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The Mason Jar Brewing Company

Saturday afternoon was set aside to travel to Menifee so I could watch my six year old grandson participate in the finals of a talent show put on by the Boys & Girls Club of Menifee Valley. It was being held at a church, so craft beer was the furthest thing from my mind when we pulled onto New Hub Drive in Menifee. As my sister passed the church, she swung the car around at the first street parking spot. As I stepped out of the car, to my surprise was The Mason Jar Brewing Company.

Mason Jar Brewing opened their doors in 2015, and brew with a 10bbl system and 20bbl fermenters. When I was there, they had 16 brews on tap. A look at the tap list made me think that they brew what they like; they aren’t just brewing it because it is faddish. They don’t distribute, and seemed like a neighborhood tasting room with a lot of regulars. Continue reading

El Segundo Brewing Says Cheers to 7 Years

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at El Segundo Brewing Company, where they celebrated seven years of brewing some of the most hopcentric beers in the South Bay. The celebration featured pretty much everything you would expect to find at a birthday party for a seven year-old; party favors, hats, a barbecue that you could smell for blocks around, birthday cake, a balloon artist and beer, lots and lots of beer, 23 of them to be exact.

El Segundo Brewing Company’s history pretty much reflects the entire South Bay craft beer scene when you stop to think about it. The first time I visited El Segundo Brewing the South Bay had three craft breweries (although they called them microbreweries back then), El Segundo Brewing, Strand Brewing and Monkish Brewing. In fact, on the date of my first visit to El Segundo Brewing they only had three beers available (four taps seemed like the norm in 2012). Today the South Bay has grown from three craft breweries to 23, and El Segundo’s tap list has expanded from three to 23. Continue reading

Yorkshire Square One Year Anniversary Photos

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Yorkshire Square Brewery in Torrance, where the brewery specializing in cask-conditioned ales celebrated their first year of being open for business. The event featured about 20 brews available on cask and/or draft, several beer cocktails, and English Morris dancing by the Rising Phoenix Morris dancers; food was available from the BatterFish food truck. Yorkshire Square also used the celebration as an opportunity to release two new beers; At Last the 1948 Mild, and Double Doors, a punched-up, double-mashed reinterpretation of their Early Doors, which they bottled.

This past year has been a pretty good one for Yorkshire Square. In November they became the second brewery in California to receive the Cask Marque’s certificate of excellence award. Cask Marque is an accrediting program that sets cask ale standards for 10,000 pubs and breweries worldwide via unannounced, twice a year inspections. There are only 17 breweries in the entire country that currently have this award.

Just last week BeerAdvocate named Yorkshire Square Brewing as one of the top 50 new breweries in the U.S. and Canada for 2017. Continue reading

Smog City Celebrates 5 Years in Torrance

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at the Smog City Brewing Company’s 2018 Anniversary Celebration. The event included a two-hour long ticketed VIP session, followed by a free general admission session that began at 1:00 PM and ran until closing time.

The celebration featured close to 30 Smog City brews as well as a half dozen beer cocktails, music by DJ Mood Maestros, and a few food trucks; including Mad Pambazos, Serendoggity, and CONED Ice Cream. There were games, as well as local artwork that was created specifically for Smog City Brewing. The event also gave Smog City the opportunity to debut their new outside patio as well as their anniversary beer, Awkward Teenager.

About 100 VIP ticket holders were able to tour Smog City’s Sour Production Facility; it gave us some insight to the magic behind their sour ales. All VIP ticket holders received early access to limited beers and beer cocktails, one bottle of their Awkward Teenager with a carrier bag, and a pretty fun commemorative Smog City photo album. Continue reading

King Harbor Brewing 4th Anniversary Photos

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at King Harbor Brewing Company’s production brewery and tasting room in Redondo Beach, where King Harbor Brewing and their many fans celebrated King Harbor’s 4th Anniversary and National Beer Day with a four hour long party.

The ticketed event featured more than 30 King Harbor beers, beer cocktails, live music, plenty of food and games.

King Harbor Brewing is known for throwing a great party, and Saturday they lived up to their reputation. Live music was provided by the Royal Rats, The Kira Lingman Band, and The Thirsty Crows. DJ Denny Bales of Vinyl Club warmed up the crowd ahead of time. Continue reading

Photos from Smokefest at Los Angeles Ale Works

These photos were taken Saturday, April 7, at Smokefest; which was held at Los Angeles Ale Works in the Spacex Corridor area of Hawthorne. The event, which coincidentally was held on National Beer Day 2018, featured lots of barbecue, kid friendly games, live music and special beer releases.

Vendors that participated in the event included A’s BBQ, Bartz Barbecue, Hayseed BBQ, Oak Smoke BBQ and Hustle ‘N Dough Donuts. Live music, while I was there, was provided by Brothers Pine.

I was only there for the first couple of hours, but it was easy to see that it was going to be a busy day with plenty of good food to go along with the LA Ale Works brews. Continue reading

Ximix Craft Exploration Brewery Grand Opening

These photos were taken Thursday at day one of Ximix Craft Exploration’s grand opening weekend. Ximix is Gardena’s second craft brewery and if Thursday’s turnout was any indication, they have been welcomed with open arms by the surrounding community.

Ximix opened Thursday with eight brews to chose from; four of which are full batches, with the other four being small batches made with the Ximix pilot system. In addition to the beer, Chef C’S Smhokin Pot food truck was there serving their authentic Cajun food. Continue reading

Introducing Ximix Craft Exploration Brewery

Gardena now has two craft breweries; State Brewing Company and a little under a mile away, Ximix Craft Exploration, which will officially open Thursday, April 5, 2018.

I first met Ximix (pronounced “zim ex”) co-founder and head brewer Erik DeBellis 18 months ago during a visit to HopSaint Brewing Company; at the time he told me he was opening a brewery and we exchanged numbers. But you know the old saying, “out of sight, out of mind”; we had not seen each other since then and DeBellis was keeping things pretty close to the vest so I had completely forgotten about them until the owner of Lawndale Brewhouse asked me what I knew about Ximix. As the name did not ring a bell I was pretty surprised when I discovered I had already liked their Facebook page. When I reached out to them, DeBellis reminded me we had met previously; a couple days later I headed out to Gardena for my first visit to Ximix Craft Exploration. Continue reading

Absolution Brewing 4th Anniversary & St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Absolution Brewing Company’s Torrance location where they held their 4th Anniversary and St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. The event consisted of a ticketed VIP session from 1:00 to 3:00 PM, then the doors opened to the general public until 7:00 PM. VIP attendees received a nice, limited edition, 4th Anniversary Mug (20oz), unlimited firkin cask tastings or four 20oz pours, after that, they received 20oz pours the rest of the day.

As usual, Absolution brought out several specialty beers, including their Holy Moly Anniversary Ale, a porter with whole chipotle and cocoa nibs, St. Pat’s, an Irish red ale with cascara of cacao, and Oasis, a bourbon barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout with hints of coconut. They had some good stuff there. Continue reading

Brouwerij West 2nd Anniversary Photos

These photos were taken Saturday evening in San Pedro at the Brouwerij West 2nd Anniversary and Concert which was held at the production brewery’s massive tasting room and outside beer garden. The concert was headlined by legendary Los Angeles punk rock band X and featured Mike Watt & The Missingmen, L.A. Witch, and Bombon; with DJ Paul E Wog spinning his vinyl prior to the concert starting, and between sets.

Anyone that has visited Brouwerij West has probably figured out that they do things big, beginning with their 25,000 square-foot facility with the 30 BBL brewhouse with fermentation space for 8,000 barrels; this party was going to be big. If you attended their grand opening you know that they can draw a crowd. This anniversary party was huge and the staff at Brouwerij West handled it like the pros they are. Continue reading

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