Hawthorne

Taking a Craft Beer Tour of the SpaceX Corridor

I was going to begin this article by suggesting, “unless you have been living under a rock, you know of Elon Musk’s SpaceX” but I discovered there actually are some people that are unfamiliar with SpaceX; so I will presume that if you are into American craft beer and follow this site, you are at least somewhat familiar with Elon Musk and/or SpaceX.

What you may not be aware of is that SpaceX is headquartered in the City of Hawthorne and craft breweries and craft beer bars have been springing up in what I now call the SpaceX Corridor and all of them have been vying for the attention of SpaceX employees; and from what I have been able to see, those employees have been enjoying the attention.

Since I named it the SpaceX Corridor, I also get to define the boundaries. El Segundo Boulevard is a little over 5 miles long from the Harbor Freeway (110) and the San Diego Freeway (405). In that stretch there are now four craft breweries and one craft beer bar; all of which I have no problem recommending. Here is how you can complete the SpaceX Corridor Craft Beer Tour from one end to the other in one day, with relative ease. Be advised, this can currently only be done Thursday through Sunday; if you are reading this in six months or a year from now, the hours may be expanded by then.

The locations we will visit are State Brewing Company, Ximix Craft Exploration, Common Space Brewery, Los Angeles Ale Works, and Flights Beer Bar.

For the purposes of this tour, we will begin on the east end of the SpaceX Corridor, at State Brewing Company in Gardena. Continue reading

Photos from Smokefest at Los Angeles Ale Works

These photos were taken Saturday, April 7, at Smokefest; which was held at Los Angeles Ale Works in the Spacex Corridor area of Hawthorne. The event, which coincidentally was held on National Beer Day 2018, featured lots of barbecue, kid friendly games, live music and special beer releases.

Vendors that participated in the event included A’s BBQ, Bartz Barbecue, Hayseed BBQ, Oak Smoke BBQ and Hustle ‘N Dough Donuts. Live music, while I was there, was provided by Brothers Pine.

I was only there for the first couple of hours, but it was easy to see that it was going to be a busy day with plenty of good food to go along with the LA Ale Works brews. 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

Common Space Brewery: From the Beginning

Hawthorne now has their second craft brewery, Common Space Brewery, and these photos document their build since I started visiting their location in July of 2017 up through their soft open which ended Wednesday evening. The production brewery and tasting room are massive, utilizing a 24,000 square foot warehouse with 27′ high ceilings and a 1,000 square foot outdoor patio. The beer is pretty good too.

Founded by South Bay local Brent Knapp, Common Space brought on former Speakeasy Ales & Lagers Head of Brewing Operations, Kushal Hall, which means Common Space is starting off with a brewer that is well-versed in brewing large amounts capable of distributing. As you look through the photos you can’t help but notice how large the brewhouse is and they have plenty of fermentation vessels to keep the South Bay and beyond satiated with Common Space brews. Continue reading

Los Angeles Ale Works 1st Anniversary Photos

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Los Angeles Ale Works, where Hawthorne’s first craft brewery celebrated their first anniversary with a couple hundred close friends. The tasting room itself was pretty packed, so the overflow congregated on the patio or the parking lot, which they shared with multiple food vendors and other local artisans. LA Ale Works also marked the event with a can and bottle release.

LA Ale Works has grown since my last visit as was evidenced by the 20+ beers available. Judging by the size of the crowd this has not gone unnoticed by the locals.

Los Angeles Ale Works is located at 12918 Cerise Avenue in Hawthorne and are open seven days a week. They are dog friendly and offer beer to go in growlers, crowlers, bottles and cans. Cheers! 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

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

LABW9: So You Want to Open a Brewery in LA?

These photos were taken Tuesday evening at Los Angeles Ale Works, in Hawthorne, at the sixth edition of “So You Want to Open a Brewery in LA?” an LA Beer Week panel discussion moderated by Celebrator Beer News writer Tomm Carroll. If you have attended any of the previous five seminars hosted by Carroll, you know that he typically puts together a great group of panelists and last night was no exception.

The panelists included Laurie Porter of Smog City Brewing, Greg Bechtel of Simmzy’s Burbank, Gary Croft of Yorkshire Square, Bill Baker of Zymurgy Brew Works & Tasting Room, Rick Blankemeier of Modern Times, Will Shelton of Concrete Jungle Brewing Project, Brent Knapp of Common Space Brewery, Kip Barnes of LA Ale Works, and Brendan Lake of Burnin’ Daylight Brewing Company. Continue reading

Los Angeles Ale Works Begins Soft Open

The South Bay has a new production brewery and tasting room as Los Angeles Ale Works held their soft open over this past weekend. If you did not hear about it, do not feel too bad as it was intentionally kept under wraps since LA Ale Works wanted to make sure they were ready for their anticipated crowds. Founder/Partner Kristofor “Kip” Barnes said that he wanted to be sure that first time visitors had a pleasant experience; after my visit on Sunday, I do not think that is going to be a problem.

The soft open will continue every Wednesday through Sunday until their Grand Opening, which will be held Saturday, February 11. According to their website, their hours are currently 3:00 to 10:00 PM on Wednesday and Thursday; 3:00 to 11:00 PM on Fridays; 12:00 to 11:00 PM on Saturdays, and 12:00 to 8:00 PM on Sundays. The Grand Opening will likely be a ticketed event, but the details on that have not been figured out yet. Continue reading

Photos from the 2nd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover at Flights

These photos were taken Thursday evening at Flights during their 2nd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. This year we featured 15 of the best production breweries in the South Bay; with Absolution Brewing, Brouwerij West, El Segundo Brewing, Honest Abe Hard Ciders, HopSaint Brewing Company, King Harbor Brewing, Phantom Carriage, Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing, San Pedro Brewing Company, Scholb Premium Ales, Smog City Brewing, State Brewing Company, Strand Brewing Company, The Dudes’ Brewing, and Three Weavers Brewing filling all four tap lines. I watched as people in the craft beer industry as well as the hundreds of craft beer fans looked with amazement at what a South Bay tap list looks like.

While it did get a little crowded during the peak hours, Flights staff, under the guidance of their manager Michelle Pettie kept food and beer flowing with ease. It was pretty obvious that the additional year of experience by the serving staff made a huge difference; I did not notice any of the delays that were experienced last year. I am sure cutting back on the food menu helped as the kitchen was faster which meant people could eat and drink a little quicker and the steady flow of new guests did not cause any of the lines I heard existed last year. Continue reading

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