These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at the inaugural, and hopefully the first of many, Festival Obscura at Sunnyside Cemetery in Long Beach, California. The event was a fundraiser for Sunnyside Cemetery; the second oldest cemetery in Long Beach and one of the oldest in California.
While the rest of the country was baking under a nationwide heat wave, the temperature in Long Beach was more like the mid to high-70s, with a cooling breeze that really felt nice; especially if you were in the shade.
While I did not count them, the sold-out event featured more than 40 craft breweries, wineries, and cider makers. In addition to the libations, there were at least 20 booths featuring macabre artists, historians, merchants, and at least one tarot card reader. There were also several food trucks, and live music provided by at least two bands that I noticed. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday evening at South Bay Customs in El Segundo, where Travis Lavoie celebrated his 40th birthday, and his friend Josh Linden celebrated his 35th birthday. The birthday party was attended by close to 100 of their friends and family, and featured live music by local band, Pork Chop Express who provided the music for my first experience of live punk/rock karaoke.
Anyone that has been a long-time fan of El Segundo Brewing, and has visited their tasting room, probably either knows, or at least has met Travis. I think I met him there about six years ago when I first started going to El Segundo Brewing. Josh is another local El Segundo guy that I just met last night, but apparently went to El Segundo High the same time my kids did. The party had the feel that the attendees were long time friends, so most of them probably grew up in El Segundo; it was a fun group. 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 Saturday at the LA Brewers Kickoff Festival which was held at the Los Angeles Center Studios in Los Angeles. This event marked the beginning of the 10th Annual L.A. Beer Week, and featured more than 80 independent craft breweries; including about 66 Los Angeles County Brewers Guild member breweries.
In addition to the copious amount of beer that was available, the Kickoff Festival also featured live music, games, food, and water for staying hydrated. Unlike last year when the temperature was over 100 degrees, yesterday was overcast for a good portion of the day which kept the temperature down to the low to mid-70s; people seemed relieved, and I even saw a couple sweaters being carried around. Continue reading
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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