As the year comes to an end it is time for me to sit down with a beer and try to figure out what I did that made this year go by so quickly. To be honest, I feel like I have really slowed down on my coverage of the local craft beer scene, but the growth has been so rapid that I cannot keep up. Heck, there were two new breweries getting ready to open in El Segundo that I did not know about until three months before they opened! Oh well, I will continue to do what I can; if I don’t visit a particular brewery as much as I used to it is probably because there are so many breweries around here now. In fact, while my personal craft beer life may have slowed, the growth over the past year is kind of mind blowing. Let’s see what happened in 2019.
In my review of 2018 I had mentioned there were two new local breweries that I still had not visited, one of those was Tortugo Brewing. I started off 2019 by remedying that. If you have not been, it is a nice location and they have some good brews; you should check them out. Continue reading
Pawsitive Pints is a fundraiser for Zelda’s Foundation for Animals, formerly known as Dirty Dog Squad, a small, all-volunteer organization that saves homeless and abandoned pets on death row at high-kill shelters. They depend completely on private donations to continue their mission.
Holders of a Pawsitive Pints card will get one pint for $1.00 from up to 50 craft breweries, brewpubs, and gastropubs between Santa Barbara and San Pedro. The list of participating breweries includes: Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday evening at the Switzer Learning Center, in Torrance, where they held their 6th Annual Boots, Brews & BBQ fundraiser. The event featured unlimited pours of craft beer from seven craft breweries and cideries, wine, and an open bar. They also had tequila flights available for an additional fee. In addition to the ample liquid refreshments, there was plenty of barbecued meat available courtesy of Harry’s Oklahoma Style Smokehouse BBQ, as well some great tamales from Tortilla Cantina, new home of my annual South Bay Tap Takeover.
The western-themed, adults only event also featured a shooting range that had rifles or revolvers available, a few lawn games, gaming tables featuring blackjack, craps and roulette, and live and silent auctions. Continue reading
These photos were taken Sunday afternoon at the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club Junior Foundation’s 4th Annual Pub at the Club; which was presented by Porsche South Bay and held at the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club in Manhattan Beach. The event featured at least 12 breweries and cideries, as well as numerous wineries and food from local restaurants.
100% of the proceeds, which included ticket sales, raffles and a silent auction 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.
Taking into consideration how hot and humid it has been the past week, Sunday’s weather was amazing, with plenty of sunshine combined with a nice cooling ocean breeze. Continue reading
These photos were taken Thursday, September 5, at Tortilla Cantina Taco Bistro and Sports Bar in Torrance, where they hosted my 5th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. This year’s event featured beer, cider and mead from 26 of the South Bay’s best breweries and cideries, and live music featuring Ashleigh Correa. For the first time, there were two anniversary brews commemorating five years of putting on the South Bay Tap Takeover.
One of the anniversary beers was Better Weather Sweater IPA, which was a collaboration beer brewed at Smog City last month with 20 South Bay breweries. Better Weather Sweater came out amazing; it is very well balanced and with a 5.9 ABV, it is perfectly crushable for this heat we are going through. Better Weather Sweater will be released today (Friday) at all the Smog City locations and at several brewpubs throughout the Los Angeles area. It is perfect for those that complain about IPAs being “too hoppy” as that is not going to be a complaint from anyone. The second anniversary beer was 2nd Cold War Russian Imperial Stout, a collaboration I did with Zymurgy Brew Works back in April. As Zymurgy was sold to Smog City, this was officially the last Zymurgy beer to be commercially available. Continue reading
If you have attended any of the previous four tap takeovers, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect; if you have never been I can summarize with at least 25 South Bay breweries/cideries pouring from 50 taps.
When I started this in 2015, we had 10 South Bay breweries with 40 taps; in 2016 there were 15, and in 2017 we had 18 South Bay breweries with 40 taps. In 2018 there was a change of management at the original venue (Flights), and they decided they wanted to do their own thing. I wished them luck, and then approached Rick Gomez of Tortilla Cantina to see if they would be interested in hosting the 4th annual tap takeover. I approached Rick for three reasons; I knew he was a big supporter of the local craft beer scene, every South Bay brewery owner I spoke with knew and really liked Rick, and I knew he had 48 taps. I do not think Rick really knew what he was in for, but he went all-in and the 4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover ended up featuring 22 local breweries participating, and with the help of a jockey box, 49 taps of craft beer! Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at King Harbor Brewing, in Redondo Beach, where Head Brewer Phil McDaniel hosted a wild beer and cheese pairing. The ticketed event had about a dozen attendees and featured pairings of King Harbor’s Radberry Wild, Ride the Wild, and Grand Cru wild ales with cheeses from Four Fat Fowl, Cyprus Grove, and Cheeseland.
It has been suggested that I am an anomaly in the craft beer world, in that I am not particularly fond of pizza or cheese. I discovered that I was not alone, as a couple of attendees confided that they were not really “into cheese” before this cheese pairing; by the end of the event I think we were all convinced that we just had not tried the right cheeses. I spoke with one person that was not a fan of wild ales at all, but the cheese paired with them made them quite enjoyable. Continue reading
These photos were taken Friday morning at Smog City Brewing, where brewers and owners of 21 of the South Bay’s breweries and cideries met to brew an anniversary beer to commemorate the 5th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover which will be held Thursday, September 5 at Tortilla Cantina in Old Torrance.
A couple months ago I got the idea that since this was the 5th anniversary of the South Bay Tap Takeover that perhaps participating breweries might want to each do an anniversary collaboration with CraftBeerGuy.com. I had spoken with a couple breweries that hinted they might be interested when I went to State Brewing and their head brewer Rob Scott and he suggested that perhaps we could do a collaboration that included all the participating breweries. I immediately knew this would be a much better option so I started thinking about which local brewery would be big enough and central to everyone. To me, the logical choice was Smog City Brewing, so I approached Porter about it; he readily accepted. Continue reading
These photos were taken Sunday afternoon at the Three Weavers Brewing Company parking lot, where they hosted their 2nd Annual Brewmo Pseudo-Sumo Showdown as the after-party to the 2019 Los Angeles Beer Week. Sponsored by BSG CraftBrewing, Prospero, and Stradling Attorneys at Law, the event featured action-filled sumo wrestling by more than a dozen LA Brewers Guild member breweries, a beer garden, food trucks, a mariachi band, a DJ and lots of dogs.
The participating breweries included Absolution Brewing, Arrow Lodge Brewing, Bravery Brewing, Brouwerij West, Common Space Brewery, Eagle Rock Brewing, Firestone Walker – Propagator, HopSaint Brewing, Imperial Western Beer Company/Arts District Brewing, King Harbor Brewing, Lucky Luke Brewing, Pacific Plate Brewing, Simmzy’s – Burbank, The Dudes’ Brewing, LA Ale Works, and Three Weavers. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon in Redondo Beach, where King Harbor Brewing celebrated their 5th anniversary at their brewery and main tasting room. The ticketed event included a 1 1/2 hour VIP session, followed by a four hour long General Admission session.
VIP attendees were treated to a special menu that included tasters of their award winning Ride the Wild, Radberry Wild, and King Swirly II through IV. VIP attendees also received a bottle of King Harbor’s anniversary beer, Grand Cru; a Flanders style wild red ale aged in Cabernet Sauvignon oak barrels to take home with them. Head Brewer Phil McDaniel gave tours to those interested in how he makes his “sugar water.”
All attendees received very nice commemorative glassware and had access to close to 30 different King Harbor brews, including nine previously unreleased beers, a couple slushies, several beer cocktails made with Tiki Hut and Hermosa Cerveza, and the three entrees to the Employee Beer Contest. Continue reading