The Craft Beer Guy Recap of 2022

Well, it is that time of year again, when I try to recollect everything that happened in the craft beer world this year that I participated in. This is typically the most difficult article of the year for me to write because I go into it thinking, “What the hell did I do this year anyway?”

I know I went on my annual craft beer tour, I know I was able to put on the 8th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover, and I know there was at least one brewery closure in the South Bay. I used to end these recaps by predicting what I expect to happen in the following year, but the last two years have been really tough to predict. Unfortunately, there is a lot slated for 2023 that is not exactly positive, but I don’t make the news, I only report it. So, let’s look back at 2022, because I am sure I must have done something more that what I have already mentioned.


If you have visited HopSaint Brewing Company this year, you most likely noticed the new artwork that graces the west wall of Sports Harbour. For the first few years that HopSaint has been open, their customers had to deal with the glare cast off the west white wall of Sports Harbour when the sun began to set.

In January they commissioned French artist Nicolas Thollot-Arsac, also known as bottl3man on Instagram, to create a mural of inspirational cultural icons; he did an amazing job. If you get up close to the mural you will see that he created the mural using the mouth of beer bottles. It is really very cool if you go to check it out.

For those of you that need a little help on who is portrayed on the Celebration of Inspirational Icons mural, from left to right, they are Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Aretha Franklin, Kobe Bryant, Ray Charles, Lady Gaga, Bob Marley, and Amy Winehouse.


After a very slow February, March started off with the Brouwerij West 6th Anniversary, and ended with the inaugural/first annual Craft Beer LB Homebrew Invitational, which was held at the Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site in Long Beach.

As usual, Craft Beer LB put on another fine event. It has recently been announced that the 2nd Annual Craft Beer LB Homebrew Invitational will be on Saturday, March 18. Tickets will go on sale January 2, 2023. These guys usually sell out every event they put on, so do not delay if you want to attend the next one.


April was the busiest month of the year, so far, beginning with the 4th Anniversary of Common Space. The celebration included live music, food trucks, live art painting, a couple DJs, and the release of four new beers.

The following week found me at King Harbor Brewing Company where I held another COVID Can Exchange, this time as a farewell to King Harbor’s own beertender/quiz master extraordinaire, Izzy. I have been putting on these can exchanges pretty much since the COVID lockdown started in 2020, but this had the largest turnout to date, with 23 participants, providing 45 brews to choose from. Just a note: I do not typically advertise these events on my website (gotta keep the numbers manageable) so if you are interested in attending one of these fun events, please follow the Craft Beer Guy Facebook page to be kept in the loop.

April continued with a going away party for Smog City beertender Kristie Bjorklund, who moved to Central California to take a job with Firestone Walker.

The next day I was back at Smog City where they celebrated the Smog City 11th Anniversary. The event featured food trucks, live music, a dunk tank for charity, a mini market, games, and 25 taps of delicious Smog City beer.

The month drew to a close when I took a drive out to Bell to visit my friend, Robert Sanchez, who is the brewer at Border X Brewing. Border X Brewing is a Chicano and woman owned brewery with two locations; the Bell location I visited and their original location in San Diego. The San Diego location had a 5-bbl brewhouse, with the Bell location housing an expanded 10-bbl brewhouse which now produces beer for both locations. The Bell location is massive and they have already made big moves since my first visit there.

The next day I closed out the month by attending the 1/2 Way to Halloween Hootenanny craft beer festival, which was presented by LB Obscura, an event production company created by LB Craft Beer and Festival Obscura.

The event was a fundraiser, with a portion of the proceeds going to support the Museum of Latin American Art. It was also kind of a going away party for Martin Svab and Ryan Hughes who moved to Kentucky shortly after the event ended.


May was a pretty active month around here, with several events to keep us busy. There was the El Segundo Brewing 11th Anniversary, followed by the 12th Annual IPA Festival at Naja’s Place, and ending with the return of the South Bay Beer & Wine Festival after a two year hiatus due to the COVID pandemic. It was another great event that will hopefully continue in 2023.

South Bay Beer & Wine Festival


June was another of those slow months for me, but I did attend a celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee at Yorkshire Square.

I guess it was no great surprise that that might be Queen Elizabeth’s last hurrah, but most of us did not realize that this might also be Yorkshire Square’s last hurrah as well.


July had a couple events around here that I attended, with the highlights being my birthday (no photos), as well as a birthday party for Claudia at King Harbor Brewing.

I also made time to visit 8bit Brewing Company in Murrieta and attend the 8th anniversary celebration at Absolution Brewing Company.


August might be considered a mixed bag of nuts, with a celebration of Far Field Beer Company’s one year anniversary, and the closure of the South Bay’s first blendery, Phantom Carriage. I highly doubt any of us realized that this was just the beginning of what was going to happen to the South Bay’s craft beer scene. It was not going to get any better.


If there are two things you can count on happening in September that are associated with craft beer, they are the South Bay Tap Takeover and the Craft Beer LB Fest, and yes, I was able to attend both.

The 8th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover returned to Tortilla Cantina, in Torrance, on the first Thursday of September. The event, meant to celebrate the South Bay’s vibrant craft beer scene featured 19 breweries from Torrance, Redondo Beach, Inglewood, Torrance, Carson, Lomita, Hawthorne, El Segundo, Gardena, and Lawndale. Sadly, this may be the last time that the event is held at Tortilla Cantina since Rick has moved to Oregon. Suffice it to say, I am working on securing a location for 2023. Additionally, this is how I will find out just how closely you guys read my articles.

South Bay Tap Takeover at Tortilla Cantina

A couple weeks later I headed down to Long Beach for the 6th Annual Craft Beer LB Fest. The sold out event featured brews from 14 breweries and the Long Beach Homebrewers, as well as food from local vendors, live music, and a Kid Zone for the families in attendance. If you have never attended this event in the past, I highly recommend trying to get tickets to this festival that seems to sell out every year. You will not be disappointed.


October found me on the road for my Craft Beer Tour 2022. Unlike my previous craft beer tours, this time I flew to my destination rather than driving.

Railtown Brewing, Dutton, MI

This year I spent a week visiting breweries in Michigan. For over a year, my sister Ruth and I have been planning a fall craft beer tour through the northeast as I have very little experience there and it would be cool to visit breweries and watch the leaves change colors. Unfortunately, my sister happened to be a participant in the Amtrak train derailment in Missouri this past June. She lived, but it was not easy. She did not want to postpone our trip but I knew traveling all over the Northeast would be tough on her so we decided to limit the tour to Michigan breweries.

Our adventure got cut short a bit when I ended up getting deathly (no exaggeration) ill. While I was locked up in Michigan for an extra two weeks, we had to stop seeking breweries after seven days. We did manage to find 13 new (to me) breweries and traveled from Grand Rapids through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We saw some lovely foliage, met some nice people, and drank some great beer; and I didn’t die! All in all, I could have passed on the illness, but we had a fun time.


November was another slow month for me, with the first few days spent catching up with my writing about my Michigan trip; however, when that was done I did manage to make it over to El Segundo to attend the three year anniversary parties for both Upshift Brewing Company and Surfridge Brewing Company.

Both of these breweries suffered the same bad luck of opening just prior to COVID and the associated lockdowns, but they both survived, so congratulations to the two of them on that accomplishment.

I also headed out to Fallbrook to visit with one of my kids and his family and took the time to stop by the Booze Brothers satellite tasting room. It is a pleasant location, but you had better hope there is nice weather when you visit there.


While I already suggested that August might be considered a mixed bag of nuts, it really had nothing on December. As such, let’s start with the good stuff. I should probably mention that it is December 27 as I write this, and things are still changing. One might say that the craft beer scene has become quite fluid lately; pun intended.

On December 1, Yorkshire Square officially changed ownership, with Gary Croft selling it to their current brewer, Michael Copley and Project Barley. I will talk more about what this means when I write about what to expect in 2023. If you would like to say good-bye to Gary, he will be at Yorkshire Square on New Year’s Eve from around 2:00 to 4:00.

It wasn’t long after that that rumors about the imminent closure of King Harbor Brewing Company started circulating. It turned out those rumors were not just rumors when it was announced that their head brewer, John Garcia had resigned; things just started snowballing. All three King Harbor Brewing locations will officially close on December 31, so if you want to say farewell, you have until Saturday.

December wasn’t all bad though, as evidenced by the Christmas Parade after-party at El Segundo Brewing, which included the return of Bernie Wire, the second annual Ugly Sweater Party at Absolution Brewing, and the Holiday Sweaters Against Humanity Party at Naja’s Place.

What to Expect in 2023

Hermosa Brewing Company, Torrance

I should probably preface this section by saying that I hear a lot of rumors and things that are told to me in confidence and while I might seem more insightful if I just talked about everything I have heard, I am confident that people would stop confiding in me if I spilled the beans. Anyway, the following is based on what had been told to me and I have permission to talk about it.

Since I have been talking about the imminent opening of Port Town Brewing since at least 2014, I will refrain from making more predictions, although I should mention I drove by Port Town Brewing a couple weeks ago and they have signage up, so maybe this year?

Sadly, January 1 will signify the first day in eight years that I did not have a brewery within a 10 minute walk of me as King Harbor Brewing is now officially closed. If any of you are interested in taking over the location, I have been authorized to help make that happen. Please feel free to reach out with serious inquiries.

One thing I know for sure is that Hermosa Brewing Company has moved their brewery from El Segundo to Torrance, right between Monkish and Smog City. It is a big step up from the El Segundo location in that they have room to grow the brewing operation and have a very nice tasting room. Hopefully you already saw the photos from their friends and family soft-open; they should be open to the public within the next couple of weeks.

As I mentioned above, Yorkshire Square has been sold, so I approached Brent Reger, co-founder of Project Barley, to find out what the plans are. As Brent put it, “We hated to see them struggle, so we want to keep some of the important parts that make it so special.”

As a result, they will have a throwback to Yorkshire Square, by continuing to do some cask ales as well as some of the English food items; the name will be changed to Project Barley Square, or PB Square. That had yet to be determined when we chatted.

A month or so ago I heard a rumor that HopSaint Brewing Company was moving; if you heard that rumor as well, not exactly.

HopSaint is currently seeking a second location to brew at, with a tasting room. The brewpub is not going anywhere, and nothing has been set in stone, but I can tell you to “look forward to exciting things from HopSaint in 2023.”

I could speculate about a couple more breweries, but since people like to keep things close to the vest, I will hold off for the time bring as there is nothing to be gained and those in the know can probably figure it out anyway.

Personally, my plans for 2023 include attending the California Craft Beer Summit in March, and figuring out where to go for my Craft Beer Tour 2023.

I hope you all have a great year and I hope to see you around. Cheers!

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