Craft Beer LB Fest 2019 Photos

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at the third annual Craft Beer LB Fest, which was held at the Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site. The event featured craft beer from 16 Long Beach area breweries, food from a few local restaurant pop-ups, live music from Katie Jo & The Mijos, as well as a few games for the competitive people in attendance. A portion of the proceeds from the event went to the Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site.

The breweries in attendance included such regulars as Ambitious Ales, Ballast Point, Beachwood Brewing, Beachwood Blendery, Belmont Brewing, Hog Canyon Brewing, Dutch’s Brewhouse, Congregation Ale House, Liberation Brewing, Long Beach Beer Lab, Rock Bottom, Smog City, Steady Brew Beer, Ten Mile Brewing, and Timeless Pints. Trademark Brewing made their first appearance, and Stein Fillers brew shop had a couple beers available including their version of Sierra Nevada’s Resilience IPA. Continue reading

Smog City West Soft Open Photos

These photos were taken Wednesday afternoon at the soft open of Smog City West in Torrance; the second of Smog City Brewing’s satellite tasting rooms. Located at the space formerly occupied by Zymurgy Brew Works & Tasting Room, the interior has been completely redone, save the cold box and draft lines. Smog City West has a nice bar to sit at, as well as numerous tables and stools; so there is plenty of room for patrons to enjoy the 18 beers they currently have available.

The tap list currently includes seven Smog City favorites such as Little Bo Pils, Smog City IPA, and Bourbon O.E., but they also have eight of their small batch and experimental brews that are not available anywhere else; primarily saisons, sours, and barrel-aged blends. So if those are the style of beers you enjoy the most, Smog City West is where you want to be.

The soft open hours will be 3:00-9:00 Wednesday thru Friday, 12:00-9:00 on Saturdays, and 12:00-8:00 on Sundays. The soft opening will continue through Saturday, October 12, at which time the hours will change to 3:00-9:00 on Wednesday and Thursday, 12:00-10:00 on Friday and Saturday, and 12:00-8:00 on Sundays. Continue reading

Summit Beer Festival 2019 Photos

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Marina Green Park in Long Beach, where the California Craft Brewers Association (CCBA) culminated their three day celebration of California craft beer and the CCBA’s 30 years of protecting and supporting the more than 1000 breweries in the state of California with California’s largest craft beer festival which featured 170 craft breweries from around the state.

To be honest, I almost did not make it due to the fact that I seemed to have picked up some type of convention crud on Thursday. I didn’t feel too bad on Friday, so I toughed it out and substituted handshakes with fist bumps; unfortunately, while that may have prevented me from spreading the bug to others, it did nothing to make me feel better Saturday. I felt worse than I have in years and it was very hot which did not make it any easier on me. But, as I am having another craft beer festival in a few months there was research to be done; so I struggled through it. Continue reading

CA Craft Beer Summit Day Two Photos

These photos were taken Friday afternoon at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, where the California Craft Brewers Association (CCBA) presented the second of a three day celebration of California craft beer and the CCBA’s 30 years of protecting and supporting more than 1000 breweries in the state of California.

While Thursday at the CA Craft Beer Summit Expo was packed, Friday had a significantly smaller crowd. It was suggested that many went home after the Brewers Cup Awards, but since the Summit Beer Festival was happening on Saturday, I have my doubts that was the reason. I suspect many of those from out of town took advantage of a day off and did touristy stuff; like visiting some of our local breweries. Continue reading

CA Craft Beer Summit Day One Photos

These photos were taken Thursday afternoon at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, where the California Craft Brewers Association (CCBA) kicked off the beginning of a three day celebration of California craft beer and the CCBA’s 30 years of protecting and supporting 1000 breweries in the state of California.

Thursday was a day of education, networking and an expo for brewers, retailers, distributors, craft beer lovers, and homebrewers. Whether you were seeking hops or hardware, cans or labels, a canning line or a new brewhouse, there was a vendor there for you. And there was beer; lots of California craft beer with each brewers guild in the state having their own booth scattered among the vendors.

The guilds included the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild, the Orange County Brewers Guild, the Central Coast Brewers Guild, the San Diego Brewers Build, the Sacramento Area Brewers Guild, the Bay Area Brewers Guild, and the Inland Empire Brewers Guild. Each booth broke up their beer offerings into two sessions to provide maximum exposure to their member breweries. Continue reading

4th Annual Pub at the Club Photos

These photos were taken Sunday afternoon at the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club Junior Foundation’s 4th Annual Pub at the Club; which was presented by Porsche South Bay and held at the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club in Manhattan Beach. The event featured at least 12 breweries and cideries, as well as numerous wineries and food from local restaurants.

100% of the proceeds, which included ticket sales, raffles and a silent auction went to the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club Junior Foundation, a charity dedicated to developing champions on and off the court by supporting all athletes, including special needs and Para-athletes.

Taking into consideration how hot and humid it has been the past week, Sunday’s weather was amazing, with plenty of sunshine combined with a nice cooling ocean breeze. Continue reading

5th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover Photos

These photos were taken Thursday, September 5, at Tortilla Cantina Taco Bistro and Sports Bar in Torrance, where they hosted my 5th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. This year’s event featured beer, cider and mead from 26 of the South Bay’s best breweries and cideries, and live music featuring Ashleigh Correa. For the first time, there were two anniversary brews commemorating five years of putting on the South Bay Tap Takeover.

One of the anniversary beers was Better Weather Sweater IPA, which was a collaboration beer brewed at Smog City last month with 20 South Bay breweries. Better Weather Sweater came out amazing; it is very well balanced and with a 5.9 ABV, it is perfectly crushable for this heat we are going through. Better Weather Sweater will be released today (Friday) at all the Smog City locations and at several brewpubs throughout the Los Angeles area. It is perfect for those that complain about IPAs being “too hoppy” as that is not going to be a complaint from anyone. The second anniversary beer was 2nd Cold War Russian Imperial Stout, a collaboration I did with Zymurgy Brew Works back in April. As Zymurgy was sold to Smog City, this was officially the last Zymurgy beer to be commercially available. Continue reading

5th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover Coming September 5

collaboration brew

Better Weather Sweater Collaboration Brew Team

Clear your calendars; one week from today, Thursday September 5, I will be presenting my 5th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover at Tortilla Cantina in Old Torrance.

If you have attended any of the previous four tap takeovers, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect; if you have never been I can summarize with at least 25 South Bay breweries/cideries pouring from 50 taps.

When I started this in 2015, we had 10 South Bay breweries with 40 taps; in 2016 there were 15, and in 2017 we had 18 South Bay breweries with 40 taps. In 2018 there was a change of management at the original venue (Flights), and they decided they wanted to do their own thing. I wished them luck, and then approached Rick Gomez of Tortilla Cantina to see if they would be interested in hosting the 4th annual tap takeover. I approached Rick for three reasons; I knew he was a big supporter of the local craft beer scene, every South Bay brewery owner I spoke with knew and really liked Rick, and I knew he had 48 taps. I do not think Rick really knew what he was in for, but he went all-in and the 4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover ended up featuring 22 local breweries participating, and with the help of a jockey box, 49 taps of craft beer! Continue reading

San Diego Beer Week VIP Preview Party Photos

These photos were taken Thursday evening at Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens at Liberty Station, where the San Diego Brewers Guild presented a VIP preview of the 11th Annual San Diego Beer Week which will be held November 1-10.

The event began with a free Happy Hour consisting of appetizers from the Stone Brewing World Bistro kitchen, and beers from Stone Brewing, Amplified Ale Works, Burgeon Beer Company, North Park Beer Company, Second Chance Beer Company, and Thorn Brewing. There was also wine and sodas for those that didn’t want beer.

After an hour and a half of networking, eating and drinking on one of Liberty Station’s multiple patios, we were guided inside for a short presentation explaining why we were all there … other than the opportunity to network, eat, and drink some of San Diego’s craft beers. Continue reading

Photos from the Wild Beer and Cheese Pairing at King Harbor Brewing

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at King Harbor Brewing, in Redondo Beach, where Head Brewer Phil McDaniel hosted a wild beer and cheese pairing. The ticketed event had about a dozen attendees and featured pairings of King Harbor’s Radberry Wild, Ride the Wild, and Grand Cru wild ales with cheeses from Four Fat Fowl, Cyprus Grove, and Cheeseland.

It has been suggested that I am an anomaly in the craft beer world, in that I am not particularly fond of pizza or cheese. I discovered that I was not alone, as a couple of attendees confided that they were not really “into cheese” before this cheese pairing; by the end of the event I think we were all convinced that we just had not tried the right cheeses. I spoke with one person that was not a fan of wild ales at all, but the cheese paired with them made them quite enjoyable. Continue reading

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