I have to admit, becoming “The Craft Beer Guy” has certainly opened up many doors for me, including special events; and I get to meet a lot of interesting people, some of which I have developed friendships with. One of these people is Jonathan Urch, and these photos are from his 40th birthday celebration which began at Firestone Walker’s Propagator and ended down the street at Scopa Italian Roots, where Jon, his wife, and about 25 friends from around the world gathered to celebrate Jon’s 40th time of successfully navigating around the sun with a nice dinner.
I met Jon in October of 2015 at the Guinness Nitro IPA Advanced Tasting and dinner at The Larchmont in Hollywood. At the time, Jon was Diageo Customer Marketing Director. That evening was special in a couple ways; I was able to meet Jon and I was given the first Guinness Nitro IPA ever poured from a tap in the United States. As I have always been a Guinness fan, that was kind of a big deal to me. Continue reading
On July 9, the Business & Beer networking group had their July gathering at Torrance production brewery, Absolution Brewing Company. As we were saying our goodbyes, Absolution Brewing co-owner and main sales guru Steve Farguson happened to overhear a conversation I was having with an old friend when the topic of my upcoming birthday came up. When Steve heard “birthday” his ears perked up and he suggested that perhaps they would have a birthday party for me if he could generate enough interest with the other local breweries. I was flattered, but I explained that my birthday was in 10 days and that really did not seem like enough time to pull something like that off. It was decided that Steve would ask around and we would play it by ear.
To my surprise, a couple days later Steve informed me that El Segundo Brewing and Phantom Carriage were on board; then it just started to grow with eventually Strand Brewing, Smog City and King Harbor Brewing Company also joining in. By the time all was said and done we had representatives from local breweries and various craft beer industry types joining a few of my family members and personal friends.
My darling Tanya spent the two days prior slaving over a hot stove creating treats for the guests including pulled pork with homemade rolls made from spent grain and carrot cake. Others brought in treats like cheeses, meatballs and shrimp; and of course, there were lots of growlers and crowlers so everyone had an opportunity to try a wide variety of locally crafted beer. Continue reading