Beer Festivals

5th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover Photos

These photos were taken Thursday, September 5, at Tortilla Cantina Taco Bistro and Sports Bar in Torrance, where they hosted my 5th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. This year’s event featured beer, cider and mead from 26 of the South Bay’s best breweries and cideries, and live music featuring Ashleigh Correa. For the first time, there were two anniversary brews commemorating five years of putting on the South Bay Tap Takeover.

One of the anniversary beers was Better Weather Sweater IPA, which was a collaboration beer brewed at Smog City last month with 20 South Bay breweries. Better Weather Sweater came out amazing; it is very well balanced and with a 5.9 ABV, it is perfectly crushable for this heat we are going through. Better Weather Sweater will be released today (Friday) at all the Smog City locations and at several brewpubs throughout the Los Angeles area. It is perfect for those that complain about IPAs being “too hoppy” as that is not going to be a complaint from anyone. The second anniversary beer was 2nd Cold War Russian Imperial Stout, a collaboration I did with Zymurgy Brew Works back in April. As Zymurgy was sold to Smog City, this was officially the last Zymurgy beer to be commercially available. Continue reading

South Bay Collaboration Brew at Smog City Brewing

These photos were taken Friday morning at Smog City Brewing, where brewers and owners of 21 of the South Bay’s breweries and cideries met to brew an anniversary beer to commemorate the 5th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover which will be held Thursday, September 5 at Tortilla Cantina in Old Torrance.

A couple months ago I got the idea that since this was the 5th anniversary of the South Bay Tap Takeover that perhaps participating breweries might want to each do an anniversary collaboration with CraftBeerGuy.com. I had spoken with a couple breweries that hinted they might be interested when I went to State Brewing and their head brewer Rob Scott and he suggested that perhaps we could do a collaboration that included all the participating breweries. I immediately knew this would be a much better option so I started thinking about which local brewery would be big enough and central to everyone. To me, the logical choice was Smog City Brewing, so I approached Porter about it; he readily accepted. Continue reading

11th Annual L.A. Beer Week Kickoff Festival Photos

These photos were taken Saturday at the LA Beer Week Kickoff Festival which was held at the Los Angeles Center Studios in Los Angeles. This event marked the beginning of the 11th Annual L.A. Beer Week and featured more than 90 independent local craft breweries, pouring a reported 250 brews.

Similar to last year, it was a pleasant, mostly overcast day, which sure beats the 100+ temperatures of years past. I did not even notice the sunburn on my face until Sunday.

The annual event also featured games, a DJ, live music, a panel discussion, and food trucks and popups from Slice and Pint, Simmzy’s, Bartz Barbecue, Cousin’s Maine Lobster, Baby’s Badass Burgers, Angry Pig, and Street Kitchen. Continue reading

11th Annual L.A. Beer Week Begins June 15

shredding it al LA Beer Week

Don’t miss the LA Beer Week Kickoff Festival

The 11th Annual L.A. Beer Week begins this Saturday, June 15, and runs through the following Saturday, June 22. As usual, the week’s festivities will begin with the LA Brewers Kickoff at Los Angeles Center Studios. This year the official end of L.A. Beer Week will be Eat Drink Vegan on Saturday, June 22nd at the Rose Bowl. Naturally, there will be events happening pretty much every day of the week at various breweries and craft beer bars.

The Brewers Kickoff Festival is definitely the event you want to attend as it will feature 90 independent craft breweries showcasing more than 250 unique beers, local food vendors, and live music. VIP ticket holders get in at noon, with General Admission beginning an hour later. There is no guarantee tickets will be available at the door, so buy your tickets today on Eventbrite Continue reading

Photos from the 6th Annual South Bay Beer and Wine Festival

These photos were taken Sunday afternoon at the 6th Annual South Bay Beer & Wine Festival which was held on Sunday at Ernie Howlett Park in Rolling Hills Estates. Presented by the Rotary Club of Palos Verdes Peninsula and Rotary Club of South Bay Sunrise, nearly 100% of the proceeds from this year’s charity fundraising event will allow Rotary Clubs of the South Bay to support a multitude of community outreach programs and projects.

This was the fifth year I have attended and I have to say that the event just seems to get better every year. This year there were close to 50 craft breweries represented, along with a couple dozen restaurants, and a other couple dozen wineries, as well as numerous other vendors offering spirits, treats, and artwork. For the second year running, the weather was perfect; not too hot and not too cold with just enough May Gray to prevent the standard sunburn I usually get. Continue reading

Brewtopia Returns to the Brewery at Abigaile

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

Photos from the 2019 Chino Brew & Chew

These photos were taken Sunday afternoon at the Chino Fairgrounds in Chino California, where Soroptimist International of the Chino Valley presented the 2019 Chino Brew & Chew. The seventh annual event featured brews from 16 local craft breweries, live music by Road Kill Gypsies, games, vendors, and several gourmet food trucks. Monies raised from the event went to benefit community programs in the Chino Valley such as funding scholarships to Chino High Schools and Chaffey Community College, Chino Campus.

I had been given a last minute invitation to Brew & Chew, so I did not really have any idea of what to expect; but it was a very nice event. The breweries came from the Chino Valley area, which encompassed parts of San Bernardino County, Riverside County and Orange County. It was a nice mix of breweries I have not visited since before I started CraftBeerGuy.com, breweries I have been meaning to get to, a few I never heard of, and one or two that have not even opened yet. Continue reading

Photos from the 2nd Annual N’owt but Stout Festival

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Yorkshire Square Brewery in Torrance, where they held their 2nd Annual Now’t but Stout Festival, a fundraiser benefiting the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild, featuring dark beers from more than 25 Los Angeles area breweries, and a couple from San Diego.

N’owt but Stout may have been a little misleading as there were many Porters, a Black IPA, a Scottish Ale, and a Pub Bitter available as well; but to be honest, after a few stouts you have of need something to mix it up with. Beachwood’s Hoppa Emeritus Black IPA and Cellador’s Vacant Lot barrel-aged sour took care of that for me.

In addition to the numerous beer choices, the event featured the Slater’s 50/50 and Cena Vegan food trucks, live music from Vagrant Nation, and cornhole. Attendees were also given the opportunity to vote for the Peasant’s Choice Award for the Most Adequate Ale. Continue reading

Brewtopia at Abigaile Restaurant and Brewery Photos

These photos were taken Sunday afternoon at the Brewtopia beer festival in Hermosa Beach’s Alta House, formerly known as Ocean Bar, which is the upstairs area of Abigaile and The Brewery at Abigaile. The event featured craft beers and ciders from The Brewery at Abigaile, 101 Cider House, Angel City, Zymurgy Brew Works, Firestone Walker, and Santa Monica Brew Works.

Admission to the event included unlimited pours from the above mentioned breweries and access to a special brunch menu.

Long time followers may recall that The Brewery at Abigaile had done the Brewtopia beer festivals back in 2015; Sunday’s event was a mini-version of the prior events, but the few dozen people that did attend had a beautiful Sunday afternoon to enjoy craft brews on the Alta House patio. Continue reading

Sip & Savor Pasadena Photos

These photos were taken Friday at the inaugural Pasadena Tournament of Roses Sip & Savor, a three-day end-of-year event being held at the Rosemont Pavilion/Jackie Robinson Memorial Field at the Rose Bowl this weekend. The family friendly event celebrates Southern California’s food, wine and craft beer scene. Attendees can try various foods from about 10 restaurants like The Crack Shack, Pez Cantina, and Lucille’s, which you can pair with wine from about 15 wineries, or craft beer from the four breweries representing the Greater Los Angeles area.

The breweries pouring included Firestone Walker’s “sports bar”, complete with TVs so you can watch the game while enjoying one of their brews, Angel City, Alosta Brewing, and recently opened, Highpoint Brewing Company. Continue reading

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