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
If you have attended any of the previous four tap takeovers, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect; if you have never been I can summarize with at least 25 South Bay breweries/cideries pouring from 50 taps.
When I started this in 2015, we had 10 South Bay breweries with 40 taps; in 2016 there were 15, and in 2017 we had 18 South Bay breweries with 40 taps. In 2018 there was a change of management at the original venue (Flights), and they decided they wanted to do their own thing. I wished them luck, and then approached Rick Gomez of Tortilla Cantina to see if they would be interested in hosting the 4th annual tap takeover. I approached Rick for three reasons; I knew he was a big supporter of the local craft beer scene, every South Bay brewery owner I spoke with knew and really liked Rick, and I knew he had 48 taps. I do not think Rick really knew what he was in for, but he went all-in and the 4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover ended up featuring 22 local breweries participating, and with the help of a jockey box, 49 taps of craft beer! Continue reading
These photos were taken Friday morning at Smog City Brewing, where brewers and owners of 21 of the South Bay’s breweries and cideries met to brew an anniversary beer to commemorate the 5th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover which will be held Thursday, September 5 at Tortilla Cantina in Old Torrance.
A couple months ago I got the idea that since this was the 5th anniversary of the South Bay Tap Takeover that perhaps participating breweries might want to each do an anniversary collaboration with CraftBeerGuy.com. I had spoken with a couple breweries that hinted they might be interested when I went to State Brewing and their head brewer Rob Scott and he suggested that perhaps we could do a collaboration that included all the participating breweries. I immediately knew this would be a much better option so I started thinking about which local brewery would be big enough and central to everyone. To me, the logical choice was Smog City Brewing, so I approached Porter about it; he readily accepted. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Yorkshire Square Brewery in Torrance, where the South Bay’s only brewery specializing in cask-conditioned ales celebrated their second anniversary. The day-long, free to attend event featured an LA Galaxy vs. NY Red Bulls watch party, followed by another match after that ended, a bottle release, a free drawing that coincided with the Kentucky Derby, two food trucks, an artist selling his wares, and lots of Yorkshire Square ales.
Saturday had lots of competing events, such as the BeachLife Festival and the Southern California Homebrewers Festival, which probably accounted for why Yorkshire Square did not opt for another parking lot event, which means extra permit fees. Nonetheless, it was a nicely attended event and everyone seemed to have a good time.
Yorkshire had about 15 of their ales on cask, including their anniversary beer, Burton Pilgrimage, an Export Pale Ale that was done in collaboration with El Segundo Brewing Company. They also had a couple beer cocktails for those that are into that sort of thing. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Yorkshire Square Brewery in Torrance, where they held their 2nd Annual Now’t but Stout Festival, a fundraiser benefiting the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild, featuring dark beers from more than 25 Los Angeles area breweries, and a couple from San Diego.
N’owt but Stout may have been a little misleading as there were many Porters, a Black IPA, a Scottish Ale, and a Pub Bitter available as well; but to be honest, after a few stouts you have of need something to mix it up with. Beachwood’s Hoppa Emeritus Black IPA and Cellador’s Vacant Lot barrel-aged sour took care of that for me.
In addition to the numerous beer choices, the event featured the Slater’s 50/50 and Cena Vegan food trucks, live music from Vagrant Nation, and cornhole. Attendees were also given the opportunity to vote for the Peasant’s Choice Award for the Most Adequate Ale. Continue reading
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