Lloyd Brown

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Karl Strauss and AleSmith Debut Blink of an IPA Collaboration Beer

Blink of an IPA

Karl Strauss & AleSmith Brewing Collaboration

Karl Strauss Brewing Company has a brand new beer in its collaboration series! Introducing Blink of an IPA, an experimental India Pale Ale brewed with AleSmith Brewing Company. This limited release is fermented with Norwegian kveik yeast and will debut on October 10th in cans and on draft throughout California.

Long-time friends and first-time collaborators, Karl Strauss and AleSmith are both known for experimenting with their small batch releases. Neither brewery had previously brewed with kveik yeast, which meant that Ryan Crisp (AleSmith’s Director of Brewery Operations & Head Brewer) and Matt Johnson (Brewmaster of Brewery Operations at Karl Strauss) were eager to jump in and experiment.

“Both Ryan and I wanted to brew a Kveik IPA. Hops are usually the star in an India Pale Ale, so it was a lot of fun to primarily focus on the yeast for this particular IPA. Kveik is really such a unique strain. We were amazed how well it fermented at higher temperatures– from 78°F to 98°F!” – Matt Johnson, Karl Strauss Brewmaster of Brewery Operations. Continue reading

Photos From the Brews Hall Ribbon Cutting

These photos were taken Wednesday evening at The Brews Hall at Del Amo, in Torrance where they held their official ribbon cutting. The event was attended by The Brews Hall primary owners, Mike Zislis, George Lopez, and Colin Cowherd, Torrance Mayor Pat Furey with a couple Torrance city councilmen, a representative for Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, a representative for LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn, and a contingent of ambassadors from the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce.

After the ribbon cutting, dignitaries, friends, family, and media were invited in to sample some of the foods from George Lopez’s Chingon Kitchen, Chicken TWILI, Colin Cowherd’s The Herd, and Rock’n Fish Restaurant, as well as some of the mixed drink cocktails and beers that are available. Continue reading

2nd Annual Cask’s Not Dead Fest Photos

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Yorkshire Square Brewery in Torrance, where they held their second annual Cask’s Not Dead Fest which featured 29 cask ales provided by 27 craft breweries primarily from around the Los Angeles and Orange County area as well as a couple entries from as far away as Chico (Sierra Nevada Brewing) and Redwood City (Freewheel Brewing).

Like last year, the ticketed event was a fundraiser for the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild as well as being a friendly competition to determine who made the best Traditional Cask Ale and Abnormal Ale; the Abnormal Ales are cask ales that included adjuncts such as cacao nibs, oak chips, vanilla beans, and such. Unlike last year, there were no food trucks as the Snap Tin Eatery is now open; a special menu was set up for the event. Continue reading

The Brews Hall at Del Amo: From the Beginning

I guess it was the end of 2018 that I started hearing rumors that a new brewery was coming to Torrance. The details were vague, but I heard it was going to be over by the Del Amo Shopping Center and it was being opened by Mike Zislis, the man behind such local favorites as Brewco Manhattan Beach, Rock & Brews, and Rock’n Fish. I figured there were only a couple spots at Del Amo that could fit a brewery, so I made a mental note to drive by whenever possible to see if I could figure out the new location. One afternoon I noticed a building that used to house a cross-fit gym that had the familiar Notice of Application to Sell Alcoholic Beverages; I knew I had the location correct.

On February 19 I happened to be at Brewco in Manhattan Beach for the Pliny the Younger release, when Mike Zislis, Dave Furano (Co-founder at Rock & Brews), and George Lopez came in and sat at the table next to me. Naturally, I used the opportunity to confirm that my research matched up with the rumors I had heard; it did. I also used to opportunity to get the okay to photograph the build, which was granted. I started photographing the location on February 28 and the photographs end today, November 4 as they are now in the soft open phase. Continue reading

Upshift Brewing Company Grand Opening Photos

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at one of El Segundo’s newest craft breweries, Upshift Brewing Company, where they held their official grand opening. Attendees had 10 Upshift brews to choose from, as well as two food trucks; Cheddr Wheel and Swami’s Sandwiches. For entertainment there was a raffle, live music provided by Green Hills Band, and there was a mini car show in the parking lot shared with the food trucks. Of course, there was Giant Jenga and cornhole for the competitive types.

The beers Upshift currently has on tap includes their Kolschwagen, Bench Seat Blonde, PRNDL Pale Ale, Track Sesh IPA, Wind Wing IPA, Big Block Brown, Off Camber Amber, Pole Position Pale Ale, Pit Stop Porter, and their newest, G.T. Oatmeal Stout. Continue reading

Surfridge Brewing: and Then There Were Four

These photos were taken Thursday afternoon, October 24, at Surfridge Brewing Company, El Segundo’s fourth craft brewery. Yes, you read that right, El Segundo now has four craft breweries, making El Segundo twice the craft beer destination it was a mere month ago.

Followers of the Craft Beer Guy Facebook page may recall that I put up a few photos from Surfridge Brewing at the end of July, but in all honesty, owners Steve and Jennifer Lieberman were still keeping things close to the vest and really only let me photograph their six 20bbl fermenters. When I first saw the tasting room that was really what I wanted to shoot. Continue reading

Smog City West Ribbon Cutting Photos

These photos were taken Wednesday afternoon, October 23, at Smog City West, the newest of Smog City Brewing’s satellite tasting rooms, where they held a ribbon cutting to formerly open their newest location. They event was attended by a few dozen Smog City fans as well as Torrance mayor, Pat Furey, a couple city councilmen, representatives from LA County, the State of California, and several members of the Torrance Chamber of Commerce.

Attendees at the event had a tap list of 17 Smog City beers to choose from, including eight of which that came from the Smog City Wood Cellar and are only available at Smog City West; some of the Smog City Wood Cellar ales are also available in bottles to go. Continue reading

Ska Brewing Cans The Hazy IPA of 2019; Announces Coming Brand Refresh

ska hazy ipa

The Hazy IPA – now in cans.

After much experimentation on its Mod pilot system, Ska Brewing is excited to finally offer a hazy IPA in a can— The Hazy IPA of choice after an array of test batches. This new offering from Ska will be available October 1, and it will go down as the beer that sparked Ska’s coming brand refresh.

Ska’s rendition of this popular beer style is a long time coming, named The Hazy IPA because it’s the recipe that Ska’s brewers determined would go in a can after many different batches. This 6.5% ABV, full-bodied New England-styled IPA is rich with juicy and citrus-forward tropical notes obtained through a variety of proprietary hopping techniques.

Unlike Ska’s other canned offerings, there’s not a character or a punny name associated with this beer style. Instead the artwork pops with bold colors and Ska’s trademark checkerboard stripe that wraps the can. “When we put all of these comic book elements together, we realized this was a good direction to ultimately refresh our entire line of beer cans,” says Ska’s co-founder and CEO Dave Thibodeau. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2019: Winters, CA

These photos were taken Sunday, October 20, day 21 of Craft Beer Tour 2019; my annual craft beercation taken before and after the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver. These photos were taken at Berryessa Brewing and Hooby’s Brewing in Winters, California.

When I arrived in Chico for the Hop Harvest Festival at Sierra Nevada, I had some decisions to make; primarily, where would I go from here? Do I hang out in Northern California, or head home? I sent out some messages to friends in the general area, and then I headed to Sierra Nevada. Continue reading

Sierra Nevada Hop Harvest Festival Photos

These photos were taken Saturday, October 19, day 20 of Craft Beer Tour 2019; my annual craft beercation taken before and after the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver. These photos were taken at Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico, California; primarily of their 2019 Single, Fresh, Wet & Wild Hop Harvest Festival, which was put on by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and the California Craft Brewers Association. I say the photos are primarily of the Hop Harvest Festival because I did go to the taproom a couple hours earlier just to figure out where everything was; and it was a little too early for me to check in to my room.

Since the entire reason that I returned to the Pacific Northwest two years running is fresh hop IPAs, attending this event seemed like a match made in Hop Heaven. I have to give credit to HopSaint Brewing Company owner Steve Roberts for putting this event on my radar. A few days before I left for Denver, and GABF, I went to HopSaint where Steve same up to say hello. After chatting a bit about GABF he mentioned they would be pouring at Sierra Nevada’s Hop Harvest Festival shortly after GABF ended. When I saw that it was being held on the 19th I took it as a sign, since that was the date I would be entering California anyway; and I would be driving right by Chico anyway. Continue reading

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