The Honest Abe Cidery

4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover Photos

The photos were taken Thursday at Tortilla Cantina in Torrance, where they hosted the 4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. While this was their first time for hosting this event, it was the largest collection of local craft breweries since I first started putting on the event in 2015; with 22 local breweries participating and 49 taps of craft beer!

Since this was the fourth tap takeover, I have become accustomed to last minute issues coming up, resulting in either a brewery not getting the beers to the venue on time, or a mislabeled keg. As I have read that this is fairly common with even the most efficiently run craft beer festival, I just kind of grin and bear it as most of the time the attendees never even notice. While I was putting out proverbial fires at 10:30 Wednesday night, by the time Thursday morning rolled around everything somehow was falling into place. Continue reading

4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover to Feature 22 Local Breweries

tortilla-cantina

4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover, Thursday, September 6 at Tortilla Cantina

I hope you saved the date as the 4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover will be held this Thursday, September 6, at Tortilla Cantina in Torrance. This event will feature 22 local breweries, with more than 40 taps under one roof; not bad considering the first South Bay Tap Takeover started in 2015 with just 10 South Bay breweries. That should give you an idea of just how much the craft beer scene has grown around here.

The event will begin at noon and run until 11:30 PM, with happy hour pricing from noon until 7:00 PM. From 7:00-10:00, live music will be provided by Ashleigh Correa and Rock the Ashbah. 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

Hokulea Brewing: From the Beginning

The long awaited opening of Hokulea Brewing Company is upon us as it was announced today that Hokulea will begin their soft open Saturday, August 18. These photos show the build of Hokulea from when I first visited the location back in June 2017, through today.

Hokulea Brewing combined forces with The Honest Abe Cidery to create a brewpub with a brewery, cidery, and poke bar with 40 taps. Since they are a brewpub, they can sell beers from other breweries which is the plan is while Hokulea builds up its tap list of in-house brewed brews. You may notice the two very large fermenters in the photos; those are for the cider side of the house.

The soft open begins Saturday, and will continue daily until they have their official grand opening sometime in September. In the beginning, they hope to be able to offer food tastings, with the kitchen opening full time as soon as possible. Continue reading

4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover Coming to Tortilla Cantina

tortilla cantina

4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover – September 6, 2018

Please save the date, Thursday, September 6, 2018, as the 4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover is returning; this year the event will be hosted at Tortilla Cantina, in Torrance.

The first time I put on this event, in 2015, it consisted of 40 taps from 10 of the South Bay’s best craft breweries. This year we have 19 breweries currently confirmed as attending; the number of taps we will have has yet to be determined, but Tortilla Cantina’s owner Rick Gomez informed me that he has the ability to provide up to 50 taps, so we shall see.

The breweries scheduled to attend, in alphabetical order, are Absolution Brewing, Brouwerij West, Common Space, El Segundo Brewing, Hermosa Brewing Company, HopSaint, King Harbor Brewing, LA Ale Works, Phantom Carriage, Scholb, Smog City, State Brewing, Strand Brewing, The Dudes’, The Honest Abe Cidery, Three Weavers, Ximix, Yorkshire Square, and Zymurgy Brew Works. Continue reading

The Craft Beer Guy 2017 Year in Review

As the year draws to a close, it is time to think back on what 2017 has brought to the craft beer world; more specifically what has happened in the Craft Beer Guy world. As 2016 came to a pretty crappy end for me, I did not do one last year; for that reason, I will begin with the end of 2016 as it segued into 2017.

steelcraft soft open

Smog City – Steelcraft – Bixby Knolls

My coverage of 2016 ended pretty much the way 2017 started, with the opening of Smog City Brewing Company’s satellite tasting room, Smog City – SteelCraft in the Bixby Knolls area of Long Beach. They opened the location at the end of December; by the middle of January they had applied for, and were granted the ability to sell growlers and bottles to go.

Later in January the inaugural L.A. Beer and Food Festival was presented by the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild. The sold-out event featured close to 50 member breweries of the LA Brewers Guild as well as 15 local food vendors. This year the L.A. Beer and Food Festival will be held Saturday, January 27. Buy your tickets now, before it sells out.

Just a bit of trivia; while there were about 50 LA County Brewers Guild members in January of 2017, today there are almost 70! Continue reading

Photos from the 3rd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover

These photos were taken Thursday at the 3rd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover, which was held at Flights, in Hawthorne. The event featured 18 of the South Bay’s best production breweries and brewpubs, filling up 39 tap handles.

Although I did not arrive until a little after 4:00 PM, my Facebook feed indicated that people began streaming in pretty much as soon as the doors opened. By 6:00 we had the place packed and it remained that way until close to 10:00; after that, people kept arriving to sample some outstanding brews.

I had the opportunity to speak with many of the attendees and discovered that this was the first time visiting Flights; it seems safe to say that they will all return. Continue reading

3rd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover to Feature 19 Local Breweries

HopSaint, The Dudes', Three Weavers

South Bay Tap Takeover Participants

I am happy to formally announce that Flights Beer Bar and CraftBeerGuy.com will be holding their 3rd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover on September 7, 2017; this time featuring 19 of the best craft breweries the South Bay has to offer.

It was two years ago that I made my first visit to Flights Beer Bar and met the owner Jerry “Jammer” Jamgotchian. Within days of our meeting, Jerry expressed interest in having a Craft Beer Guy event at his recently opened 40 tap gastropub. At the time, the South Bay had 10 production breweries and I requested that all 40 taps be dedicated to these 10 breweries for the 1st Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. Jerry not only agreed to this, but also invested in a new cold box so Flights could store the additional beers that were brought in for the event. To say the event was a rousing success would be an understatement. Continue reading

An Accurate List of All the South Bay Breweries

Recently there have been a couple articles circulating around social media claiming to list all of the South Bay breweries; one that went around yesterday missed four or five of them, depending on whether or not a tasting room was required. As the Craft Beer Guy I have been fortunate to have this craft beer boom explode all around my home; I also feel obligated to provide an accurate list of all the breweries currently brewing in the South Bay as well as the next two scheduled to open.

In order to not show favoritism, and to give credit where credit is due, I will list all the South Bay breweries by the date they opened. As I have visited each brewery, I will provide a link to each so you can look at my articles to determine if you want to visit them. The photos are in order as well. Continue reading

Photos from the 2nd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover at Flights

These photos were taken Thursday evening at Flights during their 2nd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. This year we featured 15 of the best production breweries in the South Bay; with Absolution Brewing, Brouwerij West, El Segundo Brewing, Honest Abe Hard Ciders, HopSaint Brewing Company, King Harbor Brewing, Phantom Carriage, Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing, San Pedro Brewing Company, Scholb Premium Ales, Smog City Brewing, State Brewing Company, Strand Brewing Company, The Dudes’ Brewing, and Three Weavers Brewing filling all four tap lines. I watched as people in the craft beer industry as well as the hundreds of craft beer fans looked with amazement at what a South Bay tap list looks like.

While it did get a little crowded during the peak hours, Flights staff, under the guidance of their manager Michelle Pettie kept food and beer flowing with ease. It was pretty obvious that the additional year of experience by the serving staff made a huge difference; I did not notice any of the delays that were experienced last year. I am sure cutting back on the food menu helped as the kitchen was faster which meant people could eat and drink a little quicker and the steady flow of new guests did not cause any of the lines I heard existed last year. Continue reading

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