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

Founders Brewing Co. Announces Solid Gold

With summer right around the corner, Founders Brewing Co. has announced the release of Solid Gold, a new premium lager that was made available across the Founders national distribution network as of March 1, 2018. The starting point for this beer was a taproom classic, also called Solid Gold, that has been completely revamped by Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki.

Founders Solid Gold“We built Founders on an attitude of no regrets,” shares Mike Stevens, Co-Founder and CEO of Founders. “An attitude of taking risks to bring the best beer possible to our fellow renegades and rebels. Never brewing to style, but always brewing what we want to drink. Our take on a classic, Solid Gold is a drinkable golden lager brewed with the highest quality ingredients. Challenging what a lager can be? That’s something we won’t regret.”

“Solid Gold is a great starting point for people who are craft-curious,” adds Dave Engbers, Co-Founder and President of Founders. “It’s not over-complicated. It’s simple and well-rounded, full-flavored, but also light and crisp.” 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

A Return Visit to the Valley of the Sun

Every year at this time, I make my annual trek to the Valley of the Sun, which is essentially the Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe area of Arizona. I returned there last week and as I was preparing to write my article about my most recent beer travel, I came to the realization that while I went to Arizona last year and took photos, I never wrote about it. These photos will begin with my visits to O.H.S.O. Eatery & nano-Brewery, and McFate Brewing Company in 2017; and will end with my visits to Wren House Brewing, Scottsdale Beer Company, and Blasted Barley in 2018.

My typical Valley of the Sun weekend begins with go-kart racing in Scottsdale and ends with a convention in Tempe. This means that I set my GPS for a brewery that will get me closest to the race track in Scottsdale. In 2017 my first destination was O.H.S.O. Eatery & nano-Brewery, a brewpub located in the Arcadia area of Phoenix. Continue reading

Phantom Carriage Three Year Anniversary Photos

These photos were taken Saturday evening at Phantom Carriage Brewery in Carson, where they held their 3 Year Anniversary Party & Nuclear Blast Beer Release party. The event featured more than 20 of Phantom Carriage’s wild beers, including cellared rarities, plus rare guest beers from local craft breweries. Naturally their house-smoked BBQ was available, as was the music; the horror films, as usual, were available inside.

If you had not heard, Phantom Carriage has stepped up their brewing game and are actually canning some of their beers now; on Saturday they released a collaboration they did with Nuclear Blast USA, the self-described “world’s biggest independent heavy metal record label.” The beer, Blast Beast, is a Black India Pale Lager. I do not know how much is still available; you should probably just head over now if interested. 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

N’owt But Stout Festival at Yorkshire Square

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Yorkshire Square Brewery in Torrance where they celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by holding their first annual N’owt but Stout Festival. The N’owt (Nothing) but Stout festival featured nothing but dark beers, like stouts, porters and dunkels from 15 breweries selected by Yorkshire Square’s head brewer, Andy Black. They also had their Early Doors Pub Bitter available because a couple of Yorkshire’s regular customers wanted to come, but did not like stouts. The Early Doors made for a great palate cleanser after drinking something like Mikkeller’s Black Tide.

Besides Yorkshire Square, the other participating breweries were Beachwood Brewing, Stereo Brewing, Verdugo West Brewing, Craftsman Brewing, Eagle Rock Brewery, Karl Strauss, Green Cheek Beer Company, State Brewing, King Harbor Brewing, Firestone Walker’s Propagator, Inland Wharf Brewing, Mikkeller Brewing, Smog City Brewing and El Segundo Brewing Company. Food was available from either Vic’s Smokin’ BBQ, or BatterFish. 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

Pints with Purpose: International Bird Rescue

These photos were taken Thursday evening at Smog City Brewing Company, where they held their weekly Pints with Purpose fundraiser; this month the beneficiary is International Bird Rescue, a global leader in responding to man-made disasters affecting wildlife, such as oil spills and marine debris.

Every Thursday in March, Smog City will donate a portion of their gross daily receipts to the International Bird Rescue, which has a San Pedro location. Continue reading

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