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 Yorkshire Square Brewery in Torrance, where the South Bay’s only brewery specializing in cask-conditioned ales celebrated their second anniversary. The day-long, free to attend event featured an LA Galaxy vs. NY Red Bulls watch party, followed by another match after that ended, a bottle release, a free drawing that coincided with the Kentucky Derby, two food trucks, an artist selling his wares, and lots of Yorkshire Square ales.
Saturday had lots of competing events, such as the BeachLife Festival and the Southern California Homebrewers Festival, which probably accounted for why Yorkshire Square did not opt for another parking lot event, which means extra permit fees. Nonetheless, it was a nicely attended event and everyone seemed to have a good time.
Yorkshire had about 15 of their ales on cask, including their anniversary beer, Burton Pilgrimage, an Export Pale Ale that was done in collaboration with El Segundo Brewing Company. They also had a couple beer cocktails for those that are into that sort of thing. 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 Thursday evening at Zymurgy Brew Works & Tasting Room in Torrance; the only do-it-yourself, brew-it-yourself brewery in Los Angeles. I was there to brew my Cold War Russian Imperial Stout for the second time; this time I would be assisted by Zymurgy brewer, Keith Edie. I got the recipe from my son who used it to brew his Sochi to Stanley Stout, modified slightly. Buddy and I were joined by our friends Dan, who took photos that I obviously didn’t, and Phil and Deborah who brought a picnic to share during the boils.
Long time readers may recall that I was the first person to brew at Zymurgy almost three years ago. I was there to help them learn their new system, and yes, there were a couple hiccups, but the end result was outstanding. I have one bottle left and it has only gotten better with time. I know there are a couple more bottles floating around out there; I also know their owners are going to be in for a treat when they finally crack them open. 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 Yorkshire Square Brewery in Torrance, where they held their 2nd Annual Now’t but Stout Festival, a fundraiser benefiting the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild, featuring dark beers from more than 25 Los Angeles area breweries, and a couple from San Diego.
N’owt but Stout may have been a little misleading as there were many Porters, a Black IPA, a Scottish Ale, and a Pub Bitter available as well; but to be honest, after a few stouts you have of need something to mix it up with. Beachwood’s Hoppa Emeritus Black IPA and Cellador’s Vacant Lot barrel-aged sour took care of that for me.
In addition to the numerous beer choices, the event featured the Slater’s 50/50 and Cena Vegan food trucks, live music from Vagrant Nation, and cornhole. Attendees were also given the opportunity to vote for the Peasant’s Choice Award for the Most Adequate Ale. Continue reading
These photos were taken Friday afternoon at El Segundo Brewing Company, and Friday evening at Tortilla Cantina, home of the 5th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. Friday was day one of El Segundo Brewing’s release of their Power Plant Triple IPA, which included a synchronized release with about 20 other locations in Southern California; one of which was Tortilla Cantina.
This is the time of year that triple IPAs start finding their way up and down the state of California, probably due in large part to the fact that for the last 15 years Russian River Brewing has released their Pliny the Younger Triple IPA on the first Friday of February. El Segundo Brewing has been releasing Power Plant at about the same time for the last five years. Continue reading
It is that time of year again, when I try to summarize what has happened in the past year, as far as local craft beer is concerned and the highlights of the Craft Beer Guy year. As I typically do, I read over last year’s review to see what predictions I may have made, and how they panned out.Last year I predicted that Burnin’ Daylight Brewing Company, a brewpub in Lomita; and Port Town Brewing, a production brewery in San Pedro would be open by the end of 2018. While I am sure the respective owners would have loved to see that come true, alas, it was not to be. That being said, Burnin’ Daylight is now brewing beer and they are just waiting for some final checks from places like the county health department. If all goes well, Burnin’ Daylight should be open for at least a soft open by mid-January 2019. Port Town Brewing had a larger obstacle, aka the City of Los Angeles, but they are making progress and might just open their doors before 2019 ends.
I have to admit, with all the growth that is going on around here, I kind of feel like a slacker. It used to be a lot easier to keep up, but I am ashamed to say that there are at least two breweries in the South Bay that I have yet to visit; trying to keep up with the Long Beach area has proven tough. I have to rely on craft beer festivals like Festival Obscura to keep me somewhat in the loop. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Absolution Brewing Company in Torrance, where Absolution held their annual Holiday Party. The event featured a visit from Santa Claus for those that still needed to turn in their wish lists, live music by ‘Tremors’, prizes for the most festive holiday outfits, and probably most importantly, an introduction to Absolution Brewing’s new head brewer, Erik DeBellis.
For those unaware, Absolution’s former brewer, Bart Bullington left Absolution a month or so ago for family reasons. Shortly after that, Erik DeBellis left the brewery he was head brewer at, Ximix Craft Exploration.
Absolution Brewing Company MUG Club members were treated to DeBellis’ next new beer for Absolution, a Brut IPA they are calling Chateau Absolution. If you have spent any time at Absolution over the last four years, you are definitely going to notice that this is entirely different than what we have become accustomed. Continue reading