These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Brouwerij West in San Pedro, where they hosted the Hop Culture Juicy Brews Beach Party Craft Beer Festival. The festival, which was also a fundraiser for the Palos Verdes Land Conservancy, featured craft beer from more than 25 of the top breweries in the country. In addition to copious quantities of really good beer, there were food trucks, including The Highroller Lobster Company and Love Hour, as well as music provided by DJ Thom Lessner.
While I am not sure it was actually “beach party” weather, it was a very pleasant day without being too cold or too hot. As Hop Culture is out of Pittsburgh, I am sure our weather was more beach-worthy than a January afternoon in Pittsburgh.
The sold out event featured a who’s who of craft breweries, such as Arizona Wilderness, Bottle Logic, Creature Comforts, Great Notion Brewing, J Wakefield, The Rare Barrel, Russian River, and Homage Brewing. There were fewer than 1,000 tickets sold, so the Brouwerij West beer garden area was more than large enough. I only noticed two lines the entire day; one was for Homage Brewing and another for the J Wakefield booth which featured several collaboration brews they have done. As one participant noted, it was one of the few craft beer festivals where Russian River did not have the longest line. Continue reading
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
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
These photos were taken Saturday, day three of the Brewers Association Great American Beer Festival which is being held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.
After the GABF Awards ceremony, everyone headed to the convention center for the first of the two sessions scheduled for day three of the Great American Beer Festival and the Brewer Lunch which was put on by Yeti. After a quick sandwich I headed back into the hall to visit parts of the country I had missed the first two days, like the Southwest, Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic breweries. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday morning at the Brewers Association GABF Awards ceremony, which was held in the Bellco Theatre at the Colorado Convention Center.
This year, the competition portion of GABF was the largest ever with 9,497 entries from 2,295 breweries across the country. To say the competition was stiff would be an understatement. Some of the biggest surprises for some were not who won, but who didn’t. Continue reading
These photos were taken Friday, day two of the Brewers Association Great American Beer Festival which is being held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.
My day had a relatively early start as I joined a media tour of three relatively new Denver breweries with Visit Denver and about 40 other media types.
Our first stop was Dos Luces Brewery. All Dos Luces beers start with corn as the main ingredient, and they brew Chicha and Pulque styles which come from the major cultures of Pre-Columbian North and South America. Continue reading
These photos were taken Thursday, day one of the Brewers Association Great American Beer Festival which is being held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.
My day started off at Park Burger Rino, where Jameson Irish Whiskey hosted a VIP Happy Hour featuring Caskmates; the Irish whiskey that was aged in whiskey barrels that formerly held barrel-aged beer. Attendees were treated to cocktails made with Caskmates, appetizers, and a demonstration on putting a barrel together.
After that I headed over to the Colorado Convention Center to attend Sierra Nevada’s Sneak Preview of their 40th Anniversary. Sierra Nevada’s founder Ken Grossman was there with the original 10bbl brewhouse he constructed 40 years ago. Apparently they are taking it on tour around the country; who knows where it will end up or who will brew with it next. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday evening at the Switzer Learning Center, in Torrance, where they held their 6th Annual Boots, Brews & BBQ fundraiser. The event featured unlimited pours of craft beer from seven craft breweries and cideries, wine, and an open bar. They also had tequila flights available for an additional fee. In addition to the ample liquid refreshments, there was plenty of barbecued meat available courtesy of Harry’s Oklahoma Style Smokehouse BBQ, as well some great tamales from Tortilla Cantina, new home of my annual South Bay Tap Takeover.
The western-themed, adults only event also featured a shooting range that had rifles or revolvers available, a few lawn games, gaming tables featuring blackjack, craps and roulette, and live and silent auctions. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at the third annual Craft Beer LB Fest, which was held at the Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site. The event featured craft beer from 16 Long Beach area breweries, food from a few local restaurant pop-ups, live music from Katie Jo & The Mijos, as well as a few games for the competitive people in attendance. A portion of the proceeds from the event went to the Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site.
The breweries in attendance included such regulars as Ambitious Ales, Ballast Point, Beachwood Brewing, Beachwood Blendery, Belmont Brewing, Hog Canyon Brewing, Dutch’s Brewhouse, Congregation Ale House, Liberation Brewing, Long Beach Beer Lab, Rock Bottom, Smog City, Steady Brew Beer, Ten Mile Brewing, and Timeless Pints. Trademark Brewing made their first appearance, and Stein Fillers brew shop had a couple beers available including their version of Sierra Nevada’s Resilience IPA. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Marina Green Park in Long Beach, where the California Craft Brewers Association (CCBA) culminated their three day celebration of California craft beer and the CCBA’s 30 years of protecting and supporting the more than 1000 breweries in the state of California with California’s largest craft beer festival which featured 170 craft breweries from around the state.
To be honest, I almost did not make it due to the fact that I seemed to have picked up some type of convention crud on Thursday. I didn’t feel too bad on Friday, so I toughed it out and substituted handshakes with fist bumps; unfortunately, while that may have prevented me from spreading the bug to others, it did nothing to make me feel better Saturday. I felt worse than I have in years and it was very hot which did not make it any easier on me. But, as I am having another craft beer festival in a few months there was research to be done; so I struggled through it. Continue reading