These photos were taken Friday evening at the Strand Brewing Company tasting room in Torrance, where friends, fans, family, and former co-workers gathered to say good-bye and congratulations to long time taproom manager, Jonas Neubauer, who is leaving Strand Brewing after more than seven years to pursue his career as a professional gamer.
In case you were not aware, Jonas happens to be a seven time Classic Tetris World Champion, a title that has only been around since 2010. In other words, he has been the champion seven out of nine times. He came in second place in 2014 and again last year in 2018. Since then, Jonas has not been seen at the taproom very much as his most recent second place finish has made him more popular than ever in the gaming world. As such, Jonas has been able to monetize his Twitch and YouTube channels to the point that it made sense to devote more time to gaming; besides, he has to concentrate on winning back the title of Classic Tetris World Champion.
Good luck Jonas, we will be rooting for you. Cheers! Continue reading
Strawberry Gose is a tart, refreshing, slightly salty ale, with a fruity aroma. In fact, the beer won a Gold Medal at last year’s California State Fair for best gose-style ale. Therefore, the brewery decided to reintroduce the beer for 2019.
The gose-style was originally dreamt by a fan as part of a contest the brewery ran – ‘What Would You Brew?’ The winner participated in a brew day with Head Brewer Layton Cutler and the Angel City team. In the years following, it became more and more popular, where the beer became a consistent specialty can release. Continue reading
These photos were taken Wednesday afternoon at the El Segundo Brewing Company taproom, where they hosted a live podcast starring comedian Bert “The Machine” Kreischer. The Machine was joined by El Segundo resident, comedian, and “Chef to the Headliners”, Dave Williamson, founder and creator of The Gundo Comedy Festival which is celebrating its 5th Annual Gundo Comedy Festival this week in El Segundo.
The free to attend event was pretty crowded, considering that it was held at noon on a Wednesday. This was the fifth year Bertcast was held at El Segundo Brewing, meaning El Segundo Brewing was hosting the event before Kreischer became the big name star he is today. El Segundo Brewing co-founder Tom Kelley told me that former employee Gordon Whelpley is the one that turned him on to Kreischer. During the podcast Kreischer revealed that he never enjoyed the IPA style of beer until coming to El Segundo Brewing, and it was El Segundo’s beertender/brand ambassador Brandon Ortega that introduced him to his first enjoyable IPA; it was all about the grapefruit.
While this was my first time attending the event, it was obvious that several of the attendees had attended some of the previous events. Of course, the El Segundo Brewing beer and free Bartz Barbecue probably contributed to filling up the taproom. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon in Redondo Beach, where Blackball Brewing Company held their SpringFling 2019; an afternoon of beer, barbecue, and hanging out with old friends while making some new ones.
I am confident a majority of you have never heard of Blackball Brewing, and a good portion of you that have heard of them are only familiar with them because you have seen me, or someone else walking around town with the very recognizable Blackball logo. Personally, I never heard of them before March 13, 2018; and I met the guys behind Blackball for the first time on Saturday.
If it seems odd that I would know the exact date that I became aware of them; you can thank Instagram, as I know I where I was given it, and I posted a photo of the beer I was drinking at the time; a Fresh Squeezed by Deschutes. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Yorkshire Square Brewery in Torrance, where the South Bay’s only brewery specializing in cask-conditioned ales celebrated their second anniversary. The day-long, free to attend event featured an LA Galaxy vs. NY Red Bulls watch party, followed by another match after that ended, a bottle release, a free drawing that coincided with the Kentucky Derby, two food trucks, an artist selling his wares, and lots of Yorkshire Square ales.
Saturday had lots of competing events, such as the BeachLife Festival and the Southern California Homebrewers Festival, which probably accounted for why Yorkshire Square did not opt for another parking lot event, which means extra permit fees. Nonetheless, it was a nicely attended event and everyone seemed to have a good time.
Yorkshire had about 15 of their ales on cask, including their anniversary beer, Burton Pilgrimage, an Export Pale Ale that was done in collaboration with El Segundo Brewing Company. They also had a couple beer cocktails for those that are into that sort of thing. Continue reading
These photos were taken Sunday afternoon at Firestone Walker Brewing Company’s – The Propagator location in Marina del Rey, where they held a block party in their parking lot to celebrate their third anniversary. The event featured live music, games, and lots of Firestone Walker brews and food. There was an on-site art sale with the proceeds benefiting the nonprofit Venice Arts. They also had a graduate of the Venice Arts creating art in real time, as well as an area for attendee to create their own street art.
While it was a free to attend event, they did offer a $15 punch card which was good for two beers, a small plate of food, and a commemorative Klean Kanteen stainless steel pint cup. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday at Abigaile Restaurant and Brewery, where they held another in what is becoming their regular series of Brewtopia craft beer festivals. Saturday’s event featured unlimited tastings from Brewery Draconum, Common Space, Firestone Walker, Hand-Brewed Beer, Karl Strauss, King Harbor Brewing, MacLeod Ale, Pacific Plate Brewing, and The Brewery at Abigaile, as well as cider offerings from 101 Cider House. Attendees also had access to a complimentary buffet, and were automatically entered in raffles that included swag, a growler fill from Abigaile and a gift certificate to Abigaile as prizes.
People that attended Brewtopia in February, and there were several, were treated to a much better version on Saturday; I spoke with most of the people that attended both events and everyone agreed that it was like night and day. Saturday’s event had a wider selection of beers, free food, and definitely more attendees, so I guess their improved advertising made a huge difference; even if there was a last minute date change from Sunday to Saturday. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Smog City Brewing Company, where they celebrated six years of brewing in Torrance. The all-day event featured a two-hour, ticketed VIP session, 25 Smog City brews, beer cocktails, food trucks, games, tours, and lots of camaraderie as hundreds of long time fans descended upon the Smog City parking lot and tasting room.
To facilitate serving the thirsty and hungry, the entire parking lot was closed off to allow the setup of the Beer Garden Bar and Patio Bar to supplement the Main Bar inside; additionally Bartz Barbecue, Oaxaca On Wheels, and Hustle N Dough were set up providing food. DJ Gustavisimo was there spinning vinyl that sounded like he had borrowed part of my record collection. The LA Brewers Guild was there reminding people that tickets for the L.A. Brewers Kickoff are now on sale, and that the California Craft Beer Summit will be held in Long Beach this September. Continue reading
These photos were taken Thursday evening at Zymurgy Brew Works & Tasting Room in Torrance; the only do-it-yourself, brew-it-yourself brewery in Los Angeles. I was there to brew my Cold War Russian Imperial Stout for the second time; this time I would be assisted by Zymurgy brewer, Keith Edie. I got the recipe from my son who used it to brew his Sochi to Stanley Stout, modified slightly. Buddy and I were joined by our friends Dan, who took photos that I obviously didn’t, and Phil and Deborah who brought a picnic to share during the boils.
Long time readers may recall that I was the first person to brew at Zymurgy almost three years ago. I was there to help them learn their new system, and yes, there were a couple hiccups, but the end result was outstanding. I have one bottle left and it has only gotten better with time. I know there are a couple more bottles floating around out there; I also know their owners are going to be in for a treat when they finally crack them open. Continue reading
These photos were taken last Saturday at Stereo Brewing Company, a production brewery with a tasting room, located in Placentia, California. Stereo Brewing opened in October 2016 and has a 30 bbl brewhouse.
I remember the afternoon in October 2017 that I first met Stereo’s founder/brewer, Rick Smets; it was on the patio of Great Divide Brewing in Denver the day before GABF.
I was there with Buddy chatting with two lads, one from the Netherlands, the other from London, Rick was sitting at a table close to us and the three tables began conversing. I am sure we exchanged cards, and when we separated I said I would stop by sometime. Three days later I heard Stereo Brewing being called onstage as a gold medal winner for their Wall of Sound oatmeal stout. Continue reading