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 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 afternoon at Select Beer Store in Redondo Beach, where they held their 5th Annual Brewer’s Chili Cook-off. The annual event has been a fundraiser for the last few years; this year the beneficiary was Providence TrinityCare Hospice. I am not sure if they choose different beneficiaries every year or not.
This year, there were nine participating breweries; Bottle Logic, Yorkshire Square, Cellador Ales, Three Weavers, Riip Beer, Burnin’ Daylight, L.A. Ale Works, King Harbor Brewing, and Firestone Walker’s Propagator.
I am not really sure that I have attended any of the prior events, so I know nothing about the prior competitions other than what I overheard and my understanding is that in previous competitions all the chilies were somewhat similar. This year each chili was quite different from the others. 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
The first time I put on this event, in 2015, it consisted of 40 taps from 10 of the South Bay’s best craft breweries. This year we have 19 breweries currently confirmed as attending; the number of taps we will have has yet to be determined, but Tortilla Cantina’s owner Rick Gomez informed me that he has the ability to provide up to 50 taps, so we shall see.
The breweries scheduled to attend, in alphabetical order, are Absolution Brewing, Brouwerij West, Common Space, El Segundo Brewing, Hermosa Brewing Company, HopSaint, King Harbor Brewing, LA Ale Works, Phantom Carriage, Scholb, Smog City, State Brewing, Strand Brewing, The Dudes’, The Honest Abe Cidery, Three Weavers, Ximix, Yorkshire Square, and Zymurgy Brew Works. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday evening at Lomita Alehouse, where they celebrated their second anniversary by holding Lomita’s first ever craft beer festival. The event featured beer and cider from about a dozen craft breweries and one cidery. Oaxaca on Wheels made food available, and live music was provided by Prime Livity. A portion of the proceeds from the event went to the Keep a Breast Foundation.
Participating breweries included long time local favorites like El Segundo Brewing, Smog City, King Harbor Brewing, Three Weavers, and The Dudes’, as well as the new guys on the block like Zymurgy, Yorkshire Square, and Ximix Craft Exploration. They even had a tap from Inglewood’s newest craft brewery, Tortugo Brewing Company. 101 Cider House, Hangar 24, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, and Karl Strauss were also in attendance. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Yorkshire Square Brewery in Torrance, where the brewery specializing in cask-conditioned ales celebrated their first year of being open for business. The event featured about 20 brews available on cask and/or draft, several beer cocktails, and English Morris dancing by the Rising Phoenix Morris dancers; food was available from the BatterFish food truck. Yorkshire Square also used the celebration as an opportunity to release two new beers; At Last the 1948 Mild, and Double Doors, a punched-up, double-mashed reinterpretation of their Early Doors, which they bottled.
This past year has been a pretty good one for Yorkshire Square. In November they became the second brewery in California to receive the Cask Marque’s certificate of excellence award. Cask Marque is an accrediting program that sets cask ale standards for 10,000 pubs and breweries worldwide via unannounced, twice a year inspections. There are only 17 breweries in the entire country that currently have this award.
Just last week BeerAdvocate named Yorkshire Square Brewing as one of the top 50 new breweries in the U.S. and Canada for 2017. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Yorkshire Square Brewery in Torrance where they celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by holding their first annual N’owt but Stout Festival. The N’owt (Nothing) but Stout festival featured nothing but dark beers, like stouts, porters and dunkels from 15 breweries selected by Yorkshire Square’s head brewer, Andy Black. They also had their Early Doors Pub Bitter available because a couple of Yorkshire’s regular customers wanted to come, but did not like stouts. The Early Doors made for a great palate cleanser after drinking something like Mikkeller’s Black Tide.
Besides Yorkshire Square, the other participating breweries were Beachwood Brewing, Stereo Brewing, Verdugo West Brewing, Craftsman Brewing, Eagle Rock Brewery, Karl Strauss, Green Cheek Beer Company, State Brewing, King Harbor Brewing, Firestone Walker’s Propagator, Inland Wharf Brewing, Mikkeller Brewing, Smog City Brewing and El Segundo Brewing Company. Food was available from either Vic’s Smokin’ BBQ, or BatterFish. Continue reading