These photos were taken Thursday afternoon at the soft open for the new Melvin Brewing which is opening in the East Village area of San Diego.
Melvin Brewing is a Wyoming-based brewery that is known primarily for their IPAs. I don’t think I was aware of them before I attended the 2017 Great American Beer Festival; but I think it would be difficult to not have noticed them if you were an attendee. The two years that I have attended, Melvin’s booth was an old school bus, which co-founder Jeremy Tofte apparently lived in for a year. Their booth included a DJ during each GABF session, and had WWE Hall of Fame wrestler “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan hanging out at the booth to shake hands, take photos and sign autographs. I seem to recall they had impromptu parades during a couple of the sessions that included their representatives in costume.
They were more than just a show though, as they walked away with the Brewery Group and Brewmaster of the Year award, along with a pair of gold medals for American-Style Strong Pale Ale (Hubert MPA) and Fresh or Wet Hop Ale (Wet Hop Melvin). So when I was invited to attend their VIP soft opening it seemed like a no-brainer as San Diego is significantly closer to me than anywhere in Wyoming. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Hōkūle’a Brewing Company, when they officially opened their doors to begin their soft open, which will go on for a few weeks.
Although I arrived shortly after Hōkūle’a opened their doors, they already had 15 or 20 people seated trying the three Hōkūle’a brews that were available on day one; as well as the ciders from Southern California Cider Company (who shares the spot with Hōkūle’a), and a mead from Honest Abe’s.
Hōkūle’a’s three brews included their Gremmie Pils, Keiki IPA (a session IPA), and Key Lime Pai, a kettle sour. I think I enjoyed the Keiki IPA the most, but Key Lime Pai was definitely a crowd favorite when I was there. Continue reading
The long awaited opening of Hokulea Brewing Company is upon us as it was announced today that Hokulea will begin their soft open Saturday, August 18. These photos show the build of Hokulea from when I first visited the location back in June 2017, through today.
Hokulea Brewing combined forces with The Honest Abe Cidery to create a brewpub with a brewery, cidery, and poke bar with 40 taps. Since they are a brewpub, they can sell beers from other breweries which is the plan is while Hokulea builds up its tap list of in-house brewed brews. You may notice the two very large fermenters in the photos; those are for the cider side of the house.
The soft open begins Saturday, and will continue daily until they have their official grand opening sometime in September. In the beginning, they hope to be able to offer food tastings, with the kitchen opening full time as soon as possible. Continue reading
These photos were taken Wednesday evening at the soon to be opened, 6th and La Brea; the newest brewpub opened by the Artisanal Brewers Collective, a restaurant group co-founded by Tony Yanow, formerly of Golden Road Brewing.
If you are unfamiliar with the Artisanal Brewers Collective, do not feel too bad; I may have heard the name mentioned a time or two, but the brewpubs and gastropubs they have opened and are opening from Los Angeles to San Diego are names that I have heard mentioned pretty frequently lately. These include Bluebird Brasserie in Sherman Oaks, The Stalking Horse in West LA, The Bell Marker in San Diego, as well as a number of other current and pending locations.
6th and La Brea is a very nice, 8,400 square foot location with a spacious patio for those that want to enjoy to Southern California climate while dining on menu offerings created by Chef Jihee Kim, or enjoying house brews crafted Director of Brewing, Noah Regnery. Continue reading
These photos were taken early Saturday afternoon at Firestone Walker Brewing Company’s, The Propagator Turns 2! celebration, held at the Venice, with a Marina del Rey mailing address, location. These photos are primarily from the VIP session which was held from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.
It is hard to believe it has been two years already, but that could be because it was almost eight months after The Propagator opened before they were able to make The Propagator the R&D brewery it was intended to be.
Ticket holders to the sold out VIP session received a brewhouse tour, several tastes of Propagator and/or Barrelworks beers, light bites to eat and a crowler of Propagator brew to take home. Several of people were also able to take part in a taste comparison of three different hazy IPAs brewed with same recipe but fermented with different yeast strains; we were given samples of what each tasted like prior to being dry hopped and after being dry hopped. It was interesting how much difference the yeast made, both before and after being dry hopped. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday evening at Phantom Carriage Brewery in Carson, where they held their 3 Year Anniversary Party & Nuclear Blast Beer Release party. The event featured more than 20 of Phantom Carriage’s wild beers, including cellared rarities, plus rare guest beers from local craft breweries. Naturally their house-smoked BBQ was available, as was the music; the horror films, as usual, were available inside.
If you had not heard, Phantom Carriage has stepped up their brewing game and are actually canning some of their beers now; on Saturday they released a collaboration they did with Nuclear Blast USA, the self-described “world’s biggest independent heavy metal record label.” The beer, Blast Beast, is a Black India Pale Lager. I do not know how much is still available; you should probably just head over now if interested. Continue reading
These photos were taken Wednesday afternoon at Kern River Brewing Company in Kernville, and Lucky Luke Brewing Company in Palmdale. I needed to do someone a favor in Gorman, and since that was 75 miles of a 175 mile drive, I decided it was time for me to make my long overdue visit to Kern River Brewing Company (KRBC).
As I drove along the Kern River I thought back to the days that I used to ride up to Kernville with my buddy Gary; it was then that I realized that it had to be close to 40 years since the last time I was up in that area. I wondered if I would even recognize the few landmarks that I remembered from our exploits of the late 70’s and early 80’s. Continue reading
These photos were taken Tuesday, October 24 at Saddle Mountain Brewing Company in Goodyear, and Prison Hill Brewing Company in Yuma, Arizona.
When I woke up Tuesday in Las Cruces, I had one goal and that was to make it to Yuma by the end of the day. It was going to require close to 600 miles of driving, but with Arizona’s speed limits and the fact that I was going to gain another hour as soon as I hit the Arizona border, it was definitely doable. I had thought about stopping in Tucson but I received a text informing me some friends were in the Phoenix area, so I looked for something a little closer for them. I recalled that Saddle Mountain Brewing won gold at GABF, and they were close to I-10, so we made plans to meet at Saddle Mountain.
Saddle Mountain Brewing is a brewpub that opened in late 2014; I actually visited them once before in April 2016. They took gold at GABF this year for their Clan Destine Scottish Ale, so I was looking forward to experiencing Saddle Mountain 18 months later. Continue reading
Leaving El Paso, I headed west for about an hour to Las Cruces, New Mexico which was a planned stop for the day. I was aware of three craft breweries in Las Cruces, but as it was Monday, one was closed; I chose High Desert Brewing because it was the closest to my motel.
High Desert Brewing Company is a brewpub that has been open since July of 1997 and is apparently the second oldest brewery in New Mexico. Everything they brew is done in small batches of about 100 gallons each. Apparently they brew 27 different beers; on the night of my visit they had 11 available as well as their root beer.
While being shown around the brewhouse, I was told that High Desert Brewing never had any aspirations of becoming bigger than they are; they always just wanted to be a simple, local spot for craft beer and food lovers. Continue reading
When I left off; my Craft Beer Tour 2017 was leaving the Grand Rapids area and honestly, I was not sure which way I wanted to go. As I saw it, I had two ways I could venture. On the one hand, I have had very little time in New England and the leaves were beginning to change colors, so that would be cool. On the other hand, I knew I was going to head down to the Carolinas, so New England would add another couple thousand miles to my trip. I would have been okay with that, but literally everywhere I went saw their weather worsen with my arrival!
I am not kidding, every evening I would get an alert on my phone that the weather would be anywhere from 10 to 20 degrees cooler the next day. I had people in North Carolina suggest I was Old Man Winter; relatives in South Carolina apologized for not having enough blankets, because “it never gets this cold.” I even heard the Dallas-Fort Worth weatherman say that they may have just experienced their last hot day of the year. Heck, even when I got home it was 102 at 2:00 PM; 24 hours later it was 73. I was getting a little paranoid as I had not really packed for inclement weather. I decided I could not risk the weather in New England and decided to head south instead. Continue reading