Archive for January, 2015

D.I. performing Guns at The Vex in Los Angeles, CA. Filmed on April 18, 2013.

Located just a stone’s throw away from where the 91 and 57 freeways meet in Anaheim, Bottle Logic Brewing has carved out a bold reputation for themselves with their succulent brews and innovative themes. All the staff at Bottle Logic come from experienced backgrounds, and thus could already brew beers to the standard set by many Southern Californian breweries. Bottle Logic aims to brew beers with unique ingredients for curious palates. They like to think outside of the box with their beers, and stray away from conventional, traditional beers. They apply a scientific approach to their brews, made evident by their beaker glasses and other themes around the tasting room. When tasting their beers, keep an open mind with their beers, and search for all the ingredients that go into that particular brew. A beer’s description may sound funky, but tasting it may reveal something you will crave more of. For example, take a look at their Double Actuator IPA. Dry-hopped with Mosaic hops, this bold yet balanced brew contains a floral nose and smooth bitterness, with hints of blueberries, mango, and papaya. Classified as a Double/Imperial IPA, this does not come off as super bitter – it goes down well, and goes well with any food or snack, especially if it has sharp or strong flavors like spicy or savory foods. You can find Double Actuator in 22oz bombers at your local craft beer shop throughout Southern California.

When you consider the people behind a beer fest, what type of people come to mind? Do you picture tough men drinking nonstop? Do you envision Irishmen drinking all day at the pub? Perhaps you think of Germans celebrating Oktoberfest. Contrary to what many believe, certain nationalities do not need a holiday or occasion to drink. Who said the Irish clamor over St. Patrick’s Day? Who believes Germans only drink prior to Oktoberfest? Each nation delivers more than the stereotypical beer that people know them for. Take the Germans for example – what else do they drink other than Oktoberfest beers? Have you heard of Bocks? This winter equivalent of the Oktoberfest brew deserves more attention than they currently do not receive. Luckily, Southern California holds an annual beer fest celebrating the wonderful world of Bock beers, and holding true to its location, Bock Fest brings more than just the beer – it also brings more booze including lots of spirits.

Taking place at its new location of the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, the 2015 Bock Fest holds true to its roots as the beer fest that celebrates the lesser-known of German beers. Similar in style to Oktoberfest brews, Bocks appear darker and taste bolder, but can range from the paleness of a pilsner to the darkness of a stout. Although this fest focuses on Bocks and other German beers, many other microbreweries served their amazing craft beers as well. Popular breweries such as Figueroa Mountain, Fireman’s Brew, Spaten, and Lagunitas made an appearance, while rotating live music, food vendors, wines & spirits, cigar rolling, and more kept all guests occupied as they guzzled their brews.

Missed Bock Fest? Want to go to another beer fest just like it? I heard they plan to host a St. Patrick’s Fest. I currently have no details about such a fest, but perhaps I shall soon. For the latest in beer fests in Southern California, follow my blog for my weekly events post!

Downtown Pomona has really turned into a popular place for young adults in the past few years. Many stores now appear more alternative, almost giving off a hipster vibe without feeling so pretentious. Traditional restaurants and bars aplenty, new restaurants have slowly moved in over the past few years, such as The Rookery right there on the corner. This gastropub that opened two years ago celebrated their 2nd anniversary with a beer festival this past Saturday afternoon.At this celebration, guests paid $40 to enjoy up to five hours of unlimited beer tastings (while supplies lasted), plus the souvenir snifter glass to take home. The folks at The Rookery hold nothing back when it comes to their craft beer selection. They utilize a rotating taps system, changing up their beers whenever a keg blows to keep things fresh and spontaneous. The Rookery kept things fresh here by tapping mostly strong beers, both from the guest breweries and on tap in the restaurant. Of the visiting breweries, maybe only three of them brought a beer under 9% abv.

On a day with multiple beer festivals going on in Southern California, craft beer fans had a tough choice deciding how to enjoy their beers on this lovely California day. The Rookery has a rock-solid core of fans that devoted themselves to celebrating with their favorite local gastropub. This beer festival had just the right amount of visitors so that no person had to wait in a line for beer, and a great selection that allowed anyone to drink what they prefer. Everyone who attended The Rookery’s 2nd Anniversary Beer Fest will agree – they had a fantastic time hanging out at The Rookery.

Craft beer fans will want to visit The Rookery often to check what new beers they have on tap. Also consider visiting at night every third Wednesday of each month, when The Rookery hosts their monthly Bottle Share event. Not only does The Rookery have a great location on the corner of the main intersection of Downtown Pomona, but guests can find free parking just a block away (the lot adjacent to The Rookery costs a minimal fee). For a great space, The Rookery has great potential to turn into a thriving business, which may include a larger menu, more beer taps, and more beer events, especially tap takeovers.

Newport Beach Restaurant Week
January 19 – February 1
Participating restaurants in Newport Beach

This 14-day period of restaurant specials takes place at participating restaurants in Newport Beach. Many restaurants will serve special prix-fixe three-course meals ranging from as low as $10 to as high as $40, or more for a few select locations.

Los Angeles Restaurant Week
January 19 – February 1
Various locations

This dining event showcases the best in food Los Angeles has to offer. All participating restaurants will feature prix-fixe menus for locals and visitors alike. Lunches range from $15-25, while dinners range from $25-45.

Long Beach Coin, Stamp, & Sports Collectible Expo
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, January 29-31
Long Beach Convention Center, Downtown Long Beach

This show brings tens of thousands of collectors worldwide to share, buy, sell, and trade their collectibles. Complete with seminars, workshops, press conferences, vendor booths, auctions, and more, this all-ages expo will delight anyone interested in collecting valuable goods. Admission costs $8, with discounts available for seniors and children. Parking at the convention center costs $10.

Stone Brewing Tap Takeover @ Alpine Village
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 30
Alpine Village, Torrance

Check out Stone Brewing’s Green Tea IPA and more of their brews at Alpine Village this Friday night.

Ska Vs. Punk
6:00 pm – 2:00 am, January 30
Elks Lodge, San Bernardino

Enjoy an all-ages ska and punk show this Friday night in San Bernardino for just $5.

Meet The Brewer: Double Mountain Brewery
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, January 30
38 Degrees Ale House, Alhambra

Visit 38 Degrees in Alhambra this Friday night to drink some brews and meet the brewer from this Oregon brewery.

The Bombpops: Record Release Show
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 30
The Redwood Bar, Los Angeles

The Bombpops have just released a new 7″ record, and they will celebrate the release of it with this show in Downtown LA this Friday night. The cover for this show costs $8. No one under 21 may attend.

Alex’s Bar 15th Anniversary Party
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, January 30
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, January 31
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach

Alex’s Bar in Long Beach celebrates their 15th anniversary this week with some mixed back-to-back shows, featuring bands such as Rocket From The Crypt and more between Friday and Saturday nights. Tickets to either night costs $28 presale or $30 at the door. No one under 21 may attend.

Discover The Dinosaurs – Long Beach
9:00 am – 9:00 pm, January 31
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, February 1
Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim

Bring your friends and family to this dinosaur exhibit at the Anaheim Convention Center this weekend. Check out all the dinosaur exhibits or participate in arts & crafts, while children can play in the inflatables section. Admission ranges from $18 to $25 – see the website for pricing details.

Asian Pacific Lunar New Year Festival 2015
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, January 31
Downtown Riverside

Celebrate the upcoming Lunar New Year with this FREE family-friendly festival this Saturday in Riverside. Visitors can expect to find arts & crafts, live entertainment, demos, galleries, food, and more.

5th Annual Lunar New Year Festival
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, January 31
Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena

Celebrate the upcoming Lunar New Year at this family-friendly festival this Saturday in Pasadena. Visitors can expect to find arts & crafts, live entertainment, demos, galleries, food, and more. Admission to the museum costs $10, while children 11 and under can enter for free with a paid adult’s admission.

Bottle Share #18
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, January 31
38 Degrees Ale House, Alhambra

Brew your own beer? Got an interesting craft beer to share? Bring it to 38 Degrees’ monthly bottle share event, taking place this Saturday afternoon, and discover other great beers too. Free to attend, guests should bring approximately 40-50 ounce’s worth of beer. The restaurant has its own free parking lot.

X-Members @ Fuzion Huntington Beach
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 31
Fuzion, Huntington Beach

Rock out to some great local bands this Saturday night in Huntington Beach. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $15.

Darlington and The Maxies – FREE Show
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 31
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim

Check out this FREE punk show at the Doll Hut in Anaheim this Saturday night. No one under 21 may enter.

Asian Lunar New Year Family Festival
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, February 1
Bowers Museum, Santa Ana

Celebrate the upcoming Lunar New Year with this FREE family-friendly festival this Sunday in Santa Ana. Visitors can expect to find arts & crafts, live entertainment, demos, galleries, food, and more.

As time moves forward, the demand for craft beer continues to increase exponentially. Many of the big beer companies have attempted to appeal to the craft audience, but fortunately the people see through the lies. After all, Budweiser’s Platinum and Black Crown still tastes like fizzy cardboard. Unfortunately, the masses still order their beloved brands like Heineken, Corona, or Stella simply because they have heard of it and know what to expect. They play it safe, unwilling to take the bold step by trying something new. This explains why massive events such as the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA have big brand logos everywhere, such as Heineken banners plastered everywhere. For those planning to attend Coachella, I would like you to know that you do have a choice with your beer this time, since microbreweries now have a presence in the Coachella Valley. Granted, only two standalone breweries exist as of the date of this post (will explain below), both breweries will ensure that you will enjoy not only your Coachella experience, but also your local drinking experience.

Bearing the namesake of its regional location, perhaps most Southern California craft beer fans have heard of the Coachella Valley Brewing Company (CVB). CVB has already made their presence felt not only at beer festivals throughout California (including a few central and northern), but at select supermarkets and grocery stores, such as Fresh & Easy. Having opened their doors to the public almost a year and a half ago, CVB wasted little time in getting their name out to the local craft beer market. Even I cannot recall when I first discovered CVB, as I probably did so not too long after they opened. I do recall that they have a nice, cozy tasting room located on the other side of the freeway from the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, making CVB easily accessible to anyone in the area. CVB has over a dozen taps running at a time, more than what they list on the big board above the counter. Always pay attention to the small boards below the big one, as CVB sometimes has rare beers, beers that they only brewed one batch of, or promo/discounted beers on.

Located a few miles closer than CVB to the Empire Polo Club, the La Quinta Brewing Company tends to focus more on delivering quality brews to the locals of the Coachella Valley. La Quinta opened not too long after CVB did, but unlike CVB, La Quinta has yet to reach craft beer fans outside of the Coachella Valley. I happened to discover La Quinta only after traveling to CVB and doing a search on my phone. La Quinta has their own vehicle/van with draft taps installed onto it, allowing them greater freedom to attend beer festivals or private catering events to pour beer. With all that they have going for them, I believe that the rest of Southern California may soon start to see more of La Quinta.

If you ever find yourself out here in the Palm Springs/Coachella area, you owe it to yourself to visit both of these breweries during your trip. If you plan on staying in the Coachella Valley during the weekend of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, I highly suggest obtaining growlers from both breweries to enjoy not only with yourself, but with your friends/family that accompanied you to the show. Search-engine websites may reveal two other breweries in the area, but both of those count as a brewpub (Back Street and Babe’s Bar-B-Que).

This Sunday, the 2015 Bock Fest returns to Southern California at its new location of the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. A unique beer fest of its kind, this winter fest celebrates the tasty brews of wintertime in a premiere setting. Primarily brewed in cold seasons, bocks originate in Germany, where they love to brew beer full of flavor and alcohol while minimizing the alcoholic taste. These strong lagers appear darker than most beers, ranging from pale yellow like a pilsner to dark brown like a brown ale. Although this fest focuses on bocks and other German beers, many other microbrews will serve their amazing craft beers as well, such as Lagunitas, Fireman’s Brew, Weihenstephan, Affligem, and more. Local food businesses, such as Pink’s Hot Dogs, will serve food to those wanting to eat between or during beers.

For $45 admission, attendees receive three hours of UNLIMITED beer pours starting at 2pm, plus a souvenir glass to take home. Upgrading to the $85 VIP admission allows entry an hour earlier for more entertainment and drinks. Street parking meters do not go into effect on Sundays, so commuters can possibly find free parking on the streets around the venue; otherwise, the venue has a paid private parking garage. Absolutely no person under the age of 21 may attend, and do not forget to bring a valid ID!