Torrance

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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

2019 Boots, Brews & BBQ Photos

These photos were taken Saturday evening at the Switzer Learning Center, in Torrance, where they held their 6th Annual Boots, Brews & BBQ fundraiser. The event featured unlimited pours of craft beer from seven craft breweries and cideries, wine, and an open bar. They also had tequila flights available for an additional fee. In addition to the ample liquid refreshments, there was plenty of barbecued meat available courtesy of Harry’s Oklahoma Style Smokehouse BBQ, as well some great tamales from Tortilla Cantina, new home of my annual South Bay Tap Takeover.

The western-themed, adults only event also featured a shooting range that had rifles or revolvers available, a few lawn games, gaming tables featuring blackjack, craps and roulette, and live and silent auctions. Continue reading

Barktoberfest 2019 at Absolution Brewing Photos

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Absolution Brewing Company, in Torrance, where they held Barktoberfest 2019; an afternoon where the dogs literally took over the production brewery’s tasting room, with a portion of the proceeds from the beer sold going to benefit spcaLA.

After leaving the Craft Beer LB Fest I headed home to get Buddy, one of the South Bay’s well known brewery dogs to join me at Barktoberfest. He was in doggy heaven.

The extremely dog friendly event featured live music from Nasty Bad Habit, a food popup, and lots of dogs that all seemed to enjoy each other’s company. It is not unusual for there to be a dog or two that is not as ecstatic to hang out with other dogs, but everyone seemed to happy to be there; there were dog smiles everywhere. Continue reading

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

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