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Craft Beer LB Fest 2021 Photos

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at the 5th Annual Craft Beer LB Fest, which was held at the Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site in Long Beach. The family friendly event featured craft beer from about a dozen Long Beach breweries, a couple homebrew clubs, and one cidery.

While I have attended each of the prior events, it seems that I typically had several events to photograph the same day, so I always attended the VIP session; I was late for the VIP session this time and it really showed me just how crowded this festival gets. Continue reading

Photos of the 7th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover

These photos were taken Thursday at Tortilla Cantina in Torrance, where they hosted my 7th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover, featuring 28 of the South Bay’s craft breweries, with more than 50 taps pouring, and a couple brews that came in cans as keg space was becoming an issue.

I do not know what to say other than thank you to everyone that came out to enjoy the liquid gold provided by the participating breweries, cidery, and meadery. And thanks definitely have to be given to the servers who were kept pretty busy from noon until well after 10:00. The star of the day has to go to Rick who literally took things into his own hands when kitchen staff came up short. Continue reading

7th South Bay Tap Takeover to Feature 28 Breweries

The 7th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover is two days away, and as hard as it may be for me to believe, this may be the first time that I am not going to be rushing around trying to fill taps with less than 24 hours to go; knock on wood.

Just in case this is the first you have heard about my event, shame on me, but this is what you need to know.

The tap takeover is returning to Tortilla Cantina in Old Torrance, from noon until 10:00 PM. Tortilla Cantina is located at 1225 El Prado, in Torrance. Parking is always free in Torrance and there is a large parking structure just south of Tortilla Cantina. Continue reading

7th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover Coming September 2

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7th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover September 2

I have to admit, I do not think I ever anticipated saying this back when I put on the first South Bay Tap Takeover, but the 7th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover will be here September 2! And I am sure that even if there was someone that had that kind of optimism, they would not have foretold the event growing from 10 South Bay breweries to 25.

These tap takeovers have been a great success since the first one in 2015; over 400 people attended the inaugural event. Only due to a temporary change in management at the original venue, Flights Beer Bar, was I forced to find somewhere else in the South Bay that could accommodate the amount of beer I wanted to bring in; Tortilla Cantina fit the bill nicely as they actually had more taps than Flights. Icing on the cake was that owner Rick Gomez already had a positive relationship with all the local breweries.

The transition was smooth enough that we even survived the Great 2020 Pandemic, even if the second or third lockdown was scheduled to begin the day after the 6th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. At least this year we do not have to worry about another lockdown disrupting the event as there is no way Newsom will do that right before the election, so we are a definite go. Continue reading

The Craft Beer Guy Recap of 2020

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Port Town Brewing – progressing

Well, it is that time of year again. I usually call these articles a “review” of the prior year; but that would be a very short article. I give it two stars out of five, and would not recommend. Instead, this will be a recap of 2020; let’s see what happened.

January 2020

2020 started off mellow enough; little did we know what was in store for us. The highlight of the month, and possibly the year for some, was the Hop Culture Juicy Brews Beach Party Craft Beer Festival held at Brouwerij West. It was a very fun event featuring craft beer from more than 25 of the top breweries in the country.

The month ended with a going away party for Smog City’s taproom manager Jason “Breezy” Briseño as he and his bride prepared to move to Australia; I think COVID put a temporary damper on those plans. Continue reading

Photos of the 6th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover

These photos were taken Wednesday at Tortilla Cantina, where they hosted the 6th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. This annual event took a little more to accomplish this year, but Tortilla Cantina, our local breweries, and hundreds of their fans made this possible “last hurrah” of 2020 a great success.

My first tap takeover was held on the first Thursday of September in 2015, and as the craft beer scene around here grew, there started to be overlaps when it came to craft beer festival dates and brewery anniversaries, and everyone started changing dates of their events to avoid conflicts. The fact of the matter is that there was just too much going on out there, so I set it in stone that all subsequent South Bay Tap Takeovers would be held on the first Thursday of September; that worked out okay until COVID-19 struck and the State of California and the County of Los Angeles decided restaurants, breweries, and bars had to discontinue in-person dining. Continue reading

6th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover November 25

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6th South Bay Tap Takeover – November 25

So, let’s make this official; the 6th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover is not going to let a little thing like COVID-19 stop it! Yes, in the past I have been pretty adamant that I was not going to deviate from the “first Thursday of September” and for the first five years, we made it work. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has caused some things to be out of my control; however, Tortilla Cantina has been set up for outside dining and they are ready to once again host the South Bay Tap Takeover.

While our past events have had up to 26 South Bay breweries, with 49 taps, this year’s event will be a little smaller.

While four breweries that were in attendance last year have since closed up (Abigaile, State, Ximix, and Zymurgy), this year we have 21 South Bay breweries that have confirmed attendance this year, seven of which did not exist during last year’s tap takeover. Continue reading

South Bay Craft Beer Options Update

UPDATE: February 12, 2021 – The accuracy of this article leaves a lot to be desired. Please check with the brewery directly.

UPDATES: December 14 –The Crac Brewery and Grub now open for to-go beer pickup.
Eureka Brewing Company now open for to-go beer pickup.
In case you had not heard, there is currently NO DINE-IN in LA County.

UPDATES: September 13 – Burnin’ Daylight modifies Sunday hours.
Phantom Carriage adds days for to-go beer pickup.

UPDATE: September 4 – Culture Brewing Company now open.

I was going to update my last article on the South Bay breweries to-go and pickup options, but it looks like just about everything has changed so I might as well start from scratch.

Like the original article, this is solely a reference guide, so all breweries will be listed in alphabetical order for your ease and mine. Hours are subject to change so be sure to contact the brewery directly if you have questions.

Absolution Brewing Company – Cans, bottles, crowlers, growlers and kegs can be ordered online at https://www.absolutionbrewingcompany.com/shop-1. You can also order by phone at 310.490.4860 x101 or by email at orders@absolutionbrewingcompany.com. Deliveries are done Thursday through Sunday; order before 6:00 PM on those days for same day delivery. You can also pick up beers to-go at the brewery Monday through Wednesday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday and Friday from 9:00 to 7:00 PM, or on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 7:00 PM.

Brouwerij West – Brouwerij West now delivers throughout California; please visit https://www.brouwerijwest.com/buybeer for Pick Up, Local Delivery, and Shipping options. You can pick up beer to go at the brewery, daily from noon to 7:00 PM. Credit cards are preferred. Continue reading

South Bay Breweries Begin Reopening – Phase 2 Day 1

These photos were taken Saturday, May 30 at San Pedro Brewing Company, Scholb Premium Ales, and Absolution Brewing Company as breweries in the South Bay began reopening under Phase 2 of the COVID-19 lockdown.

On Friday it was announced that LA County was entering Phase 2 of the reopening of businesses from this lockdown; apparently two breweries, San Pedro Brewing Company and Scholb Brewing had been chomping at the bit waiting for permission to reopen as they were the first two craft beer establishments to begin in-house consumption of beer and food. I decided to visit the two of them to see how close my expectations were to our new reality. Continue reading

Greater Expectations: The New Normal

When it comes to writing, I have a process. Whether my article is going to be primarily photos, or like this one, primarily text, I will start writing the article in my head before I sit down at my laptop. I don’t write the entire thing in my head, but I know what I want to be sure to touch on. If I visited a new brewery, or attended some craft beer event, it is pretty easy because I will always take photos that will remind me of what I wanted to mention so I don’t forget. Articles like this one are typically things I think about when walking Buddy. However, before I ever sit down to write any type of article I have to come up with the title. I guess this comes from my days of writing press releases; but the title keeps me focused on what the article will contain. Sometimes coming up with the title is the hardest part.

The original subject matter for this article came to me two years ago. In fact, it was May 22, 2018 that I first spoke with Gary Magnone of HoppedLA and pitched him my idea. My specific pitch was the article would discuss the expectations of 2018 compared to 2012 when it came to craft breweries. Of course, this would be as far as our local Los Angeles craft beer scene was concerned. I gave him first right of refusal, so while I write this, I am not sure if it will be published on HoppedLA or on CraftBeerGuy. Continue reading

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