Torrance

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Zymurgy Brew Works to Become Smog City West

notice of intent

Smog City Brewing to assume Zymurgy Brew Works

It was early 2016 when I was approached by Bill Baker and Jeff Jennewein; they wanted to open a Brew-on-Premises/Do-it-Yourself craft brewery in Torrance, with a focus on educating the public about craft beer with guest brewer sessions, beer tastings and brewing classes. They asked if I would be willing to speak before the Torrance Planning Commission in support of their Conditional Use Permit. As Baker is a Torrance school principal and Jennewein is a science and math teacher, I readily agreed because what better pairing for education about craft beer can you ask for than a science teacher and a school principal?

By the time Zymurgy had their grand opening, Jenniwein and Baker had decided that their friendship was more important than their business relationship; Baker and Jenniwein had an amicable separation, leaving Baker to run Zymurgy on his own. Continue reading

Shelby’s Baby Shower at Tortilla Cantina

These photos were taken Sunday afternoon at Tortilla Cantina, in Torrance, where local craft beer aficionado Paul Quintana held a baby shower for his daughter Shelby, and her boyfriend Zach, to help welcome his first grandchild into the world.

While you may not find a lot of baby shower photos on this site, Paul and his daughter both follow Craft Beer Guy, either via this website or its Facebook or Instagram pages; or all of the above. Combine that with the fact that they were holding the event at Tortilla Cantina, the new home of the South Bay Tap Takeover, and it was an invitation that would be hard to turn down; in retrospect, I am very glad I attended, it was a fun event. Continue reading

Photos From The Great Smog Tiki Adventure

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

Scholb’s 3rd Anniversary Luau Photos

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

Jonas Bids Farewell to Strand Brewing Company

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

Photos from the Yorkshire Square Brewery 2nd Anniversary

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

Smog City Brewing Celebrates 6 Years in Torrance

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

2nd Cold War Brewing at Zymurgy Brew Works

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

Superheroes Gather at Strand Brewing Company

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

Photos from Absolution Brewing’s 5th Anniversary

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

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