These photos were taken June 27 and 28 at in Barstow, and Claremont Craft Ales in Claremont. A couple years ago one of Oggi’s prior PR companies had reached out to me about covering a beer release they were having at their some of Oggi’s 15 locations. Unfortunately, none of those locations were local or convenient for me to visit. Last month, my buddy Steve and I drove to Las Vegas to see Aerosmith; it was then that I decided we should stop in Barstow and check out Oggi’s Sports Brewhouse Pizza since you never want to get to Las Vegas before 3:00 PM.
I guess Oggi’s has been around about 20 years, but I never really paid much attention to is since I only ever saw it in Barstow, and stopping in Barstow for more than gas or an Egg McMuffin never made much sense to me. Since Steve and I based our drive on missing as much traffic as possible while not getting to Vegas prior to check-in time at the condo, a stop in Barstow for a couple beers made perfect sense. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Smog City Brewing Company in Torrance, where they completed their Los Angeles Beer Week festivities with The Great Smog Tiki Adventure. The event featured beer cocktails, a Hawaiian style food truck, and the release of their first hazy IPA.
While these photos were taken at the tasting room in Torrance, the SteelCraft location in Long Beach participated by releasing the two special beers, Hoptango Hazy IPA and My Tai HopT, there as well. Hawaiian food was made available by the Aloha Fridays food truck.
It was one of the sunniest days we have seen in the South Bay in over a week, but it wasn’t overbearing as far as heat was concerned, so Smog’s new patio got plenty of use. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Scholb Premium Ales in Torrance, where they celebrated three years of brewing with a luau. The free to attend event featured music by VOX DJs, as well as food from Anarchy Seafood, and Got Paella, which included a pig roast. In addition, there was face painting for the kids (and some adults), specialty glassware, raffles, and plenty of Scholb’s premium ales.
Sometimes when I attend these events I think to myself that “it seems like yesterday” but I do not know that I can say the same when it comes to Scholb. They faced a lot of hurdles in the beginning that might have stopped someone else, but not co-founder and head brewer, Jason Kolb.
If you will recall, Scholb got their name by combining the last names of the two families that were co-founding the brewery, Schulz and Kolb. Patrick Schulz was to be the head brewer and Jason Kolb was to build the brewery. I believe it was less than a year before the Schulz family left the partnership. With the departure of their head brewer, Jason Kolb was left with some beer recipes and whatever knowledge he had gained building the brewhouse and watching/helping Patrick when he was there. It is no secret, people wondered what would happen; could Kolb pick up the slack? Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at the El Segundo Brewing Company tasting room, where they celebrated eight years of brewing their hopcentric ales. The celebration was spread over three days with a bottle release on Friday, the anniversary party on Saturday, and a Michelada party on Sunday.
Attendees on Saturday had 20 El Segundo brews to choose from, including their anniversary beer, Ochos Locos DIPA on draught and a hazy cask version done with vanilla beans. In addition to the quality brews we have come to expect, Bartz Barbecue was there with their special offerings along with Churro Garage with their tasty desserts.
Entertainment was provided by Beer & Magic who delighted attendees with their close-up magic and slight-of-hand. I am not sure, but there may have been some wizardry involved as well. Kids that were too short to watch the magic entertained themselves with cornhole and Jenga. Continue reading
These photos were taken Friday evening at the Strand Brewing Company tasting room in Torrance, where friends, fans, family, and former co-workers gathered to say good-bye and congratulations to long time taproom manager, Jonas Neubauer, who is leaving Strand Brewing after more than seven years to pursue his career as a professional gamer.
In case you were not aware, Jonas happens to be a seven time Classic Tetris World Champion, a title that has only been around since 2010. In other words, he has been the champion seven out of nine times. He came in second place in 2014 and again last year in 2018. Since then, Jonas has not been seen at the taproom very much as his most recent second place finish has made him more popular than ever in the gaming world. As such, Jonas has been able to monetize his Twitch and YouTube channels to the point that it made sense to devote more time to gaming; besides, he has to concentrate on winning back the title of Classic Tetris World Champion.
Good luck Jonas, we will be rooting for you. Cheers! Continue reading
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
These photos were taken last Saturday at Stereo Brewing Company, a production brewery with a tasting room, located in Placentia, California. Stereo Brewing opened in October 2016 and has a 30 bbl brewhouse.
I remember the afternoon in October 2017 that I first met Stereo’s founder/brewer, Rick Smets; it was on the patio of Great Divide Brewing in Denver the day before GABF.
I was there with Buddy chatting with two lads, one from the Netherlands, the other from London, Rick was sitting at a table close to us and the three tables began conversing. I am sure we exchanged cards, and when we separated I said I would stop by sometime. Three days later I heard Stereo Brewing being called onstage as a gold medal winner for their Wall of Sound oatmeal stout. Continue reading
These photos were taken Sunday at Strand Brewing Company in Torrance, where they transformed their tasting room into a mini-carnival for young children that are undergoing cancer treatments, confined to wheelchairs, or diagnosed with critical illnesses. The event featured face painting, snacks and sodas, live music, and appearances from such big names as Batman, Robin, Thor, and Iron Man. The highlight of the day though, had to be the ability to make the kids fly like a superhero!
The event was put on by Flying Hero Club, formerly known as the Smile High Club, Inc. They were founded by Jim Churchman, a stunt coordinator for 25 years which included working on some of Hollywood’s biggest superhero movies. The Flying Hero Club, which seemed to consist of volunteers from Georgia and Arizona, some of whom work in the film industry, set up a computerized flying system, the same system that has flown the likes of Kate Beckinsale, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, and Robert Downey Jr. The kids were strapped onto a belly board and given the gift of flight for a couple hundred feet. Depending on the age and bravery of the child, the crew was able to adjust the speed of the flight. You could see that there were a couple kids that were nervous at first, but after their first flight most were ready for a second try. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Absolution Brewing Company in Torrance, where the production brewery celebrated five years of brewing beer. The free-to-attend event featured about 20 Absolution brews, live music, karaoke, food trucks, and games. Attendees that purchased a VIP ticket also received anniversary glassware with a pour of their anniversary beer and a 4-pak of their anniversary beer.
As Absolution has recently begun canning some of their beers, they used their anniversary to release a canned version of their Floc-Ness Monster DIPA. On Saturday, the 4-pak cans were available on a 1-to-1 basis only, so I am not sure if they were all sold or not. You might stop by the tasting room and see what their new brewer, Erik DeBellis, has been doing. They have completely revamped from the Old World/New World theory.
While I was there, Nasty Bad Habit provided the live music, which was followed up with karaoke. There was another band that finished the evening, but I had left long before they came on. Food was available from Seafood Anarchy and Chow Down, with some cheese goodies from Spicy Mos. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at the Common Space Brewery and Tasting Room in Hawthorne, where they celebrated their first anniversary with several hundred of their fans. The event featured their first can release, an anniversary beer, several food trucks, live music, and games that were enjoyed by adults and children alike. And there were dogs; lots and lots of dogs.
While I try to visit as many of the local breweries as possible, there has been so much growth around here that it just is not possible for me for me to visit everyone as much as I might like; Common Space would be one of those. One thing I noticed right away was that Common Space has become a very family and dog friendly taproom to visit. I think it would be safe to say that a large portion of the people attending had either a dog or a kid with them, and while I see a lot of whining on social media about kids and dogs at breweries, it was obvious that Common Space welcomes both with open arms. Continue reading