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Flights Beer Bar

Zymurgy Brew Works & Tasting Room

Photos from the 3rd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover

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

3rd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover to Feature 19 Local Breweries

HopSaint, The Dudes', Three Weavers

South Bay Tap Takeover Participants

I am happy to formally announce that Flights Beer Bar and CraftBeerGuy.com will be holding their 3rd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover on September 7, 2017; this time featuring 19 of the best craft breweries the South Bay has to offer.

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

Beer Camp on Tour – Long Beach Photos

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at the Beer Camp on Tour craft beer festival held at Queen Mary Events Park and presented by the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.

This was my first time attending Beer Camp, and while I had heard some negativity about last year’s event, it was pretty evident to me that they had learned from whatever mistakes those were as this was truly an amazing event to close out LA Beer Week. While I did not make the effort to count all the breweries in attendance, there were reportedly at least 100 breweries, pouring well over 200 beers. In addition to the beer, there were a dozen food trucks, live music from The Expanders and Orgone, games, plenty of shade and much cooler temperatures than the 100+ degree weather we experienced at the kickoff festival last week. Continue reading

LABW9: So You Want to Open a Brewery in LA?

These photos were taken Tuesday evening at Los Angeles Ale Works, in Hawthorne, at the sixth edition of “So You Want to Open a Brewery in LA?” an LA Beer Week panel discussion moderated by Celebrator Beer News writer Tomm Carroll. If you have attended any of the previous five seminars hosted by Carroll, you know that he typically puts together a great group of panelists and last night was no exception.

The panelists included Laurie Porter of Smog City Brewing, Greg Bechtel of Simmzy’s Burbank, Gary Croft of Yorkshire Square, Bill Baker of Zymurgy Brew Works & Tasting Room, Rick Blankemeier of Modern Times, Will Shelton of Concrete Jungle Brewing Project, Brent Knapp of Common Space Brewery, Kip Barnes of LA Ale Works, and Brendan Lake of Burnin’ Daylight Brewing Company. Continue reading

Chad’s Beer Cellar IV Photos

These photos were taken Saturday at the Chad’s Beer Cellar IV bottle share which was held at King Harbor Brewing Company in Redondo Beach. This event was the fourth and possibly final bottle share put on by local beer hoarder and King Harbor Brewing investor, Chad Hazen. All the funds from the event went to benefit the Richstone Family Center which is located in Hawthorne. The Richstone Family Center is dedicated to preventing and treating child abuse.

First off, I would like to personally thank everyone that showed up. While my involvement with the event was limited to getting the word out, the previous events never sold out, which I found incredulous considering the quality of the beers that were made available. I made it a personal goal to see that they did sell all 100 tickets this year, and it happened. While all the monies have not been tabulated yet, with ticket sales, raffles and the silent auction, over $8,000 was raised for Richstone. Of course, none of this would have been possible without Chad.

The first of these bottle shares was held in December of 2014 when Hazen decided he wanted to quit drinking beer for a year while he trained for a marathon as he felt his collection of beer was just a little too much temptation. He got together with King Harbor Brewing Company and they decided they would have a bottle share benefiting Richstone Family Center. Continue reading

4th Annual South Bay Beer & Wine Festival Photos

These photos were taken Sunday at the 4th Annual South Bay Beer & Wine Festival which was held at Ernie Howlett Park in Rolling Hills Estates. This annual fundraising event was presented by the Rotary Clubs of El Segundo, Palos Verdes Peninsula and South Bay Sunrise; the event featured about 30 craft breweries as well as 15 wineries and food from close to 30 local restaurants. All proceeds fund the community outreach programs of Rotary Clubs within the South Bay and Harbor cities of Los Angeles.

The beer portion of the event was curated with the assistance of Beer Paper L.A.’s own Daniel Drennon, which has caused some to know the festival as the Daniel Drennon (DFD) Invitational. The list of breweries pouring was pretty much an A to Z list of craft with everything from Absolution Brewing and Arts District Brewing to Yorkshire Square Brewery and Zymurgy Brew Works. Of course, the selections were not limited to Los Angeles area breweries as we were joined by Avery Brewing and Ska Brewing from Colorado, as well as such California powerhouses as Sierra Nevada and Firestone Walker. Continue reading

Zymurgy Brew Works Guest Brewer Night with Graham Strong

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

Tap It for 10 Fundraiser for Jesse Esphorst at Smog City

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

Zymurgy Brew Works Guest Brewer Night with Phil McDaniel

These photos are from Wednesday evening at Zymurgy Brew Works & Tasting Room, when they held the third in a series of “Learn to Brew” guest brewer nights. Wednesday’s guest brewer was Phil McDaniel, the head brewer at King Harbor Brewing Company (KHBC) in Redondo Beach; the beer being brewed is one of my personal favorites from KHBC, Tiki Hut IPA.

About 15 people attended with a pretty even mix of homebrewers and those that had never tried brewing before; this was also the first time visiting Zymurgy for some with a few people that had yet to visit KHBC. This made for some interesting questions and McDaniel was more than willing to provide valuable answers; covering such subjects as various grain bills and their affect on a beer, as well how he decided on what hops to use.

McDaniel gave us a little background story on his brewing pedigree; including the fact that he started off by volunteering at Bootleggers Brewery (with about two hours notice), before moving on to such prestigious breweries as The Bruery and Stone Brewing Company. Continue reading

An Accurate List of All the South Bay Breweries

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

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