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2018 Great American Beer Festival Awards Ceremony

These photos were taken Saturday morning at the Brewers Association GABF Awards ceremony, which was held in the Bellco Theatre at the Colorado Convention Center.

There were over 100 categories, consisting of over 8,800 entries from 2,400 breweries. One of the new categories, Hazy IPA, had the most entries which was the first time in many years that the IPA category did not have most entries. I guess they are here to stay.

You can find all the 2018 GABF medal winners on the Brewers Association website. Congratulations to all the winners. Cheers! Continue reading

2018 Great American Beer Festival – Day Two

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

2018 Great American Beer Festival – Day One

These photos were taken Thursday, September 20, which was day four of my Craft Beer Tour 2018 and day one of the 2018 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) which is being held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.

My day started off at the Jameson VIP Tasting which was held at The 360 at Skyline. The event was held to introduce Jameson’s Caskmates, two new versions of Jameson. These whiskeys were aged in barrels that had previously been used to age beer. They offered us samples of their standard Jameson, followed up with the stout and IPA versions. The event continued up on the rooftop of The 360 at Skyline, where we were treated to cocktails, beer, food, and a great panoramic view of the city. When the attendees were done there, we were given a tuk tuk ride to the convention center so that we arrived just in time for session one of GABF 2018. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2018: High Altitude Hops

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

Craft Beer Tour 2018: Colorado

These photos were taken Tuesday, September 18, in Durango, Colorado; which was day two of my Craft Beer Tour 2018.

When I left Flagstaff, I headed east on US Hwy 160 for a 300 mile drive through some very scenic areas. Along the way is the Four Corners Monument, where Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado meet; a volcano or two, and some dinosaur footprints you can touch, if desired. As I have already seen that stuff, I just made a mental note of yesteryear and continued on.

If you are in a hurry, this is not a good route to take; there are lots of two lane stretches, and even one one-lane stretch. You go through a couple Indian reservations so there are towns along the way that have 25 MPH speed limits. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2018: Arizona

These photos were taken Monday, September 17, in Kingman and Flagstaff, Arizona.

On Monday I left the South Bay to head to Denver for the Great American Beer Festival. If you followed my journey to GABF last year you may recall that I traveled through Utah to get there. The lack of breweries on that route ensured that I take the southern route through Arizona this time. Day one was much better this year.

My first gas stop was in Kingman, AZ, which was about 330 miles from home using I-40. It has been a while since I was in Kingman, but it is a big enough town that I figured there had to be a brewery there. Google informed me that Black Bridge Brewery was only a couple miles from the gas station I was at, so I set it in my GPS for a seven minute drive. Continue reading

2018 Boots, Brews & BBQ Photos

These photos were taken Saturday evening at the Switzer Learning Center, in Torrance, where they held their 2018 Boots, Brews & BBQ fundraiser. The event featured unlimited pours of craft beer from about six local breweries, wine, and an open bar. They also had tequila flights available for an additional fee. In addition to the libations, there was plenty of barbecued meat available courtesy of Shady Grow Foods, as well Mediterranean food from Chicken Maison for the vegetarians in attendance.

The adult only event also offered tickets to ride a mechanical bull, or to practice your aiming at the shooting range that had rifles or revolvers available. They also had a spin and win booze wheel, gaming tables featuring blackjack, 3-card poker and roulette, and live and silent auctions. Continue reading

Craft Beer LB Fest 2018 Photos

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at the second annual Craft Beer LB Fest, which was held at the Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site. The event featured craft beer from 14 Long Beach area breweries, food from a few local restaurant pop-ups, live music, as well as games and activities for every age group. A portion of the proceeds from the event went to the Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site.

Attending this event confirms that the Long Beach craft beer scene is really growing. Like last year’s event, participating breweries included old-timers like Belmont Brewing, Ballast Point, and Beachwood, as well as several breweries such as Ambitious Ales, Hog Canyon Brewing, and Steady Brew Beer Company that have yet to open or just opened recently. Continue reading

3rd Annual Pub at the Club Photos

These photos were taken Sunday afternoon at the 3rd Annual Pub at the Club, which was held at the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club in Manhattan Beach. The event featured at least 22 breweries and cideries, as well as numerous wineries and local restaurants.

100% of the proceeds, which included ticket sales, raffles and the silent auction went to the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club Junior Foundation, a charity dedicated to developing champions on and off the court by supporting all athletes, including special needs and Para-athletes.

Attendees received unlimited pours from such local breweries as Boomtown, Three Weavers, Absolution Brewing, Zymurgy Brew Works, Scholb, Strand Brewing, King Harbor Brewing, El Segundo Brewing, Smog City, Hermosa Brewing, and The Dudes’. Also in attendance were Stone Brewing, Pizza Port, Refuge Brewery, Cigar City, High Water Brewing, Oskar Blues, and new to California, Roadhouse Brewing Company. Continue reading

4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover Photos

The photos were taken Thursday at Tortilla Cantina in Torrance, where they hosted the 4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. While this was their first time for hosting this event, it was the largest collection of local craft breweries since I first started putting on the event in 2015; with 22 local breweries participating and 49 taps of craft beer!

Since this was the fourth tap takeover, I have become accustomed to last minute issues coming up, resulting in either a brewery not getting the beers to the venue on time, or a mislabeled keg. As I have read that this is fairly common with even the most efficiently run craft beer festival, I just kind of grin and bear it as most of the time the attendees never even notice. While I was putting out proverbial fires at 10:30 Wednesday night, by the time Thursday morning rolled around everything somehow was falling into place. Continue reading

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