Torrance

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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

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

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