Back in June I became familiar with the LA Beer Bloggers, a group of altruistic craft beer bloggers living or working in or around the City of Los Angeles; working together to foster craft beer culture. As King Harbor Brewing Company’s Head Brewer Philip McDaniel put it, these are the people that keep the local craft beer breweries in business and help make them successful. After all, there is only so much one can hope to accomplish with paid advertising, especially for start-ups that do not really have a large advertising budget. Nothing beats word of mouth when it comes to referrals and the LA Beer Bloggers do just that via their blogs and other forms of social media.
Sunday evening, December 8, the LA Beer Bloggers held their first annual Holiday Potluck at Sunset Beer Company, a bottle shop and tasting room located in Los Angeles. We had about 20 people show up with munchies ranging from bread sticks to shrimp and hummus to salads. As it is the Christmas season, there were quite a few sweets involved but when mixed with craft beer it made for a pretty healthy meal. For our part, Tanya made breadsticks, pretzel rolls and mustards using spent grains and beers donated by Redondo Beach’s first production craft brewery, King Harbor Brewing Company (KHBC). For dessert she made Russian Tea Cakes / Mexican Wedding Cakes from flour she produced using brown ale malted grains also donated by KHBC along with various dipping sauces; some of which were flavored with KHBC’s Brown Ale. Judging by the responses to these treats, I suspect all the LA Beer Bloggers will be heading to Redondo Beach when King Harbor opens their doors early next year.
It was a good time of networking and enjoying beer and food; as you can see from the photos, everyone seemed to be having a good time. Thank you to the LA Beer Bloggers for the invitation and to Sunset Beer Company for hosting the event. Special thanks to those that contributed to the meal with food or special beers that were brought from home or purchased in the bottle shop; and extra special thanks to King Harbor Brewing Company for donating the main ingredients to our contributions.
Sunset Beer Company is located at 1498 Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles. King Harbor Brewing will be at 2907 W. 182nd Street in Redondo Beach. Happy Holidays and cheers! Continue reading
Sunday, day 11 of LA Beer Week (LABW5) and congratulations to those of you that survived. While I did not attend the event at Union Station a week ago, I cannot imagine trying to do it at the end of an 11 day week. I started the day by heading over to King Harbor Brewing Company where I got the opportunity to meet their head brewer as he christened the location by brewing a small batch saison. A little later in the day I was informed that Smog City Brewing was hosting a panel, School of BJ’s Brewer Panel Discussion featuring Jonathan Porter of Smog City, Tyler King of The Bruery, David Griffiths of Ladyface Alehouse & Brasserie, Evan Price of Noble Ale Works and Owen Williams of Ritual Brewing Company. It turns out that the common denominator between the five of them is that they all brewed at BJ’s; who would have guessed? We decided to begin by going to Monkish Brewing to try their LABW5 entry, End of Summer, a Belgian Honey Ale. We then headed around the corner to Smog City.
As it turned out the event was not really supposed to be public as Beer Paper LA was using the opportunity to interview the brewers for an upcoming issue and they were concerned I would scoop them; so I bailed. You should be able to read about it and see any photos in their upcoming issue.
It really was a fun week and I had a great time. I would like to extend special thanks to The Brewery at Abigaile, Naja’s Place, Rock & Brews PCH, Monkish Brewing Company, Strand Brewing Company, San Pedro Brewing Company, Alpine Village and El Segundo Brewing Company for their hospitality and generosity over the past week. It was truly appreciated. Cheers! Continue reading
Friday was day two of the 5th Annual LA Beer Week (LABW5) and since I knew that there would be plenty of driving involved over the duration of LA Beer Week (which runs through September 29), I decided I would take the bike and dedicate today to the Torrance microbreweries, Strand Brewing Company, Monkish Brewing Company and Smog City Brewing Company. However, I did make one exception; this morning King Harbor Brewing Company (KHBC) had some of their tanks delivered so I popped over to get a few shots. I can only guess the move went smoothly because when I returned an hour or so later, they were gone. KHBC is really making progress; just a few more months until it is beer.
I began my tour of the Torrance microbrewery tasting rooms with a visit to the oldest of the Torrance microbreweries, Strand Brewing Company. While they are probably best known for their Atticus IPA and Beach House Amber Ale, I think their Second Sleep Imperial Russian Stout is one of their best beers. Today they tapped a cask that has been oak barrel aged for the last six months; it is delicious. If you are in the neighborhood I highly recommend it (if it is still available).
I then headed over to the second oldest microbrewery in Torrance, Monkish Brewing Company. Monkish Brewing specializes in Belgian style ales and has 10-12 different varieties with everything from singles and saisons to dubbels and tripels. He has a new single hopped Belgian pale called Galaxy Defender that I, as a hophead, find amazing. They now have something for everyone.
I ended my journey at the newest of the Torrance microbrewery tasting rooms, Smog City Brewing. The one thing I can count on about Smog City Brewing is that even if I go there every week, every week they will have something new to try. There is always an “experimental” on tap and today it was their Grape Ape IPA. The grapes really made it different from any of the IPAs I have tried from Smog City thus far. They are also offering their Bloody Knuckle porter which is the base beer for their award winning Groundwork Coffee Porter. I would like to try the two of them in a blind taste test; it was very good. Cheers! Continue reading
According to King Harbor Brewing Company co-owner Tom Dunbabin, they recently learned that there is a winery up north in Santa Rosa, Coastline Cellars, and they did not want their beer brand confused with Coastline Cellar’s wine brand. If you recall the issues in the recent past between Magic Hat Brewing and West Sixth Brewing with their logos and earlier in the year between 38 Degrees Ale House and Grill in Alhambra and 38º Carlsbad this makes perfect sense; eliminate any potential problems before they become real problems.
When it came time to come up with a new name, Dunbabin states; “We went back to our source of inspiration – the beach. Not just any beach, but the beaches of the South Bay. This is the area that we love – from our favorite craft beer bars, breweries, and restaurants, our friends, families, to the unique history. We quickly realized that while we loved the Coastline name it lacked a specific tie to this area, something that is very important to this brewery.” Continue reading