Saturday afternoon was set aside to travel to Menifee so I could watch my six year old grandson participate in the finals of a talent show put on by the Boys & Girls Club of Menifee Valley. It was being held at a church, so craft beer was the furthest thing from my mind when we pulled onto New Hub Drive in Menifee. As my sister passed the church, she swung the car around at the first street parking spot. As I stepped out of the car, to my surprise was The Mason Jar Brewing Company.
Mason Jar Brewing opened their doors in 2015, and brew with a 10bbl system and 20bbl fermenters. When I was there, they had 16 brews on tap. A look at the tap list made me think that they brew what they like; they aren’t just brewing it because it is faddish. They don’t distribute, and seemed like a neighborhood tasting room with a lot of regulars. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at El Segundo Brewing Company, where they celebrated seven years of brewing some of the most hopcentric beers in the South Bay. The celebration featured pretty much everything you would expect to find at a birthday party for a seven year-old; party favors, hats, a barbecue that you could smell for blocks around, birthday cake, a balloon artist and beer, lots and lots of beer, 23 of them to be exact.
El Segundo Brewing Company’s history pretty much reflects the entire South Bay craft beer scene when you stop to think about it. The first time I visited El Segundo Brewing the South Bay had three craft breweries (although they called them microbreweries back then), El Segundo Brewing, Strand Brewing and Monkish Brewing. In fact, on the date of my first visit to El Segundo Brewing they only had three beers available (four taps seemed like the norm in 2012). Today the South Bay has grown from three craft breweries to 23, and El Segundo’s tap list has expanded from three to 23. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at the Smog City Brewing Company’s 2018 Anniversary Celebration. The event included a two-hour long ticketed VIP session, followed by a free general admission session that began at 1:00 PM and ran until closing time.
The celebration featured close to 30 Smog City brews as well as a half dozen beer cocktails, music by DJ Mood Maestros, and a few food trucks; including Mad Pambazos, Serendoggity, and CONED Ice Cream. There were games, as well as local artwork that was created specifically for Smog City Brewing. The event also gave Smog City the opportunity to debut their new outside patio as well as their anniversary beer, Awkward Teenager.
About 100 VIP ticket holders were able to tour Smog City’s Sour Production Facility; it gave us some insight to the magic behind their sour ales. All VIP ticket holders received early access to limited beers and beer cocktails, one bottle of their Awkward Teenager with a carrier bag, and a pretty fun commemorative Smog City photo album. Continue reading
These photos were taken Thursday evening at Zymurgy Brew Works & Tasting Room in Torrance, where they held another in their series of “every once in a while” brewing classes. Thursday’s class was to learn how to brew a hazy IPA using all grain and was led by Zymurgy Brew Works brewer Richard Wirsing. Each of the attendees will receive one 22oz bottle of the beer they brewed at a later date.
Wirsing explained the brewing process, complete with the Brewers Association newly defined description of the “hazy IPA”. Wirsing even went so far as to pass around bags of various hop varieties so the class participants could have some say as to the hop profile of their IPA. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at King Harbor Brewing Company’s production brewery and tasting room in Redondo Beach, where King Harbor Brewing and their many fans celebrated King Harbor’s 4th Anniversary and National Beer Day with a four hour long party.
The ticketed event featured more than 30 King Harbor beers, beer cocktails, live music, plenty of food and games.
King Harbor Brewing is known for throwing a great party, and Saturday they lived up to their reputation. Live music was provided by the Royal Rats, The Kira Lingman Band, and The Thirsty Crows. DJ Denny Bales of Vinyl Club warmed up the crowd ahead of time. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday, April 7, at Smokefest; which was held at Los Angeles Ale Works in the Spacex Corridor area of Hawthorne. The event, which coincidentally was held on National Beer Day 2018, featured lots of barbecue, kid friendly games, live music and special beer releases.
Vendors that participated in the event included A’s BBQ, Bartz Barbecue, Hayseed BBQ, Oak Smoke BBQ and Hustle ‘N Dough Donuts. Live music, while I was there, was provided by Brothers Pine.
I was only there for the first couple of hours, but it was easy to see that it was going to be a busy day with plenty of good food to go along with the LA Ale Works brews. Continue reading
These photos were taken Thursday at day one of Ximix Craft Exploration’s grand opening weekend. Ximix is Gardena’s second craft brewery and if Thursday’s turnout was any indication, they have been welcomed with open arms by the surrounding community.
Ximix opened Thursday with eight brews to chose from; four of which are full batches, with the other four being small batches made with the Ximix pilot system. In addition to the beer, Chef C’S Smhokin Pot food truck was there serving their authentic Cajun food. Continue reading
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
Every year at this time, I make my annual trek to the Valley of the Sun, which is essentially the Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe area of Arizona. I returned there last week and as I was preparing to write my article about my most recent beer travel, I came to the realization that while I went to Arizona last year and took photos, I never wrote about it. These photos will begin with my visits to O.H.S.O. Eatery & nano-Brewery, and McFate Brewing Company in 2017; and will end with my visits to Wren House Brewing, Scottsdale Beer Company, and Blasted Barley in 2018.
My typical Valley of the Sun weekend begins with go-kart racing in Scottsdale and ends with a convention in Tempe. This means that I set my GPS for a brewery that will get me closest to the race track in Scottsdale. In 2017 my first destination was O.H.S.O. Eatery & nano-Brewery, a brewpub located in the Arcadia area of Phoenix. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Absolution Brewing Company’s Torrance location where they held their 4th Anniversary and St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. The event consisted of a ticketed VIP session from 1:00 to 3:00 PM, then the doors opened to the general public until 7:00 PM. VIP attendees received a nice, limited edition, 4th Anniversary Mug (20oz), unlimited firkin cask tastings or four 20oz pours, after that, they received 20oz pours the rest of the day.
As usual, Absolution brought out several specialty beers, including their Holy Moly Anniversary Ale, a porter with whole chipotle and cocoa nibs, St. Pat’s, an Irish red ale with cascara of cacao, and Oasis, a bourbon barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout with hints of coconut. They had some good stuff there. Continue reading