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
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at the Smog City Brewing Company’s 10th Anniversary celebration held at the production brewery in Torrance. It was a nicely attended event that probably had about 100 people attending during the couple of hours I was there.
Yes, Los Angeles County is still abiding by COVID protocol, but we are in the least restrictive yellow tier which allowed Smog City to throw an actual in-person event for their 10 anniversary. Yes, things were toned down a little from previous anniversary celebrations, but Smog City’s fan base was not going to let that stop them.
To commemorate the occasion, Smog City had 26 brews on draft, including their 10th Anniversary IPA, eight special bottle pours, and an anniversary flight consisting of This Sour Future (2015), Benny and the Bretts volume 1, The Nothing (2017), Buzzworthy (2016), and BBA Coffee Porter (2017). Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Smog City Brewing Company in Torrance, where they completed their Los Angeles Beer Week festivities with The Great Smog Tiki Adventure. The event featured beer cocktails, a Hawaiian style food truck, and the release of their first hazy IPA.
While these photos were taken at the tasting room in Torrance, the SteelCraft location in Long Beach participated by releasing the two special beers, Hoptango Hazy IPA and My Tai HopT, there as well. Hawaiian food was made available by the Aloha Fridays food truck.
It was one of the sunniest days we have seen in the South Bay in over a week, but it wasn’t overbearing as far as heat was concerned, so Smog’s new patio got plenty of use. Continue reading
These photos were taken Wednesday evening at The Slice and Pint in El Segundo, where they held a pizza and craft beer pairing, Pizza & Beer – Things We Knead. The LA Beer Week 11 event featured pizza and beer pairings suggested by seven Certified and Advanced Cicerones and the head chef of The Slice and Pint.
The Cicerones participating included Tom Kelley of El Segundo Brewing Company and The Slice and Pint, Cindy and Hal Mooney of LA Beer Hop, Jace Milstead of Craft LA, Jonathan Porter of Smog City, Greg Bechtel of Simmzy’s Restaurants, and Blanca Quintero of Firestone Walker. The Slice and Pint’s Head Chef, Matt Ranney, also included his favorite pizza and beer pairing. While most of the pizzas were paired with beer from El Segundo Brewing Company, The Slice and Pint has several guest taps, three of which (Smog City, Oxbow Brewing Company, and Cellador Ales) were also included in the pairings. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Yorkshire Square Brewery in Torrance, where they held their 2nd Annual Now’t but Stout Festival, a fundraiser benefiting the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild, featuring dark beers from more than 25 Los Angeles area breweries, and a couple from San Diego.
N’owt but Stout may have been a little misleading as there were many Porters, a Black IPA, a Scottish Ale, and a Pub Bitter available as well; but to be honest, after a few stouts you have of need something to mix it up with. Beachwood’s Hoppa Emeritus Black IPA and Cellador’s Vacant Lot barrel-aged sour took care of that for me.
In addition to the numerous beer choices, the event featured the Slater’s 50/50 and Cena Vegan food trucks, live music from Vagrant Nation, and cornhole. Attendees were also given the opportunity to vote for the Peasant’s Choice Award for the Most Adequate Ale. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Yorkshire Square Brewery in Torrance, where they held their inaugural Cask’s Not Dead Fest 2018. The invitational event featured 32 cask ales, provided by 29 local craft breweries, and one from Germany. In addition, there was live music provided by Whiskey Sunday and The Brilliant Gypsies, as well as food provided by Top Shelf Tacos and Stop Bye Cafe food trucks.
The Cask’s Not Dead Fest included a friendly competition between the 30 breweries. As most of the breweries do not typically provide cask ales the competition was broken down into two categories, Traditional Cask Ales and Abnormal Ales, with the Abnormal Ales being cask ales that were IPAs or included adjuncts such as cacao nibs, oak chips, vanilla beans, and such. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at the Smog City Brewing Company’s 2018 Anniversary Celebration. The event included a two-hour long ticketed VIP session, followed by a free general admission session that began at 1:00 PM and ran until closing time.
The celebration featured close to 30 Smog City brews as well as a half dozen beer cocktails, music by DJ Mood Maestros, and a few food trucks; including Mad Pambazos, Serendoggity, and CONED Ice Cream. There were games, as well as local artwork that was created specifically for Smog City Brewing. The event also gave Smog City the opportunity to debut their new outside patio as well as their anniversary beer, Awkward Teenager.
About 100 VIP ticket holders were able to tour Smog City’s Sour Production Facility; it gave us some insight to the magic behind their sour ales. All VIP ticket holders received early access to limited beers and beer cocktails, one bottle of their Awkward Teenager with a carrier bag, and a pretty fun commemorative Smog City photo album. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Yorkshire Square Brewery in Torrance where they celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by holding their first annual N’owt but Stout Festival. The N’owt (Nothing) but Stout festival featured nothing but dark beers, like stouts, porters and dunkels from 15 breweries selected by Yorkshire Square’s head brewer, Andy Black. They also had their Early Doors Pub Bitter available because a couple of Yorkshire’s regular customers wanted to come, but did not like stouts. The Early Doors made for a great palate cleanser after drinking something like Mikkeller’s Black Tide.
Besides Yorkshire Square, the other participating breweries were Beachwood Brewing, Stereo Brewing, Verdugo West Brewing, Craftsman Brewing, Eagle Rock Brewery, Karl Strauss, Green Cheek Beer Company, State Brewing, King Harbor Brewing, Firestone Walker’s Propagator, Inland Wharf Brewing, Mikkeller Brewing, Smog City Brewing and El Segundo Brewing Company. Food was available from either Vic’s Smokin’ BBQ, or BatterFish. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at the Mack Sennett Studios in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles, where the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild held their second annual L.A. Beer and Food Festival.
The event featured 50 LA Brewers Guild member breweries and brewpubs, pouring at least 100 different beers; as well as a half dozen local eateries providing samples of their specialties.
One thing that going to events like this does, is emphasize how fast the brewing community around us is growing. When I first started visiting craft breweries, it was easy to keep current with growth; I even covered grand openings in Pacoima, San Fernando and Lancaster. These days there are probably more breweries in the brewers guild that I have not visited, than have. For the record, I have visited more than half of the breweries that were there Saturday. Continue reading
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.