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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

Yorkshire Square One Year Anniversary Photos

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

Smog City Celebrates 5 Years in Torrance

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

Zymurgy Brew Works Brewing Class: Hazy IPA

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

Ximix Craft Exploration Brewery Grand Opening

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

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

A Return Visit to the Valley of the Sun

Every year at this time, I make my annual trek to the Valley of the Sun, which is essentially the Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe area of Arizona. I returned there last week and as I was preparing to write my article about my most recent beer travel, I came to the realization that while I went to Arizona last year and took photos, I never wrote about it. These photos will begin with my visits to O.H.S.O. Eatery & nano-Brewery, and McFate Brewing Company in 2017; and will end with my visits to Wren House Brewing, Scottsdale Beer Company, and Blasted Barley in 2018.

My typical Valley of the Sun weekend begins with go-kart racing in Scottsdale and ends with a convention in Tempe. This means that I set my GPS for a brewery that will get me closest to the race track in Scottsdale. In 2017 my first destination was O.H.S.O. Eatery & nano-Brewery, a brewpub located in the Arcadia area of Phoenix. Continue reading

Pints with Purpose: International Bird Rescue

These photos were taken Thursday evening at Smog City Brewing Company, where they held their weekly Pints with Purpose fundraiser; this month the beneficiary is International Bird Rescue, a global leader in responding to man-made disasters affecting wildlife, such as oil spills and marine debris.

Every Thursday in March, Smog City will donate a portion of their gross daily receipts to the International Bird Rescue, which has a San Pedro location. Continue reading

Common Space Brewery Ribbon Cutting

These photos were taken Thursday afternoon at the ribbon cutting for Hawthorne’s newest craft brewery, Common Space Brewery. The event was attended by several City of Hawthorne representatives, as well as numerous friends and family. There were games set up for the kids, food was made available by The Berlin Truck; naturally, there was plenty of Common Space beer for the rest of us.

Thursday was the first official day of Common Space’s grand opening weekend. On Friday the festivities continue from noon to midnight with food trucks, ice cream and DJs. Saturday will be the main day, again being open from noon to midnight, but there will be multiple food trucks, ice cream, face painting and balloon animals for the kids. Sunday they will conclude the festivities from noon to 10:00 PM with a food truck, live music, and an Oscars watch and after party. It should be a great weekend. Continue reading

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