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 and Sunday, October 6 and 7, which were days 20 and 21 of my Craft Beer Tour 2018.
When I left Oregon I set my GPS for Eureka so that I could visit one of my oldest friends (Cathy) and see what had changed in their craft beer world since my last visit in 2010. It turns out not much has changed; in fact the only brewery I could find was still Lost Coast Brewery, which is where we went since Cathy does not drink but would join me for lunch.
Lost Coast Brewery is a brewpub that was founded in 1990; they have since opened a larger brewery and tasting room in 2014. I went to Lost Coast in 2010, but I didn’t remember them being so crowded back then; business must be good. Continue reading
These photos were taken on the western side of Oregon on Monday through Friday, October 1 through 5, days 15 through 19 of my Craft Beer Tour 2018. I guess if I want to be specific, this part of my journey took me from Vancouver, Washington to Grants Pass, Oregon, all of it on the western side of the state.
When I left Bend I headed to Oregon City to visit my longtime friends, Matt and Dom. As someone that believes that anyone who says they don’t like beer just hasn’t tried the right beer yet, I had attempted, several years ago to find a beer or style that Matt would like. I was unsuccessful; however, Matt continued his quest and discovered that he did enjoy ciders. The point being, that while Matt and Dom did take me around Oregon, we spent a lot of time at brewpubs because of the ciders that are usually found; oh, and they both enjoy new culinary delights. Luckily, Matt and Dom are self-employed and insisted they needed some time off; I visited places I never would have considered as a result. Continue reading
These photos were taken primarily in Bend, Oregon on Saturday and Sunday, September 29 and 30, days 13 and 14 of my Craft Beer Tour 2018. I say primarily because the first set of photos was taken Thursday, in La Grande, Oregon when I was on my way to Yakima.
When I left Boise I had a few breweries in the back of my head as I had received suggestions from friends and Boise locals that named breweries I had to visit. As I did not really know which ones I would really be driving by, I pretty much just looked out for the names of towns that had been mentioned. As I entered La Grande, Oregon I noticed a sign on the side of the road for a craft brewery; I could not tell what the name was, but I figured this must be one of those that had been suggested to me. Continue reading
These photos were taken in Yakima, Washington on Thursday and Friday, September 27 and 28, days 11 and 12 of my Craft Beer Tour 2018.
To be completely honest, when I started this journey, I kind of figured that my Portland area friend might take me into Washington, but it would probably be a border town like Vancouver; but things have a way of changing when you try to juggle multiple friends, and their schedules.
The night before I left Boise, I contacted my friend Jon Urch to let him know that I would be meeting him in Bend, Oregon the following day; that is when he notified me that he would be leaving Bend pretty much as I arrived, and I should consider going to Yakima, Washington instead. When I contacted my Portland area friend Matt, I discovered he was going to be working a show over the weekend. That sealed it; I headed off to Yakima instead. Continue reading
These photos were taken between September 24 and 26 at Sockeye Grill and Brewery, Payette Brewing, Boise Brewing, 10 Barrel Brewing, White Dog Brewing, County Line Brewing, Home Brew Stuff, and Barbarian Brewing, which were days eight through ten of my Craft Beer Tour 2018.
When I left Rock Springs, I set my sights on Boise, Idaho as some good friends of mine moved there a little over a month ago. While Steve and Catherine are not exactly craft beer aficionados they do have some favorite restaurants; one of which is Sockeye Grill & Brewery on Fairview, so we made that our first stop.
Sockeye has been brewing since 1996 and has a production brewery as well as two brewpubs. The location I visited opened in 2012, where they started brewing and canning to keep up with demand as the production brewery could not keep up. Continue reading
These photos were taken Sunday, September 23, at Wind River Brewing in Pinedale, and Square State Brewing Company in Rock Springs; which was day seven of my Craft Beer Tour 2018.
When I left Denver I headed out for an eight hour drive to Jackson Hole, Wyoming for Roadhouse Brewing, where a friend has recently become their California representative. It was going to be one of my longest drives of my journey thus far, so I didn’t visit any other breweries as I wanted to get to Roadhouse before they closed, and maybe hit up Melvin Brewing if there was time. I was about 10 miles north of Pinedale on Hwy 191, maybe an hour south of Jackson Hole when the road was closed due to a wildfire or forest fire.
I got out and spoke with the sheriff, who gave me a couple alternate routes to Jackson Hole. One was an additional two hours, the other an additional three. I tried to take to shorter of the two routes “around the mountain” but that road immediately went from a two lane highway, to a one lane paved road to a one-lane dirt road; my Dodge Charger is not meant for off-roading, so after a few minutes I gave up. After a couple minutes of turning around without going into a ditch, I backtracked 10 miles to Pinedale because I had noticed Wind River Brewing as I passed through. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday evening at Colorado Plus Brew Pub, Goldspot Brewing and Blind Faith/DeSteeg Brewing, September 22, which was day six of my Craft Beer Tour 2018.
Like last year, I spent my days in Denver at the home of one of my nephews; so when I finished GABF Saturday afternoon, we went out to see what new craft breweries we could find in Denver. Our first stop would be Colorado Plus Brew Pub and Taphouse, because they are a brewpub and we both wanted food.
I first visited Colorado Plus almost exactly two years ago; but circumstances being what they were, I don’t think I even walked past their dog friendly patio. As we did not have any dogs with us, we sat at the bar. 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.