soft open

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

State Brewing Company: From the Beginning

Arguably, one of the most awaited tasting room openings in the South Bay has been that of State Brewing Company in Gardena. These photos have been taken at State Brewing, periodically since June of 2016 and through today, November 10, 2017; the official day of the beginning of State Brewing Company’s soft open.

When I first started going to State Brewing, they had a different brewer and a different idea of what kind of beers they would brew. At the beginning of 2017, State said farewell to their original brewer and welcomed Robert Sanchez and Rob Scott, both formerly of Kinetic Brewing, and things immediately changed. Continue reading

Smog City Brewing – SteelCraft Soft Open Begins

The long anticipated opening of Smog City Brewing Company’s SteelCraft location has arrived. These photos were taken late Wednesday afternoon at the “friends and family” soft open that was held primarily for the friends and family of the people that assembled the SteelCraft enclave. After talking to a few attendees, it seemed like the news spread around the Bixby Knolls neighborhood quickly as the SteelCraft park began filling up with locals that expressed that they were happy to save the Uber expense of traveling to Torrance as the SteelCraft location was walking distance from their homes.

For those unfamiliar with the SteelCraft concept, essentially, a vacant 14,500 square-foot lot of the corner of Long Beach Boulevard and Bixby Road has been set up with about a dozen shipping containers that will house businesses selling various foods; such as hamburgers, ramen, and shaved ice, there is also a coffee shop, and of course, Smog City’s beer. Continue reading

Cosmic Brewery Enters Soft Open Phase

The long awaited opening of Torrance’s newest production brewery, Cosmic Brewery, home of Cosmic Ales, is now a reality as they opened their tasting room to the public this past weekend. I only had a short window of opportunity to visit on Saturday evening but for making a last minute announcement on Friday that they would be open Saturday, the place was packed.

As you can see by my photos, as I watched the build-out of the brewery I never got any photos of the future tasting room. Owner Christopher Briles always kept that close to the vest and he did not want anyone to see it until it was ready. When it was revealed Saturday one had to admit, the cosmic theme is pretty cool.

The tap system is different than any tasting room I have visited in that you pour your own beer and are charged according to how much you pour. If you recall my article about zpizza a couple months ago, it is the same concept. You purchase a card that you insert on the tap, and you pour your beer. I did not play with it Saturday, but I will probably check it out this weekend. Continue reading

Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing Opens This Weekend

Back in September I informed you that Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing would be opening in El Segundo; in fact, I predicted mid-2016 as when the doors would actually open. It turns out I was correct, as just in time for LA Beer Week, Rob Rubens will open their doors to the general public this Friday, June 17 with their soft open beginning at 4:30 PM and they will continue to be open seven days a week from that point on.

These photos include a few visits that I made over the past nine months while documenting their progress as well as their Friends & Family party that they had at the production brewery’s tasting room on Wednesday evening.

Since distilling spirits takes a little more time and money than brewing beer, Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing is starting off with providing craft beer with the spirits becoming available in the coming months. Last night we were able to sample a few of Ruben’s flagship beers, such as their Gunpowder Cream Ale, Hitman Ale Altbier, a yet to be named pale ale and a stout. The brews were all solid and I learned something about cream ales; it is not about vanilla flavors at all. Cream ale is essentially ale brewed with ale or lager yeast at lower temperatures, and then cold aged. It reminded me of a hoppy lager with a pilsner finish; it makes for a very tasty session brew. Continue reading

For your eyes only: HopSaint Soft Open Going on Now

Okay, I am going to make this short and sweet; the HopSaint Brewing Company brewpub in Torrance has unofficially begun their soft open. I say “unofficially” because they are not really advertising it quite yet; consider it a soft, soft open.

The photos were taken over 14 months, but primarily from their initial opening for investors and family and then again Saturday night. They are open seven (7) days a week, but right now food service will not begin until 4:00 or 5:00 PM and some items may be limited. Tonight was the first time I had an opportunity to look at the food menu and there are a few items that I cannot wait to try.

Currently, Brian Brewer has three of his brews on tap; Cacophony IPA, $1.00 from every pint sold goes to Ales for ALS, Eleven-Eight which is like an ESB and Bubble Butt Blonde which is as tasty as it sounds. They have a very extensive tap list so there are no worries about not finding something you will like. Continue reading

Strand Brewing Company Soft Open at Dominguez Location

Fans of Torrance’s first production brewery, Strand Brewing Company, will be happy to learn that Strand has now officially moved to their new location at 2201 Dominguez Street in Torrance and they held a soft open over this past weekend.

On Friday evening I happened to notice on Strand’s co-founder and head brewer, Joel Elliott, Facebook page a hint that Strand might be opening on Saturday afternoon. I sent a text to Rich Marcello, Strand’s other co-founder, around 10:00 PM asking if I was interpreting the hint correctly and was told that they hoped to open Saturday, but I should check back the following morning.

The next morning, around 11:00 AM I contacted Rich again and asked if they were going to open and if so, should I announce it to my followers via social media. I was told, “Yes and no” meaning they would be open but I should hold off saying anything just yet. When I arrived I was told I could go ahead and announce the soft open to my Facebook followers; it did not take long for the room to begin filling up. Continue reading

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