On Friday afternoon the San Fernando Valley officially became a craft beer destination when San Fernando Brewing Company held their grand opening, making them the third craft brewery in the San Fernando Valley (SFV) with a tasting room. The accompanying photos are from their ribbon cutting which was attended by friends, family, various representatives of the City of San Fernando including the mayor and chief of police as well as lots of craft beer fans.
San Fernando Brewing Company is definitely a family operation with brothers Vic (the brewer) and Joe Chouchanian heading up things but you could tell that there were lots of family members involved, including mom. The tasting room was quite welcoming, not only in its clean appearance and setup, but they are one of the only brewery tasting rooms I can remember visiting that actually has air conditioning. Considering it was well over 100 yesterday, and even hotter the day before when one of the A/C units failed and had to be replaced.
San Fernando Brewing has had a soft open for the past six weeks, but used their grand opening to release the latest of their five brews, Sonora Wheat, which was definitely a crowd favorite while I was there and was probably my favorite as well. Sonora wheat was used in this beer because it used to be one of the natural crops in the San Fernando Valley. The other four included their Wolfskill IPA, O’Melveny Red Ale, Royal Road Pale Ale and Stoney Point Stout. One advantage San Fernando Brewing has that is rather unusual is that the city of San Fernando gets their water from a well; this water really brings out the flavor in the Stoney Point Stout. Continue reading
A frequent question that is asked with the proliferation of craft breweries in the Los Angeles area is, “Are there too many breweries now”? Well, as a consumer I am not sure that there will ever be too many, even if visiting my favorites is becoming a little more difficult due to the “so many beers, so little time” aspect. One thing that prevents there being “too many” is when breweries start producing beers that are different than what everyone else in the area is doing; MacLeod Ale Brewing Company would be one of those that are doing things a little differently with all their brews being cask-conditioned and serving them at the traditional cellar temperature of 54°.
I had only visited MacLeod once before back in June, but they were not officially open yet and only had one ale on tap. MacLeod Ale Brewing Company was recently named Best Local Brewery by LA Hot List voters which has brought them additional exposure including being noticed by Timeout.com. Last night I saw the MacLeod Ale needed some photos taken for the Time Out article so I decided I would lend a helping hand and use the opportunity to see how much has changed in the last four months.
The most obvious difference was that not only did they have customers in their tasting room; they are now offering six different taps to chose from. Last night they had two versions of their Session Gap ordinary bitter, The Little Spree Yorkshire Pale Ale, The King’s Taxes 60/- and two versions of Jackie Tar Brown Stout. If you have ever visited a pub in London you will definitely recognize the taste and style as being authentic. Continue reading
On Sunday afternoon the L.A. Beer Bloggers held their LA Beer Bloggers Summit No. 11 with tours of two of L.A.’s newest production craft breweries; Pac City Brewery in Pacoima and MacLeod Ale Brewing Company in Van Nuys.
Pac City Brewery had their ribbon cutting was held at the end of April and since then they have been brewing up a storm, including the first beer ever named after me; Lloyd’s Hazel Nuts. While the beer was only a few days old it was pretty tasty, especially if you enjoy hazelnuts. I look forward to trying it again in a couple of weeks.
Because of the type of license Pac City Brewery has they cannot sell their brews at their tasting room, but they can give it away if having a function that is a fundraiser for a 501(C)(3) organization. So, while they work on getting the word out that Pacoima now has a craft brewery they have been displaying their beers by holding fundraisers such as their Beer Nights with Pac City which is being held Saturday, June 21 from 6:30-9:00. The $40 entry fee gets you full pint pours of whichever beer you desire, good music and Pac City tri-tip chili. A major portion of the monies raised will go to the LAPD Baker to Vegas running team. I sponsored Riverside Sheriffs a few years ago and went to photograph it; these guys are madmen. If you are interested, you can purchase tickets through Eventbrite. Pac City Brewery is located at 12780 Pierce Street in Pacoima. Continue reading