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Flights Beer Bar

El Segundo Brewing Company

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El Segundo Brewing Says Cheers to 7 Years

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at El Segundo Brewing Company, where they celebrated seven years of brewing some of the most hopcentric beers in the South Bay. The celebration featured pretty much everything you would expect to find at a birthday party for a seven year-old; party favors, hats, a barbecue that you could smell for blocks around, birthday cake, a balloon artist and beer, lots and lots of beer, 23 of them to be exact.

El Segundo Brewing Company’s history pretty much reflects the entire South Bay craft beer scene when you stop to think about it. The first time I visited El Segundo Brewing the South Bay had three craft breweries (although they called them microbreweries back then), El Segundo Brewing, Strand Brewing and Monkish Brewing. In fact, on the date of my first visit to El Segundo Brewing they only had three beers available (four taps seemed like the norm in 2012). Today the South Bay has grown from three craft breweries to 23, and El Segundo’s tap list has expanded from three to 23. Continue reading

N’owt But Stout Festival at Yorkshire Square

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Yorkshire Square Brewery in Torrance where they celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by holding their first annual N’owt but Stout Festival. The N’owt (Nothing) but Stout festival featured nothing but dark beers, like stouts, porters and dunkels from 15 breweries selected by Yorkshire Square’s head brewer, Andy Black. They also had their Early Doors Pub Bitter available because a couple of Yorkshire’s regular customers wanted to come, but did not like stouts. The Early Doors made for a great palate cleanser after drinking something like Mikkeller’s Black Tide.

Besides Yorkshire Square, the other participating breweries were Beachwood Brewing, Stereo Brewing, Verdugo West Brewing, Craftsman Brewing, Eagle Rock Brewery, Karl Strauss, Green Cheek Beer Company, State Brewing, King Harbor Brewing, Firestone Walker’s Propagator, Inland Wharf Brewing, Mikkeller Brewing, Smog City Brewing and El Segundo Brewing Company. Food was available from either Vic’s Smokin’ BBQ, or BatterFish. Continue reading

The Craft Beer Guy 2017 Year in Review

As the year draws to a close, it is time to think back on what 2017 has brought to the craft beer world; more specifically what has happened in the Craft Beer Guy world. As 2016 came to a pretty crappy end for me, I did not do one last year; for that reason, I will begin with the end of 2016 as it segued into 2017.

steelcraft soft open

Smog City – Steelcraft – Bixby Knolls

My coverage of 2016 ended pretty much the way 2017 started, with the opening of Smog City Brewing Company’s satellite tasting room, Smog City – SteelCraft in the Bixby Knolls area of Long Beach. They opened the location at the end of December; by the middle of January they had applied for, and were granted the ability to sell growlers and bottles to go.

Later in January the inaugural L.A. Beer and Food Festival was presented by the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild. The sold-out event featured close to 50 member breweries of the LA Brewers Guild as well as 15 local food vendors. This year the L.A. Beer and Food Festival will be held Saturday, January 27. Buy your tickets now, before it sells out.

Just a bit of trivia; while there were about 50 LA County Brewers Guild members in January of 2017, today there are almost 70! Continue reading

2nd Annual Pub at the Club Photos

These photos were taken Sunday afternoon at the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club, where the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club Junior Foundation held their 2nd Annual Pub at the Club Craft Beer, Wine and Food Festival. 100% of the ticket sales went to the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club Junior Foundation, a charity dedicated to developing champions on and off the court by supporting all athletes, including special needs and Para-athletes.

Price of admission included unlimited tastings from more than 15 breweries, 10 vintners, and 10 local restaurants. The breweries that I noticed in attendance included El Segundo Brewing Company, Strand Brewing Company, Stone Brewing, Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing, Lagunitas, Eel River Brewing, Coronado Brewing Company, Black Market Brewing Company, Bootleggers Brewery, Smog City Brewing, Sierra Nevada, Speakeasy Ales and Lagers, Los Angeles Ale Works, Ritual Brewing Company, and Santa Monica Brew Works. Continue reading

Photos from the 3rd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover

These photos were taken Thursday at the 3rd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover, which was held at Flights, in Hawthorne. The event featured 18 of the South Bay’s best production breweries and brewpubs, filling up 39 tap handles.

Although I did not arrive until a little after 4:00 PM, my Facebook feed indicated that people began streaming in pretty much as soon as the doors opened. By 6:00 we had the place packed and it remained that way until close to 10:00; after that, people kept arriving to sample some outstanding brews.

I had the opportunity to speak with many of the attendees and discovered that this was the first time visiting Flights; it seems safe to say that they will all return. Continue reading

Bernie Wire Farewell Party at El Segundo Brewing

It is an end of an era for the Los Angeles craft beer scene as long time craft beer photographer and general all-round nice guy, Bernie Wire enters his last few days as a Los Angeles resident.

Saturday afternoon, a steady stream of Bernie Wire fans and friends came to El Segundo Brewing Company to bid farewell to Bernie as he and his wife Anne Marie prepare to move back to Minnesota; Anne Marie hails from the Land of 10,000 (closer to 12,000 actually) Lakes, so they have plenty of family out there.

Bernie took time to visit with everyone that came out, and then treated us to a little concert. After the concert, I noticed lots of tears in the tasting room as people began to realize that this was really good-bye. 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

LA Brewers Kickoff and a Proposal

These photos are from Saturday at the LA Brewers Kickoff of Los Angeles Beer Week 9 (LABW9), which was held at the Los Angeles Center Studios in downtown Los Angeles. This outstanding event featured close to 60 Los Angeles craft breweries along with 30 out of town craft brewers and about 10 food trucks. In addition to the beer and food there were games, live music and plenty of water and shade for those seeking to escape the high air temperature.

I did not ask how many tickets were sold, but I suspect there were about 1,000 people in attendance. With close to 100 booths to visit, lines were never really an issue; with the exception being when a brewery had a scheduled release of a special beer they brought. Even then, once the beer was opened, the lines seemed to disappear rather quickly. Continue reading

Chad’s Beer Cellar IV Photos

These photos were taken Saturday at the Chad’s Beer Cellar IV bottle share which was held at King Harbor Brewing Company in Redondo Beach. This event was the fourth and possibly final bottle share put on by local beer hoarder and King Harbor Brewing investor, Chad Hazen. All the funds from the event went to benefit the Richstone Family Center which is located in Hawthorne. The Richstone Family Center is dedicated to preventing and treating child abuse.

First off, I would like to personally thank everyone that showed up. While my involvement with the event was limited to getting the word out, the previous events never sold out, which I found incredulous considering the quality of the beers that were made available. I made it a personal goal to see that they did sell all 100 tickets this year, and it happened. While all the monies have not been tabulated yet, with ticket sales, raffles and the silent auction, over $8,000 was raised for Richstone. Of course, none of this would have been possible without Chad.

The first of these bottle shares was held in December of 2014 when Hazen decided he wanted to quit drinking beer for a year while he trained for a marathon as he felt his collection of beer was just a little too much temptation. He got together with King Harbor Brewing Company and they decided they would have a bottle share benefiting Richstone Family Center. 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

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