soft open

Crac Brewery and Grub: From the Beginning

These photos were taken at Carson’s newest brewpub, The Crac Brewery and Grub; the photos are of the construction I observed between November 4, 2019 and day one of their soft open, November 21, 2020.

It was Halloween 2019 B.C. (Before Covid), when Buddy and I entered King Harbor Brewing during our nightly walk. It was the one day a year that people would wear masks, and a masked cowboy addressed me by a nickname that most of you don’t know, but told me this cowboy must know me even if I couldn’t recognize him in his costume.

After doing a little recon with the beertender I figured out the masked stranger was Jeff Parker, so I went over to be a little more sociable. It was then that Jeff informed me that he was involved with the building of a new brewery in Carson; four days later I stopped by to take the first of my photos that would show the construction during the upcoming year. 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

The Brews Hall at Del Amo: From the Beginning

I guess it was the end of 2018 that I started hearing rumors that a new brewery was coming to Torrance. The details were vague, but I heard it was going to be over by the Del Amo Shopping Center and it was being opened by Mike Zislis, the man behind such local favorites as Brewco Manhattan Beach, Rock & Brews, and Rock’n Fish. I figured there were only a couple spots at Del Amo that could fit a brewery, so I made a mental note to drive by whenever possible to see if I could figure out the new location. One afternoon I noticed a building that used to house a cross-fit gym that had the familiar Notice of Application to Sell Alcoholic Beverages; I knew I had the location correct.

On February 19 I happened to be at Brewco in Manhattan Beach for the Pliny the Younger release, when Mike Zislis, Dave Furano (Co-founder at Rock & Brews), and George Lopez came in and sat at the table next to me. Naturally, I used the opportunity to confirm that my research matched up with the rumors I had heard; it did. I also used to opportunity to get the okay to photograph the build, which was granted. I started photographing the location on February 28 and the photographs end today, November 4 as they are now in the soft open phase. Continue reading

Upshift Brewing – El Segundo’s Newest Craft Brewery Opens

I remember the day well, July 19, the day I began to experience self doubt as to how in touch with the local craft beer scene I really was. I was enjoying a beer at Burnin’ Daylight when I received a text from Dave Holop of Brouwerij West asking me what I knew about three potential new breweries opening in El Segundo; like he said, I always seemed to be in the know for the latest brewery openings. I began to have my doubts.

I immediately started doing some research and reached out to the ones I could; the first to respond to me was Upshift Brewing. A week later I made my first visit to Upshift; the first six photos are from that visit. To be honest, they were so close to completion that we spoke about the possibility of Upshift being featured at my 5th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. Within a couple weeks it became clear that this wasn’t going to happen, so I put them on the back burner and waited to hear from them regarding their opening date. Continue reading

Burnin’ Daylight Soft Open Photos

These photos were taken Thursday afternoon at the soft open of Burnin’ Daylight Brewing Company, a brewpub in the City of Lomita. As you can tell from the photos, the long anticipated opening was very well received.

The doors officially opened at 3:00 PM; I arrived by 3:30 and there was already a line out the door. By the time I got done taking my first batch of photos, the line had doubled in length. You would think that the staff at Burnin’ Daylight had been doing this for years, as the wait was never more than 13 minutes when the line was the longest I saw (I was in it). It was pretty obvious that the customers were enjoying the brews, and the few I spoke with about the food said it was very good; the inside seating area sure smelled good with the spices from the chicken wings wafting through the air. Continue reading

Photos from The Slice and Pint Soft Open

UPDATE: Soft open to the public begins Thursday, January 24 at 5:00 PM

These photos were taken Sunday afternoon at the soft open of El Segundo Brewing Company’s, The Slice and Pint, a new restaurant featuring craft beer, local wines, and a variety of pizzas, salads and appetizers including such items as chicken wings, meatballs, Garlic Knots and calamari.

The event was limited to friends, family, and craft beer industry types, but was very well attended; even with the Rams game on. Of course, those that wanted to watch the game were able to do so as The Slice and Pint had six or seven large screen televisions placed strategically so that you would have to go out of your way to avoid seeing one. Continue reading

Melvin Brewing San Diego Soft Open

These photos were taken Thursday afternoon at the soft open for the new Melvin Brewing which is opening in the East Village area of San Diego.

Melvin Brewing is a Wyoming-based brewery that is known primarily for their IPAs. I don’t think I was aware of them before I attended the 2017 Great American Beer Festival; but I think it would be difficult to not have noticed them if you were an attendee. The two years that I have attended, Melvin’s booth was an old school bus, which co-founder Jeremy Tofte apparently lived in for a year. Their booth included a DJ during each GABF session, and had WWE Hall of Fame wrestler “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan hanging out at the booth to shake hands, take photos and sign autographs. I seem to recall they had impromptu parades during a couple of the sessions that included their representatives in costume.

They were more than just a show though, as they walked away with the Brewery Group and Brewmaster of the Year award, along with a pair of gold medals for American-Style Strong Pale Ale (Hubert MPA) and Fresh or Wet Hop Ale (Wet Hop Melvin). So when I was invited to attend their VIP soft opening it seemed like a no-brainer as San Diego is significantly closer to me than anywhere in Wyoming. 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

King Harbor Brewing Village Tap Room Now Open

These photos were taken Thursday evening at King Harbor Brewing Company’s new satellite tasting room located in the Riviera Village area of Redondo Beach.

Redondo Beach’s first, and so far only, production brewery has announced that their dominance of Redondo is nearing completion with the opening of their second satellite tasting room, thus creating their own Beermuda Triangle.

Those of you that attended the Riviera Summer Festival last weekend and were paying attention, may have noticed that the King Harbor Village Tap Room had opened their doors for a “very soft” soft opening; apparently it was very well received by those that did notice. Thursday evening’s soft open was primarily a friends and family event, but a sandwich board was placed outside so those strolling by were aware that the doors were now open and the taps were flowing. Continue reading

Introducing Ximix Craft Exploration Brewery

Gardena now has two craft breweries; State Brewing Company and a little under a mile away, Ximix Craft Exploration, which will officially open Thursday, April 5, 2018.

I first met Ximix (pronounced “zim ex”) co-founder and head brewer Erik DeBellis 18 months ago during a visit to HopSaint Brewing Company; at the time he told me he was opening a brewery and we exchanged numbers. But you know the old saying, “out of sight, out of mind”; we had not seen each other since then and DeBellis was keeping things pretty close to the vest so I had completely forgotten about them until the owner of Lawndale Brewhouse asked me what I knew about Ximix. As the name did not ring a bell I was pretty surprised when I discovered I had already liked their Facebook page. When I reached out to them, DeBellis reminded me we had met previously; a couple days later I headed out to Gardena for my first visit to Ximix Craft Exploration. Continue reading

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