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Craft Beer Tour 2018: Yakima, Washington

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

Craft Beer Tour 2018: Idaho

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

Craft Beer Tour 2018: Wyoming

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

Craft Beer Tour 2018: Denver

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

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

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