On Saturday afternoon, a small contingency of local craft beer writers, photographers and a brewer met at Brouwerij West in San Pedro for a personal tour given by Brouwerij West President and Chief Financial Officer, Dave Holop and Founder and Brewmaster, Brian Mercer, as well as their head brewer, Jeremy Czuleger.
As this was the first visit to Brouwerij West for several of the attendees, the tour included a brief history of Brouwerij West and how each of the principles became involved in craft beer as well as some history behind the warehouse that was built during World War II but did not get a whole lot of use because the war ended shortly after construction of the building was completed. Continue reading
On Saturday, San Pedro’s latest production brewery opened their doors to the general public as Brouwerij West held their grand opening. To say it was well attended would be on the same level as suggesting beer is damp. When I was at Brouwerij West on Friday evening for the Founders’ Club pre-opening party I was speaking with the ever humble co-owner and head brewer, Brian Mercer, and he seemed to have concerns on whether people would show up the next day or not. When their event coordinator asked me how many people I thought would show up, I guessed that they would probably hit 1,000 with ease. The event began at noon, when I arrived a little after 3:00 I immediately knew I had severely underestimated the turnout. I had failed to take into consideration how supportive San Pedro residents are to their local businesses. I would be willing to bet they had at least 2,000 people show up throughout the course of the day.
Update: On Sunday evening Brian Mercer texted me to say that they actually had 4,500 people attend their event with a maximum of 1,500 at any point in the day. I don’t know who else around here could handle a day like that with virtually no issues other than maybe running out of a couple beers. They are definitely to be congratulated.
While most craft beer tasting rooms could not handle a group of that size, Brouwerij West has a couple advantages over the others. Their tasting room is huge and they have a large area outside that not only took care of the overflow of people, but it also held four food trucks, an auxiliary pouring station and a stage for the live entertainment. If there is any brewery around here that is built for a crowd as large as they had Saturday, Brouwerij West is the place. Continue reading
I guess it was at The Festival 2014 put on by the Shelton Brothers back in November of 2014 that many learned that Brouwerij West was planning on opening in the warehouse next to CRAFTED at the Port of Los Angeles. As people waited in line to enter The Festival, it would have been tough to not see the notice painted on the side of Warehouse No. 9 declaring that Brouwerij West was planning on opening in the spring of 2015. Of course, anyone that has been paying attention has probably noticed that the actual opening of a brewery is rarely constant with the dreams and desires of the brewery owners. But good things come to those that wait and patience is a virtue; Brouwerij West will have their Grand Opening on Saturday, February 27, 2016 from 12:00-9:00 PM!
Brouwerij West’s owners/founders Brian Mercer and Dave Holop were kind enough to allow me to photograph the building of their brewery so these photos begin back in March of 2015 when it consisted of a huge room with an old leaky roof. As time went on I was able to be there when their brewhouse was being assembled, during one of their first brews, and ending with the Hoppy Valentine’s Dinner that was held this past weekend.
Saturday’s Grand Opening will feature brewery tours, a beer garden, live music and food trucks. The live music begins at 5:00 PM featuring three local San Pedro bands; Bombon, Crow Baby and Underground Railroad to Candyland. After experiencing their Valentine’s dinner I can say with no reservation that this is going to be a fun event; you are going to want to come out to San Pedro if you can. Continue reading
Sometimes it is hard to remember that just a few years ago you could count the production breweries and brewpubs in the South Bay on one hand; now you need both of your hands and a foot to count them all and new locations are being constructed as you read this. A common question that has been debated frequently over the past couple of years is that of over saturation.
As a craft beer consumer, over saturation never really comes into play for me although I can understand how a brewery owner might not feel the same way. Of course, I might not feel the same way if all of our breweries were merely churning out the same brews and styles as the next guy, but the reality is that even though we have a dozen tasting rooms and brewpubs to visit in the general vicinity each is unique in their own way. I feel that as long as this trend continues the only problem the consumer will have is deciding which brewery to patronize on any particular day.
On Wednesday afternoon I headed over to the Port of Los Angeles and the future home of Brouwerij (pronounced: brewery) West. Those of you that were fortunate enough to attend The Festival 2014 at CRAFTED at the Port of Los Angeles back in November you probably remember the big Warehouse No. 9 that was located across the way from the warehouse that The Festival was held. This will be the new home for Brouwerij West. Continue reading