Gastropubs

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4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover Photos

The photos were taken Thursday at Tortilla Cantina in Torrance, where they hosted the 4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. While this was their first time for hosting this event, it was the largest collection of local craft breweries since I first started putting on the event in 2015; with 22 local breweries participating and 49 taps of craft beer!

Since this was the fourth tap takeover, I have become accustomed to last minute issues coming up, resulting in either a brewery not getting the beers to the venue on time, or a mislabeled keg. As I have read that this is fairly common with even the most efficiently run craft beer festival, I just kind of grin and bear it as most of the time the attendees never even notice. While I was putting out proverbial fires at 10:30 Wednesday night, by the time Thursday morning rolled around everything somehow was falling into place. Continue reading

Tortilla Cantina 8th Anniversary Photos

These photos were taken Saturday evening at Tortilla Cantina in Torrance, where they celebrated their 8th anniversary. The event featured craft beer pouring from close to 50 taps, live music from Ashleigh Correa, and Charlie Don’t Surf (Kemo and the boys), and complimentary appetizers for an hour or so.

Tortilla Cantina is a “taco bistro” that offers 18 varieties of tacos and usually has about 48 different beers on tap. They are also the home of the 4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover, which will be held on September 6, from noon until 11:30 PM, and will feature their standard Happy Hour from noon to 7:00 PM, their wide selection of tacos, and live music by Ashleigh Correa.

The breweries scheduled to attend are Absolution Brewing, Brouwerij West, Common Space, The Dudes’, El Segundo Brewing, Hermosa Brewing Company, The Honest Abe Cidery, HopSaint, King Harbor Brewing, LA Ale Works, Phantom Carriage, Scholb, Smog City, State Brewing, Strand Brewing, Three Weavers, Ximix Craft Exploration, Yorkshire Square, and Zymurgy Brew Works. Continue reading

Photos from the 3rd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover

These photos were taken Thursday at the 3rd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover, which was held at Flights, in Hawthorne. The event featured 18 of the South Bay’s best production breweries and brewpubs, filling up 39 tap handles.

Although I did not arrive until a little after 4:00 PM, my Facebook feed indicated that people began streaming in pretty much as soon as the doors opened. By 6:00 we had the place packed and it remained that way until close to 10:00; after that, people kept arriving to sample some outstanding brews.

I had the opportunity to speak with many of the attendees and discovered that this was the first time visiting Flights; it seems safe to say that they will all return. Continue reading

Jeffers Drops Acid at Rock & Brews

These photos were taken Wednesday evening as a couple dozen craft beer fans gathered at Rock & Brews in El Segundo, to watch and participate as Firestone Walker’s first employee and current Director of the Firestone Walker Barrelworks (aka Barrelmeister), Jeffers Richardson dropped massive amounts of acid knowledge on us.

I arrived early and immediately noticed that each setting at the tables had nine little cups; eight with what I thought was water and one with a jelly bean. I also noticed five plastic bottles labeled as either Lactic or Acetic Acid, with varying descriptions of their contents. In my head I thought this was going to be way out of my league and I would probably just take photos rather than participate. I could not have been more wrong; this was a very educational event. Continue reading

Great Society Cider & Mead Welcomes Moonlight Meadery

These photos were taken Thursday evening at Great Society Cider & Mead in Long Beach when they held another in their continuing series of “Meet the Maker”; where cider and mead aficionados get an opportunity to meet the owners behind the cideries and meaderies that produce the brews that are the primary focus of Great Society Cider & Mead. Thursday evening’s event featured Michael Fairbrother, founder of the world renowned Moonlight Meadery.

The evening was broken up in two sections; the first was open to the public and everyone was able to enjoy a Moonlight flight or any of ciders and mead that completed the 20 tap list while chatting with Fairbrother. It was obvious that many people had come from as far away as the San Diego area for the opportunity to speak with him. Some people just wanted to tell Fairbrother how much they enjoy his product while others brought samples and came with questions on the process when it comes to making cider or [especially] mead. The second portion of the evening was a private event featuring five pours of various Moonlight products paired with specific appetizers. Continue reading

Media Appreciation Night at Rock & Brews PCH

These photos are from the Media Appreciation Night that was held Thursday evening at Rock & Brews PCH in Redondo Beach. The event was two-fold in that not only did they show their appreciation to local food and beer bloggers by feeding us and giving us craft beer; but they also used the opportunity to introduce the new food menu that has been introduced to all the Rock & Brews locations.

A few of the new items that are pictured include Onion Rings (they used to only be an appetizer, now they are also a side to any entree), Jalapeno Poppers, and a Mediterranean Chopped Salad. They also introduced their Kansas City Style Hot Dog, a Demon Chicken Sandwich, and the Gastropub Burger. For dessert they now added items like a Key Lime Pie and the Giant Brownie Sundae. Continue reading

Northwest Cider Masters Tour at Great Society Cider & Mead

These photos were taken at the Northwest Cider Masters Tour that was held Sunday afternoon at Great Society Cider & Mead in Long Beach. The “Harvest Party” featured two of Oregon’s finest cider makers; James Kohn of Wandering Aengus Ciderworks and Kevin Zielinsk of E.Z. Orchards Farm Market. In addition to the 20 ciders on tap, there were beer and cider blends, charcuterie, cheese pairings, and plenty of information to get people to understand the craft behind cider, as well as the history and tradition of cider. Of course, there were plenty of ciders there so it was interesting to notice the differences between them.

I was there for the “trade show” portion of the event and it was very well attended; I can only imagine how many people showed up when they opened to the general public. It just shows me that hard ciders and mead are coming into their own. Personally, I have a ways to go before I can discern the subtle nuances of different ciders; I am basically at the dry or sweet/apple or pear phase, so it may be a while before I can open Craft Cider Guy, but you never know. Continue reading

Photos from the 2nd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover at Flights

These photos were taken Thursday evening at Flights during their 2nd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. This year we featured 15 of the best production breweries in the South Bay; with Absolution Brewing, Brouwerij West, El Segundo Brewing, Honest Abe Hard Ciders, HopSaint Brewing Company, King Harbor Brewing, Phantom Carriage, Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing, San Pedro Brewing Company, Scholb Premium Ales, Smog City Brewing, State Brewing Company, Strand Brewing Company, The Dudes’ Brewing, and Three Weavers Brewing filling all four tap lines. I watched as people in the craft beer industry as well as the hundreds of craft beer fans looked with amazement at what a South Bay tap list looks like.

While it did get a little crowded during the peak hours, Flights staff, under the guidance of their manager Michelle Pettie kept food and beer flowing with ease. It was pretty obvious that the additional year of experience by the serving staff made a huge difference; I did not notice any of the delays that were experienced last year. I am sure cutting back on the food menu helped as the kitchen was faster which meant people could eat and drink a little quicker and the steady flow of new guests did not cause any of the lines I heard existed last year. Continue reading

Photos from the Great Society Cider & Mead Grand Opening

These photos were taken Tuesday afternoon when Great Society Cider & Mead officially opened with a ribbon cutting and the presentation of a Certificate of Recognition by the City of Long Beach. With that, the cider and mead began flowing and some very good food started coming from the kitchen.

The event was attended by family, friends, and representatives from the City of Long Beach and the Downtown Long Beach Associates along with what is bound to be the first group of Great Society regulars. Everyone seemed really enjoy experimenting with the various ciders and mead that were available. Continue reading

Great Society Cider & Mead Now Open In Long Beach

Cider and mead lovers of Long Beach can rejoice as the long awaited opening of Great Society Cider & Mead is officially beginning their soft open Thursday, August 4 at 4:30 PM. Last night I had the opportunity to attend their private soft opening and if the turnout was any indicator of the future of Great Society Cider & Mead, it is bright indeed.

Great Society Cider & Mead provided 20 taps of ciders and mead as well as numerous bottles that pours could be purchased from. If you are someone that thinks ciders are all apples, pears and pineapple, you really owe it to yourself to check out their wide range of delicious beverages. The first we tried was the Grand Opening Gose prepared for Great Society by 101 Cider House; it really set the tempo for the interesting flavors we would experience. The Gose saltiness with a cider was unexpectedly tasty. The Space Bloody Orange by Ace Cider was my first attempt at a food pairing with a cider; it was great with the salmon cakes we got from the kitchen. The Black Fang and Savage Bois were both delicious examples of the mead available; to be honest, I cannot wait to get back to try even more. Continue reading

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