nice having two panelists that are primarily on the sales side of their respective breweries (Marcello and Porter); and two panelists that are the brewers for their brewery (Rabe and Bullington). Continue reading
This weekend Monkish Brewing Company celebrated four years of brewing excellence by providing access to a half dozen of their rare fruited saisons as well as several barrel-aged and brett saisons. They also released their most recent collaboration with Select Beer Store, Select Monk 4.
I headed over to Monkish after Phantom Carriage’s One Year Anniversary party ended and found the tasting room packed and everyone in a great mood. Congratulations to Henry, Adriana and the entire Monkish team on a very successful four years. I feel fortunate to have you close enough to have witnessed the evolution. Cheers! Continue reading
These photos are from Absolution Brewing Company’s Hoppy 2nd Birthday celebration that was held at the production brewery’s Torrance location on Saturday, March 5. The event featured the release of their Anniversary Ale which was featured on CO2 and cask, as well as cask versions of Angel’s Demise, Fallen Archangel and Padre Bravo.
For entertainment, the overcast day began with the bluesy sounds of Nasty Bad Habit; then as the day cleared up a bit the rocking music of Barley Legal kept everyone on their feet. Since it would be irresponsible to provide so much beer and not have food, there were two options available; Barley Hops Grill and Felice Italian Catering.
Several hundred people showed up throughout the course of the day, many from as far as San Diego where Absolution’s roots sprouted; and one guy from Milwaukee showed up. It was kind of funny because I met him a year or so ago at The Bruery but he did not know the party was going on and I did not know he was back in town; he just happened to be around and showed up. He really enjoyed the tasting room scene as they have mostly brewpubs in his part of the country and brewpubs tend to be less social than a tasting room. Continue reading
On Thursday evening the Business & Beer networking group returned to The Dudes’ Brewing Company’s tasting room in Torrance. To be honest, the turnout was low but that did not stop those that did come out from enjoying some delicious beer and doing some business together. We also had the pleasure of having Master Brewer Alex Rabe join the group for a while; as he starts work at 4:00 AM we definitely appreciate him taking his time to chat with us.
I have actually had an opportunity to speak with the Head Dude Toby Humes about what has been going on with The Dudes’ and he is pretty enthusiastic about how things are going. They have a scientist on board and combined with the talents of Rabe and a new head brewer they really are turning out a lot of new, tasty brews and maintaining consistency on their flagship beers. You can expect to see lots of rotating handles featuring seasonal brews like their Hugs & Kisses, a fruit stout that tastes like chocolate covered cherries. Their Bohemian Hopsody session IPA is one of the best I have tried and the Groundhog’s Day black session IPA comes across as a big, black IPA. It will be interesting to see what happens there over the next year.
If you live or work in the Los Angeles area and networking is important to you or is part of your job description you should check out BusinessNBeer.com. This is the South Bay’s most fun and relaxed business networking group. They meet on the second Thursday of every month at a different production brewery or brewpub in the South Bay area. With all the new tasting rooms there is a good chance you have not had a chance to visit some of them; this is your chance and you might even do some business. Events are scheduled from 6:00-8:00 PM and you can bring your significant other so there is no need to rush home. There are no rules and no dues; just come have a good time, meet some good people and enjoy a beer or two. You can find the schedule of upcoming events on the front page of BusinessnBeer.com or by Liking them on Facebook. The next gathering will be March 10 at King Harbor Brewing Company.
One of the greatest challenges I face in promoting the local craft beer scene is finding time to go to as many events as possible. On Saturday I started off with Laughs by Volume which meant I was going to be late for Smog City Brewing Company’s 2016 Infinite Wishes bottle release; but better late than never, right?
It was early evening by the time I arrived at Smog City and it was pretty obvious people were having a great time, no matter what brew they were drinking.
Smog City had done a pre-sale of bottles of the barrel-aged goodness, so people that had ordered online were able to pick up their bottles. The rest of us were able to enjoy the 2015 and 2016 versions of Infinite Wishes on tap, as well as The Nothing; Infinite Wishes is the barrel-aged version of The Nothing. Whatever bottles were not sold online were made available Sunday, but if you were not at Smog City on Sunday, I am sure they are all gone by now. Continue reading
These photos were taken at The Dudes’ Brewing Company’s release of Bohemian Hopsody that was held at The Dudes’ tasting room on Friday evening. While the release of a session IPA might not usually be very newsworthy, Bohemian Hopsody was done in collaboration with KLOS 95.5 radio, in that it was named the “Official beer of KLOS” so the release definitely became an event. Heidi Hamilton and Frank Kramer of The Heidi and Frank morning show on KLOS were in attendance so The Dudes’ was packed with fans of craft beer and Heidi and Frank.
To me the star of the evening was Alex Rabe, the new Master Brewer at The Dudes’ and his Bohemian Hopsody. I will be honest with you, when I first heard about the beer with its blend of Mosaic, Simcoe and Citra hops I was interested but so many session IPA’s seem to try to make up for the lack of ABV by smacking you in the face with bitterness, I was not really expecting a lot. The reality is that The Dudes’ had a session IPA that did just that.
I was offered a pour from a can before they opened the taps and was immediately blown away. You know I do not rate beers on this site; if you want that follow me on Untapped, but this was outstanding. Bohemian Hopsody may be the best beer to come out of The Dudes'; Rabe has definitely changed the game over there. I tried his Groundhog Day black IPA and was just surprised it was only 5.0 ABV.
Things are definitely changing at The Dudes’ and there are lots of changes coming. I have mentioned before that they keep things close to the vest but I will keep you posted as much as I can. Cheers!