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2nd Annual Cask’s Not Dead Fest Photos

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Yorkshire Square Brewery in Torrance, where they held their second annual Cask’s Not Dead Fest which featured 29 cask ales provided by 27 craft breweries primarily from around the Los Angeles and Orange County area as well as a couple entries from as far away as Chico (Sierra Nevada Brewing) and Redwood City (Freewheel Brewing).

Like last year, the ticketed event was a fundraiser for the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild as well as being a friendly competition to determine who made the best Traditional Cask Ale and Abnormal Ale; the Abnormal Ales are cask ales that included adjuncts such as cacao nibs, oak chips, vanilla beans, and such. Unlike last year, there were no food trucks as the Snap Tin Eatery is now open; a special menu was set up for the event. Continue reading

The Brews Hall at Del Amo: From the Beginning

I guess it was the end of 2018 that I started hearing rumors that a new brewery was coming to Torrance. The details were vague, but I heard it was going to be over by the Del Amo Shopping Center and it was being opened by Mike Zislis, the man behind such local favorites as Brewco Manhattan Beach, Rock & Brews, and Rock’n Fish. I figured there were only a couple spots at Del Amo that could fit a brewery, so I made a mental note to drive by whenever possible to see if I could figure out the new location. One afternoon I noticed a building that used to house a cross-fit gym that had the familiar Notice of Application to Sell Alcoholic Beverages; I knew I had the location correct.

On February 19 I happened to be at Brewco in Manhattan Beach for the Pliny the Younger release, when Mike Zislis, Dave Furano (Co-founder at Rock & Brews), and George Lopez came in and sat at the table next to me. Naturally, I used the opportunity to confirm that my research matched up with the rumors I had heard; it did. I also used to opportunity to get the okay to photograph the build, which was granted. I started photographing the location on February 28 and the photographs end today, November 4 as they are now in the soft open phase. Continue reading

Upshift Brewing Company Grand Opening Photos

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at one of El Segundo’s newest craft breweries, Upshift Brewing Company, where they held their official grand opening. Attendees had 10 Upshift brews to choose from, as well as two food trucks; Cheddr Wheel and Swami’s Sandwiches. For entertainment there was a raffle, live music provided by Green Hills Band, and there was a mini car show in the parking lot shared with the food trucks. Of course, there was Giant Jenga and cornhole for the competitive types.

The beers Upshift currently has on tap includes their Kolschwagen, Bench Seat Blonde, PRNDL Pale Ale, Track Sesh IPA, Wind Wing IPA, Big Block Brown, Off Camber Amber, Pole Position Pale Ale, Pit Stop Porter, and their newest, G.T. Oatmeal Stout. Continue reading

Surfridge Brewing: and Then There Were Four

These photos were taken Thursday afternoon, October 24, at Surfridge Brewing Company, El Segundo’s fourth craft brewery. Yes, you read that right, El Segundo now has four craft breweries, making El Segundo twice the craft beer destination it was a mere month ago.

Followers of the Craft Beer Guy Facebook page may recall that I put up a few photos from Surfridge Brewing at the end of July, but in all honesty, owners Steve and Jennifer Lieberman were still keeping things close to the vest and really only let me photograph their six 20bbl fermenters. When I first saw the tasting room that was really what I wanted to shoot. Continue reading

Smog City West Ribbon Cutting Photos

These photos were taken Wednesday afternoon, October 23, at Smog City West, the newest of Smog City Brewing’s satellite tasting rooms, where they held a ribbon cutting to formerly open their newest location. They event was attended by a few dozen Smog City fans as well as Torrance mayor, Pat Furey, a couple city councilmen, representatives from LA County, the State of California, and several members of the Torrance Chamber of Commerce.

Attendees at the event had a tap list of 17 Smog City beers to choose from, including eight of which that came from the Smog City Wood Cellar and are only available at Smog City West; some of the Smog City Wood Cellar ales are also available in bottles to go. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2019: Winters, CA

These photos were taken Sunday, October 20, day 21 of Craft Beer Tour 2019; my annual craft beercation taken before and after the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver. These photos were taken at Berryessa Brewing and Hooby’s Brewing in Winters, California.

When I arrived in Chico for the Hop Harvest Festival at Sierra Nevada, I had some decisions to make; primarily, where would I go from here? Do I hang out in Northern California, or head home? I sent out some messages to friends in the general area, and then I headed to Sierra Nevada. Continue reading

Sierra Nevada Hop Harvest Festival Photos

These photos were taken Saturday, October 19, day 20 of Craft Beer Tour 2019; my annual craft beercation taken before and after the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver. These photos were taken at Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico, California; primarily of their 2019 Single, Fresh, Wet & Wild Hop Harvest Festival, which was put on by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and the California Craft Brewers Association. I say the photos are primarily of the Hop Harvest Festival because I did go to the taproom a couple hours earlier just to figure out where everything was; and it was a little too early for me to check in to my room.

Since the entire reason that I returned to the Pacific Northwest two years running is fresh hop IPAs, attending this event seemed like a match made in Hop Heaven. I have to give credit to HopSaint Brewing Company owner Steve Roberts for putting this event on my radar. A few days before I left for Denver, and GABF, I went to HopSaint where Steve same up to say hello. After chatting a bit about GABF he mentioned they would be pouring at Sierra Nevada’s Hop Harvest Festival shortly after GABF ended. When I saw that it was being held on the 19th I took it as a sign, since that was the date I would be entering California anyway; and I would be driving right by Chico anyway. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2019: Weed, CA

These photos were taken Friday, October 18, day 19 of Craft Beer Tour 2019; my annual craft beercation taken before and after the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver. These photos were taken at Mt. Shasta Brewing Company and Weed Ales & Lagers, both of which are located at the same location in Weed, California.

When I left ColdFire Brewing I still had a 6 1/2 hour drive to Chico, and that was just not going to happen. When I do these trips I try to avoid driving at night because I cannot see this new landscape in the dark. I knew if I stopped in Weed it would only be a 2 1/2 hour drive to Chico, and the Hop Harvest Festival didn’t start until 2:00 PM. I also knew that Weed Lager & Ales was located there; so I head south for four hours to Weed, CA.

I know I have driven south on I-5 through Mt. Shasta before, but I must have gone through at night because I do not recall ever seeing the view I had of Mt. Shasta before. It was truly magnificent with its snow caps and the cloud of snow above it; I had to stop and take a couple photos, but it was cold and windy as heck so I didn’t spend a lot of time there. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2019: Eugene, OR

These photos were taken Friday, October 18, day 19 of Craft Beer Tour 2019; my annual craft beercation taken before and after the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver. These photos were taken at Falling Sky Brewing House and ColdFire Brewing Company, both of which are located in Eugene, Oregon.

I bid farewell to Matt and Dom on Friday morning and began my drive south to Chico where I would be attending Sierra Nevada’s Hop Harvest Festival on Saturday. After a couple hours of driving I realized I would be going through Eugene. I visited Eugene last year when I went to Ninkasi. I knew I was arriving in Eugene too early to return to Ninkasi, so I pulled over at the next rest stop to see if Eugene had additional breweries, and whether or not they would be open. As luck would have it, they had two that were open and not too far from each other. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2019: Redmond, OR

These photos were taken Thursday, October 17, day 18 of Craft Beer Tour 2019; my annual craft beercation taken before and after the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver. These photos were taken at Initiative Brewing, Wild Ride Brewing, and Porter Brewing, a few of the breweries you can find in Redmond, Oregon. The first few photos were taken on the drive from Oregon City to Redmond.

Those of you that follow my travels closely may recall that last year I stayed with Matt and Dom like I am doing this year. Last year they drove me all over the state to different breweries, and they don’t even like beer! They like me, and they like ciders; and Matt really likes to opportunity to show off his home, Oregon. This year Matt and Dom were getting ready to leave to country; so Matt could only spare one day to show me the state. When I arrived at his home he asked me if I was familiar with Central Oregon; I wasn’t sure what that consisted of. He responded by asking if I had visited Bend or Redmond. I spent a couple days in Bend last year so suggested we try Redmond. While he had a friend he needed to visit there anyway he was okay with it, but he didn’t think Redmond was big enough to have a brewery. I had a feeling they might have one, or two. Continue reading

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