These photos were taken Friday, September 21, which was day five of my Craft Beer Tour 2018 and day two of the Brewer Association’s 2018 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) which is being held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.
Friday began with a Media Brewery Tour, which was put on by Discover Denver. We visited three Denver breweries to give newcomers to Denver an idea of the scope of the craft beer revolution in Denver. We visited Oskar Blues new Denver location, Oskar Blues Grill & Brew, the new Odell Brewing RiNo Brewhouse, and Call to Arms Brewing. Continue reading
These photos were taken Wednesday, September 19, at High Altitude Hops Farm in Larkspur, and Lone Tree Brewing Company in Lone Tree; which was day three of my Craft Beer Tour 2018.
Before I left L.A. on Monday, my friend Desiree, a beertender at King Harbor Brewing Company, told me she was going to introduce me to her friends Kris Meese and his wife Aleece, the owners of High Altitude Hops Farm. So when I left Durango I set off towards Larkspur, which is about 40 miles south of Denver.
Kris has been growing hops for about five years, beginning with what was apparently nothing more than a divider between their property and their neighbor. After two years they made their first sale to a local brewery; at that point they decided they needed a larger area if they were going to grow enough to make this a viable business. That is when they moved to Larkspur and a five acre spread. Continue reading
When I first started writing about craft breweries, it was pretty easy to keep up and even stay on top of things. Heck, you used to be able to visit all the Torrance breweries in one day without making it almost a chore. But the times are definitely changing and it has become difficult for me to stay current with the craft beer growth happening with our neighbors to the south of me, the Long Beach area.
Last Saturday I was in Signal Hill, a close neighbor of Long Beach, for the Festival Obscura at Sunnyside Cemetery. As I was talking to the guys manning the taps at the Ten Mile Brewing booth I learned that the craft brewery and tasting room were literally across the street from the cemetery; you could see the sign through the trees. I decided I would make one more stop after I finished up at the festival. Continue reading
These photos were taken Thursday evening at King Harbor Brewing Company’s new satellite tasting room located in the Riviera Village area of Redondo Beach.
Redondo Beach’s first, and so far only, production brewery has announced that their dominance of Redondo is nearing completion with the opening of their second satellite tasting room, thus creating their own Beermuda Triangle.
Those of you that attended the Riviera Summer Festival last weekend and were paying attention, may have noticed that the King Harbor Village Tap Room had opened their doors for a “very soft” soft opening; apparently it was very well received by those that did notice. Thursday evening’s soft open was primarily a friends and family event, but a sandwich board was placed outside so those strolling by were aware that the doors were now open and the taps were flowing. Continue reading
These photos were taken Sunday at Scholb Premium Ales in Torrance, where they celebrated two years of brewing. The event featured $5.00 pours from their 17 taps, their first bottle release, live entertainment, food, games, raffles and giveaways all day long.
While the anniversary party was advertised minimally, the Scholb tasting room filled up nicely with both regular attendees and a few first-timers. Scholb gave away Scholb glassware to the first 100 customers; and gave raffle tickets with every beer purchased. Bibb’s BBQ filled the brewery with great aromas, while DJ Cancun Joey and CAL1FA filled the room with their mellow tunes.
Scholb also used the opportunity to have their first bottle release, Tall, Dank & Handsome; it is a full-bodied IPA featuring Mosaic and Columbus hops to give it its lingering dankness. Continue reading
Saturday afternoon was set aside to travel to Menifee so I could watch my six year old grandson participate in the finals of a talent show put on by the Boys & Girls Club of Menifee Valley. It was being held at a church, so craft beer was the furthest thing from my mind when we pulled onto New Hub Drive in Menifee. As my sister passed the church, she swung the car around at the first street parking spot. As I stepped out of the car, to my surprise was The Mason Jar Brewing Company.
Mason Jar Brewing opened their doors in 2015, and brew with a 10bbl system and 20bbl fermenters. When I was there, they had 16 brews on tap. A look at the tap list made me think that they brew what they like; they aren’t just brewing it because it is faddish. They don’t distribute, and seemed like a neighborhood tasting room with a lot of regulars. 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 the Smog City Brewing Company’s 2018 Anniversary Celebration. The event included a two-hour long ticketed VIP session, followed by a free general admission session that began at 1:00 PM and ran until closing time.
The celebration featured close to 30 Smog City brews as well as a half dozen beer cocktails, music by DJ Mood Maestros, and a few food trucks; including Mad Pambazos, Serendoggity, and CONED Ice Cream. There were games, as well as local artwork that was created specifically for Smog City Brewing. The event also gave Smog City the opportunity to debut their new outside patio as well as their anniversary beer, Awkward Teenager.
About 100 VIP ticket holders were able to tour Smog City’s Sour Production Facility; it gave us some insight to the magic behind their sour ales. All VIP ticket holders received early access to limited beers and beer cocktails, one bottle of their Awkward Teenager with a carrier bag, and a pretty fun commemorative Smog City photo album. Continue reading
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
If the above paragraph makes you wonder how Project Barley somehow gives Lomita two craft breweries, then you do not follow this site as closely as you should. Last April I wrote that Burnin’ Daylight Brewing Company was granted their Conditional Use Permit by the Lomita City Council; Burnin’ Daylight had a couple extra hoops to jump through as there were a couple laws that had to be modified to allow them to sell beer to go. Burnin’ Daylight will be a brewpub, which means their rules are a little different, by definition. Project Barley can manufacture beer, but a law needs to be changed to allow them to have a tasting room, and the first steps were crossed this past Monday evening. Continue reading