Microbreweries

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Photos from the El Segundo Brewing 8th Anniversary

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at the El Segundo Brewing Company tasting room, where they celebrated eight years of brewing their hopcentric ales. The celebration was spread over three days with a bottle release on Friday, the anniversary party on Saturday, and a Michelada party on Sunday.

Attendees on Saturday had 20 El Segundo brews to choose from, including their anniversary beer, Ochos Locos DIPA on draught and a hazy cask version done with vanilla beans. In addition to the quality brews we have come to expect, Bartz Barbecue was there with their special offerings along with Churro Garage with their tasty desserts.

Entertainment was provided by Beer & Magic who delighted attendees with their close-up magic and slight-of-hand. I am not sure, but there may have been some wizardry involved as well. Kids that were too short to watch the magic entertained themselves with cornhole and Jenga. Continue reading

Bertcast at El Segundo Brewing Company

These photos were taken Wednesday afternoon at the El Segundo Brewing Company taproom, where they hosted a live podcast starring comedian Bert “The Machine” Kreischer. The Machine was joined by El Segundo resident, comedian, and “Chef to the Headliners”, Dave Williamson, founder and creator of The Gundo Comedy Festival which is celebrating its 5th Annual Gundo Comedy Festival this week in El Segundo.

The free to attend event was pretty crowded, considering that it was held at noon on a Wednesday. This was the fifth year Bertcast was held at El Segundo Brewing, meaning El Segundo Brewing was hosting the event before Kreischer became the big name star he is today. El Segundo Brewing co-founder Tom Kelley told me that former employee Gordon Whelpley is the one that turned him on to Kreischer. During the podcast Kreischer revealed that he never enjoyed the IPA style of beer until coming to El Segundo Brewing, and it was El Segundo’s beertender/brand ambassador Brandon Ortega that introduced him to his first enjoyable IPA; it was all about the grapefruit.

While this was my first time attending the event, it was obvious that several of the attendees had attended some of the previous events. Of course, the El Segundo Brewing beer and free Bartz Barbecue probably contributed to filling up the taproom. Continue reading

Smog City Brewing Celebrates 6 Years in Torrance

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Smog City Brewing Company, where they celebrated six years of brewing in Torrance. The all-day event featured a two-hour, ticketed VIP session, 25 Smog City brews, beer cocktails, food trucks, games, tours, and lots of camaraderie as hundreds of long time fans descended upon the Smog City parking lot and tasting room.

To facilitate serving the thirsty and hungry, the entire parking lot was closed off to allow the setup of the Beer Garden Bar and Patio Bar to supplement the Main Bar inside; additionally Bartz Barbecue, Oaxaca On Wheels, and Hustle N Dough were set up providing food. DJ Gustavisimo was there spinning vinyl that sounded like he had borrowed part of my record collection. The LA Brewers Guild was there reminding people that tickets for the L.A. Brewers Kickoff are now on sale, and that the California Craft Beer Summit will be held in Long Beach this September. Continue reading

A Visit to Stereo Brewing Company

These photos were taken last Saturday at Stereo Brewing Company, a production brewery with a tasting room, located in Placentia, California. Stereo Brewing opened in October 2016 and has a 30 bbl brewhouse.

I remember the afternoon in October 2017 that I first met Stereo’s founder/brewer, Rick Smets; it was on the patio of Great Divide Brewing in Denver the day before GABF.

I was there with Buddy chatting with two lads, one from the Netherlands, the other from London, Rick was sitting at a table close to us and the three tables began conversing. I am sure we exchanged cards, and when we separated I said I would stop by sometime. Three days later I heard Stereo Brewing being called onstage as a gold medal winner for their Wall of Sound oatmeal stout. Continue reading

Superheroes Gather at Strand Brewing Company

These photos were taken Sunday at Strand Brewing Company in Torrance, where they transformed their tasting room into a mini-carnival for young children that are undergoing cancer treatments, confined to wheelchairs, or diagnosed with critical illnesses. The event featured face painting, snacks and sodas, live music, and appearances from such big names as Batman, Robin, Thor, and Iron Man. The highlight of the day though, had to be the ability to make the kids fly like a superhero!

The event was put on by Flying Hero Club, formerly known as the Smile High Club, Inc. They were founded by Jim Churchman, a stunt coordinator for 25 years which included working on some of Hollywood’s biggest superhero movies. The Flying Hero Club, which seemed to consist of volunteers from Georgia and Arizona, some of whom work in the film industry, set up a computerized flying system, the same system that has flown the likes of Kate Beckinsale, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, and Robert Downey Jr. The kids were strapped onto a belly board and given the gift of flight for a couple hundred feet. Depending on the age and bravery of the child, the crew was able to adjust the speed of the flight. You could see that there were a couple kids that were nervous at first, but after their first flight most were ready for a second try. Continue reading

Photos from Absolution Brewing’s 5th Anniversary

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Absolution Brewing Company in Torrance, where the production brewery celebrated five years of brewing beer. The free-to-attend event featured about 20 Absolution brews, live music, karaoke, food trucks, and games. Attendees that purchased a VIP ticket also received anniversary glassware with a pour of their anniversary beer and a 4-pak of their anniversary beer.

As Absolution has recently begun canning some of their beers, they used their anniversary to release a canned version of their Floc-Ness Monster DIPA. On Saturday, the 4-pak cans were available on a 1-to-1 basis only, so I am not sure if they were all sold or not. You might stop by the tasting room and see what their new brewer, Erik DeBellis, has been doing. They have completely revamped from the Old World/New World theory.

While I was there, Nasty Bad Habit provided the live music, which was followed up with karaoke. There was another band that finished the evening, but I had left long before they came on. Food was available from Seafood Anarchy and Chow Down, with some cheese goodies from Spicy Mos. Continue reading

Common Space Brewery 1st Anniversary Photos

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at the Common Space Brewery and Tasting Room in Hawthorne, where they celebrated their first anniversary with several hundred of their fans. The event featured their first can release, an anniversary beer, several food trucks, live music, and games that were enjoyed by adults and children alike. And there were dogs; lots and lots of dogs.

While I try to visit as many of the local breweries as possible, there has been so much growth around here that it just is not possible for me for me to visit everyone as much as I might like; Common Space would be one of those. One thing I noticed right away was that Common Space has become a very family and dog friendly taproom to visit. I think it would be safe to say that a large portion of the people attending had either a dog or a kid with them, and while I see a lot of whining on social media about kids and dogs at breweries, it was obvious that Common Space welcomes both with open arms. Continue reading

State Brewing 1 Year Anniversary Photos

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon in Gardena, at the 1st Anniversary of the State Brewing Company tasting room. If it seems like you have been drinking State’s beer for longer than a year, there is a very good chance of that as they have been brewing since at least the beginning of 2016. It was not until last February that they officially opened their tasting room to the public.

The anniversary event, which is still going on as I write this, featured over 20 beers from State Brewing, some of them being very small batches, food from Hotville Chicken and Tacos Bravo, a can release of their Cherry Moon Disco IPA, a DJ and Los Angeles area rapper, Murs (he came on after I left). Continue reading

Photos from Matinee Meltdown at King Harbor Brewing

These photos were taken Sunday afternoon at the King Harbor Brewing Company tasting room in Redondo Beach, where they held their first in what is hoped to be a continuing series of monthly Matinee Meltdowns; an afternoon of live music, DJs, local art and, of course, King Harbor Brewing’s craft beer.

Matinee Meltdown is the brainchild of former King Harbor Brewing rep, Pete Mauch, who also happens to have a band called Doom Lodge, a self-described Doom Punk Trio out of Hawthorne, whose musical genre falls under Psych Rock. In addition to the live music, DJ Dan Kennedy aka ShoeBox spun records when Doom Lodge wasn’t playing one of their two sets. Continue reading

Photos from the 2nd Anniversary Block Party at LA Ale Works

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Los Angeles Ale Works (LAAW), in Hawthorne, where they celebrated their second anniversary with an 80s themed block party featuring several food trucks, DJs, live music, pop rock beer slushies, candy necklaces, Micheladas, a laser light show, a double juicy IPA can release, and lots of other L.A. Ale Works beers.

I arrived about an hour after the official start time and the block party was already filling up with LAAW fans along with their families and dogs. DJ Sundy was providing music and food was being served up by Bartz BBQ, Kogi Korean BBQ, Hustle & Dough, and Scoops on Tap.

Inside the tasting room, there were at least 25 beers on tap, including the two beers featured in their can release, Lazer Star and Night Beams. There was an outdoor bar set up for their Reserve Beers, featuring options like Celestial Blüme Berliner with tea, Channel Conditions Brett Saison, and Olivera Blanc and Olivera Noir, their beer/wine hybrids. Also available were the 2017 and 2018 Rush’n Attack Imperial Stouts, Heavy Impulse Barleywine, and Sled Dog Imperial Stout. The outside bar is also where you would go for the pop rock slushies and Micheladas. Continue reading

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