On Saturday afternoon I happened to notice a post on my Facebook feed that there was a bottle share planned for 4:00 PM at Zayna Flaming Grill in Redondo Beach. There were a couple things that caught my eye; the first was most likely the photo accompanying the announcement that included ISO:FT by The Bruery, a Russian River Beatification and a Cigar City Hunahpu’s. The other was that it was being announced by Adam’s Fine Wines & Liquors. You see, the first time I met the owner of Adam’s, Kevin Olson, was at the first bottle share I ever attended back in July 2012 at Sophie’s Place. We had such a good time that I knew this would be a great one to attend; it turns out I was right.
As it was a last minute event, there were only a handful of attendees, only a couple of whom I knew; but after a couple hours everyone was chatting and sharing as though we had been friends for years. That is what craft beer does; it makes strangers into acquaintances and acquaintances into friends. There may have only been a few of us, but the beers that were brought showed that everyone involved enjoyed only the finest. The bottles that were shared included:
Sour in the Rye (Kumquats) (2013) by The Bruery
Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout (2013) by Cigar City Brewing
The Abyss (2013) by Deschutes Brewery
Apricot Ale (2013) by Cascade Brewing Company (USA)
Noyaux (2011) by Cascade Brewing Company (USA)
Batch #100 by Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project
Sanctification (Batch 112812) by Russian River Brewing Company
Supplication (Batch 092414) by Russian River Brewing Company
Beatification (Batch 006) by Russian River Brewing Company
Bourbon County Brand Stout Vanilla Rye (2014) by Goose Island Beer Co.
Darkstar November by Bottle Logic Brewing
ISO:FT by The Bruery
Veritas 013 by The Lost Abbey
The president of the newly formed Los Angeles County Brewers Guild, Jeremy Raub, said that the goal of this 6th Annual LA Beer Week is to “showcase the many diverse components” of the local craft beer scene. This includes the brewers, bar owners, distributors and journalists that help get fresh craft beer to you and make you aware of these brews. Since I usually spend my time promoting breweries, craft beer bars, home brew clubs and gastropubs, I thought I would do something a little different and discuss some of the local bottle shops that specialize in good beer; whether local or international as long as it is craft. It is nice to be able to walk into a tasting room whenever you like, but that just is not possible [around here] primarily due to the limited hours that tasting rooms are open. Besides, as much as I enjoy the beers that are brewed around here, when it comes to beer variety is definitely the spice of my life. Today I am going to introduce you to three locations in the South Bay that will likely provide many of the hard to find brews that are available to the person that doesn’t mind searching a little. The three bottle shops are Number 1 Liquor and Adam’s Fine Wines & Liquors in Redondo Beach; and 3Ten Liquor in Torrance.
Number 1 Liquor has been at the same location on the corner of Aviation and Grant Avenue since the 1970’s; although they did not start promoting craft beer until 2012. To be honest, the first time I heard about Number 1 I was told to not tell anyone about it. They were one of the only bottle shops in the South Bay that had a Russian River allocation, making it one of the few places around here that you could buy a bottle of Pliny the Elder, Blind Pig or any other Russian River beers. The downside to it was that you had to know that they had it in stock in order to get some. That was actually my main turn off to the place; it seemed like they had more beer in the back room than they had displayed and you had to know what to ask for otherwise it was a matter of telling them what style or brewery you preferred and they would bring out what they thought was close. It was less than ideal; but there was no doubt that they carried more varieties of hard to find craft beer than any other independent liquor store that I was aware of. Continue reading