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.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
These photos were taken during session one on Saturday, September 22, which was day six of my Craft Beer Tour 2018 and day three of the Brewer Association’s 2018 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) which is being held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.
After leaving the 2018 GABF Awards at the Bellco Theatre I headed over to the first of Saturday’s two sessions, which had probably been going on for a half-hour. My goal was simple; try some medal winning beers and get photos of those that I had yet to see during the prior two days; mission accomplished. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday morning at the Brewers Association GABF Awards ceremony, which was held in the Bellco Theatre at the Colorado Convention Center.
There were over 100 categories, consisting of over 8,800 entries from 2,400 breweries. One of the new categories, Hazy IPA, had the most entries which was the first time in many years that the IPA category did not have most entries. I guess they are here to stay.
These photos were taken Friday, September 21, which was day five of my Craft Beer Tour 2018 and day two of the Brewer Association’s 2018 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) which is being held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.
Friday began with a Media Brewery Tour, which was put on by Discover Denver. We visited three Denver breweries to give newcomers to Denver an idea of the scope of the craft beer revolution in Denver. We visited Oskar Blues new Denver location, Oskar Blues Grill & Brew, the new Odell Brewing RiNo Brewhouse, and Call to Arms Brewing. Continue reading
These photos were taken Thursday, September 20, which was day four of my Craft Beer Tour 2018 and day one of the 2018 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) which is being held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.
My day started off at the Jameson VIP Tasting which was held at The 360 at Skyline. The event was held to introduce Jameson’s Caskmates, two new versions of Jameson. These whiskeys were aged in barrels that had previously been used to age beer. They offered us samples of their standard Jameson, followed up with the stout and IPA versions. The event continued up on the rooftop of The 360 at Skyline, where we were treated to cocktails, beer, food, and a great panoramic view of the city. When the attendees were done there, we were given a tuk tuk ride to the convention center so that we arrived just in time for session one of GABF 2018. Continue reading
These photos were taken Wednesday, September 19, at High Altitude Hops Farm in Larkspur, and Lone Tree Brewing Company in Lone Tree; which was day three of my Craft Beer Tour 2018.
Before I left L.A. on Monday, my friend Desiree, a beertender at King Harbor Brewing Company, told me she was going to introduce me to her friends Kris Meese and his wife Aleece, the owners of High Altitude Hops Farm. So when I left Durango I set off towards Larkspur, which is about 40 miles south of Denver.
Kris has been growing hops for about five years, beginning with what was apparently nothing more than a divider between their property and their neighbor. After two years they made their first sale to a local brewery; at that point they decided they needed a larger area if they were going to grow enough to make this a viable business. That is when they moved to Larkspur and a five acre spread. Continue reading
These photos were taken Tuesday, September 18, in Durango, Colorado; which was day two of my Craft Beer Tour 2018.
When I left Flagstaff, I headed east on US Hwy 160 for a 300 mile drive through some very scenic areas. Along the way is the Four Corners Monument, where Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado meet; a volcano or two, and some dinosaur footprints you can touch, if desired. As I have already seen that stuff, I just made a mental note of yesteryear and continued on.
If you are in a hurry, this is not a good route to take; there are lots of two lane stretches, and even one one-lane stretch. You go through a couple Indian reservations so there are towns along the way that have 25 MPH speed limits. Continue reading
These photos were taken Monday, September 17, in Kingman and Flagstaff, Arizona.
On Monday I left the South Bay to head to Denver for the Great American Beer Festival. If you followed my journey to GABF last year you may recall that I traveled through Utah to get there. The lack of breweries on that route ensured that I take the southern route through Arizona this time. Day one was much better this year.
My first gas stop was in Kingman, AZ, which was about 330 miles from home using I-40. It has been a while since I was in Kingman, but it is a big enough town that I figured there had to be a brewery there. Google informed me that Black Bridge Brewery was only a couple miles from the gas station I was at, so I set it in my GPS for a seven minute drive. Continue reading
These photos were taken Thursday evening at Zymurgy Brew Works & Tasting Room in Torrance, where they held another in their series of “every once in a while” brewing classes. Thursday’s class was to learn how to brew a hazy IPA using all grain and was led by Zymurgy Brew Works brewer Richard Wirsing. Each of the attendees will receive one 22oz bottle of the beer they brewed at a later date.
Wirsing explained the brewing process, complete with the Brewers Association newly defined description of the “hazy IPA”. Wirsing even went so far as to pass around bags of various hop varieties so the class participants could have some say as to the hop profile of their IPA. Continue reading
As the year draws to a close, it is time to think back on what 2017 has brought to the craft beer world; more specifically what has happened in the Craft Beer Guy world. As 2016 came to a pretty crappy end for me, I did not do one last year; for that reason, I will begin with the end of 2016 as it segued into 2017.
My coverage of 2016 ended pretty much the way 2017 started, with the opening of Smog City Brewing Company’s satellite tasting room, Smog City – SteelCraft in the Bixby Knolls area of Long Beach. They opened the location at the end of December; by the middle of January they had applied for, and were granted the ability to sell growlers and bottles to go.
Later in January the inaugural L.A. Beer and Food Festival was presented by the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild. The sold-out event featured close to 50 member breweries of the LA Brewers Guild as well as 15 local food vendors. This year the L.A. Beer and Food Festival will be held Saturday, January 27. Buy your tickets now, before it sells out.