Torrance

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Smog City West Soft Open Photos

These photos were taken Wednesday afternoon at the soft open of Smog City West in Torrance; the second of Smog City Brewing’s satellite tasting rooms. Located at the space formerly occupied by Zymurgy Brew Works & Tasting Room, the interior has been completely redone, save the cold box and draft lines. Smog City West has a nice bar to sit at, as well as numerous tables and stools; so there is plenty of room for patrons to enjoy the 18 beers they currently have available.

The tap list currently includes seven Smog City favorites such as Little Bo Pils, Smog City IPA, and Bourbon O.E., but they also have eight of their small batch and experimental brews that are not available anywhere else; primarily saisons, sours, and barrel-aged blends. So if those are the style of beers you enjoy the most, Smog City West is where you want to be.

The soft open hours will be 3:00-9:00 Wednesday thru Friday, 12:00-9:00 on Saturdays, and 12:00-8:00 on Sundays. The soft opening will continue through Saturday, October 12, at which time the hours will change to 3:00-9:00 on Wednesday and Thursday, 12:00-10:00 on Friday and Saturday, and 12:00-8:00 on Sundays. Continue reading

5th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover Photos

These photos were taken Thursday, September 5, at Tortilla Cantina Taco Bistro and Sports Bar in Torrance, where they hosted my 5th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. This year’s event featured beer, cider and mead from 26 of the South Bay’s best breweries and cideries, and live music featuring Ashleigh Correa. For the first time, there were two anniversary brews commemorating five years of putting on the South Bay Tap Takeover.

One of the anniversary beers was Better Weather Sweater IPA, which was a collaboration beer brewed at Smog City last month with 20 South Bay breweries. Better Weather Sweater came out amazing; it is very well balanced and with a 5.9 ABV, it is perfectly crushable for this heat we are going through. Better Weather Sweater will be released today (Friday) at all the Smog City locations and at several brewpubs throughout the Los Angeles area. It is perfect for those that complain about IPAs being “too hoppy” as that is not going to be a complaint from anyone. The second anniversary beer was 2nd Cold War Russian Imperial Stout, a collaboration I did with Zymurgy Brew Works back in April. As Zymurgy was sold to Smog City, this was officially the last Zymurgy beer to be commercially available. Continue reading

5th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover Coming September 5

collaboration brew

Better Weather Sweater Collaboration Brew Team

Clear your calendars; one week from today, Thursday September 5, I will be presenting my 5th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover at Tortilla Cantina in Old Torrance.

If you have attended any of the previous four tap takeovers, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect; if you have never been I can summarize with at least 25 South Bay breweries/cideries pouring from 50 taps.

When I started this in 2015, we had 10 South Bay breweries with 40 taps; in 2016 there were 15, and in 2017 we had 18 South Bay breweries with 40 taps. In 2018 there was a change of management at the original venue (Flights), and they decided they wanted to do their own thing. I wished them luck, and then approached Rick Gomez of Tortilla Cantina to see if they would be interested in hosting the 4th annual tap takeover. I approached Rick for three reasons; I knew he was a big supporter of the local craft beer scene, every South Bay brewery owner I spoke with knew and really liked Rick, and I knew he had 48 taps. I do not think Rick really knew what he was in for, but he went all-in and the 4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover ended up featuring 22 local breweries participating, and with the help of a jockey box, 49 taps of craft beer! Continue reading

South Bay Collaboration Brew at Smog City Brewing

These photos were taken Friday morning at Smog City Brewing, where brewers and owners of 21 of the South Bay’s breweries and cideries met to brew an anniversary beer to commemorate the 5th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover which will be held Thursday, September 5 at Tortilla Cantina in Old Torrance.

A couple months ago I got the idea that since this was the 5th anniversary of the South Bay Tap Takeover that perhaps participating breweries might want to each do an anniversary collaboration with CraftBeerGuy.com. I had spoken with a couple breweries that hinted they might be interested when I went to State Brewing and their head brewer Rob Scott and he suggested that perhaps we could do a collaboration that included all the participating breweries. I immediately knew this would be a much better option so I started thinking about which local brewery would be big enough and central to everyone. To me, the logical choice was Smog City Brewing, so I approached Porter about it; he readily accepted. Continue reading

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

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