2021 is about to tap out; I guess it was better than 2020, but was it really? It almost seems like 2020 was just to immerse us into our new normal, and 2021 was a test run to test scientific theories and our own personal abilities to deal with this crap.
I know I did some stuff this year that I had not done since 2019, so I guess things are improving, it is probably my own personal comfort level that I have to work on. This was my first complete year without my dog or a girlfriend, which is probably resulting in my becoming more of a wallflower again. We shall see.
Did you ever see the movie Memento? Well, I am slightly better than Leonard (the star) at remembering stuff, so I use my camera and my websites so I do not have to cover my body in tattoos to recall the past year.
Anyway, here is the Craft Beer Guy recap of 2021; what the hell did I do over the last 12 months? Continue reading
These photos were taken Thursday at Tortilla Cantina in Torrance, where they hosted my 7th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover, featuring 28 of the South Bay’s craft breweries, with more than 50 taps pouring, and a couple brews that came in cans as keg space was becoming an issue.
I do not know what to say other than thank you to everyone that came out to enjoy the liquid gold provided by the participating breweries, cidery, and meadery. And thanks definitely have to be given to the servers who were kept pretty busy from noon until well after 10:00. The star of the day has to go to Rick who literally took things into his own hands when kitchen staff came up short. Continue reading
The 7th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover is two days away, and as hard as it may be for me to believe, this may be the first time that I am not going to be rushing around trying to fill taps with less than 24 hours to go; knock on wood.
Just in case this is the first you have heard about my event, shame on me, but this is what you need to know.
The tap takeover is returning to Tortilla Cantina in Old Torrance, from noon until 10:00 PM. Tortilla Cantina is located at 1225 El Prado, in Torrance. Parking is always free in Torrance and there is a large parking structure just south of Tortilla Cantina. Continue reading
These tap takeovers have been a great success since the first one in 2015; over 400 people attended the inaugural event. Only due to a temporary change in management at the original venue, Flights Beer Bar, was I forced to find somewhere else in the South Bay that could accommodate the amount of beer I wanted to bring in; Tortilla Cantina fit the bill nicely as they actually had more taps than Flights. Icing on the cake was that owner Rick Gomez already had a positive relationship with all the local breweries.
The transition was smooth enough that we even survived the Great 2020 Pandemic, even if the second or third lockdown was scheduled to begin the day after the 6th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. At least this year we do not have to worry about another lockdown disrupting the event as there is no way Newsom will do that right before the election, so we are a definite go. Continue reading
2020 started off mellow enough; little did we know what was in store for us. The highlight of the month, and possibly the year for some, was the Hop Culture Juicy Brews Beach Party Craft Beer Festival held at Brouwerij West. It was a very fun event featuring craft beer from more than 25 of the top breweries in the country.
The month ended with a going away party for Smog City’s taproom manager Jason “Breezy” Briseño as he and his bride prepared to move to Australia; I think COVID put a temporary damper on those plans. Continue reading
These photos were taken Wednesday at Tortilla Cantina, where they hosted the 6th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. This annual event took a little more to accomplish this year, but Tortilla Cantina, our local breweries, and hundreds of their fans made this possible “last hurrah” of 2020 a great success.
My first tap takeover was held on the first Thursday of September in 2015, and as the craft beer scene around here grew, there started to be overlaps when it came to craft beer festival dates and brewery anniversaries, and everyone started changing dates of their events to avoid conflicts. The fact of the matter is that there was just too much going on out there, so I set it in stone that all subsequent South Bay Tap Takeovers would be held on the first Thursday of September; that worked out okay until COVID-19 struck and the State of California and the County of Los Angeles decided restaurants, breweries, and bars had to discontinue in-person dining. Continue reading
While four breweries that were in attendance last year have since closed up (Abigaile, State, Ximix, and Zymurgy), this year we have 21 South Bay breweries that have confirmed attendance this year, seven of which did not exist during last year’s tap takeover. Continue reading
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
As the year comes to an end it is time for me to sit down with a beer and try to figure out what I did that made this year go by so quickly. To be honest, I feel like I have really slowed down on my coverage of the local craft beer scene, but the growth has been so rapid that I cannot keep up. Heck, there were two new breweries getting ready to open in El Segundo that I did not know about until three months before they opened! Oh well, I will continue to do what I can; if I don’t visit a particular brewery as much as I used to it is probably because there are so many breweries around here now. In fact, while my personal craft beer life may have slowed, the growth over the past year is kind of mind blowing. Let’s see what happened in 2019.
In my review of 2018 I had mentioned there were two new local breweries that I still had not visited, one of those was Tortugo Brewing. I started off 2019 by remedying that. If you have not been, it is a nice location and they have some good brews; you should check them out. Continue reading
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