Smog City Brewing

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Photos from Small Town Feel at Burnin’ Daylight

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Burnin’ Daylight Brewing Company in Lomita, where they held their Small Town Feel Summer Beer Festival. Like their grand opening of a few months ago, they took full advantage of their parking lot and ability to pour guest taps by utilizing several pouring stations to provide 20 different brews, including several collaboration brews.

The tap list showcased just how busy Burnin’ Daylight co-founder and head brewer Brendon Lake has been over the last few months. Burnin’ Daylight brews included their Brewtiful Blueberry Blonde, Strawberry Lemon Lager, Raspberry Lime Grove, Small Town Feel DIPA, Nana’s Porter with Peanut Butter, Rolling Pils, Switchgear Imperial Stout aged bourbon barrels, Bourbon Daylight, Dark Harbor Coconut on Nitro, and Peach Sour Dry Hopped with Citra. Continue reading

South Bay Collaboration Brew at Smog City Brewing

These photos were taken Friday morning at Smog City Brewing, where brewers and owners of 21 of the South Bay’s breweries and cideries met to brew an anniversary beer to commemorate the 5th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover which will be held Thursday, September 5 at Tortilla Cantina in Old Torrance.

A couple months ago I got the idea that since this was the 5th anniversary of the South Bay Tap Takeover that perhaps participating breweries might want to each do an anniversary collaboration with CraftBeerGuy.com. I had spoken with a couple breweries that hinted they might be interested when I went to State Brewing and their head brewer Rob Scott and he suggested that perhaps we could do a collaboration that included all the participating breweries. I immediately knew this would be a much better option so I started thinking about which local brewery would be big enough and central to everyone. To me, the logical choice was Smog City Brewing, so I approached Porter about it; he readily accepted. Continue reading

Zymurgy Brew Works to Become Smog City West

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Smog City Brewing to assume Zymurgy Brew Works

It was early 2016 when I was approached by Bill Baker and Jeff Jennewein; they wanted to open a Brew-on-Premises/Do-it-Yourself craft brewery in Torrance, with a focus on educating the public about craft beer with guest brewer sessions, beer tastings and brewing classes. They asked if I would be willing to speak before the Torrance Planning Commission in support of their Conditional Use Permit. As Baker is a Torrance school principal and Jennewein is a science and math teacher, I readily agreed because what better pairing for education about craft beer can you ask for than a science teacher and a school principal?

By the time Zymurgy had their grand opening, Jenniwein and Baker had decided that their friendship was more important than their business relationship; Baker and Jenniwein had an amicable separation, leaving Baker to run Zymurgy on his own. Continue reading

Smog City Brewing Celebrates 6 Years in Torrance

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Smog City Brewing Company, where they celebrated six years of brewing in Torrance. The all-day event featured a two-hour, ticketed VIP session, 25 Smog City brews, beer cocktails, food trucks, games, tours, and lots of camaraderie as hundreds of long time fans descended upon the Smog City parking lot and tasting room.

To facilitate serving the thirsty and hungry, the entire parking lot was closed off to allow the setup of the Beer Garden Bar and Patio Bar to supplement the Main Bar inside; additionally Bartz Barbecue, Oaxaca On Wheels, and Hustle N Dough were set up providing food. DJ Gustavisimo was there spinning vinyl that sounded like he had borrowed part of my record collection. The LA Brewers Guild was there reminding people that tickets for the L.A. Brewers Kickoff are now on sale, and that the California Craft Beer Summit will be held in Long Beach this September. Continue reading

Photos from the Burnin’ Daylight Grand Opening

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Burnin’ Daylight Brewing Company, a brewpub that is the first for the City of Lomita, where they celebrated their long-awaited grand opening. The event featured a ribbon cutting (that I missed) and a beer garden featuring live music, a DJ, a silk screener, food from the Burnin’ Daylight kitchen, and unlimited pours of dozens of beers.

The grand opening was a ticketed event for those attendees that wanted to go out back to the parking lot that was set up as the beer garden. For the price of admission, attendees received a commemorative tasting glass and unlimited pours of Burnin’ Daylight’s brews, as well as the collaboration brews they had done with El Segundo Brewing. Since Burnin’ Daylight is a brewpub, they are able to have guest taps; they took advantage of this by including brews from El Segundo Brewing, Riip Beer, Smog City, Three Weavers, Beachwood, Stone, Tortugo, and HopSaint. If you did not want to go to the beer garden, you were able to buy full pours in the brewpub. Continue reading

The Craft Beer Guy 2018 Year in Review

It is that time of year again, when I try to summarize what has happened in the past year, as far as local craft beer is concerned and the highlights of the Craft Beer Guy year. As I typically do, I read over last year’s review to see what predictions I may have made, and how they panned out.

Burnin' Daylight

Burnin’ Daylight Brewing – Coming soon!

Last year I predicted that Burnin’ Daylight Brewing Company, a brewpub in Lomita; and Port Town Brewing, a production brewery in San Pedro would be open by the end of 2018. While I am sure the respective owners would have loved to see that come true, alas, it was not to be. That being said, Burnin’ Daylight is now brewing beer and they are just waiting for some final checks from places like the county health department. If all goes well, Burnin’ Daylight should be open for at least a soft open by mid-January 2019. Port Town Brewing had a larger obstacle, aka the City of Los Angeles, but they are making progress and might just open their doors before 2019 ends.

I have to admit, with all the growth that is going on around here, I kind of feel like a slacker. It used to be a lot easier to keep up, but I am ashamed to say that there are at least two breweries in the South Bay that I have yet to visit; trying to keep up with the Long Beach area has proven tough. I have to rely on craft beer festivals like Festival Obscura to keep me somewhat in the loop. 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

4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover to Feature 22 Local Breweries

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4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover, Thursday, September 6 at Tortilla Cantina

I hope you saved the date as the 4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover will be held this Thursday, September 6, at Tortilla Cantina in Torrance. This event will feature 22 local breweries, with more than 40 taps under one roof; not bad considering the first South Bay Tap Takeover started in 2015 with just 10 South Bay breweries. That should give you an idea of just how much the craft beer scene has grown around here.

The event will begin at noon and run until 11:30 PM, with happy hour pricing from noon until 7:00 PM. From 7:00-10:00, live music will be provided by Ashleigh Correa and Rock the Ashbah. Continue reading

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