The photos were taken Thursday at Tortilla Cantina in Torrance, where they hosted the 4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. While this was their first time for hosting this event, it was the largest collection of local craft breweries since I first started putting on the event in 2015; with 22 local breweries participating and 49 taps of craft beer!
Since this was the fourth tap takeover, I have become accustomed to last minute issues coming up, resulting in either a brewery not getting the beers to the venue on time, or a mislabeled keg. As I have read that this is fairly common with even the most efficiently run craft beer festival, I just kind of grin and bear it as most of the time the attendees never even notice. While I was putting out proverbial fires at 10:30 Wednesday night, by the time Thursday morning rolled around everything somehow was falling into place. Continue reading
The event will begin at noon and run until 11:30 PM, with happy hour pricing from noon until 7:00 PM. From 7:00-10:00, live music will be provided by Ashleigh Correa and Rock the Ashbah. Continue reading
Recently there have been a couple articles circulating around social media claiming to list all of the South Bay breweries; one that went around yesterday missed four or five of them, depending on whether or not a tasting room was required. As the Craft Beer Guy I have been fortunate to have this craft beer boom explode all around my home; I also feel obligated to provide an accurate list of all the breweries currently brewing in the South Bay as well as the next two scheduled to open.
In order to not show favoritism, and to give credit where credit is due, I will list all the South Bay breweries by the date they opened. As I have visited each brewery, I will provide a link to each so you can look at my articles to determine if you want to visit them. The photos are in order as well. Continue reading
The long awaited opening of Torrance’s newest production brewery, Cosmic Brewery, home of Cosmic Ales, is now a reality as they opened their tasting room to the public this past weekend. I only had a short window of opportunity to visit on Saturday evening but for making a last minute announcement on Friday that they would be open Saturday, the place was packed.
As you can see by my photos, as I watched the build-out of the brewery I never got any photos of the future tasting room. Owner Christopher Briles always kept that close to the vest and he did not want anyone to see it until it was ready. When it was revealed Saturday one had to admit, the cosmic theme is pretty cool.
The tap system is different than any tasting room I have visited in that you pour your own beer and are charged according to how much you pour. If you recall my article about zpizza a couple months ago, it is the same concept. You purchase a card that you insert on the tap, and you pour your beer. I did not play with it Saturday, but I will probably check it out this weekend. Continue reading
Last night the Torrance Planning Commission met and one of the items on the agenda was to hear a report prepared by the Community Development Department which was to discuss the current state of the craft breweries in Torrance. The report included discussion on what the current procedures are to open a brewery, what the Torrance Municipal Code says about breweries in Torrance, why so many breweries are opting to open in Torrance and what affect the influx of breweries has had on the crime rate in Torrance. In the audience I saw Laurie Porter from Smog City Brewing, Henry Nguyen from Monkish Brewing, and Joel Elliott from Strand Brewing Company.
For a little background, I ask you to recall back in August when I attended the CUP Hearing for Scholb Premium Ales. At that time, the Torrance City Attorney mentioned that there might be a way to streamline the modification process for Conditional Use Permits that would eliminate the need for a hearing every time someone wanted a simple modification of their existing Conditional Use Permit. The Planning Commission agreed that if the modification of an existing CUP was not changing the intent of the permit issued the modification hearing should not be required. What this means is that if Scholb, or Smog City or any of the other Torrance breweries want to modify their Conditional Use Permit as far as their hours of operation they could save time and expense by having the Planning Department modify their permit without having to appear before the Planning Commission. Continue reading
Thursday evening the Business & Beer networking group met at the newest craft beer location to open in the South Bay, HopSaint Brewing Company, a brewpub in Torrance. They had a very nice turnout with attendees rotating in and out throughout the evening. Most of the attendees had never been to HopSaint before so it was nice to be able to introduce them to what will inevitably be a Torrance favorite in no time at all.
HopSaint is still in their soft-open phase but it would be tough to notice that once you try one of Brian Brewers’ five brews; Eleven-Eight ESB, Get Out of the Way IPA, Pure Intention Pale Ale, Bubble Butt Blonde and Illumination Pilsner. The Pure Intention is a hophead’s dreams.
Their food menu is still turning out some delicious dishes with the barbecue ribs, an off-menu special, definitely being a crowd favorite among those attending the event. Of course, the hamburger and deviled eggs seemed rather popular as well. What you should take away from this, is always ask what the food specials are, the ones we have tried have been outstanding. Continue reading
There were several beer buyouts that seemed to dominate most other craft beer sites, but the craft world in my immediate domain only seemed to increase. Yeah, Golden Road got bought, but I only went there for special events and I guess that means there will be fewer of them there in the future. In the meantime, the reach of this site seems to be increasing. In the beginning people pretty much pigeonholed this site as covering the South Bay craft beer scene only. This year I covered various local beer events from the Antelope Valley to Orange County. Attendees have come up asking if I am now covering the west side, or wherever we might be. I guess the answer is yes; and I will expand my area as long as it is requested.
2015 in the South Bay ended pretty much as it started, with the soft open of a new brewpub. In January Phantom Carriage officially opened, and at the end of December HopSaint Brewing Company opened their doors. While they are open daily, the official opening of HopSaint will be January 1, 2016 when they will start serving lunch at 11:30 AM. Continue reading
These photos are from the 2015 Pacific Brewers Cup homebrew competition which was held Saturday afternoon at Four Points by Sheraton at LAX. The event was hosted by Strand Brewers Club, Long Beach Homebrewers, and Pacific Gravity. There were 458 entries consisting of beer, mead and ciders.
While these photos were all taken Saturday, the fact of the matter is that with 458 entries, the judging portion actually started two weeks ago when members of the Strand Brewers Club had to sort the 1300 plus bottles into categories and get all the information entered in the competitions database. I helped out on the sorting by scanning in the entries with their assigned competition number; this gave me an opportunity to see where the entries came from. I have to admit, I was pretty surprised at how far and wide they came from; with several entries coming from out of state. Because of the substantial number of entries, there were a couple judging sessions done ahead of time.
As you might think, it is quite the task to judge 458 beers, mead and ciders and it truly takes a lot of work by an organized team to pull that off. The team yesterday consisted of 70 judges and 42 stewards. I met one of the judges yesterday that came all the way from Chandler, Arizona “for the love of beer” as opposed to trying to escape Chandler’s 100+ weather. While the judges were truly put to the test, I doubt that the event could have moved as smoothly as it did without the efforts of the stewards. Head Steward Barbara Bovee is to be congratulated for keeping things as organized as they were. Continue reading
These photos are from the South Bay Tap Takeover that was held Thursday evening at Flights Beer Bar in Hawthorne. To say that this event was a success would be an understatement; some might suggest that it was too successful as there were times that the staff seemed overwhelmed with all the customers. The event officially began at 4:00 PM, but when I arrived at 3:30 people had already arrived and by 4:30 it was pretty well packed; and it stayed that way until about 11:30.
There were some delays in getting the beer served in the beginning because there were 40 new taps with beers that had never been poured there and many people were ordering flights. Flights brought in some additional help and eventually the beers were learned and things moved faster. The food situation was pretty much a no-win situation because while Flights could install a new walk-in to store beer, there was no way to increase the size of the kitchen. The food took a little longer to get out to us, but it was the same high quality that we have come to expect.
I do not know how many people showed up last night but I do know that we had 200 t-shirts to give away and I would venture to guess that at least as many people did not get shirts as those that did, so I don’t think estimating a turnout of at least 400 people would not be a stretch. Continue reading
First off, the beer. When I was approached about the idea of having a “Craft Beer Guy” party I immediately knew that I wanted to showcase the South Bay’s breweries. I also knew that 40 new kegs was quite an order so I was pleasantly surprised when Flights owner Jerry Jamgotchian didn’t blink an eye and said that 40 kegs was not a problem. A couple people asked me, “But where is he going to keep all that beer?” It was a great question that only had one solution; he was going to need a bigger cold box; so that is what he did. He had a second, bigger cold box added.
A couple weeks ago someone suggested maybe having a few shirts made and raffle them off; buy a beer, get a ticket. I brought it to Jerry for some input and his response was, “How about we make hundreds and give them to everybody?” Well, that is what he did; there will be free t-shirts for the first couple hundred people that ask for one (as supplies/sizes last). Continue reading