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Craft Beer Tour 2018: Colorado

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

Hōkūle’a Brewing Company Soft Open Begins

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Hōkūle’a Brewing Company, when they officially opened their doors to begin their soft open, which will go on for a few weeks.

Although I arrived shortly after Hōkūle’a opened their doors, they already had 15 or 20 people seated trying the three Hōkūle’a brews that were available on day one; as well as the ciders from Southern California Cider Company (who shares the spot with Hōkūle’a), and a mead from Honest Abe’s.

Hōkūle’a’s three brews included their Gremmie Pils, Keiki IPA (a session IPA), and Key Lime Pai, a kettle sour. I think I enjoyed the Keiki IPA the most, but Key Lime Pai was definitely a crowd favorite when I was there. Continue reading

Hokulea Brewing: From the Beginning

The long awaited opening of Hokulea Brewing Company is upon us as it was announced today that Hokulea will begin their soft open Saturday, August 18. These photos show the build of Hokulea from when I first visited the location back in June 2017, through today.

Hokulea Brewing combined forces with The Honest Abe Cidery to create a brewpub with a brewery, cidery, and poke bar with 40 taps. Since they are a brewpub, they can sell beers from other breweries which is the plan is while Hokulea builds up its tap list of in-house brewed brews. You may notice the two very large fermenters in the photos; those are for the cider side of the house.

The soft open begins Saturday, and will continue daily until they have their official grand opening sometime in September. In the beginning, they hope to be able to offer food tastings, with the kitchen opening full time as soon as possible. Continue reading

Media Preview of 6th and La Brea

These photos were taken Wednesday evening at the soon to be opened, 6th and La Brea; the newest brewpub opened by the Artisanal Brewers Collective, a restaurant group co-founded by Tony Yanow, formerly of Golden Road Brewing.

If you are unfamiliar with the Artisanal Brewers Collective, do not feel too bad; I may have heard the name mentioned a time or two, but the brewpubs and gastropubs they have opened and are opening from Los Angeles to San Diego are names that I have heard mentioned pretty frequently lately. These include Bluebird Brasserie in Sherman Oaks, The Stalking Horse in West LA, The Bell Marker in San Diego, as well as a number of other current and pending locations.

6th and La Brea is a very nice, 8,400 square foot location with a spacious patio for those that want to enjoy to Southern California climate while dining on menu offerings created by Chef Jihee Kim, or enjoying house brews crafted Director of Brewing, Noah Regnery. Continue reading

Photos from The Propagator Turns 2

These photos were taken early Saturday afternoon at Firestone Walker Brewing Company’s, The Propagator Turns 2! celebration, held at the Venice, with a Marina del Rey mailing address, location. These photos are primarily from the VIP session which was held from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

It is hard to believe it has been two years already, but that could be because it was almost eight months after The Propagator opened before they were able to make The Propagator the R&D brewery it was intended to be.

Ticket holders to the sold out VIP session received a brewhouse tour, several tastes of Propagator and/or Barrelworks beers, light bites to eat and a crowler of Propagator brew to take home. Several of people were also able to take part in a taste comparison of three different hazy IPAs brewed with same recipe but fermented with different yeast strains; we were given samples of what each tasted like prior to being dry hopped and after being dry hopped. It was interesting how much difference the yeast made, both before and after being dry hopped. Continue reading

Lomita One Step Closer to Two Craft Breweries

burnin' daylight brewing

Burnin Daylight Brewing Co. Coming to Lomita

On Monday evening, a couple dozen people attended a City of Lomita Planning Commission meeting, where the topic of discussion was whether or not to allow a brewery to sell their beer on premise, and if so, to determine if Project Barley would be granted a Conditional Use Permit to open a microbrewery with a tasting room on Pacific Coast Highway in Lomita.

If the above paragraph makes you wonder how Project Barley somehow gives Lomita two craft breweries, then you do not follow this site as closely as you should. Last April I wrote that Burnin’ Daylight Brewing Company was granted their Conditional Use Permit by the Lomita City Council; Burnin’ Daylight had a couple extra hoops to jump through as there were a couple laws that had to be modified to allow them to sell beer to go. Burnin’ Daylight will be a brewpub, which means their rules are a little different, by definition. Project Barley can manufacture beer, but a law needs to be changed to allow them to have a tasting room, and the first steps were crossed this past Monday evening. Continue reading

A Return Visit to the Valley of the Sun

Every year at this time, I make my annual trek to the Valley of the Sun, which is essentially the Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe area of Arizona. I returned there last week and as I was preparing to write my article about my most recent beer travel, I came to the realization that while I went to Arizona last year and took photos, I never wrote about it. These photos will begin with my visits to O.H.S.O. Eatery & nano-Brewery, and McFate Brewing Company in 2017; and will end with my visits to Wren House Brewing, Scottsdale Beer Company, and Blasted Barley in 2018.

My typical Valley of the Sun weekend begins with go-kart racing in Scottsdale and ends with a convention in Tempe. This means that I set my GPS for a brewery that will get me closest to the race track in Scottsdale. In 2017 my first destination was O.H.S.O. Eatery & nano-Brewery, a brewpub located in the Arcadia area of Phoenix. Continue reading

Phantom Carriage Three Year Anniversary Photos

These photos were taken Saturday evening at Phantom Carriage Brewery in Carson, where they held their 3 Year Anniversary Party & Nuclear Blast Beer Release party. The event featured more than 20 of Phantom Carriage’s wild beers, including cellared rarities, plus rare guest beers from local craft breweries. Naturally their house-smoked BBQ was available, as was the music; the horror films, as usual, were available inside.

If you had not heard, Phantom Carriage has stepped up their brewing game and are actually canning some of their beers now; on Saturday they released a collaboration they did with Nuclear Blast USA, the self-described “world’s biggest independent heavy metal record label.” The beer, Blast Beast, is a Black India Pale Lager. I do not know how much is still available; you should probably just head over now if interested. Continue reading

A Visit to Kern River Brewing Company

These photos were taken Wednesday afternoon at Kern River Brewing Company in Kernville, and Lucky Luke Brewing Company in Palmdale. I needed to do someone a favor in Gorman, and since that was 75 miles of a 175 mile drive, I decided it was time for me to make my long overdue visit to Kern River Brewing Company (KRBC).

As I drove along the Kern River I thought back to the days that I used to ride up to Kernville with my buddy Gary; it was then that I realized that it had to be close to 40 years since the last time I was up in that area. I wondered if I would even recognize the few landmarks that I remembered from our exploits of the late 70’s and early 80’s. Continue reading

The Craft Beer Guy 2017 Year in Review

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.

steelcraft soft open

Smog City – Steelcraft – Bixby Knolls

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.

Just a bit of trivia; while there were about 50 LA County Brewers Guild members in January of 2017, today there are almost 70! Continue reading

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