As the year draws to a close, it is time to think back on what 2017 has brought to the craft beer world; more specifically what has happened in the Craft Beer Guy world. As 2016 came to a pretty crappy end for me, I did not do one last year; for that reason, I will begin with the end of 2016 as it segued into 2017.
My coverage of 2016 ended pretty much the way 2017 started, with the opening of Smog City Brewing Company’s satellite tasting room, Smog City – SteelCraft in the Bixby Knolls area of Long Beach. They opened the location at the end of December; by the middle of January they had applied for, and were granted the ability to sell growlers and bottles to go.
Later in January the inaugural L.A. Beer and Food Festival was presented by the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild. The sold-out event featured close to 50 member breweries of the LA Brewers Guild as well as 15 local food vendors. This year the L.A. Beer and Food Festival will be held Saturday, January 27. Buy your tickets now, before it sells out.
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing, when they held their Rob Rubens One Year Spirits & Beer Anniversary party. Now, if it seems like I just covered a one year anniversary at Rob Rubens, you would be correct; back in June they held an anniversary party to celebrate one year of brewing beer. As spirits take longer than the typical craft beer to ferment, Rubens launched by brewing beer, following shortly thereafter with the distilling of spirits.
Currently, Rob Rubens is bottling Rob Rubens Rye, Single Malt, and Wheat whiskies along with their American Vandal Vodka, Eighteenth Amendment Gin, Hideaway Whiskey, Mickey’s Beach Rum, and Rob Rubens Bourbon along with their numerous beers which range from a Gose and Kolsch to a Russian Imperial Stout and a Belgian Quad, and everything in-between. Continue reading
These photos were taken Sunday afternoon at the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club, where the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club Junior Foundation held their 2nd Annual Pub at the Club Craft Beer, Wine and Food Festival. 100% of the ticket sales 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.
Price of admission included unlimited tastings from more than 15 breweries, 10 vintners, and 10 local restaurants. The breweries that I noticed in attendance included El Segundo Brewing Company, Strand Brewing Company, Stone Brewing, Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing, Lagunitas, Eel River Brewing, Coronado Brewing Company, Black Market Brewing Company, Bootleggers Brewery, Smog City Brewing, Sierra Nevada, Speakeasy Ales and Lagers, Los Angeles Ale Works, Ritual Brewing Company, and Santa Monica Brew Works. Continue reading
These photos were taken Thursday at the 3rd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover, which was held at Flights, in Hawthorne. The event featured 18 of the South Bay’s best production breweries and brewpubs, filling up 39 tap handles.
Although I did not arrive until a little after 4:00 PM, my Facebook feed indicated that people began streaming in pretty much as soon as the doors opened. By 6:00 we had the place packed and it remained that way until close to 10:00; after that, people kept arriving to sample some outstanding brews.
I had the opportunity to speak with many of the attendees and discovered that this was the first time visiting Flights; it seems safe to say that they will all return. Continue reading
It was two years ago that I made my first visit to Flights Beer Bar and met the owner Jerry “Jammer” Jamgotchian. Within days of our meeting, Jerry expressed interest in having a Craft Beer Guy event at his recently opened 40 tap gastropub. At the time, the South Bay had 10 production breweries and I requested that all 40 taps be dedicated to these 10 breweries for the 1st Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. Jerry not only agreed to this, but also invested in a new cold box so Flights could store the additional beers that were brought in for the event. To say the event was a rousing success would be an understatement. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday at Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing in El Segundo, where they held their One Year Beerversary Party. If it seems hard to believe that they have been open for one year already, that may be because the actual anniversary is June 17, but I think they held it a little early to avoid competing with LA Beer Week for their anniversary party.
The celebration included several special release beers, music by Mark Righteous and Double Batch Daddy, and food from Son of a Bun and Macheen.
While Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing’s beers are a different style than other local craft breweries, what really sets them apart from anyone in Los Angeles is their still . . . and the spirits they distill. 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
Recently there have been a couple articles circulating around social media claiming to list all of the South Bay breweries; one that went around yesterday missed four or five of them, depending on whether or not a tasting room was required. As the Craft Beer Guy I have been fortunate to have this craft beer boom explode all around my home; I also feel obligated to provide an accurate list of all the breweries currently brewing in the South Bay as well as the next two scheduled to open.
In order to not show favoritism, and to give credit where credit is due, I will list all the South Bay breweries by the date they opened. As I have visited each brewery, I will provide a link to each so you can look at my articles to determine if you want to visit them. The photos are in order as well. Continue reading
These photos were taken at the 6th Annual Local Craft Beer Fest which was held at the El Segundo Rock & Brews on Sunday afternoon. Admission to the family and pet friendly event included 10 beer tickets, with a choice of 12 local breweries; as well as a barbecued tri-tip lunch.
As far as the breweries pouring at the event, there was the cast of usual attendees like El Segundo Brewing, Strand Brewing, King Harbor Brewing, Ohana Brewing, Barley Forge Brewing and Three Weavers. Relative newcomers like Iron Triangle, Indie Brewing, Reel Brewery and Solarc Brewing welcomed the new kids on the block, Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing and Two Coast Brewing Company.
While previous editions of the Local Craft Beer Fest featured games, this year they decided to replace the games with live music provided by local alternative 80’s band, The One 80’s. To say they were well received would be an understatement. They had everyone up on their feet rocking out; I think live music is a nice touch to this annual event, I hope they keep it up. Cheers! Continue reading
These photos were taken Thursday evening at Flights during their 2nd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. This year we featured 15 of the best production breweries in the South Bay; with Absolution Brewing, Brouwerij West, El Segundo Brewing, Honest Abe Hard Ciders, HopSaint Brewing Company, King Harbor Brewing, Phantom Carriage, Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing, San Pedro Brewing Company, Scholb Premium Ales, Smog City Brewing, State Brewing Company, Strand Brewing Company, The Dudes’ Brewing, and Three Weavers Brewing filling all four tap lines. I watched as people in the craft beer industry as well as the hundreds of craft beer fans looked with amazement at what a South Bay tap list looks like.
While it did get a little crowded during the peak hours, Flights staff, under the guidance of their manager Michelle Pettie kept food and beer flowing with ease. It was pretty obvious that the additional year of experience by the serving staff made a huge difference; I did not notice any of the delays that were experienced last year. I am sure cutting back on the food menu helped as the kitchen was faster which meant people could eat and drink a little quicker and the steady flow of new guests did not cause any of the lines I heard existed last year. Continue reading