For those that think I made a typo in the title, I didn’t. A Class of Beer: An Overview of the Craft Brewing Renaissance is a class that was offered this spring through UCLA’s continuing education program; UCLA Extension. The class, taught by local beerlebrity, beer hoarder and writer for Celebrator Beer News and Beer Paper L.A. Tomm Carroll, explored the history of beer from ancient times to today’s craft beer explosion. With Carroll leading the class, students learned about different styles of beers as well as how to differentiate between a flawed beer and a good one. Essentially, by the time they completed the eight week class, attendees should be well on their way to being capable of pursuing a rank from the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) or to begin the Brewers Association’s program to be certified as a Cicerone.
As we all know, sitting in a classroom listening to beer experts like Carroll, John Palmer, author of Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers; Devon Randall of Arts District Brewing; Rob Croxall of El Segundo Brewing, as well as various craft beer bar owners, homebrewers and judges is all well and good but until you can see, smell and taste the beer the talking can only go so far. To remedy this, Carroll has beer tastings of four different beers for each classroom session and arranged a few field trips to locations like Monkish Brewing to discuss brewing styles and yeasts; Mohawk Bend to learn about running a craft beer bar or brewpub; and this past Monday they visited Select Beer Store in Redondo Beach, where I caught up to them. Continue reading
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