Strand Brewing Company

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The Craft Beer Guy Recap of 2020

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Port Town Brewing – progressing

Well, it is that time of year again. I usually call these articles a “review” of the prior year; but that would be a very short article. I give it two stars out of five, and would not recommend. Instead, this will be a recap of 2020; let’s see what happened.

January 2020

2020 started off mellow enough; little did we know what was in store for us. The highlight of the month, and possibly the year for some, was the Hop Culture Juicy Brews Beach Party Craft Beer Festival held at Brouwerij West. It was a very fun event featuring craft beer from more than 25 of the top breweries in the country.

The month ended with a going away party for Smog City’s taproom manager Jason “Breezy” Briseño as he and his bride prepared to move to Australia; I think COVID put a temporary damper on those plans. Continue reading

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

6th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover November 25

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6th South Bay Tap Takeover – November 25

So, let’s make this official; the 6th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover is not going to let a little thing like COVID-19 stop it! Yes, in the past I have been pretty adamant that I was not going to deviate from the “first Thursday of September” and for the first five years, we made it work. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has caused some things to be out of my control; however, Tortilla Cantina has been set up for outside dining and they are ready to once again host the South Bay Tap Takeover.

While our past events have had up to 26 South Bay breweries, with 49 taps, this year’s event will be a little smaller.

While four breweries that were in attendance last year have since closed up (Abigaile, State, Ximix, and Zymurgy), this year we have 21 South Bay breweries that have confirmed attendance this year, seven of which did not exist during last year’s tap takeover. Continue reading

South Bay Craft Beer Options Update

UPDATE: February 12, 2021 – The accuracy of this article leaves a lot to be desired. Please check with the brewery directly.

UPDATES: December 14 –The Crac Brewery and Grub now open for to-go beer pickup.
Eureka Brewing Company now open for to-go beer pickup.
In case you had not heard, there is currently NO DINE-IN in LA County.

UPDATES: September 13 – Burnin’ Daylight modifies Sunday hours.
Phantom Carriage adds days for to-go beer pickup.

UPDATE: September 4 – Culture Brewing Company now open.

I was going to update my last article on the South Bay breweries to-go and pickup options, but it looks like just about everything has changed so I might as well start from scratch.

Like the original article, this is solely a reference guide, so all breweries will be listed in alphabetical order for your ease and mine. Hours are subject to change so be sure to contact the brewery directly if you have questions.

Absolution Brewing Company – Cans, bottles, crowlers, growlers and kegs can be ordered online at https://www.absolutionbrewingcompany.com/shop-1. You can also order by phone at 310.490.4860 x101 or by email at orders@absolutionbrewingcompany.com. Deliveries are done Thursday through Sunday; order before 6:00 PM on those days for same day delivery. You can also pick up beers to-go at the brewery Monday through Wednesday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday and Friday from 9:00 to 7:00 PM, or on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 7:00 PM.

Brouwerij West – Brouwerij West now delivers throughout California; please visit https://www.brouwerijwest.com/buybeer for Pick Up, Local Delivery, and Shipping options. You can pick up beer to go at the brewery, daily from noon to 7:00 PM. Credit cards are preferred. Continue reading

South Bay Breweries To-Go / Delivery Options Revisited

UPDATE: June 24 – Most local breweries now have some sort of dine in service, however, in my opinion this is still far too fluid for me to spend the hours to update manually, so please follow the links provided to see what the updated hours might be.

Phantom Carriage is now open for limited beer pickup.

It is hard to believe it has been more than two months since I wrote my initial South Bay Breweries To-Go and Delivery Options article; but here we are. The fact of the matter is that my initial article is getting cluttered with updates, and some links have been changed by the breweries. This update should be good through the Memorial Day weekend; I will update this as necessary.

Like the original article, this is solely a reference guide, so all breweries will be listed in alphabetical order for your ease and mine. Hours subject to change, be sure to contact the brewery directly. Continue reading

South Bay Breweries To-Go and Delivery Options

Update: May 22 – Please visit https://craftbeerguy.com/south-bay-craft-beer-delivery-options/ for the latest updates.

Updates: April 21 – Brouwerij West expands delivery options.
The Dudes’ Brewing Torrance extends hours, adds delivery.
Smog City expands delivery area.

Updates: April 20 – R6 Distillery extends pick up hours.
Upshift Brewing open three days a week for to-go beer.
The Dudes’ Brewing Torrance extends hours.

Updates: April 19 – Burnin’ Daylight modifies hours for food and beer.
King Harbor Brewing is canning again.
Monkish Brewing goes to online ordering only.
Project Barley modifies hours.
Red Car Brewery modifies hours and days open.
San Pedro Brewing offers growler delivery.
Scholb Premium Ales modifies hours.

Updates: April 9 – Common Space expands pickup hours.
HopSaint modifies hours; closed Mondays.
Burnin’ Daylight kitchen opens Friday and Saturday.

Updates: April 8 – Ximix Craft Exploration modifies hours, closed weekends. Adds limited delivery.

Updates: April 6 – Surfridge Brewing offers to-go pickups.

Updates: March 29 – Absolution Brewing extends weekday pickup hours.

Updates: March 28 – The Red Car Brewery open three days a week.

Updates: March 25 – Three Weavers Brewing now offering cans to go.
Ximix Craft Exploration modifies hours, adds days open.
The Slice and Pint will reopen Thursday, March 26 with food and beer available.
The Brews Hall offers online sales of crowlers with multiple pickup locations.
King Harbor Brewing pick-up hours expanded.
The Dudes’ Brewing in Torrance modifies hours, days open.

Updates: March 22 – El Segundo Brewing and The Slice and Pint are closed until further notice.
King Harbor Brewing now offers crowlers to go.
Absolution Brewing extends same day delivery hours.

Updates: March 20 – Yorkshire Square extends hours to 7:00 PM
Hermosa Brewing Company adds crowlers to menu
Cosmic Brewery modifies hours to 2:00 to 6:00 PM
R6 Distillery offers bottle delivery
Brouwerij West adds new page for available beers, change hours
Honest Abe Ciders & Mead has modified their hours
El Segundo Brewing goes to pre-order only
San Pedro Brewing adds mixed drinks to-go

This Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak has definitely changed things in pretty much everyone’s world. As I am sure you are aware, in Los Angeles County there are new restrictions for breweries and brewpubs. I will attempt to keep you posted with latest developments as far as South Bay craft breweries are concerned, and how you can support your favorite breweries in these trying times.

This situation is, pardon the pun, quite fluid, which is why I did not write this two days ago. That being said, to be on the safe side, you should probably contact the brewery directly or check their social media page to see if things have changed since I published this.

This is solely a reference guide, so all breweries will be listed in alphabetical order for your ease and mine. Continue reading

The Art of Craft Beer Can Art

Having observed the surge of craft breweries in the Greater Los Angeles area, with an almost inside view of the South Bay craft scene in its infancy, the sheer number of new breweries around here is nothing short of amazing. I mean, El Segundo has four breweries now, Lomita has two! It is easier to name the cities that don’t have a brewery than to remember all of them that now do; and they all have multiple breweries, except for Hermosa Beach which had The Brewery at Abigaile close while writing this.

Beyond the obvious expansion of breweries, and that’s not even counting all the satellite taprooms that are popping up, one thing that has really surprised me is how quickly these new breweries have started canning or bottling. I remember when mobile canning was a thing, which wasn’t really that long ago, but everyone is getting their own canning or bottling line, and you have El Segundo Brewing with one of each. Burnin’ Daylight is celebrating their one year anniversary this Saturday, and they have been canning for probably six months. That was just unheard of few years ago. One of the spinoffs of this trend is that of can art. Continue reading

2019 Boots, Brews & BBQ Photos

These photos were taken Saturday evening at the Switzer Learning Center, in Torrance, where they held their 6th Annual Boots, Brews & BBQ fundraiser. The event featured unlimited pours of craft beer from seven craft breweries and cideries, wine, and an open bar. They also had tequila flights available for an additional fee. In addition to the ample liquid refreshments, there was plenty of barbecued meat available courtesy of Harry’s Oklahoma Style Smokehouse BBQ, as well some great tamales from Tortilla Cantina, new home of my annual South Bay Tap Takeover.

The western-themed, adults only event also featured a shooting range that had rifles or revolvers available, a few lawn games, gaming tables featuring blackjack, craps and roulette, and live and silent auctions. 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

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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

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