LA Beer Week

Brewmo Pseudo-Sumo Showdown at Three Weavers

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

LA Beer Week 2018 Kickoff Festival Photos

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

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

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

Ninja Turtles Invade El Segundo – Pizzas Devoured

After leaving the LA Beer Week Kickoff Festival we stopped by El Segundo Brewing Company (ESBC) for an after-party they were having. They were kind of on the way home anyway, so we headed over.

By the time we arrived the tasting room was jumping as a mixture of people that had obviously been to the LABW8 festival melded with the usual taproom crowd that flock to ESBC to enjoy their fresh brews. I had seen something mentioned on social media about the event, but I did not realize that this was more than just an after party; this was much more. Continue reading

Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing Opens This Weekend

Back in September I informed you that Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing would be opening in El Segundo; in fact, I predicted mid-2016 as when the doors would actually open. It turns out I was correct, as just in time for LA Beer Week, Rob Rubens will open their doors to the general public this Friday, June 17 with their soft open beginning at 4:30 PM and they will continue to be open seven days a week from that point on.

These photos include a few visits that I made over the past nine months while documenting their progress as well as their Friends & Family party that they had at the production brewery’s tasting room on Wednesday evening.

Since distilling spirits takes a little more time and money than brewing beer, Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing is starting off with providing craft beer with the spirits becoming available in the coming months. Last night we were able to sample a few of Ruben’s flagship beers, such as their Gunpowder Cream Ale, Hitman Ale Altbier, a yet to be named pale ale and a stout. The brews were all solid and I learned something about cream ales; it is not about vanilla flavors at all. Cream ale is essentially ale brewed with ale or lager yeast at lower temperatures, and then cold aged. It reminded me of a hoppy lager with a pilsner finish; it makes for a very tasty session brew. Continue reading

Three Weavers 2016 Unity Bottle Release Party Photos

These photos were taken Friday at Three Weavers Brewing Company during their bottle release party for the official beer of the 2016 LA Beer Week, Unity. Unity is an “experimental IPA” in that it used a lot of an experimental hop so new it does not have a name yet, other than HBC 522. It got the name Unity because while it was brewed and bottled at Three Weavers, many members of the L.A. County Brewers Guild participated in the brew. While it has been said that too many cooks spoil the broth, that was definitely not the case with Unity. Unity is a delicious resinous American IPA with a slight sweetness in the finish.

Admittedly, I do not get over to Three Weavers as frequently as I might like but it is pretty obvious that they are doing quite well. I arrived early to the event and the tasting room was already packed with more people coming in the entire time I was there. Another sign of success is the growth of the brewery itself which will be seeing a new, larger brewhouse in the upcoming weeks. Congratulations to Lynne Weaver, Alexandra Nowell and the entire staff at Three Weavers.

Speaking of the 8th Annual LA Beer Week, the event runs from June 18-26 and begins with the kickoff festival which will be held Saturday, June 18 at the Los Angeles Center Studios. All 45 brewery members of the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild will be represented along with about 30 other craft breweries from around the state. If you missed last year’s kickoff event you missed a great time and this year’s event promises to be even bigger and better; you do not want to miss it. While this year’s event will be bigger, they will not be selling additional tickets so do yourself a favor and buy your tickets today. You can get more information and purchase your tickets at LABeerWeek.org. Cheers! Continue reading

A Review of LA Beer Week 2015

LABW7 schedule

Unity release at Smog City Brewing

It has been a week or so now since LA Beer Week 2015 (LABW7) and I think I am ready to give a review of the “week-long” event. I say “week-long” because LABW7 officially ran from June 20-28 but some venues started celebrating early and others ended on the 27th. Heck, Smog City Brewing held their Unity (the official beer of LA Beer Week) bottle release on the Wednesday before, and Absolution Brewing released their LA Beer Week brew, AD/JD on Thursday. No matter when you started, it was a very long week with some very good beers to be found. There are a few events I attended but did not write about; if you want to see those photos please visit my Facebook page.

The LA Beer Week Kickoff Party was held Saturday, June 20 at Exposition Park. I have to be honest, even though I have been documenting LA Beer Week since LABW4 in 2012 I have never attended any of their kickoff events. This was due primarily to preconceived misconceptions of what a madhouse it would be; plus I really do not like driving to DTLA. On the Wednesday before the kickoff party I happened to notice an email that came in from Absolution Brewing to members of their Mug Club in which they were offering VIP tickets to the first five “Muggers” that asked for them. I asked Tanya if she wanted to go and she responded immediately with, “No!.” This was because I had been saying we were not going for the past week, so I think she was just making sure I knew she was okay with it.

As I was going to the Torrance City Hall that night anyway for a Planning Commission hearing and Absolution was basically on the way home, it was decided that we would stop by after the Planning Commission hearing and see if any passes were still available. In other words, I was going to let others have an opportunity to score the passes before me. We showed up to Absolution shortly before they closed and no one had claimed any of the passes, so we decided to attend the kickoff.

Absolution Brewing staff

Thank you to Absolution Brewing for the VIP passes

Continue reading

LA Beer Week 2015: Rarest of the Rare at Smog City

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Smog City Brewing Company’s Rarest of the Rare LA Beer Week (LABW7) event. Smog City did this once before, during the 2013 LA Beer Week (LABW5) and if you attended the last one, I am sure you came away with a similar thought, oh what a difference 18 months can make. While the first time was pretty amazing, yesterday’s event was just that much more.

I guess if there is a disadvantage to living in the middle of the current craft beer central it is that sometimes there are just too many events and not enough time to cover them all. As I was involved with the Euro Bierfest at Alpine Village I did not arrive until a few hours into the event which meant that the highly sought, limited availability Spittin’ n Cussin’ was tapped out but that could not prevent one from having a great time with options like their Bourbon O.E. from 2011 through 2015, their collaboration with Beachwood Brewing, Bourbon Collaborative Evil, Infinite Wishes, 2015 Unity with variations and beer cocktails. It was one of those kids in a candy store experiences and it seemed like I was not the only one to think so.

With all the beer options that were available, I would be willing to bet that there is still a very nice selection available. I think I will wrap this up and head over to see what I can try. Cheers! Continue reading

LA Beer Week 2015: Friday at Smog City & El Segundo Brewing

The 2015 LA Beer Week (#LABW7) is flowing along with more beer and events than any one human can possibly keep up with; I know I definitely took it a lot easier this year than in past. Anyway, it is Friday and I guess it is day seven of LA Beer Week. As I have an early event on Saturday, Euro Bierfest at Alpine Village, I decided to keep it mellow Friday night. Smog City had San Diego beerlebrity, Nate Soroko in attendance as a guest bartender.

Soroko is the chef at Toronado in San Diego, and a pretty well-known beer aficionado in the San Diego area. I happened to run into him in early 2014 during a visit to Alpine Beer Company. I was taking pictures and someone told me I should take his photo too as he was a big deal; so I did. After formally meeting him tonight I came away with the fact that he is a nice guy; and he likes his beer. While I did not see Soroko actually “tend bar” he did sweep people off their feet and had a couple chugging contests that he dominated; but I am not entirely sure he won the last one. Dan’s mug was pretty dry. Continue reading

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