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
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Yorkshire Square Brewery in Torrance, where they held their inaugural Cask’s Not Dead Fest 2018. The invitational event featured 32 cask ales, provided by 29 local craft breweries, and one from Germany. In addition, there was live music provided by Whiskey Sunday and The Brilliant Gypsies, as well as food provided by Top Shelf Tacos and Stop Bye Cafe food trucks.
The Cask’s Not Dead Fest included a friendly competition between the 30 breweries. As most of the breweries do not typically provide cask ales the competition was broken down into two categories, Traditional Cask Ales and Abnormal Ales, with the Abnormal Ales being cask ales that were IPAs or included adjuncts such as cacao nibs, oak chips, vanilla beans, and such. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday evening at the Switzer Learning Center, in Torrance, where they held their 2018 Boots, Brews & BBQ fundraiser. The event featured unlimited pours of craft beer from about six local breweries, wine, and an open bar. They also had tequila flights available for an additional fee. In addition to the libations, there was plenty of barbecued meat available courtesy of Shady Grow Foods, as well Mediterranean food from Chicken Maison for the vegetarians in attendance.
The adult only event also offered tickets to ride a mechanical bull, or to practice your aiming at the shooting range that had rifles or revolvers available. They also had a spin and win booze wheel, gaming tables featuring blackjack, 3-card poker and roulette, and live and silent auctions. Continue reading
The photos were taken Thursday at Tortilla Cantina in Torrance, where they hosted the 4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. While this was their first time for hosting this event, it was the largest collection of local craft breweries since I first started putting on the event in 2015; with 22 local breweries participating and 49 taps of craft beer!
Since this was the fourth tap takeover, I have become accustomed to last minute issues coming up, resulting in either a brewery not getting the beers to the venue on time, or a mislabeled keg. As I have read that this is fairly common with even the most efficiently run craft beer festival, I just kind of grin and bear it as most of the time the attendees never even notice. While I was putting out proverbial fires at 10:30 Wednesday night, by the time Thursday morning rolled around everything somehow was falling into place. Continue reading
The event will begin at noon and run until 11:30 PM, with happy hour pricing from noon until 7:00 PM. From 7:00-10:00, live music will be provided by Ashleigh Correa and Rock the Ashbah. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday evening at Tortilla Cantina in Torrance, where they celebrated their 8th anniversary. The event featured craft beer pouring from close to 50 taps, live music from Ashleigh Correa, and Charlie Don’t Surf (Kemo and the boys), and complimentary appetizers for an hour or so.
Tortilla Cantina is a “taco bistro” that offers 18 varieties of tacos and usually has about 48 different beers on tap. They are also the home of the 4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover, which will be held on September 6, from noon until 11:30 PM, and will feature their standard Happy Hour from noon to 7:00 PM, their wide selection of tacos, and live music by Ashleigh Correa.
The breweries scheduled to attend are Absolution Brewing, Brouwerij West, Common Space, The Dudes’, El Segundo Brewing, Hermosa Brewing Company, The Honest Abe Cidery, HopSaint, King Harbor Brewing, LA Ale Works, Phantom Carriage, Scholb, Smog City, State Brewing, Strand Brewing, Three Weavers, Ximix Craft Exploration, Yorkshire Square, and Zymurgy Brew Works. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Strand Brewing Company’s 3rd Annual Backyard Barbecue which was held at Strand’s production brewery and tasting room.
As I mentioned in my last article, Saturday had several events going on. While the music was just getting started at Absolution, Strand had live music going on all day and the tasting room was jumping with lots of families, with their dogs and kids; and several sub-parties going on at the same time.
In addition to the 12 Strand Brewing beers that were available, the Chefs in Shorts food truck was there providing the barbecued goodies; local live music was provided by Snake Oil Salesmen, Gilbert Louie Ray, South Bay All-Stars, and Ryan Collazo. It is safe to say that a good time was had by all. Cheers! Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at the Absolution Brewing Company tasting room, where they held their Mid-Summer Party 2018. The event featured an all-you-can-taste firkin session, a live DJ set, live music, and a couple food trucks.
There are times during the year that it seems the weekends are non-stop craft beer events; this past Saturday was one of those days. Since there is only one of me, I am forced to split my time between events, and like Saturday, sometimes I have to skip an event or two.
When I have multiple events happening at the same time, I typically attend the one furthest from home, and work my way back; which meant that I went to Absolution Brewing first. Continue reading
These photos were taken Friday afternoon at Smog City Brewing in Torrance, where they held a fundraiser for the family of their Retail Director, Jason Briseño. A couple weeks ago, the family home of more than 30 years was destroyed by a quick moving fire that had started within the walls of the house. With no time to remove items from the house, the Briseños lost virtually everything they owned.
All day Friday, $3.00 from every pint sold went to the fund to help the family rebuild. While I was there, some great homemade cookies were made available for $1.00 each, which also went to the fund. As a side note, those cookies paired amazingly well with Smog City’s Infinite Wishes.
While there, I overheard a conversation between a Smog City regular and Smog City co-founder Laurie Porter. The regular had thanked Laurie and Smog City for putting the event together; Laurie’s response was pretty simple, “Jason is family.” Continue reading