The photos were taken Saturday afternoon at the Craft Beer Reclamation Center (aka my house), where I held another in a series of what I call the COVID Craft Beer Exchange.
Those of you that read my recap of 2020 may recall that I mentioned that back in September Craft Beer Guy Facebook followers were being invited to participate in a craft beer exchange that I started holding. So far we have done it every month except February.
Yesterday we had our largest turnout, with 15 traders; it was also the first time that we had two people bring the same beers. We had lots of local breweries represented, including King Harbor, HopSaint, Common Space, The Crac Brewery and Grub, Project Barley, Brouwerij West, and Three Weavers. With a total of 27 craft beers to choose from, there were plenty of options available. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Stout Burgers and Beers Hollywood location, where they held The Rarest Experience 2018 on the Stout parking lot. Presented by Beer Fest for Beer Geeks, The Rarest Experience featured close to 40 extremely rare beers collected and cellared by the National Beer Manager for Stout Burgers & Beers, Joey Anderson over the years.
In addition to the outstanding beer selection, attendees were treated to treats from the Stout kitchen, including lamb meatballs, grilled cheese sandwiches and sliders. Cornhole and Jenga were set up for those with a competitive nature, and live music was provided by 1950’s inspired Los Angeles based rock band, The Miskreants. They also raffled off a few homebrew kits as well as a barrel that had been used by The Brews Brothers.
As this may be the last in The Rarest Experience series of beer festivals, Anderson and Stout did not hold back; take a look at the official beer list: Continue reading
These photos were taken at the 5th Annual Kraft Bierfest that was held Saturday afternoon at Alpine Village in Torrance. Having attended every Kraft Bierfest since inception I can say that Saturday’s event reminded me of their first event in 2012 in that there was lots of quality beer but not very many people there to drink it. Since Alpine Village buys the beer they pour, rather than relying on donations, this means it is probably going to be a good time to visit there as their tap list probably has a lot of leftovers available.
In 2012 they had about 100 beers and maybe 200 attendees (probably a generous headcount); on Saturday they had about 50 beers, if there were 100 people that showed up I would be surprised. There was very little in the way of advertising, which was the obvious reason for so few showing up. But, as was pointed out to me by a few people, what was lacking in attendance was definitely made up for with the quality of beers available. In fact, this event was one of the “biggest” I have attended as far as ABV is concerned, in quite a while. Continue reading
These photos were taken at the 4th Annual Alpine Kraft Bierfest which was held at the Alpine Inn Restaurant at Alpine Village in Torrance. The craft beer event featured beers from all over the United States with a couple very rare Belgian brews added for good measure. While I did not take the time to count each of the breweries represented or the number of various beers available for sampling, they advertised over 40 breweries and 100 beers. I know there were a couple other craft beer events going on in Southern California this past weekend, but if you drove away from the South Bay instead of towards it, you may have messed up.
The Kraft Bierfest was held over the course of two sessions, beginning Friday evening and concluding with an afternoon session on Saturday afternoon. This was the second time they have split the event up over two sessions. Last year, to avoid the possibility of the best brews running out during the first session, Alpine’s event coordinators decided to split up the beers by day and put up a schedule of appearance for the brews so people could choose which day would have the most beers that they wanted to try. This time they made every brew available on both days but cut off serving brews that were limited on Friday so some would be available on Saturday. While there were people that were not too happy when the Agrestic or Winter Harvest ran out on Friday, the people that showed up on Saturday were quite grateful.
While I do not have the final numbers, it seemed like there may have been people in attendance on Friday night than Saturday afternoon; I doubt if either session had more than a couple hundred people in attendance. The only line I recall seeing that had more than four people in it were the first few people that arrived Saturday and headed straight for the Agrestic. I would not be surprised to see this event go back to being a one session deal. Continue reading
These photos were taken Monday night at the Clown Shoes Beer tap takeover which was held at the Tortilla Cantina Mexican restaurant in Torrance. Clown Shoes Beer west coast ambassador “Filthy” Phil Thomas brought three Clown Shoes offerings; Space Cake DIPA, Clementine Belgian style White Ale, and of course, Photosphere Phil – the IPA named after Thomas and bearing his likeness on the label. Attendees of the tap takeover were able to “steal the glass” for the first Clown Shoes pint they purchased. A few attendees took the opportunity to grab a photo with Photosphere Phil with their pints of Photosphere.
While I have know of Clown Shoes and Thomas for a couple years now, I never really knew much about Clown Shoes so I took opportunity to find out a little more about Clown Shoes Beer last night. Clown Shoes Beer opened in 2010 and is gypsy brewing out of Ipswich, Massachusetts. They are entering their sixth year of brewing and their list of brews, past and present, is pretty impressive. If you have noticed their bombers at your local bottle shop, you had to notice their distinctive labeling as well. They do some pretty solid stuff. By the way, they will be pouring at the upcoming Alpine Kraft Bierfest, so if you have not tried them yet you know where to find them.
Tortilla Cantina is located at 1225 El Prado Avenue in Old Torrance. They have an excellent selection of craft beer at excellent prices and have a happy hour seven days a week from 3:00 – 6:00 PM. Recently; Tortilla Cantina has been holding “steal the glass” tap takeovers on pretty much a weekly basis. I know that in the past few weeks, besides Clown Shoes last night, Mission, Bell’s and Kinetic have been featured. Check out the Tortilla Cantina website for more information on upcoming events. Cheers! Continue reading
It has been a real pleasure watching the evolution of this craft beer festival; the first one in 2012 had almost as many beers as attendees but attendance has increased every year since. In 2014 it was decided to hold the event over the course of two sessions and it worked very well. Last year each session had different special beers; this year both sessions will have every beer. When asked how they would ensure that certain beers were not tapped out on Friday, leaving Saturday’s attendees without, I was told that they would be monitoring lines and weighing kegs if that became an issue. Continue reading
When Alpine Village held their first Alpine Kraft Bierfest in the big tent back in 2012 they had almost as many beers as they did attendees. I suspect it had something to do with the timing in that it was held the week before Oktoberfest, so some people may have just thought the ads were for Oktoberfest rather than the American craft beer event it was intended to be.
In 2013, the 2nd Annual Alpine Kraft Bierfest was moved into the Alpine Inn, more breweries and beers were added, a little more advertising was done and the attendance level more than doubled.
For 2014 it was decided that the event would stay inside the Alpine Inn, but the event would be held over the course of two sessions; one on Friday evening with the second session being held Saturday afternoon. To avoid the possibility of the best brews running out during the first session, Alpine’s event coordinators decided to split up the beers by day and put up a schedule of appearance for the brews so people could choose which day would have the most beers that they wanted to try. It seemed to work pretty well. Continue reading
When it comes to the Alpine Kraft Bierfest I treat it almost like it is my own. I have watched this event evolve from the first one in 2012 that had almost as many beers as attendees, to last year’s amazing event that had closer to 500 attendees. Since Kraft Bierfest has become quite popular it was decided to split the event up into two sessions, over the course of two days.
While some past beer festivals have been less than successful with having multiple sessions, Alpine Village has something going for it that most beer festival promoters do not have; the ability to cellar beers. Last year there were discussions about having two sessions, but the real possibility of running out of “all the good beers” caused them to re-think the idea and have just one session. This year, more planning has been made to ensure both sessions have plenty of access to really good beer. For example, Alpine Kraft Bierfest will feature eight beers from Allagash; Fluxus 2014, Golden Brett, Interlude, James Bean, Red Howe’s, Saison Rye, Victor and Victoria. Four of them will be available at the first session on Friday and the other four will be at the second session on Saturday. And it is not just Allagash; Anderson Valley will have three split up over two days, Figueroa Mountain will have four, Stone will have eight and The Bruery will have five split between Friday and Saturday! The published beer list is only a partial list but I think it proves what I say when I mention that Alpine Inn at the Alpine Village is one of the best kept secrets when it comes to craft beer. You never know what they are going to pull out of the cellar. Continue reading
These photos are from the 5th Annual Beer, Art & Music Festival (BAM Fest), a fundraiser which was held Sunday afternoon in Santa Monica at the 18th Street Arts Center. The 18th Street Arts Center is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization and is the beneficiary of all the proceeds from the fundraiser.
When it comes to beer festivals there are a few things I look for; the first of which would be the breweries in attendance followed by the beers that they bring with them. Anyone that knows me personally or has paid attention to my writing knows that when it comes to beer, variety is my thing. My favorite beer is the one I have yet to try. When one goes to as many local craft beer festivals as I have over the past couple of years it can become a challenge to find something new; especially when the event is a fundraiser that has had the beer donated rather than bought and paid for. The 5th Annual BAM Fest had plenty of beers that I had never had the opportunity to try before and I highly doubt I was alone. A couple standouts for me came from two new craft breweries; Three Weavers Brewing Company and Santa Monica Brew Works. Three Weavers just had their grand opening a week ago and I was unable to attend. They brought their Stateside Session IPA which I thought was an outstanding session IPA. Their Midnight Flight Imperial Stout was also quite tasty and really hid the 9.2% ABV well. I look forward to their tasting room opening on November 7; I hear their double IPA is something else.
Santa Monica Brew Works is a production brewery that has been around since 2013 but this was my first experience with any of their brews; it definitely will not be my last. Santa Monica Brew Works is a production brewery with no tasting room but it is my understanding that their beers can be found at most bars, restaurants and hotels in the Santa Monica area. Their PCH (Pale Chocolate Heaven) is mind blowing; it was the first beer of theirs I tried and it only made me want to try everything else they brew. Keep an eye out for it if you are dining in Santa Monica. Continue reading
On Saturday afternoon, about 3,000 people gathered at Lighthouse Park in Long Beach to sample beers brewed by more than 50 different breweries while enjoying the great weather, live music and foods provided by local restaurants Stonefire Grill, Slater’s 50/50 and Bubba Gump Shrimp Company and several food trucks. A portion of the proceeds from this year’s Taste of Brews went to the Long Beach Marine Institute and the 1st Marine Division out of Camp Pendleton.
This was my second time attending Taste of Brews and it was definitely larger than last year’s event with probably 25% more breweries and 50% more attendees. While there more people, there were more breweries with several last minute additions. The lines for some breweries were noticeably longer for some than others, but no one seemed to mind and the beer poured quickly. In fact, a few breweries tapped out within a couple hours; presumably because more tickets were sold than anticipated. Some of the breweries, like Firestone Walker, were well prepared with plenty of brews but as the event drew to a close, even they had poured the last of their brews before the event officially ended. Continue reading