Lloyd Brown

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Dust Bowl Brewing Releases California Golden Ale

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Now in Cans from Dust Bowl Brewing

Dust Bowl Brewing Co. announces its first new release of 2021, California Golden Ale. The year-round beer fills yet another niche in the Northern California brewery’s growing portfolio.

“Blonde ales and lighter lagers have been gaining in popularity and they are always good performers at our taprooms,” shares longtime Brewmaster, Don Oliver. “Our range of beers had a good amount of lagers and IPAs, so the golden ale was a good compliment and brings more balance to our portfolio. It’s a clean, easy-drinking beer with a light fruitiness and low bitterness.”

California Golden Ale was first released in draft only in December 2020. While consumer exposure was minimal due to the Pandemic on-premise restrictions, those consumers who picked up growlers or crowlers to go from Dust Bowl’s taprooms responded positively to the new release. California Golden Ale will reach the promising off-premise sector in late January. Available in 12oz. 6 pack cans, and 5.2 gallon and 15.5 gallon kegs, California Golden Ale is an ideal gateway beer at 4.5% ABV and 10 IBUs. It is sold through Dust Bowl’s network of wholesalers servicing California and Nevada, and at Dust Bowl Brewing Co. taprooms located in Turlock and Monterey, California. Continue reading

Karl Strauss and Modern Times Beer Release Collaboration IPA

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Mosaic Oasis – a Karl Strauss/Modern Times collaboration

Karl Strauss Brewing Company is kicking off 2021 with the latest in their acclaimed collaboration series, an innovative IPA brewed with their friends at Modern Times Beer in San Diego. Mosaic Oasis will debut statewide on draft and in 16oz 4-pak cans on January 14.

Modern Times is widely recognized as one the top IPA producers in the country and when the teams came together to work on a recipe, they were inspired to push the envelope with their experimentation through the inclusion of the newly released Talus hop varietal. Talus hops impart big aromas of pink grapefruit, dried roses, pine resin, tropical fruit, and sage, which makes it the perfect complement to the Mosaic hop’s classic tropical and citrus notes. The result is a dank and citrusy San Diego-style IPA with a colorful mosaic of intoxicatingly fruity aromas. Continue reading

The Craft Beer Guy Recap of 2020

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Port Town Brewing – progressing

Well, it is that time of year again. I usually call these articles a “review” of the prior year; but that would be a very short article. I give it two stars out of five, and would not recommend. Instead, this will be a recap of 2020; let’s see what happened.

January 2020

2020 started off mellow enough; little did we know what was in store for us. The highlight of the month, and possibly the year for some, was the Hop Culture Juicy Brews Beach Party Craft Beer Festival held at Brouwerij West. It was a very fun event featuring craft beer from more than 25 of the top breweries in the country.

The month ended with a going away party for Smog City’s taproom manager Jason “Breezy” Briseño as he and his bride prepared to move to Australia; I think COVID put a temporary damper on those plans. Continue reading

Eureka Brewing Company Now Open

These photos were taken over the last two and a half months at Eureka Brewing Company, in Gardena. They include photos of one of their first pilot brew days, the first day of canning, and day one of their “grand opening.”

I guess it is an understatement to suggest that the year 2020 has been a little tough on the local craft beer scene. The SpaceX Corridor took a double hit, beginning in February with the closure of State Brewing. About a month later LA County started getting hit with ridiculous rules that caused did nothing but cause hardships to our breweries, restaurants, and bars. It began our current period of “survival of the fittest” and a second brewery of the SpaceX Corridor, Ximix Craft Exploration, stopped production and closed up shop.

In the middle of August it was announced that King Harbor Brewing co-owner and head brewer Phil McDaniel was leaving; what may not have been common knowledge was McDaniel was opening his own brewery with childhood friend Adam Ansari. McDaniel and Ansari took over the former Ximix location, equipment and all, and changed the name to Eureka Brewing Company. Continue reading

Photos of the 6th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover

These photos were taken Wednesday at Tortilla Cantina, where they hosted the 6th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. This annual event took a little more to accomplish this year, but Tortilla Cantina, our local breweries, and hundreds of their fans made this possible “last hurrah” of 2020 a great success.

My first tap takeover was held on the first Thursday of September in 2015, and as the craft beer scene around here grew, there started to be overlaps when it came to craft beer festival dates and brewery anniversaries, and everyone started changing dates of their events to avoid conflicts. The fact of the matter is that there was just too much going on out there, so I set it in stone that all subsequent South Bay Tap Takeovers would be held on the first Thursday of September; that worked out okay until COVID-19 struck and the State of California and the County of Los Angeles decided restaurants, breweries, and bars had to discontinue in-person dining. Continue reading

Crac Brewery and Grub: From the Beginning

These photos were taken at Carson’s newest brewpub, The Crac Brewery and Grub; the photos are of the construction I observed between November 4, 2019 and day one of their soft open, November 21, 2020.

It was Halloween 2019 B.C. (Before Covid), when Buddy and I entered King Harbor Brewing during our nightly walk. It was the one day a year that people would wear masks, and a masked cowboy addressed me by a nickname that most of you don’t know, but told me this cowboy must know me even if I couldn’t recognize him in his costume.

After doing a little recon with the beertender I figured out the masked stranger was Jeff Parker, so I went over to be a little more sociable. It was then that Jeff informed me that he was involved with the building of a new brewery in Carson; four days later I stopped by to take the first of my photos that would show the construction during the upcoming year. Continue reading

6th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover November 25

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6th South Bay Tap Takeover – November 25

So, let’s make this official; the 6th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover is not going to let a little thing like COVID-19 stop it! Yes, in the past I have been pretty adamant that I was not going to deviate from the “first Thursday of September” and for the first five years, we made it work. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has caused some things to be out of my control; however, Tortilla Cantina has been set up for outside dining and they are ready to once again host the South Bay Tap Takeover.

While our past events have had up to 26 South Bay breweries, with 49 taps, this year’s event will be a little smaller.

While four breweries that were in attendance last year have since closed up (Abigaile, State, Ximix, and Zymurgy), this year we have 21 South Bay breweries that have confirmed attendance this year, seven of which did not exist during last year’s tap takeover. Continue reading

Transplants Brewing vs LA County – We Win

In case you had not heard, Los Angeles County craft breweries no longer require reservations a day in advance, effective this past Friday. What you may not be aware of is that these breweries, and their patrons, have Transplants Brewing to thank for this development.

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Transplants Brewing vs. County of Los Angeles

To refresh your collective memories, at the end of May, Los Angeles County allowed breweries to begin reopening under an advanced Stage 2 of the COVID-19 lockdown. Because of a variance granted in June, breweries began setting up their operations to ensure social distancing guidelines as well meeting the obligations of providing food [via food trucks] so they could operate under the same guidelines as restaurants. This was a fair decision that definitely helped local business continue in their attempt to survive the decimation of today’s economy.

Because COVID-19 positive cases began rising, the County decided on June 28 that restaurants’ indoor dine-in services would be closed, but outdoor dining would open and delivery/takeout would be allowed; all bars, breweries, pubs, indoor wineries and tasting rooms were closed for onsite consumption.

On July 12, I tried to get a letter campaign to Governor Newsom, Mayor Garcetti, Supervisor Hahn, and the LA County Health Department going, but for some reason I did not see much support coming from our local breweries. Continue reading

2020 GABF Virtual Awards Ceremony Screenshots

On Friday evening, the Brewers Association held their awards ceremony for 2020 Great American Beer Festival; these screenshots show the winners for each of the 91 beer categories covering 170 different beer styles.

I have been attending GABF since 2017, and photographed the awards ceremony each time, so I have to admit I felt a little guilty not having to stay cross-legged or on my knees on a hard floor while trying to take photos of large groups of people while staying low enough to not get in the way of the people sitting in the first row of chairs for two hours. While I was definitely more comfortable at home, I would have rather been on the floor of the Bellco Theatre seeing friends. Thanks COVID. Continue reading

Culture Brewing Opens Taproom in Manhattan Beach

These photos were taken Wednesday, September 9 at Culture Brewing Company’s newest taproom, which opened last week in Manhattan Beach.

Last Friday, Culture Brewing Company of Solana Beach in San Diego County, opened a satellite taproom in Manhattan Beach. This marks the first time Manhattan Beach has had a brewery or brewery taproom since Brewco Manhattan Beach stopped brewing back in 2007 or 2008.

One might think that this is a weird time to open a taproom with to-go beers only, and I am pretty sure Culture Brewing would agree; the thing is, this has been in the works for two years now. Apparently it was one of the South Bay’s best kept secrets. To be honest, if it were not for a Craft Beer Guy follower on Facebook, I probably would not have been aware that they were opening up here. Continue reading

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