Torrance

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Photos of the 6th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover

These photos were taken Wednesday at Tortilla Cantina, where they hosted the 6th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. This annual event took a little more to accomplish this year, but Tortilla Cantina, our local breweries, and hundreds of their fans made this possible “last hurrah” of 2020 a great success.

My first tap takeover was held on the first Thursday of September in 2015, and as the craft beer scene around here grew, there started to be overlaps when it came to craft beer festival dates and brewery anniversaries, and everyone started changing dates of their events to avoid conflicts. The fact of the matter is that there was just too much going on out there, so I set it in stone that all subsequent South Bay Tap Takeovers would be held on the first Thursday of September; that worked out okay until COVID-19 struck and the State of California and the County of Los Angeles decided restaurants, breweries, and bars had to discontinue in-person dining. 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 Breweries Begin Reopening – Phase 2 Day 1

These photos were taken Saturday, May 30 at San Pedro Brewing Company, Scholb Premium Ales, and Absolution Brewing Company as breweries in the South Bay began reopening under Phase 2 of the COVID-19 lockdown.

On Friday it was announced that LA County was entering Phase 2 of the reopening of businesses from this lockdown; apparently two breweries, San Pedro Brewing Company and Scholb Brewing had been chomping at the bit waiting for permission to reopen as they were the first two craft beer establishments to begin in-house consumption of beer and food. I decided to visit the two of them to see how close my expectations were to our new reality. Continue reading

The Brews Hall 100 Days Later

These photos were taken Thursday, March 12, at The Brews Hall at Del Amo in Torrance. While it has actually been 115 days since The Brews Hall Grand Opening and these photos, I thought 100 Days Later sounded better than 115 Days Later.

As frequently happens when a new brewery opens in the area, lots of people ask me, “how is the beer?” There are not a lot of breweries that open up trouble free, so that is usually a legitimate question. Unfortunately, I had only visited The Brews Hall once since their grand opening for a beer with a friend, and they were still new enough that they still relied on guest breweries to keep their taps flowing; so when the Vice President of Operations for the Zislis Group (owners of The Brews Hall) extended an offer for me to return and check things out, I put on my foul weather gear, grabbed a plastic bag for my camera, and headed over for a return visit. Continue reading

River Visits Tortilla Cantina

These photos were taken Sunday afternoon at Tortilla Cantina in Torrance, where they hosted a family event for one of their regulars, Paul Quintana. You may recall that back in July I covered a baby shower at Tortilla Cantina; Sunday’s family gathering was the formal introduction of the Guest of Honor of that shower, River, to his extended family.

There had to be at least 50 friends and family in attendance and River seemed to be enjoying all the attention he was getting as much as the aunts and cousins giving it to him.

Tortilla Cantina is a great place to hold events like this, especially if you have friends and family that enjoy craft beer. You could never provide Tortilla Cantina’s beer variety at home, and they provide really good food; I will personally vouch for the taquitos. Continue reading

The Sun Sets on an Era at Smog City

These photos were taken Friday evening at Smog City Brewing’s tasting room at their production brewery in Torrance, where several dozen friends, regular customers, and co-workers of Smog City’s taproom manager Jason “Breezy” Briseño gathered to say farewell as Friday was his last day.

Briseño started working as a beertender at Smog in 2014; since then he went on to become their Retail Director and taproom manager of all three Smog City locations. He will be spending the next few months doing consulting jobs and some mixology while he waits on the processing of his visa to move to Australia with his wife, Lauren, who just happens to be from Australia. Apparently Lauren has family in Australia that are involved in the wine and restaurant business, with one of her relatives getting ready to open a brewery; Briseño seems to be looking forward to the opportunity to help them get it off the ground. Continue reading

The Brews Hall Grand Opening Photos

These photos were taken Monday evening at The Brews Hall at Del Amo, in Torrance where they held their official grand opening. The ticketed event was very well attended, and included The Brews Hall primary owners, Mike Zislis, George Lopez, and Colin Cowherd, along with Head Brewer Justinian Caire, Assistant Brewer Alex Rodriguez, several Brews Hall investors, and craft beer fans that just wanted to be among the first to try the first brews from Buzzrock Brewing and Ta Loco Brewing Company.

Attendees were treated to a limited menu that included a chicken sandwich from Chicken TWILI, burritos from George Lopez’s Chingon Kitchen, a wedge salad from Rock’n Fish, a cheeseburger from Colin Cowherd’s The Herd, and various sides and desserts. More importantly, the first three beers were released from the new brewhouse. Continue reading

Photos From the Brews Hall Ribbon Cutting

These photos were taken Wednesday evening at The Brews Hall at Del Amo, in Torrance where they held their official ribbon cutting. The event was attended by The Brews Hall primary owners, Mike Zislis, George Lopez, and Colin Cowherd, Torrance Mayor Pat Furey with a couple Torrance city councilmen, a representative for Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, a representative for LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn, and a contingent of ambassadors from the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce.

After the ribbon cutting, dignitaries, friends, family, and media were invited in to sample some of the foods from George Lopez’s Chingon Kitchen, Chicken TWILI, Colin Cowherd’s The Herd, and Rock’n Fish Restaurant, as well as some of the mixed drink cocktails and beers that are available. Continue reading

The Brews Hall at Del Amo: From the Beginning

I guess it was the end of 2018 that I started hearing rumors that a new brewery was coming to Torrance. The details were vague, but I heard it was going to be over by the Del Amo Shopping Center and it was being opened by Mike Zislis, the man behind such local favorites as Brewco Manhattan Beach, Rock & Brews, and Rock’n Fish. I figured there were only a couple spots at Del Amo that could fit a brewery, so I made a mental note to drive by whenever possible to see if I could figure out the new location. One afternoon I noticed a building that used to house a cross-fit gym that had the familiar Notice of Application to Sell Alcoholic Beverages; I knew I had the location correct.

On February 19 I happened to be at Brewco in Manhattan Beach for the Pliny the Younger release, when Mike Zislis, Dave Furano (Co-founder at Rock & Brews), and George Lopez came in and sat at the table next to me. Naturally, I used the opportunity to confirm that my research matched up with the rumors I had heard; it did. I also used to opportunity to get the okay to photograph the build, which was granted. I started photographing the location on February 28 and the photographs end today, November 4 as they are now in the soft open phase. Continue reading

Smog City West Ribbon Cutting Photos

These photos were taken Wednesday afternoon, October 23, at Smog City West, the newest of Smog City Brewing’s satellite tasting rooms, where they held a ribbon cutting to formerly open their newest location. They event was attended by a few dozen Smog City fans as well as Torrance mayor, Pat Furey, a couple city councilmen, representatives from LA County, the State of California, and several members of the Torrance Chamber of Commerce.

Attendees at the event had a tap list of 17 Smog City beers to choose from, including eight of which that came from the Smog City Wood Cellar and are only available at Smog City West; some of the Smog City Wood Cellar ales are also available in bottles to go. Continue reading

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