A Visit to Tortugo Brewing Company

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon, when I made my first visit to Inglewood’s second craft brewery, Tortugo Brewing Company.

If you happened to read my review of 2018, you might recall my saying that I kind of feel like a slacker due to my inability to keep up with the local craft beer growth stating that there were at least two breweries in the South Bay that I had yet to visit; Tortugo Brewing was one of those two.

Tortugo opened at the end of June and definitely stands out as you drive down the street towards it. It is a 6,600 square foot building that appears even larger with its bright orange and blue highlights paint job. As founder Joe Kovach put it, there has been nothing new on the street in a couple decades; the color makes it pretty tough to not notice something new on the street. The color scheme is meant to represent a bright sunset (the orange) over the ocean (the blue). Continue reading

The Craft Beer Guy 2018 Year in Review

It is that time of year again, when I try to summarize what has happened in the past year, as far as local craft beer is concerned and the highlights of the Craft Beer Guy year. As I typically do, I read over last year’s review to see what predictions I may have made, and how they panned out.

Burnin' Daylight

Burnin’ Daylight Brewing – Coming soon!

Last year I predicted that Burnin’ Daylight Brewing Company, a brewpub in Lomita; and Port Town Brewing, a production brewery in San Pedro would be open by the end of 2018. While I am sure the respective owners would have loved to see that come true, alas, it was not to be. That being said, Burnin’ Daylight is now brewing beer and they are just waiting for some final checks from places like the county health department. If all goes well, Burnin’ Daylight should be open for at least a soft open by mid-January 2019. Port Town Brewing had a larger obstacle, aka the City of Los Angeles, but they are making progress and might just open their doors before 2019 ends.

I have to admit, with all the growth that is going on around here, I kind of feel like a slacker. It used to be a lot easier to keep up, but I am ashamed to say that there are at least two breweries in the South Bay that I have yet to visit; trying to keep up with the Long Beach area has proven tough. I have to rely on craft beer festivals like Festival Obscura to keep me somewhat in the loop. Continue reading

Sip & Savor Pasadena Photos

These photos were taken Friday at the inaugural Pasadena Tournament of Roses Sip & Savor, a three-day end-of-year event being held at the Rosemont Pavilion/Jackie Robinson Memorial Field at the Rose Bowl this weekend. The family friendly event celebrates Southern California’s food, wine and craft beer scene. Attendees can try various foods from about 10 restaurants like The Crack Shack, Pez Cantina, and Lucille’s, which you can pair with wine from about 15 wineries, or craft beer from the four breweries representing the Greater Los Angeles area.

The breweries pouring included Firestone Walker’s “sports bar”, complete with TVs so you can watch the game while enjoying one of their brews, Angel City, Alosta Brewing, and recently opened, Highpoint Brewing Company. Continue reading

Bravus Brewing: Craft Beer for Your Designated Driver

Bravus IPA

Bravus Brewing IPA – Non-Alcoholic Beer


For those of you that are considering beginning 2019 with a Dryanuary; or if it is your turn to play designated driver for this year’s New Years Eve party, Bravus Brewing may have just what you are looking for, non-alcoholic craft beer. Yes, you heard me right; non-alcoholic craft beer!

Bravus Brewing, out of Santa Ana, California, is the first brewery in the United States to brew solely non-alcoholic beer. If you are as old as me and your only experience with non-alcoholic beer was with Near Beer, you might ask, “Why bother?” For Bravus founder Philip Brandes it was two-fold. Firstly, Brandes’ brother was a sales rep for a brewery and would take him to various beer fests where he first learned about the craft beer craze. Secondly, and I think probably more importantly, he spent a weekend in Mexico with a friend that brought the only non-alcoholic beer he could find, Sharp’s and O’Doul’s. That was enough to convince Brandes that something had to be done. Continue reading

King Harbor Brewing Ugly Sweater Christmas Party Photos

These photos were taken Saturday evening at the King Harbor Brewing Company production brewery and tasting room in Redondo Beach, where they held their Ugly Sweater Christmas Party. The event featured Slater’s 50/50 and Due Mani Pizza food trucks and lots of great King Harbor brews.

King Harbor Brewing Company has three locations in Redondo Beach; 2907 182nd Street, 132 International Boardwalk, and 1719 S Catalina Avenue in Redondo Beach. All three locations are open seven days, offer beer to go, and are dog friendly. Cheers! Continue reading

Absolution Brewing Holiday Party 2018 Photos

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Absolution Brewing Company in Torrance, where Absolution held their annual Holiday Party. The event featured a visit from Santa Claus for those that still needed to turn in their wish lists, live music by ‘Tremors’, prizes for the most festive holiday outfits, and probably most importantly, an introduction to Absolution Brewing’s new head brewer, Erik DeBellis.

For those unaware, Absolution’s former brewer, Bart Bullington left Absolution a month or so ago for family reasons. Shortly after that, Erik DeBellis left the brewery he was head brewer at, Ximix Craft Exploration.

Absolution Brewing Company MUG Club members were treated to DeBellis’ next new beer for Absolution, a Brut IPA they are calling Chateau Absolution. If you have spent any time at Absolution over the last four years, you are definitely going to notice that this is entirely different than what we have become accustomed. Continue reading

2018 El Segundo Holiday Parade Photos

These photos were taken Sunday afternoon at El Segundo Brewing Company and Main Street in El Segundo, where the El Segundo Chamber of Commerce presented the 55th Annual El Segundo Holiday Parade. The parade featured marching bands, floats, classic cars, a life size Hot Wheels Car and more. This year the Grand Marshal was El Segundo’s Citizen of the Year and father to El Segundo Brewing co-founder Rob Croxall, Dick Croxall.

One of the main floats, in my biased opinion, was presented by El Segundo Brewing Company and featured the “The Stocking Stuffers” along with The Angry Elf and Merry Manders. Continue reading

Founders Brewing to Release Azacca IPA in Cans

Founders Azacca IPA Founders Brewing Co. has announced the return of seasonal favorite, Azacca IPA, to its lineup. Available through March 2019, Azacca IPA features an updated can design that showcases the artwork inspired by the beer’s namesake and singular hop character. First introduced to the brewery’s seasonal lineup in 2016, Azacca IPA features Azacca hops from Yakima-based Roy Farms and celebrates the versatility of a single-hop in an American-style IPA.

Named after the Haitian god of agriculture, the Azacca hop has an intense tropical aroma with hints of citrus and mango. A touch of caramel malt gives a sweet backbone to support the righteous fruit character of this beer. Showing a burnt orange color and registering at 7% ABV, your taste buds will worship this heavenly, single-hopped delight. Azacca IPA is exclusively available in cans and on draft. The suggested retail price for Azacca IPA is $17.99 for the 15-pack cans and $8.99 for the 6-pack cans. Continue reading

Cask’s Not Dead Fest 2018 Photos

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Yorkshire Square Brewery in Torrance, where they held their inaugural Cask’s Not Dead Fest 2018. The invitational event featured 32 cask ales, provided by 29 local craft breweries, and one from Germany. In addition, there was live music provided by Whiskey Sunday and The Brilliant Gypsies, as well as food provided by Top Shelf Tacos and Stop Bye Cafe food trucks.

The Cask’s Not Dead Fest included a friendly competition between the 30 breweries. As most of the breweries do not typically provide cask ales the competition was broken down into two categories, Traditional Cask Ales and Abnormal Ales, with the Abnormal Ales being cask ales that were IPAs or included adjuncts such as cacao nibs, oak chips, vanilla beans, and such. Continue reading

Melvin Brewing San Diego Soft Open

These photos were taken Thursday afternoon at the soft open for the new Melvin Brewing which is opening in the East Village area of San Diego.

Melvin Brewing is a Wyoming-based brewery that is known primarily for their IPAs. I don’t think I was aware of them before I attended the 2017 Great American Beer Festival; but I think it would be difficult to not have noticed them if you were an attendee. The two years that I have attended, Melvin’s booth was an old school bus, which co-founder Jeremy Tofte apparently lived in for a year. Their booth included a DJ during each GABF session, and had WWE Hall of Fame wrestler “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan hanging out at the booth to shake hands, take photos and sign autographs. I seem to recall they had impromptu parades during a couple of the sessions that included their representatives in costume.

They were more than just a show though, as they walked away with the Brewery Group and Brewmaster of the Year award, along with a pair of gold medals for American-Style Strong Pale Ale (Hubert MPA) and Fresh or Wet Hop Ale (Wet Hop Melvin). So when I was invited to attend their VIP soft opening it seemed like a no-brainer as San Diego is significantly closer to me than anywhere in Wyoming. Continue reading

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