Posts Tagged ‘Anniversary’

The craft beer scene in the South Bay area of Los Angeles County has surged quite a bit in the past few months, and the scene will continue to experience rapid growth for an indefinite amount of time. This trend saw another spike this past Saturday when Absolution Brewing Company celebrated their second anniversary. Located across the ExxonMobil Refinery from the Torrance microbrewery core (which consists of Smog City Brewing and Monkish Brewing), Absolution Brewing represents another fine member of the South Bay craft beer collective. While they may not yet appear as widespread as Smog City or Monkish, the brews of Absolution live up to the expectations of any brewery from the South Bay.

At their second anniversary celebration, guests could still enter the tasting room and order beers right off the menu. To add to the celebration, Absolution employed a handful of additions, which included cask ales, games, mobile food vendors, and live music. Guests could still purchase beers as normal at the counter, but to those looking for a festival experience, Absolution offered just that in the form of beer packages. A general package cost $25 and came with three full beer pours and one meal ticket from the food vendors. A VIP package cost $45 and included an anniversary t-shirt, unlimited beer pours from 12pm to 1pm, and then four beer pours after 1pm.

Expect lots of hype and excitement from the South Bay in the upcoming weeks. This upcoming Saturday, Phantom Carriage in Carson will celebrate their first anniversary. Next weekend, both the San Pedro Beer Festival and FirkFest will take place, providing two different options for sampling a vast amount of craft beer. While the San Pedro festival will primarily focus on showcasing the local microbreweries, Firk Fest will showcase the creativity of microbreweries. Take your pick: learn more about local breweries, or taste how creative the brewers can get?

Since the dawn of mankind, all of nature has existed on a “survival of the fittest” modus operandi, A.K.A. the food chain. Stronger creatures prey on weaker creatures, and this ladder goes all the way up to the top to the creatures known as apex predators. Apex predators thrive on the meat of lesser creatures for sustenance, showing no signs of remorse for the prey for the sake of survival. For this reason, I wonder why humans opt to go vegetarian or vegan, as our ancestors surely had to eat meat to survive. I will never understand people’s need for alternative meats or proteins, as meat simply tastes too good. For example, people go nuts for bacon, despite its small stature. Eating meat exists within our natural instincts, so we should embrace it as much as Meat Up BBQ does.

A local institution, Meat Up BBQ delivers top-notch barbecue with their own unique spin and a slew of craft beers on tap. Based out of Placentia, this barbecue restaurant resulted as a joint force between two premier Orange County gourmet food trucks. These two forces combined last year to launch this epic barbecue restaurant that Orange County locals would rave about. Having had their grand opening a year ago, Meat Up BBQ celebrated their first anniversary last Thursday evening with food and drink specials. On the drinks side, Meat Up BBQ tapped a handful of select sour ales, as well as Bourbon County from 2015. Any customer who ordered any of these sour ales received a commemorative Meat Up BBQ anniversary glass that they could take home. The food side had not changed specifically for this day – Meat Up BBQ constantly refreshes their menu based on the season and market to keep things fresh and exciting. For example, they now have a Crispy Pork Belly entrée that looks like thick-cut bacon, but tastes much more savory without the excess salt that bacon normally comes with.

For the best combination of great meat and quality drinks, look no further than Meat Up BBQ. For those who swear by a vegetarian or vegan diet, yes they do offer items for that. But why would a vegetarian or vegan go to a barbecue restaurant in the first place? Anyways, support this local business by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter, and go enjoy some meat. Anyone will surely find something here to sate their appetite.

The growth of craft beer continues to rise up a steep slope and sees no signs of plateauing any time soon. Like a snowball effect, the popularity of craft beer will not slow down, despite large corporations buying out many of the local microbreweries. Large corporations prefer not to compete with rising microbreweries, so instead simply buy them out altogether. This shows just how much power microbreweries have garnered on their own by sheer force of will and by catering to the local community. Local communities of craft beer fans function best when they congregate close to each other, and many microbreweries tend to open close to each other, such as Torrance, CA and Ballard, WA. Communities of microbreweries have popped up in many places, such as Redlands, CA. The craft beer culture in Redlands has grown substantially over the past few years, and it will continue to grow thanks to heavy hitters such as Ritual Brewing.

Last week, Redlands’ Ritual Brewing turned three years old, and to celebrate, they held a week full of festivities at their tasting room. Since their grand opening three years ago, Ritual Brewing has made a lasting impact on the Southern Californian craft beer market, appearing in countless bars & retail shops, and occupying space in numerous beer festivals. It goes without saying that through determination and hard work, Ritual Brewing has definitely earned their spot as one of the Inland Empire’s breweries to watch out for in the upcoming years. Their immense popularity contributed towards them having a full week of events as opposed to just one thing. Throughout the week, they had small events at the tasting room, such as preview tastings or bottle releases. The week culminated with a beer festival on Saturday afternoon with unlimited beer pours for the duration of the event. All attendees received an anniversary goblet and access to all beers, including all the special tappings such as their barrel-aged beers and the special blends. Unlike standard beer festivals, Ritual Brewing never had any worries about running out of beer – all of the special beers kept pouring the entire time.

Ritual Brewing threw an anniversary party the right way with all that occurred during the anniversary celebration. None of the brews ever ran out, so even when long lines formed, most of the guests could wait for the line to subside before heading up to get a pour. Out of all of the special blends, the Extra Red w/ Tangelo stood out the most – this brew had a pleasant aroma and did not taste too bitter, so it appeals to all palates. I would go so far as to say that they should make a candle out of the tangelo blend. Aside from the great beer, Ritual Brewing also had live music, mobile food vendors, beer ice cream, Jenga, cornhole, a dunk tank, and a high striker game, all of which prevented anyone from ever getting bored.

Looking forward to seeing Ritual Brewing around? Check them out on Facebook and Twitter to see what events they have coming up and what new beers they have brewing up.

Last week on Hollow’s Eve, The Good Beer Company celebrated their 1st anniversary at their tasting room in Downtown Santa Ana. This small brewery has put in a great amount of effort into getting the ball rolling to get their name out as one of the main breweries of Orange County. With one year completed in the industry, the Good Beer Company has ensured that they will remain in the Orange County craft beer scene for a long time. For their anniversary celebration last week, they kept things low-key with the activities in their tasting room. The anniversary simply involved the Good Beer Company releasing a handful of anniversary beers, most of which involved tart beverages. Guests could enjoy the brews right in the tasting room or take bottles to-go. Other than that, the Good Beer Company maintained a steady flow of guests the entire night.

While the Good Beer Company does not have as great a geographical reach as many of the other Orange County breweries, they certainly will not escape the minds of the locals who love craft beer. The Good Beer Company makes appearances at many of the local beer tasting events, so expect to find them sampling their brews there. In the meantime, like their page on Facebook and follow them on Twitter for future updates from this small yet aspiring microbrewery.

Craft beer has boomed substantially in the past few years across the nation, and it has boomed just as much in Orange County. These days, microbreweries pop up everywhere you can think of, but generally in geographical clusters for closer proximity and because some cities do not want breweries at all. In recent years, some areas have seen quite a number of breweries popping up, such as the South Bay, the San Gabriel Valley, and now Huntington Beach. While Huntington Beach has not seen any new breweries pop up since last year, the current breweries stand strong, such as Four Sons Brewing, who just celebrated their first anniversary this past weekend. All day on Saturday, Four Sons celebrated with a handful of rare beers available only for that day and only at their tasting room. In addition, Four Sons sold their anniversary ale in bottle for $25 each. In the past year, Four Sons has established quite a name for themselves with their usage of unique ingredients on their brews, such as coconuts or raspberries. They have gained exposure at recent beer festivals, such as OC Brew Ha Ha or OC Beer Fest, providing them with an ample fan base prior to their opening. Their bold approach of in-your-face beers has people stirring about Four Sons’ brews, and the quality of beers does not appear to go down a decline any time soon.

Craft beer fans should not hesitate to check out Four Sons Brewing at 18421 Gothard Street in Huntington Beach. Four Sons joins the ranks of the few Orange County breweries with a tasting room open seven days a week (Bootlegger’s, The Bruery, and Noble Ale come to mind), so you can visit them at your leisure. Remember to like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter to receive updates on new brews and events when they occur!


Have you ever wanted to see the pinnacle of beer fests outside of Germany? Oktoberfest continues to hold the title of the most popular beer fest in the world, but here in America, many event organizers attempt to host the most grandiose party they can. Even the large event companies may fall short in some events, so sometimes you have to cut out the middleman and get right to the source. Many local breweries hold a special event on their anniversaries, from specials dinners to full-scale beer fests. Every year though, no other brewery blows the others away than Stone Brewery’s Anniversary Celebration.

Stone Brewing Company turns 19 this year, and to celebrate, in typical Stone fashion, they will throw a huge bash full of food, desserts, music, and of course, beer. A regular beer fest may remain in a small confined area with not much room to move about. At the Stone Fest, the website claims to have two areas: an upper and lower. However, once you arrive and inspect the area, you will discover that the fest may contain up to four levels, all with beer and more, and maybe even more levels than that. The lower area has an even lower level, and the upper area has an even higher level. Admission costs $45 and allows access to one of two sessions: 11am-2pm and 3pm-6pm. All guests get free parking and 15 3oz beer tasters from over 60 breweries serving over a hundred different beers.

The main level, upon which guests enter from, contains most of the food and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as the primary seating area, vendors, and a few beer booths:

Immediately up the stairs to the right of the entrance lies the VIP section. VIP admission always sells out fast early in the year, so if you desire to enter the VIP section, make sure you act fast next year for the 20th Anniversary! As for the cigar booth shown below, that usually sets up right outside the VIP section, so all guests can access it.

Turning right from the VIP section and walking through a shaded hall brings guests to the first of the upper level courtyards, complete with dozens of breweries and their booths.

Heading upwards from the aforementioned courtyard lands guests at yet another upper level courtyard with more breweries and potentially more activities, such as a music stage and some food vendors.

Of course, Stone Brewing does more than just make beer. This pony knows more than one trick – they churn out tremendous food too. Not only do they craft world-class gourmet dishes, but they distribute a line of retail food products, most of which contain their beer in it. At the anniversary this weekend, expect to find a variety of yummy foods from Stone’s kitchens, from foods you can enjoy on the spot to items that you can purchase to take home and enjoy later.

Finally, we get to the lower levels. The lower levels do not contain as much as the rest of the event space, but expect to find the one-off and rare beers down here.

Stone’s Anniversary Celebration has so much to do, see, eat, and drink that three hours cannot possibly allow most guests to experience everything. True fans would have purchased the full-day pass, which grants all-access to both sessions, covering a total of seven hours of twice as many beers as the regular session, and access to a rare beer section. Sadly, these tickets have all sold out, and always do every year within days after the announcement of the fest. This fest takes place mostly outdoors with limited shade, so apply sunscreen and dress for warm weather. As a beer fest, remember to bring your I.D. so you can get in, and it goes without saying that no one under 21 may enter.

Start working on your beer tolerances, as you can expect a beer festival every weekend in Southern California now through October!

By now, less than half of today’s active Orange County microbreweries have had their doors open to the public for greater than two years, meaning that the Orange County craft beer scene currently consists of many “beginners” for lack of better words. The Orange County craft beer community treats their local businesses well, such as Cismontane Brewing. Located way out in Rancho Santa Margarita, Cismontane has had a lasting impact on the Orange County craft beer scene with their strong support towards the brewing community. This past weekend, they celebrated their 5th anniversary with three days of activities. On Friday night, Cismontane poured five special firkins (casks) from their tasting room, and released some rare bottles to sell to the public. On Saturday, Cismontane held their beer tasting event, where guests received eight 9oz beers (72oz total!) and an anniversary t-shirt for $35/$40. On Sunday morning, Cismontane held their inaugural bike ride, a tradition of theirs since the start, considering their location in the hills lends well to long-distance bike rides. Those who attended the tasting event on Saturday got treated to a LOT of beer. Luckily, the tasting event lasted a good six hours, providing plenty of time to get sudsy. During that time, Cismontane co-founders Evan and Ross sampled some of their rarer treats, including a shot of bourbon. As if we already got enough beer from the tasting, here comes liquor.

Look forward to great things from Cismontane, as they show no signs of faltering. Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter for updates on what to expect from their camp.

San Diego County has no shortage of microbreweries, and as a result, beer events occur almost every weekend. One particular event occurred at Saint Archer Brewery in the Miramar neighborhood of San Diego County. This past weekend, they celebrated their second anniversary at their tasting room. In just those two years, Saint Archer has ramped up a huge following (compared to a handful of breweries that still keep to their own location) and their anniversary celebration showed the fruits of their efforts. At this all-day celebration, Saint Archer released special beers on tap and cask, along with an ongoing raffle throughout the day, brewery tours, food trucks, and more activities. Although anyone could have simply entered the tasting room and ordered a beer or two as per regular business hours, Saint Archer had sold tasting packages that consisted of a souvenir glass, beer tastings, a raffle ticket, and brewery stickers. Other anniversary goodies existed for purchase too, such as t-shirts, bottle openers, tote bags, and more.

In the end, I settled to enjoy just one nice cold pint of one of their special brews. For one of the newer breweries, Saint Archer has quickly established themselves as one of the young ones who carries a big stick. Stick around to see what Saint Archer has in store for the craft beer community by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter. With plenty of beer events coming in the next few months, expect that Saint Archer will make their presence felt there.

Prior to last year, Huntington Beach never truly had a standalone microbrewery. In downtown, they have Huntington Beach Beer Company, but they qualify more as a brewpub, and they do not widely distribute their beers. Huntington Beach also has Brewbakers, but they function more as a homebrew store than an actual brewery. Last year, Huntington Beach welcomed two new additions to the Orange County craft beer family, starting with Beach City Brewery. Located in an industrial block off the intersection of Beach Blvd and Slater Ave, this microbrewery has gained massive ground in the Southern California craft beer market. In the past year, Beach City has visited nearly every restaurant and bar in Orange County that serves craft beer, and they have already gotten into retail with their bottles and cans. With this much momentum, Beach City shows no signs of wavering any time soon.

For their anniversary celebration this past weekend, Beach City held nothing back for guests to fully enjoy the experience. They released special beers each day from Friday through Sunday, had food trucks over at all times, and had live music and outdoor games. On Saturday evening, they even shared a birthday cake with all the guests. With the way they spaced things, it never truly felt crowded.

From this point, Beach City Brewery can only go up. Expect to see greater things coming from the Beach City Brewery camp in the coming years. Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter for the latest news on what will come up.

When thinking about the originals of the South Bay beer scene, Smog City Brewing Company usually comes to mind. Having just celebrated an anniversary this past weekend, Smog City has a concrete plan about how to operate a brewery, and they do such a great job at it. People all over Southern California feel Smog City’s presence, from beer festivals to restaurants to bottle shops and more. Aptly named for their proximity to the Exxon Mobil Refinery, Smog City’s location essentially marks them as a hub for most of the South Bay breweries. Most people who conduct a South Bay brewery tour tend to start at Smog City as a result, not to mention the generous business hours of the tasting room. With a large portfolio of beers available at any given time, visitors to the tasting room will always find something new to try, and something new to take home.

Smog City’s popularity precedes them, and their anniversary event proved just that. Wall to wall full of people, it appeared that this South Bay powerhouse could not contain every single visitor present. This bears no indication that they cannot handle a crowd – this measures just how significant a name they bear in the craft beer market. If you ever find yourself with free time on a weekend or just find yourself somewhere near the Torrance area, stop on by Smog City Brewing. Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter for updates from Smog City.