Well, it is that time of year again, when I try to recollect everything that happened in the craft beer world this year that I participated in. This is typically the most difficult article of the year for me to write because I go into it thinking, “What the hell did I do this year anyway?”
I know I went on my annual craft beer tour, I know I was able to put on the 8th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover, and I know there was at least one brewery closure in the South Bay. I used to end these recaps by predicting what I expect to happen in the following year, but the last two years have been really tough to predict. Unfortunately, there is a lot slated for 2023 that is not exactly positive, but I don’t make the news, I only report it. So, let’s look back at 2022, because I am sure I must have done something more that what I have already mentioned. Continue reading
These photos were taken Wednesday evening at Naja’s Place on the International Boardwalk in Redondo Beach, where they held their Holiday Sweaters Against Humanity Party. The event featured an Ugly Sweater Contest, movies, three rare beer flights, and a few Christmas sweets.
There were three flights made available, including a Firestone Flight, a Goose Island Flight made up of various BCBS variants, and a Sour Flight consisting of sours from Three Weavers, Great Notion, New Belgium, Almanac, and Barrelworks. Continue reading
These photos were taken Thursday afternoon at Naja’s Place, on the International Boardwalk, where day one of their 12th Annual IPA Festival was held. As usual, the event featured IPAs of every type, from Sessions to Quads.
The weather was a typical, slightly cool, May Gray day, which may have accounted for the slow start to the event, but my Instagram and Facebook feeds seemed to indicate that as working stiffs got off work, Naja’s seemed to get a little more crowded.
Thursday was the kickoff event, with today (Friday) being their Locals Collaborations day, and Saturday being Pizza Port day which will feature a special IPA brewed for Naja’s Place. The event runs through the 25th. Continue reading
The Brewers Kickoff Festival is definitely the event you want to attend as it will feature 90 independent craft breweries showcasing more than 250 unique beers, local food vendors, and live music. VIP ticket holders get in at noon, with General Admission beginning an hour later. There is no guarantee tickets will be available at the door, so buy your tickets today on Eventbrite Continue reading
These photos were taken Wednesday afternoon at Naja’s Place in Redondo Beach, where they are holding their 10th annual IPA Festival. The annual event started Wednesday afternoon and will run through May 23, with over 80 IPAs to be served over the course of the week.
If you have never attended Naja’s IPA Festival, it works like this. Naja’s pretty much turns 80 taps from a variety of beers to just IPAs; Session, West Coast, New England, Hazy, Black, Doubles, and Triples. Attendees pay $15 for their first pour, which comes in a commemorative mug, and you get a commemorative bottle opener. From that point on, you just bring back your mug and you can refill it for $6.00, $7.00, or $8.00. Take the mug home and return any day of the festival to get it filled for those prices. Continue reading
Late Wednesday morning, I jumped in a Lyft and headed towards the International Boardwalk at King Harbor in Redondo Beach for day one of Naja’s Place 9th Annual IPA Festival.
In the past, the event started at 2:00 or 3:00 PM, and there would be a pretty decent line of people waiting to get in; this year, Naja’s is opening at 11:30 AM and when I arrived at 11:31 there was only four or five people waiting, so that was nice.
Another change this year is the printed beer menu. In the past they have printed one menu for the entire event, so you had to hope the beer you heart was set on was available that day. This year the menu only listed the beers that were available that day; additional menus will be printed daily as some beers tap out and are replaced. Continue reading
These photos were taken at the 2nd Annual Jeff Sanders Memorial Homebrew Competition which was held Saturday at the Robert Gennaria Memorial Odd Fellows Hall in Redondo Beach. The event was put on by the Strand Brewers Club and was sponsored by South Bay Brewing Supply, King Harbor Brewing Company, Naja’s Place, Smog City Brewing Company, and Strand Brewing Company.
There were 47 entries judged, all of which were limited the Jeff’s favorite styles, which meant there were lots of barleywines, English-style ales, porters and such.
As of this writing, the winners had not been announced, so check the Strand Brewers Club website or Facebook page over the next few days for the announcement. Cheers! Continue reading
It is that time of year again; Naja’s Place in Redondo Beach began their week-long 8th Annual IPA Festival on Wednesday afternoon. The event will feature well over 100 IPAs from around the country.
We headed there early Wednesday afternoon as this was not my first rodeo, and Naja’s fills up fast every year as hopheads descend upon the International Boardwalk at the Redondo Beach Pier.
Each day of the event will feature a special IPA; Wednesday’s was Russian River’s Pliny the Elder. Thursday will feature Dogfish Head’s 120 Minute IPA; Friday will have El Segundo Brewing’s Hop Plunge and their anniversary beer El Segundo El Cinco Del Segundo. Saturday will be Pizza Port day featuring more than 20 of their specialty IPAs. Sunday will feature Knee Deep’s Simtra Triple IPA, with Monday’s featured brew being Russian River’s Blind Pig and Tuesday will have Pliny the Elder again. Continue reading
These photos are from the 2015 Pacific Brewers Cup homebrew competition which was held Saturday afternoon at Four Points by Sheraton at LAX. The event was hosted by Strand Brewers Club, Long Beach Homebrewers, and Pacific Gravity. There were 458 entries consisting of beer, mead and ciders.
While these photos were all taken Saturday, the fact of the matter is that with 458 entries, the judging portion actually started two weeks ago when members of the Strand Brewers Club had to sort the 1300 plus bottles into categories and get all the information entered in the competitions database. I helped out on the sorting by scanning in the entries with their assigned competition number; this gave me an opportunity to see where the entries came from. I have to admit, I was pretty surprised at how far and wide they came from; with several entries coming from out of state. Because of the substantial number of entries, there were a couple judging sessions done ahead of time.
As you might think, it is quite the task to judge 458 beers, mead and ciders and it truly takes a lot of work by an organized team to pull that off. The team yesterday consisted of 70 judges and 42 stewards. I met one of the judges yesterday that came all the way from Chandler, Arizona “for the love of beer” as opposed to trying to escape Chandler’s 100+ weather. While the judges were truly put to the test, I doubt that the event could have moved as smoothly as it did without the efforts of the stewards. Head Steward Barbara Bovee is to be congratulated for keeping things as organized as they were. Continue reading
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.Continue reading