Photos of the 6th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover

These photos were taken Wednesday at Tortilla Cantina, where they hosted the 6th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. This annual event took a little more to accomplish this year, but Tortilla Cantina, our local breweries, and hundreds of their fans made this possible “last hurrah” of 2020 a great success.

My first tap takeover was held on the first Thursday of September in 2015, and as the craft beer scene around here grew, there started to be overlaps when it came to craft beer festival dates and brewery anniversaries, and everyone started changing dates of their events to avoid conflicts. The fact of the matter is that there was just too much going on out there, so I set it in stone that all subsequent South Bay Tap Takeovers would be held on the first Thursday of September; that worked out okay until COVID-19 struck and the State of California and the County of Los Angeles decided restaurants, breweries, and bars had to discontinue in-person dining. Continue reading

Crac Brewery and Grub: From the Beginning

These photos were taken at Carson’s newest brewpub, The Crac Brewery and Grub; the photos are of the construction I observed between November 4, 2019 and day one of their soft open, November 21, 2020.

It was Halloween 2019 B.C. (Before Covid), when Buddy and I entered King Harbor Brewing during our nightly walk. It was the one day a year that people would wear masks, and a masked cowboy addressed me by a nickname that most of you don’t know, but told me this cowboy must know me even if I couldn’t recognize him in his costume.

After doing a little recon with the beertender I figured out the masked stranger was Jeff Parker, so I went over to be a little more sociable. It was then that Jeff informed me that he was involved with the building of a new brewery in Carson; four days later I stopped by to take the first of my photos that would show the construction during the upcoming year. Continue reading

6th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover November 25

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6th South Bay Tap Takeover – November 25

So, let’s make this official; the 6th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover is not going to let a little thing like COVID-19 stop it! Yes, in the past I have been pretty adamant that I was not going to deviate from the “first Thursday of September” and for the first five years, we made it work. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has caused some things to be out of my control; however, Tortilla Cantina has been set up for outside dining and they are ready to once again host the South Bay Tap Takeover.

While our past events have had up to 26 South Bay breweries, with 49 taps, this year’s event will be a little smaller.

While four breweries that were in attendance last year have since closed up (Abigaile, State, Ximix, and Zymurgy), this year we have 21 South Bay breweries that have confirmed attendance this year, seven of which did not exist during last year’s tap takeover. Continue reading

Transplants Brewing vs LA County – We Win

In case you had not heard, Los Angeles County craft breweries no longer require reservations a day in advance, effective this past Friday. What you may not be aware of is that these breweries, and their patrons, have Transplants Brewing to thank for this development.

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Transplants Brewing vs. County of Los Angeles

To refresh your collective memories, at the end of May, Los Angeles County allowed breweries to begin reopening under an advanced Stage 2 of the COVID-19 lockdown. Because of a variance granted in June, breweries began setting up their operations to ensure social distancing guidelines as well meeting the obligations of providing food [via food trucks] so they could operate under the same guidelines as restaurants. This was a fair decision that definitely helped local business continue in their attempt to survive the decimation of today’s economy.

Because COVID-19 positive cases began rising, the County decided on June 28 that restaurants’ indoor dine-in services would be closed, but outdoor dining would open and delivery/takeout would be allowed; all bars, breweries, pubs, indoor wineries and tasting rooms were closed for onsite consumption.

On July 12, I tried to get a letter campaign to Governor Newsom, Mayor Garcetti, Supervisor Hahn, and the LA County Health Department going, but for some reason I did not see much support coming from our local breweries. Continue reading

2020 GABF Virtual Awards Ceremony Screenshots

On Friday evening, the Brewers Association held their awards ceremony for 2020 Great American Beer Festival; these screenshots show the winners for each of the 91 beer categories covering 170 different beer styles.

I have been attending GABF since 2017, and photographed the awards ceremony each time, so I have to admit I felt a little guilty not having to stay cross-legged or on my knees on a hard floor while trying to take photos of large groups of people while staying low enough to not get in the way of the people sitting in the first row of chairs for two hours. While I was definitely more comfortable at home, I would have rather been on the floor of the Bellco Theatre seeing friends. Thanks COVID. Continue reading

Culture Brewing Opens Taproom in Manhattan Beach

These photos were taken Wednesday, September 9 at Culture Brewing Company’s newest taproom, which opened last week in Manhattan Beach.

Last Friday, Culture Brewing Company of Solana Beach in San Diego County, opened a satellite taproom in Manhattan Beach. This marks the first time Manhattan Beach has had a brewery or brewery taproom since Brewco Manhattan Beach stopped brewing back in 2007 or 2008.

One might think that this is a weird time to open a taproom with to-go beers only, and I am pretty sure Culture Brewing would agree; the thing is, this has been in the works for two years now. Apparently it was one of the South Bay’s best kept secrets. To be honest, if it were not for a Craft Beer Guy follower on Facebook, I probably would not have been aware that they were opening up here. Continue reading

Hermosa Brewing Now Brewing in El Segundo

These photos were taken at Hermosa Brewing Company’s new production facility in El Segundo. They begin with photos from mid-March when the new 15bbl Portland Kettle Works brewhouse was moved in, and end with how it looks present day.

Back in February I wrote an article about Hermosa Brewing Company’s second anniversary. In it I mentioned that Hermosa Brewing had some “big news coming up” that I wasn’t at liberty to talk about. Almost a month to the day, Hermosa Brewing was bringing in their new brewhouse to El Segundo.

Hermosa Brewing is sharing the space at R6 Distillery formerly used by Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing, followed by Three Chiefs Brewing; both of whom used Strand Brewing Company’s initial brewhouse. That brewhouse was obtained by Extralegal Brewing in Redondo Beach, and Hermosa Brewing installed their new Portland Kettle Works brewhouse. Continue reading

Founders Brewing Releases Oktoberfest to Raise Awareness for ArtPrize

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Oktoberfest – Founders Brewing Co.

Founders Brewing Co. has announced that they will launch Oktoberfest, a Märzen style lager brewed using imported German malts and hops. Oktoberfest presents a gorgeous copper hue with a rich, malty and slightly sweet backbone. Founders’ Oktoberfest is similar to a traditional Reinheitsgebot style, brewed in accordance to a 1487 German law that limits the ingredients to water, barley and hops. Debuting this August, Oktoberfest is the seventh release Founders has brewed to raise awareness for ArtPrize, an open international art competition in the brewery’s hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

“Brewing traditional German-style beers, especially malt-forward lagers, isn’t something we’re especially accustomed to,” said Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki. “I’ve really begun to enjoy drinking Märzens over the past few years and decided to get serious about a recipe. Oktoberfest is brewed with malt and hops imported from Germany for a rich, malty character that still manages to stay light on the palate. Whether you’re celebrating Art Prize or Oktoberfest, this is the beer to do it with!”

Oktoberfest (6%) will have a retail price of $9.99/6-pack. It will be available as of August in 12-oz cans and on draft in the Grand Rapids and Detroit taprooms, and across the brewery’s distribution network, except Utah. Please note that prices will vary by market. Previous releases for ArtPrize include Green Zebra, Pale Joe, Spectra Trifecta, Mosaic Promise, Inspired Artist Black IPA and Trigo. Continue reading

Founders Brewing adds Marvelroast to Limited Series

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Founders Brewing Co. – Marvelroast

Founders Brewing Co. has announced Marvelroast as the latest addition to the Limited Series lineup. Marvelroast was originally a Detroit Taproom favorite, and starts out as an Imperial Golden Ale enhanced with the addition of coffee, vanilla and cocoa nibs in the brewing process. But it doesn’t end there. A final dose of milk sugar lends a smooth and sweet finish, making this a delicious treat reminiscent of your favorite iced coffee drink.

“Having two taprooms full of craft beer connoisseurs is a real blessing for our team. We get a lot of great ideas and feedback and are able to do a lot of experimentation as a result,” said Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki. “When a new beer gets great response in our taprooms, the logical move is to try to find a home for it in our distribution lineup. That’s what happened with Marvelroast. I think the perfect balance of coffee, vanilla and cocoa are going to make this beer a real treat this summer.” Continue reading

South Bay Craft Beer Options Update

UPDATES: September 13 – Burnin’ Daylight modifies Sunday hours.
Phantom Carriage adds days for to-go beer pickup.

UPDATE: September 4 – Culture Brewing Company now open.

I was going to update my last article on the South Bay breweries to-go and pickup options, but it looks like just about everything has changed so I might as well start from scratch.

Like the original article, this is solely a reference guide, so all breweries will be listed in alphabetical order for your ease and mine. Hours are subject to change so be sure to contact the brewery directly if you have questions.

Absolution Brewing Company – Cans, bottles, crowlers, growlers and kegs can be ordered online at https://www.absolutionbrewingcompany.com/shop-1. You can also order by phone at 310.490.4860 x101 or by email at orders@absolutionbrewingcompany.com. Deliveries are done Thursday through Sunday; order before 6:00 PM on those days for same day delivery. You can also pick up beers to-go at the brewery Monday through Wednesday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday and Friday from 9:00 to 7:00 PM, or on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 7:00 PM.

Brouwerij West – Brouwerij West now delivers throughout California; please visit https://www.brouwerijwest.com/buybeer for Pick Up, Local Delivery, and Shipping options. You can pick up beer to go at the brewery, daily from noon to 7:00 PM. Credit cards are preferred. Continue reading

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