craft beer

Photos from the Media Preview of California Sun

These photos were taken Tuesday evening at California Sun, a new gastropub in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles. California Sun is part of the Artisanal Brewers Collective, a restaurant group co-founded by Tony Yanow, formerly of Golden Road Brewing. California Sun features New York and Detroit style pizzas, for vegans, vegetarians and omnivores, as well as lots and lots of craft beer from around the country and beyond.

Anyone that knows me personally, or reads my site on a regular basis, is probably aware that pizza does not rank very high on my list of food choices; so what the heck was I doing at a pizza place that took over an hour of driving to get to? Well, there are three reasons actually. Continue reading

A Visit to Tortugo Brewing Company

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon, when I made my first visit to Inglewood’s second craft brewery, Tortugo Brewing Company.

If you happened to read my review of 2018, you might recall my saying that I kind of feel like a slacker due to my inability to keep up with the local craft beer growth stating that there were at least two breweries in the South Bay that I had yet to visit; Tortugo Brewing was one of those two.

Tortugo opened at the end of June and definitely stands out as you drive down the street towards it. It is a 6,600 square foot building that appears even larger with its bright orange and blue highlights paint job. As founder Joe Kovach put it, there has been nothing new on the street in a couple decades; the color makes it pretty tough to not notice something new on the street. The color scheme is meant to represent a bright sunset (the orange) over the ocean (the blue). 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

Introducing Ximix Craft Exploration Brewery

Gardena now has two craft breweries; State Brewing Company and a little under a mile away, Ximix Craft Exploration, which will officially open Thursday, April 5, 2018.

I first met Ximix (pronounced “zim ex”) co-founder and head brewer Erik DeBellis 18 months ago during a visit to HopSaint Brewing Company; at the time he told me he was opening a brewery and we exchanged numbers. But you know the old saying, “out of sight, out of mind”; we had not seen each other since then and DeBellis was keeping things pretty close to the vest so I had completely forgotten about them until the owner of Lawndale Brewhouse asked me what I knew about Ximix. As the name did not ring a bell I was pretty surprised when I discovered I had already liked their Facebook page. When I reached out to them, DeBellis reminded me we had met previously; a couple days later I headed out to Gardena for my first visit to Ximix Craft Exploration. Continue reading

Pints with Purpose at Smog City Brewing

Towards the end of 2017 I started noticing that Torrance’s Smog City Brewing Company was holding a Pints with Purpose fundraiser every Thursday. After speaking with Smog City co-founder/owner Laurie Porter about it, I discovered that, being the socially conscious brewery that they are, they were donating 10% of their sales every Thursday of each month to a different non-profit. In the past they raised funds for such organizations as Food Forward and the Keep a Breast Foundation.

Since the Porter family was busy in January, they took the month off and restarted it again last night; for the month of February, every Thursday 10% of their sales goes to Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles. These photos were taken at Smog City, where Marine Mammal Care Center had brought their Mobile Visitors Center. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2017: Alabama and Mississippi

These photos were taken in Anniston, Alabama on October 19; and various parts of Mississippi on October 20, as I continued to work my way home.

There is something to be said for technology, but sometimes I wish I at least carried a decent paper map with me since trying to see the big picture on an S4’s screen is a lot easier said than done. When I left South Carolina I had decided that instead of taking I-20, I would take I-10. Unfortunately, I did not know what city to put in that would force my GPS to head to I-10 so I made a guess that was totally wrong. I would mention where I was, but I have no clue; I was not on an interstate, they were basically county roads. I was in the middle of nowhere South Carolina where it abuts nowhere Georgia. I also ended up on I-20.

What this meant for me craft beer-wise was that nothing in the part of Georgia I went through, including Atlanta, opened until 4:00 PM. I am sorry, but I was not going to stick around Atlanta for rush hour just to wait for a brewery to open. I will hit Georgia on another trip. Continue reading

3rd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover to Feature 19 Local Breweries

HopSaint, The Dudes', Three Weavers

South Bay Tap Takeover Participants

I am happy to formally announce that Flights Beer Bar and CraftBeerGuy.com will be holding their 3rd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover on September 7, 2017; this time featuring 19 of the best craft breweries the South Bay has to offer.

It was two years ago that I made my first visit to Flights Beer Bar and met the owner Jerry “Jammer” Jamgotchian. Within days of our meeting, Jerry expressed interest in having a Craft Beer Guy event at his recently opened 40 tap gastropub. At the time, the South Bay had 10 production breweries and I requested that all 40 taps be dedicated to these 10 breweries for the 1st Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. Jerry not only agreed to this, but also invested in a new cold box so Flights could store the additional beers that were brought in for the event. To say the event was a rousing success would be an understatement. Continue reading

Photos from Day One of Naja’s 9th Annual IPA Festival

Late Wednesday morning, I jumped in a Lyft and headed towards the International Boardwalk at King Harbor in Redondo Beach for day one of Naja’s Place 9th Annual IPA Festival.

In the past, the event started at 2:00 or 3:00 PM, and there would be a pretty decent line of people waiting to get in; this year, Naja’s is opening at 11:30 AM and when I arrived at 11:31 there was only four or five people waiting, so that was nice.

Another change this year is the printed beer menu. In the past they have printed one menu for the entire event, so you had to hope the beer you heart was set on was available that day. This year the menu only listed the beers that were available that day; additional menus will be printed daily as some beers tap out and are replaced. Continue reading

Absolution Brewing Celebrates 3 Year Anniversary

These photos were taken Saturday, March 18, at the Absolution Brewing Company tasting room in Torrance, where they celebrated their three year anniversary.

Say what you will about Absolution Brewing, these guys know how to throw a party, and Saturday’s extravaganza was no exception. In addition to the 20+ beers that were on tap at the main bar of the tasting room, they had four special firkins and about 10 other special brews which were available in the front office. For those with an appetite for food, Bartz Barbecue was there with their brisket and pork sandwich options.

As this was a daylong event, I split my day up with two visits. Continue reading

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