Business & Beer

Business & Beer at Smog City Brewing

These photos were taken at the September 2015 Business & Beer which was held at Smog City Brewing Company on Thursday evening. There was a pretty decent turnout considering how hot it has been around here lately; plus Back-to-School Nights have been going on, so that might have influenced the overall turnout. Those that attended had a great time and were able to enjoy a couple new Smog City Brewing brews, including Cuddlebug and California Love.

The next meeting of Business & Beer will be held October 8, 2015 at El Segundo Brewing Company from 6:00-8:00 PM. This is Business & Beer’s first return to El Segundo Brewing Company since they expanded their tasting room, so if you have not been there lately prepare to be surprised. It is probably three or four times bigger than the last time we were there. Please check the Business & Beer website or their Facebook page for more information. Cheers! Continue reading

Business & Beer joins the crowd at Monkish Brewing Company

These photos were taken at the last Business and Beer which was held Thursday, August 13 at the Monkish Brewing Company tasting room in Torrance. Do not let the lack of photos lead you to believe that there wasn’t much of a turnout, because that would not be accurate. The reality is that Monkish was so crowded it was a little difficult to move around to set up shots!

As one of the co-founders of the Business & Beer networking group, our goal was two-fold; the first was to provide a networking opportunity for small business owners beyond what a typical Chamber of Commerce might provide and to give greater exposure to our local breweries, brewpubs and gastropubs. I remember a time that when we brought a group of 5, 10 or 15 people to one of our local tasting rooms it actually made an impact on the number of patrons the brewery was having that night. Last night, someone happened to share a photo on Facebook from September 2012; it is fun to remember when we could all fit into the front alcove of the tasting room and there would still be room for the other patrons. On Thursday there was a line out the front door most of the evening; I guess we can declare mission accomplished as far as garnering exposure to our craft breweries. Cheers! Continue reading

Business & Beer Flowing at King Harbor Brewing Company

These photos were taken Thursday evening at the June gathering of Business & Beer which was held at the King Harbor Brewing Company tasting room in Redondo Beach. For the regular readers of Craft Beer Guy, you have likely heard me discuss Business & Beer which is a business networking group that meets on the second Thursday of every month at a different tasting room or brewpub in the South Bay area.

Although the event had initially been scheduled to be held at King Harbor’s new satellite tasting room on the International Boardwalk, a last minute snafu prevented it and the gathering had to be moved to the brewery itself. The last minute change did not seem to have much of a negative effect as there was a very nice turnout with one attendee coming from Miami Beach, FL. Of course, he did not come from Miami just to attend the Business & Beer event; he happened to be with the head brewer from Dry River Brewing, so both made quite the trek to participate and it was definitely appreciated by everyone in attendance.

If you live or work in the Greater Los Angeles area and networking is important to you or is part of your job description you should check out This is arguably the South Bay’s most fun and relaxed business networking group. They meet on the second Thursday of every month at a different production brewery or brewpub in the South Bay area. With all the additions to the craft beer scene recently, there is a good chance you have not had a chance to visit some of them; this is your chance and you might even do some business. Events are scheduled from 6:00-8:00 PM and you can bring your significant other so there is no need to rush home. There are no rules and no dues; just come have a good time, meet some good people and enjoy a beer or two. You can find the schedule of upcoming events on the front page of or by following them on Facebook. Cheers! Continue reading

Business & Beer Experiences Resurgence at The Brewery at Abigaile

On Thursday evening the Business & Beer networking group met at The Brewery at Abigaile, a brewpub in Hermosa Beach. As one of the co-founders of Business & Beer I will admit that over the last couple of months we have been seriously discussing whether or not to continue with the monthly meeting format. Recent gatherings have been very small; the blame can be placed on weather, holidays, the loss of Daylight Saving Time or any number of factors; the reality is that the only reason it was decided to continue was because over the past couple of weeks three or four people said they really wanted to come to their first Business & Beer. Since the Brewery at Abigaile is one of my favorite locations in the Business & Beer rotation and the meeting date happened to coincide with the Craft Beer Guy anniversary date, it was decided to carry on at least one more month. It was a great decision.

Even though it was a rather cold and blustery evening we had one of the largest turnouts in close to a year; we had a nice mix of regulars, returnees and several first time attendees. As Abigaile is currently seeking a new brewer (their former brewer, Brian Brewer, is concentrating on his new endeavor as a partner with the soon-to-be HopSaint brewpub in Torrance) the selection of house brews was down to three with their Amber Ale, Pale Meridian and Beetlejuice DIPA; but there were plenty of guest taps for those that desired something different. Between the beer selections, the food and the great group of people that came out, we had a great time. I would like to thank Michael and Peggy Michino who were kind enough to bring a bottle of Green Flash Silva Stout that was autographed by Green Flash head brewer Chuck Silva, as an anniversary present. Continue reading

Business & Beer returns to The Dudes’ Brewing Company

On Thursday evening the Business & Beer networking group held their April gathering at The Dudes’ Brewing Company tasting room in Torrance. This was Business & Beer’s first return to The Dudes’ since their meeting last August and quite a lot has happened with The Dudes’ in the past eight months. They have gone through a couple assistant brewers, expanded distribution and had to deal with a grain mill that broke down.

I had a brief conversation with head brewer Jeff Parker and he informed me that their issues with equipment have been resolved and that we should begin seeing more experimental brews coming from their pilot system. One example would be their OrganiWeisse which was made available on Thursday evening.

To be honest, the turnout for Business & Beer was not very good which I am not sure the cause; families are gone for Spring Break and tax season is ending. As Parker mentioned; “You can’t pack the house every time.” Continue reading

Business & Beer Pays Visit to Strand Brewing Company

On Thursday evening the Business & Beer networking group paid one of its final visits to the Strand Brewing Company tasting room with a handful of attendees. The reason I say it was one of their final visits to the Strand Brewing tasting room is that Strand Brewing should be moving over to the Ale Triangle section of Torrance before too long. For those unfamiliar with the area I just described as the Ale Triangle, that is the part of Torrance that Smog City, Monkish Brewing and The Dudes’ are located; over by Western and Del Amo. I will have more information on that move as it becomes available and I am allowed to disclose it.

After the poor showing at last month’s Business & Beer networking event, the question arose; “Has Business & Beer run its course? Should we continue?” Between the handful of people that came to Strand Brewing for the event and those Strand customers that were curious enough to come over and talk to us about the group, it was decided that the group shall continue; at least for the time being.

One of those that came over and asked about the group was Nikki of Nikki’s Atomic Oven. She does meal preparations and came bearing gifts, some really delicious cookies. Hopefully Nikki will be able to join us at future gatherings. Continue reading

Business & Beer Begins 2015 at Smog City Brewing

The Business & Beer business networking group returned to the Smog City Brewing tasting room on Thursday evening for their first networking event of 2015. The group of attendees included a couple of first timers as well as a number of people that have been attending since the group’s inception in July of 2012. As Business & Beer enters its third year we look forward to seeing additional growth for this informal group of like-minded business people.

In addition to the business networking and beer, co-founder Tanya Martin provided some of her locally renowned cookies and crackers that were made with flour she made from some spent grains provided by Smog City. While her two versions of crackers were well-received, the homemade peanut butter cookies were definitely a crowd favorite.

The group was also treated to a tour of the Smog City Brewing operation by Assistant Brewer Chris “Sour” Walowski, who not only explained the brewing process but also told us a little of Smog City’s future plans as well as his own personal preferences when it comes to beer. Everyone that took the tour seemed to appreciate the insight; thank you Chris. Continue reading

Business & Beer Closes out 2014 at Monkish Brewing Company

On Thursday evening, December 11, the Business & Beer business networking group returned to the Monkish Brewing Company tasting room in Torrance for their final gathering of 2014. While the return to Daylight Standard Time combined with chilly weather has caused smaller turnouts in the past, it seems that the Belgian-style ales provided at Monkish were just what the doctor ordered for many; the Magnificat, barrel-aged and otherwise were pretty popular with the natural warmth they provided. We had a couple people that had not visited Monkish in quite a while primarily because they are hop heads that really enjoy their IPAs. When they were introduced to the St. Simcoe Belgian Pale Ale they found the hop profile to be just what they needed to satisfy those hoppy desires.

In addition to the wide variety of Belgian-style ales provided by Monkish, Vella Pizza was there with their brick oven pizza and Tanya brought in a couple varieties of cookies that she prepared using spend grains we obtained previously from King Harbor Brewing Company. Just hearing that was enough to cause even those that do not have a sweet tooth to give them a try; the cookies were quite well received. In the midst of the tasty brews and foods real business was being done, which still surprises some people. Continue reading

Business & Beer returns to Absolution Brewing Company

On Thursday evening, the South Bay’s Business & Beer networking group returned to Absolution Brewing Company, a relatively new production brewery and tasting room located in Torrance. In the eight months since the first time Business & Beer visited Absolution Brewing there have been several changes with more on the way. Probably the most visible changes were the available brews, including three barrel-aged varieties and a sour; aesthetically, the changes included a lot more seating along with strategically placed tables so visitors have a place to sit their beers while chatting with other visitors. Probably less obvious was the fact that they have a new head brewer, Bart Bullington, as their former head brewer Wes McCann recently moved back east. Bullington took some time to visit with the group, giving some details of his brewing past as well as his plans for the future. Bullington’s brews should be ready for consumption by next week, so it will be interesting to see if there is any detectable difference.

The Business & Beer networking group is open to all and meets on the second Thursday of every month at a different brewery tasting room or brewpub in the South Bay area. There are currently eight locations in the rotation including The Brewery at Abigaile, El Segundo Brewing Company, Strand Brewing Company, Monkish Brewing Company, King Harbor Brewing Company, The Dudes’ Brewing and Smog City Brewing. There are no dues or other requirements to join Business & Beer, just an appreciation of craft beer and a desire to network with others of the same mindset. You can see the schedule of upcoming events on the Business & Beer home page where you can also sign up to get on their mailing list. You can also Like them on Facebook to be kept in the loop. It is a nice group of people and believe it or not, real business does get done. Cheers! Continue reading

Business & Beer returns to King Harbor Brewing

The Business & Beer networking group returned to King Harbor Brewing Company on Thursday evening for the first time since their soft open back in February. Back in February the King Harbor brewhouse was not yet powered up and all the available beers had been brewed via their pilot system. Eight months later a fully functional brewhouse provided the brews including The Quest Pale Ale with Mosaic Hops, their California Saison, the Abel Brown American Brown Ale and Swirly, which is essentially Abel Brown with vanilla.

In addition to the functioning brewhouse there have been several aesthetic improvements made with more seating at the bar, more tables and more decorations. King Harbor’s success has also resulted in their having more employees to make the customer experience more enjoyable.

Since it was Thursday that meant that it was also Bring Your Own Beer Mug night which allows customers to bring their favorite beer mug or stein and have it filled at the standard price. Those that brought their own mugs were entered into a contest King Harbor runs on their Instagram account; next week the photos will be posted and whoever gets the most votes will win a free growler and fill courtesy of King Harbor Brewing Company. This is a weekly event, so remember to bring your mugs on any Thursday you visit. Continue reading