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
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
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
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
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
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Yorkshire Square Brewery in Torrance, where the brewery specializing in cask-conditioned ales celebrated their first year of being open for business. The event featured about 20 brews available on cask and/or draft, several beer cocktails, and English Morris dancing by the Rising Phoenix Morris dancers; food was available from the BatterFish food truck. Yorkshire Square also used the celebration as an opportunity to release two new beers; At Last the 1948 Mild, and Double Doors, a punched-up, double-mashed reinterpretation of their Early Doors, which they bottled.
This past year has been a pretty good one for Yorkshire Square. In November they became the second brewery in California to receive the Cask Marque’s certificate of excellence award. Cask Marque is an accrediting program that sets cask ale standards for 10,000 pubs and breweries worldwide via unannounced, twice a year inspections. There are only 17 breweries in the entire country that currently have this award.
Just last week BeerAdvocate named Yorkshire Square Brewing as one of the top 50 new breweries in the U.S. and Canada for 2017. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at the Smog City Brewing Company’s 2018 Anniversary Celebration. The event included a two-hour long ticketed VIP session, followed by a free general admission session that began at 1:00 PM and ran until closing time.
The celebration featured close to 30 Smog City brews as well as a half dozen beer cocktails, music by DJ Mood Maestros, and a few food trucks; including Mad Pambazos, Serendoggity, and CONED Ice Cream. There were games, as well as local artwork that was created specifically for Smog City Brewing. The event also gave Smog City the opportunity to debut their new outside patio as well as their anniversary beer, Awkward Teenager.
About 100 VIP ticket holders were able to tour Smog City’s Sour Production Facility; it gave us some insight to the magic behind their sour ales. All VIP ticket holders received early access to limited beers and beer cocktails, one bottle of their Awkward Teenager with a carrier bag, and a pretty fun commemorative Smog City photo album. Continue reading
These photos were taken Thursday evening at Zymurgy Brew Works & Tasting Room in Torrance, where they held another in their series of “every once in a while” brewing classes. Thursday’s class was to learn how to brew a hazy IPA using all grain and was led by Zymurgy Brew Works brewer Richard Wirsing. Each of the attendees will receive one 22oz bottle of the beer they brewed at a later date.
Wirsing explained the brewing process, complete with the Brewers Association newly defined description of the “hazy IPA”. Wirsing even went so far as to pass around bags of various hop varieties so the class participants could have some say as to the hop profile of their IPA. Continue reading
These photos were taken Thursday at day one of Ximix Craft Exploration’s grand opening weekend. Ximix is Gardena’s second craft brewery and if Thursday’s turnout was any indication, they have been welcomed with open arms by the surrounding community.
Ximix opened Thursday with eight brews to chose from; four of which are full batches, with the other four being small batches made with the Ximix pilot system. In addition to the beer, Chef C’S Smhokin Pot food truck was there serving their authentic Cajun food. Continue reading
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