SoCal Cider

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

commemorative-glassware

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

SoCal Vibes Soft Open Photos

These photos were taken Saturday evening at SoCal Vibes Co. in Carson, where they celebrated Leap Day with the kind of official soft open. The event featured DJs, special pricing on food from their kitchen, and special Honest Abe cider releases.

SoCal Vibes is located at the same location of the now defunct Hokulea Brewing Company. If you will recall, Hokulea shared the spot with Southern California Cider Company, aka SoCal Cider. When Hokulea closed up, SoCal Cider/Honest Abe Hard Ciders owner Spencer Chambers was determined to keep the location open. It is almost one of those “if life gives you lemons” stories. Continue reading

5th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover Photos

These photos were taken Thursday, September 5, at Tortilla Cantina Taco Bistro and Sports Bar in Torrance, where they hosted my 5th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. This year’s event featured beer, cider and mead from 26 of the South Bay’s best breweries and cideries, and live music featuring Ashleigh Correa. For the first time, there were two anniversary brews commemorating five years of putting on the South Bay Tap Takeover.

One of the anniversary beers was Better Weather Sweater IPA, which was a collaboration beer brewed at Smog City last month with 20 South Bay breweries. Better Weather Sweater came out amazing; it is very well balanced and with a 5.9 ABV, it is perfectly crushable for this heat we are going through. Better Weather Sweater will be released today (Friday) at all the Smog City locations and at several brewpubs throughout the Los Angeles area. It is perfect for those that complain about IPAs being “too hoppy” as that is not going to be a complaint from anyone. The second anniversary beer was 2nd Cold War Russian Imperial Stout, a collaboration I did with Zymurgy Brew Works back in April. As Zymurgy was sold to Smog City, this was officially the last Zymurgy beer to be commercially available. Continue reading

5th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover Coming September 5

collaboration brew

Better Weather Sweater Collaboration Brew Team

Clear your calendars; one week from today, Thursday September 5, I will be presenting my 5th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover at Tortilla Cantina in Old Torrance.

If you have attended any of the previous four tap takeovers, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect; if you have never been I can summarize with at least 25 South Bay breweries/cideries pouring from 50 taps.

When I started this in 2015, we had 10 South Bay breweries with 40 taps; in 2016 there were 15, and in 2017 we had 18 South Bay breweries with 40 taps. In 2018 there was a change of management at the original venue (Flights), and they decided they wanted to do their own thing. I wished them luck, and then approached Rick Gomez of Tortilla Cantina to see if they would be interested in hosting the 4th annual tap takeover. I approached Rick for three reasons; I knew he was a big supporter of the local craft beer scene, every South Bay brewery owner I spoke with knew and really liked Rick, and I knew he had 48 taps. I do not think Rick really knew what he was in for, but he went all-in and the 4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover ended up featuring 22 local breweries participating, and with the help of a jockey box, 49 taps of craft beer! 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

Hōkūle’a Brewing Company Soft Open Begins

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Hōkūle’a Brewing Company, when they officially opened their doors to begin their soft open, which will go on for a few weeks.

Although I arrived shortly after Hōkūle’a opened their doors, they already had 15 or 20 people seated trying the three Hōkūle’a brews that were available on day one; as well as the ciders from Southern California Cider Company (who shares the spot with Hōkūle’a), and a mead from Honest Abe’s.

Hōkūle’a’s three brews included their Gremmie Pils, Keiki IPA (a session IPA), and Key Lime Pai, a kettle sour. I think I enjoyed the Keiki IPA the most, but Key Lime Pai was definitely a crowd favorite when I was there. Continue reading

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