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Craft Beer Tour 2018: High Altitude Hops

These photos were taken Wednesday, September 19, at High Altitude Hops Farm in Larkspur, and Lone Tree Brewing Company in Lone Tree; which was day three of my Craft Beer Tour 2018.

Before I left L.A. on Monday, my friend Desiree, a beertender at King Harbor Brewing Company, told me she was going to introduce me to her friends Kris Meese and his wife Aleece, the owners of High Altitude Hops Farm. So when I left Durango I set off towards Larkspur, which is about 40 miles south of Denver.

Kris has been growing hops for about five years, beginning with what was apparently nothing more than a divider between their property and their neighbor. After two years they made their first sale to a local brewery; at that point they decided they needed a larger area if they were going to grow enough to make this a viable business. That is when they moved to Larkspur and a five acre spread. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2018: Colorado

These photos were taken Tuesday, September 18, in Durango, Colorado; which was day two of my Craft Beer Tour 2018.

When I left Flagstaff, I headed east on US Hwy 160 for a 300 mile drive through some very scenic areas. Along the way is the Four Corners Monument, where Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado meet; a volcano or two, and some dinosaur footprints you can touch, if desired. As I have already seen that stuff, I just made a mental note of yesteryear and continued on.

If you are in a hurry, this is not a good route to take; there are lots of two lane stretches, and even one one-lane stretch. You go through a couple Indian reservations so there are towns along the way that have 25 MPH speed limits. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2018: Arizona

These photos were taken Monday, September 17, in Kingman and Flagstaff, Arizona.

On Monday I left the South Bay to head to Denver for the Great American Beer Festival. If you followed my journey to GABF last year you may recall that I traveled through Utah to get there. The lack of breweries on that route ensured that I take the southern route through Arizona this time. Day one was much better this year.

My first gas stop was in Kingman, AZ, which was about 330 miles from home using I-40. It has been a while since I was in Kingman, but it is a big enough town that I figured there had to be a brewery there. Google informed me that Black Bridge Brewery was only a couple miles from the gas station I was at, so I set it in my GPS for a seven minute drive. Continue reading

Strand Brewing Company’s 3rd Annual Backyard Barbecue

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Strand Brewing Company’s 3rd Annual Backyard Barbecue which was held at Strand’s production brewery and tasting room.

As I mentioned in my last article, Saturday had several events going on. While the music was just getting started at Absolution, Strand had live music going on all day and the tasting room was jumping with lots of families, with their dogs and kids; and several sub-parties going on at the same time.

In addition to the 12 Strand Brewing beers that were available, the Chefs in Shorts food truck was there providing the barbecued goodies; local live music was provided by Snake Oil Salesmen, Gilbert Louie Ray, South Bay All-Stars, and Ryan Collazo. It is safe to say that a good time was had by all. Cheers! Continue reading

Absolution Brewing Mid-Summer Party 2018

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at the Absolution Brewing Company tasting room, where they held their Mid-Summer Party 2018. The event featured an all-you-can-taste firkin session, a live DJ set, live music, and a couple food trucks.

There are times during the year that it seems the weekends are non-stop craft beer events; this past Saturday was one of those days. Since there is only one of me, I am forced to split my time between events, and like Saturday, sometimes I have to skip an event or two.

When I have multiple events happening at the same time, I typically attend the one furthest from home, and work my way back; which meant that I went to Absolution Brewing first. Continue reading

A Visit to Ten Mile Brewing Company

When I first started writing about craft breweries, it was pretty easy to keep up and even stay on top of things. Heck, you used to be able to visit all the Torrance breweries in one day without making it almost a chore. But the times are definitely changing and it has become difficult for me to stay current with the craft beer growth happening with our neighbors to the south of me, the Long Beach area.

Last Saturday I was in Signal Hill, a close neighbor of Long Beach, for the Festival Obscura at Sunnyside Cemetery. As I was talking to the guys manning the taps at the Ten Mile Brewing booth I learned that the craft brewery and tasting room were literally across the street from the cemetery; you could see the sign through the trees. I decided I would make one more stop after I finished up at the festival. Continue reading

King Harbor Brewing Village Tap Room Now Open

These photos were taken Thursday evening at King Harbor Brewing Company’s new satellite tasting room located in the Riviera Village area of Redondo Beach.

Redondo Beach’s first, and so far only, production brewery has announced that their dominance of Redondo is nearing completion with the opening of their second satellite tasting room, thus creating their own Beermuda Triangle.

Those of you that attended the Riviera Summer Festival last weekend and were paying attention, may have noticed that the King Harbor Village Tap Room had opened their doors for a “very soft” soft opening; apparently it was very well received by those that did notice. Thursday evening’s soft open was primarily a friends and family event, but a sandwich board was placed outside so those strolling by were aware that the doors were now open and the taps were flowing. Continue reading

Brewmo Pseudo-Sumo Showdown at Three Weavers

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Three Weavers Brewing Company in Inglewood, where they held their 1st Annual Brewmo Pseudo-Sumo Showdown. The inaugural event was sponsored by BSG CraftBrewing, Prospero, and Stradling Attorneys at Law.

The “sumo wrestlers” were brewers from about 14 LA County Brewers Guild member breweries stretching from Palmdale to San Pedro and Long Beach.

The brewers were broken into four groups; Water, Malt, Hops, and Yeast. Following strict sumo wrestling protocol, the matches were best two out of three, double elimination with the winners advancing to the Cellar and Brewhouse Divisions. Continue reading

Scholb Premium Ales Celebrates Two Year Anniversary

These photos were taken Sunday at Scholb Premium Ales in Torrance, where they celebrated two years of brewing. The event featured $5.00 pours from their 17 taps, their first bottle release, live entertainment, food, games, raffles and giveaways all day long.

While the anniversary party was advertised minimally, the Scholb tasting room filled up nicely with both regular attendees and a few first-timers. Scholb gave away Scholb glassware to the first 100 customers; and gave raffle tickets with every beer purchased. Bibb’s BBQ filled the brewery with great aromas, while DJ Cancun Joey and CAL1FA filled the room with their mellow tunes.

Scholb also used the opportunity to have their first bottle release, Tall, Dank & Handsome; it is a full-bodied IPA featuring Mosaic and Columbus hops to give it its lingering dankness. Continue reading

The Mason Jar Brewing Company

Saturday afternoon was set aside to travel to Menifee so I could watch my six year old grandson participate in the finals of a talent show put on by the Boys & Girls Club of Menifee Valley. It was being held at a church, so craft beer was the furthest thing from my mind when we pulled onto New Hub Drive in Menifee. As my sister passed the church, she swung the car around at the first street parking spot. As I stepped out of the car, to my surprise was The Mason Jar Brewing Company.

Mason Jar Brewing opened their doors in 2015, and brew with a 10bbl system and 20bbl fermenters. When I was there, they had 16 brews on tap. A look at the tap list made me think that they brew what they like; they aren’t just brewing it because it is faddish. They don’t distribute, and seemed like a neighborhood tasting room with a lot of regulars. Continue reading

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