These photos were taken Saturday evening at the Switzer Learning Center, in Torrance, where they held their 6th Annual Boots, Brews & BBQ fundraiser. The event featured unlimited pours of craft beer from seven craft breweries and cideries, wine, and an open bar. They also had tequila flights available for an additional fee. In addition to the ample liquid refreshments, there was plenty of barbecued meat available courtesy of Harry’s Oklahoma Style Smokehouse BBQ, as well some great tamales from Tortilla Cantina, new home of my annual South Bay Tap Takeover.
The western-themed, adults only event also featured a shooting range that had rifles or revolvers available, a few lawn games, gaming tables featuring blackjack, craps and roulette, and live and silent auctions. Continue reading
These photos were taken Sunday afternoon at the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club Junior Foundation’s 4th Annual Pub at the Club; which was presented by Porsche South Bay and held at the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club in Manhattan Beach. The event featured at least 12 breweries and cideries, as well as numerous wineries and food from local restaurants.
100% of the proceeds, which included ticket sales, raffles and a silent auction went to the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club Junior Foundation, a charity dedicated to developing champions on and off the court by supporting all athletes, including special needs and Para-athletes.
Taking into consideration how hot and humid it has been the past week, Sunday’s weather was amazing, with plenty of sunshine combined with a nice cooling ocean breeze. Continue reading
These photos were taken Thursday, September 5, at Tortilla Cantina Taco Bistro and Sports Bar in Torrance, where they hosted my 5th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. This year’s event featured beer, cider and mead from 26 of the South Bay’s best breweries and cideries, and live music featuring Ashleigh Correa. For the first time, there were two anniversary brews commemorating five years of putting on the South Bay Tap Takeover.
One of the anniversary beers was Better Weather Sweater IPA, which was a collaboration beer brewed at Smog City last month with 20 South Bay breweries. Better Weather Sweater came out amazing; it is very well balanced and with a 5.9 ABV, it is perfectly crushable for this heat we are going through. Better Weather Sweater will be released today (Friday) at all the Smog City locations and at several brewpubs throughout the Los Angeles area. It is perfect for those that complain about IPAs being “too hoppy” as that is not going to be a complaint from anyone. The second anniversary beer was 2nd Cold War Russian Imperial Stout, a collaboration I did with Zymurgy Brew Works back in April. As Zymurgy was sold to Smog City, this was officially the last Zymurgy beer to be commercially available. Continue reading
If you have attended any of the previous four tap takeovers, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect; if you have never been I can summarize with at least 25 South Bay breweries/cideries pouring from 50 taps.
When I started this in 2015, we had 10 South Bay breweries with 40 taps; in 2016 there were 15, and in 2017 we had 18 South Bay breweries with 40 taps. In 2018 there was a change of management at the original venue (Flights), and they decided they wanted to do their own thing. I wished them luck, and then approached Rick Gomez of Tortilla Cantina to see if they would be interested in hosting the 4th annual tap takeover. I approached Rick for three reasons; I knew he was a big supporter of the local craft beer scene, every South Bay brewery owner I spoke with knew and really liked Rick, and I knew he had 48 taps. I do not think Rick really knew what he was in for, but he went all-in and the 4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover ended up featuring 22 local breweries participating, and with the help of a jockey box, 49 taps of craft beer! Continue reading
These photos were taken Friday morning at Smog City Brewing, where brewers and owners of 21 of the South Bay’s breweries and cideries met to brew an anniversary beer to commemorate the 5th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover which will be held Thursday, September 5 at Tortilla Cantina in Old Torrance.
A couple months ago I got the idea that since this was the 5th anniversary of the South Bay Tap Takeover that perhaps participating breweries might want to each do an anniversary collaboration with CraftBeerGuy.com. I had spoken with a couple breweries that hinted they might be interested when I went to State Brewing and their head brewer Rob Scott and he suggested that perhaps we could do a collaboration that included all the participating breweries. I immediately knew this would be a much better option so I started thinking about which local brewery would be big enough and central to everyone. To me, the logical choice was Smog City Brewing, so I approached Porter about it; he readily accepted. Continue reading
These photos were taken Sunday afternoon at the Three Weavers Brewing Company parking lot, where they hosted their 2nd Annual Brewmo Pseudo-Sumo Showdown as the after-party to the 2019 Los Angeles Beer Week. Sponsored by BSG CraftBrewing, Prospero, and Stradling Attorneys at Law, the event featured action-filled sumo wrestling by more than a dozen LA Brewers Guild member breweries, a beer garden, food trucks, a mariachi band, a DJ and lots of dogs.
The participating breweries included Absolution Brewing, Arrow Lodge Brewing, Bravery Brewing, Brouwerij West, Common Space Brewery, Eagle Rock Brewing, Firestone Walker – Propagator, HopSaint Brewing, Imperial Western Beer Company/Arts District Brewing, King Harbor Brewing, Lucky Luke Brewing, Pacific Plate Brewing, Simmzy’s – Burbank, The Dudes’ Brewing, LA Ale Works, and Three Weavers. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday at Abigaile Restaurant and Brewery, where they held another in what is becoming their regular series of Brewtopia craft beer festivals. Saturday’s event featured unlimited tastings from Brewery Draconum, Common Space, Firestone Walker, Hand-Brewed Beer, Karl Strauss, King Harbor Brewing, MacLeod Ale, Pacific Plate Brewing, and The Brewery at Abigaile, as well as cider offerings from 101 Cider House. Attendees also had access to a complimentary buffet, and were automatically entered in raffles that included swag, a growler fill from Abigaile and a gift certificate to Abigaile as prizes.
People that attended Brewtopia in February, and there were several, were treated to a much better version on Saturday; I spoke with most of the people that attended both events and everyone agreed that it was like night and day. Saturday’s event had a wider selection of beers, free food, and definitely more attendees, so I guess their improved advertising made a huge difference; even if there was a last minute date change from Sunday to Saturday. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at the Common Space Brewery and Tasting Room in Hawthorne, where they celebrated their first anniversary with several hundred of their fans. The event featured their first can release, an anniversary beer, several food trucks, live music, and games that were enjoyed by adults and children alike. And there were dogs; lots and lots of dogs.
While I try to visit as many of the local breweries as possible, there has been so much growth around here that it just is not possible for me for me to visit everyone as much as I might like; Common Space would be one of those. One thing I noticed right away was that Common Space has become a very family and dog friendly taproom to visit. I think it would be safe to say that a large portion of the people attending had either a dog or a kid with them, and while I see a lot of whining on social media about kids and dogs at breweries, it was obvious that Common Space welcomes both with open arms. Continue reading
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 Saturday evening at the Switzer Learning Center, in Torrance, where they held their 2018 Boots, Brews & BBQ fundraiser. The event featured unlimited pours of craft beer from about six local breweries, wine, and an open bar. They also had tequila flights available for an additional fee. In addition to the libations, there was plenty of barbecued meat available courtesy of Shady Grow Foods, as well Mediterranean food from Chicken Maison for the vegetarians in attendance.
The adult only event also offered tickets to ride a mechanical bull, or to practice your aiming at the shooting range that had rifles or revolvers available. They also had a spin and win booze wheel, gaming tables featuring blackjack, 3-card poker and roulette, and live and silent auctions. Continue reading