Every year at this time, I make my annual trek to the Valley of the Sun, which is essentially the Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe area of Arizona. I returned there last week and as I was preparing to write my article about my most recent beer travel, I came to the realization that while I went to Arizona last year and took photos, I never wrote about it. These photos will begin with my visits to O.H.S.O. Eatery & nano-Brewery, and McFate Brewing Company in 2017; and will end with my visits to Wren House Brewing, Scottsdale Beer Company, and Blasted Barley in 2018.
My typical Valley of the Sun weekend begins with go-kart racing in Scottsdale and ends with a convention in Tempe. This means that I set my GPS for a brewery that will get me closest to the race track in Scottsdale. In 2017 my first destination was O.H.S.O. Eatery & nano-Brewery, a brewpub located in the Arcadia area of Phoenix. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday evening at Phantom Carriage Brewery in Carson, where they held their 3 Year Anniversary Party & Nuclear Blast Beer Release party. The event featured more than 20 of Phantom Carriage’s wild beers, including cellared rarities, plus rare guest beers from local craft breweries. Naturally their house-smoked BBQ was available, as was the music; the horror films, as usual, were available inside.
If you had not heard, Phantom Carriage has stepped up their brewing game and are actually canning some of their beers now; on Saturday they released a collaboration they did with Nuclear Blast USA, the self-described “world’s biggest independent heavy metal record label.” The beer, Blast Beast, is a Black India Pale Lager. I do not know how much is still available; you should probably just head over now if interested. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Absolution Brewing Company’s Torrance location where they held their 4th Anniversary and St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. The event consisted of a ticketed VIP session from 1:00 to 3:00 PM, then the doors opened to the general public until 7:00 PM. VIP attendees received a nice, limited edition, 4th Anniversary Mug (20oz), unlimited firkin cask tastings or four 20oz pours, after that, they received 20oz pours the rest of the day.
As usual, Absolution brought out several specialty beers, including their Holy Moly Anniversary Ale, a porter with whole chipotle and cocoa nibs, St. Pat’s, an Irish red ale with cascara of cacao, and Oasis, a bourbon barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout with hints of coconut. They had some good stuff there. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday evening in San Pedro at the Brouwerij West 2nd Anniversary and Concert which was held at the production brewery’s massive tasting room and outside beer garden. The concert was headlined by legendary Los Angeles punk rock band X and featured Mike Watt & The Missingmen, L.A. Witch, and Bombon; with DJ Paul E Wog spinning his vinyl prior to the concert starting, and between sets.
Anyone that has visited Brouwerij West has probably figured out that they do things big, beginning with their 25,000 square-foot facility with the 30 BBL brewhouse with fermentation space for 8,000 barrels; this party was going to be big. If you attended their grand opening you know that they can draw a crowd. This anniversary party was huge and the staff at Brouwerij West handled it like the pros they are. Continue reading
These photos were taken Thursday evening at Smog City Brewing Company, where they held their weekly Pints with Purpose fundraiser; this month the beneficiary is International Bird Rescue, a global leader in responding to man-made disasters affecting wildlife, such as oil spills and marine debris.
Every Thursday in March, Smog City will donate a portion of their gross daily receipts to the International Bird Rescue, which has a San Pedro location. Continue reading
These photos were taken Thursday afternoon at the ribbon cutting for Hawthorne’s newest craft brewery, Common Space Brewery. The event was attended by several City of Hawthorne representatives, as well as numerous friends and family. There were games set up for the kids, food was made available by The Berlin Truck; naturally, there was plenty of Common Space beer for the rest of us.
Thursday was the first official day of Common Space’s grand opening weekend. On Friday the festivities continue from noon to midnight with food trucks, ice cream and DJs. Saturday will be the main day, again being open from noon to midnight, but there will be multiple food trucks, ice cream, face painting and balloon animals for the kids. Sunday they will conclude the festivities from noon to 10:00 PM with a food truck, live music, and an Oscars watch and after party. It should be a great weekend. Continue reading
Hawthorne now has their second craft brewery, Common Space Brewery, and these photos document their build since I started visiting their location in July of 2017 up through their soft open which ended Wednesday evening. The production brewery and tasting room are massive, utilizing a 24,000 square foot warehouse with 27′ high ceilings and a 1,000 square foot outdoor patio. The beer is pretty good too.
Founded by South Bay local Brent Knapp, Common Space brought on former Speakeasy Ales & Lagers Head of Brewing Operations, Kushal Hall, which means Common Space is starting off with a brewer that is well-versed in brewing large amounts capable of distributing. As you look through the photos you can’t help but notice how large the brewhouse is and they have plenty of fermentation vessels to keep the South Bay and beyond satiated with Common Space brews. Continue reading
These photos were taken Thursday evening at the State Brewing Company ribbon cutting, which was held at the production brewery’s tasting room in Gardena. The event was attended by several members of the Gardena City Council, as well as representatives from the California state assembly and congress and other various City of Gardena representatives.
As I was going through my notes I realized that State’s soft open began about three months ago, but there were a couple cosmetic changes that had to be made before they could officially open; I have to say, the tasting room looks great now. Continue reading
Last week I was asked to meet a potential client at Three Weavers Brewing Company in Inglewood; since I don’t seem to get out there enough, I agreed and intentionally arrived a little early. It wasn’t long before Three Weavers Production Team Member, my buddy and all round nice guy Jared Gonzalez noticed my presence and offered to take me on a little tour of the production facility since I had not been there in a while.
Three Weavers has grown a lot as far as production capacity is concerned; including something like five new 90 bbl fermenters that were recently obtained. I did not have my camera with me and mentioned that I wanted to return to photograph this for comparison, if nothing else. It was then that Jared asked if I had seen the new canning line; I had not.
I guess this is where the geeks separate from the crowd; as I looked at the idle canning line and heard that it is capable of filling 250 cans a minute with its 30 head Innofill Can DVD can filler, I was impressed. However, it was when I turned around and saw the Ska Fab Can-i-Bus Depalletizer that I knew I wanted to come back and watch this thing in action. I did that Wednesday morning and these are the photos I took of the process. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Los Angeles Ale Works, where Hawthorne’s first craft brewery celebrated their first anniversary with a couple hundred close friends. The tasting room itself was pretty packed, so the overflow congregated on the patio or the parking lot, which they shared with multiple food vendors and other local artisans. LA Ale Works also marked the event with a can and bottle release.
LA Ale Works has grown since my last visit as was evidenced by the 20+ beers available. Judging by the size of the crowd this has not gone unnoticed by the locals.
Los Angeles Ale Works is located at 12918 Cerise Avenue in Hawthorne and are open seven days a week. They are dog friendly and offer beer to go in growlers, crowlers, bottles and cans. Cheers! Continue reading