Posts Tagged ‘Craft Beer’

The craft beer scene in the South Bay area of Los Angeles County has surged quite a bit in the past year or two, 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 third 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 third 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, a souvenir glass, and one meal ticket from the food vendors. The VIP experience took place from 11am to 1pm, which consisted of unlimited beer pours for those two hours, plus everything that the $25 package gets.

Expect lots of hype and excitement from the South Bay in the upcoming weeks. This upcoming Saturday, Phantom Carriage in Carson will celebrate their second anniversary. The following weekend, Redondo Beach’s King Harbor Brewing Company will celebrate their third anniversary as well. The Monkish anniversary already happened the previous week, but one can expect that Smog City should have an anniversary event before summer starts. Regardless, one cannot go wrong with breweries in the South Bay, so head on over and check out some breweries!

The vernal equinox arrives this weekend, meaning that the weather will start to warm up, and the daily daylight will start to extend, providing even greater incentive to get out there and explore the world. Events around town occur regularly, and most people understand the basics of most of these events, such as 5k runs, art shows, or beer fests. But what happens when a traditional event comes up with a spin? Enter FirkFest, a beer festival celebrating the wonders of cask ales. Traditional beer fests see breweries or home brewers bringing in their brews to sample to the large crowd of attendees over a short period of time. This Saturday at Farmers Park in Anaheim, FirkFest will do that same thing, except the participating breweries will bring only casks to this party. A unique fest of its kind, cask ales rarely get this type of exposure, largely due to the portability of it. As a result, only cask ales from west coast breweries can survive the trip here.

Aside from the drinks featured here, FirkFest operates largely like most other beer festivals. Admission to this festival costs $55, and includes unlimited beer tastings from all the participating breweries from noon to 3:45pm, plus free parking. Around this small area, other activities include live music and some recreational games, like bocce ball, beanbag toss, hula hoops, Jenga, and more. Towards the entrance, guests can purchase food from any of the available food vendors. The majority of the beers’ alcohol percentage range from six to eight percent, with a few going above or below that. As this event takes place mostly outdoors, make sure you prepare to spend all that time under the sun, so dress for warm weather, and have sunscreen applied just in case. Attendees can find plenty of free parking in the nearby neighborhoods, or can park in a structure adjacent to City Hall for free that day.

When people go to visit a microbrewery, what do you think people look for? Do they simply want good beer, or do they want more of an experience? All sorts of breweries cater to their crowds differently, so some breweries will have a minuscule tasting room where they offer only their beers, while other breweries will have a larger tasting room with other things to see and do for customers to pass the time and enjoy their experience, such as at Boomtown Brewery. Located on the northern end of Downtown LA’s Arts District, this brewery has laid dormant for quite some time, brewing and distributing beer without a functioning tasting room. That all changed this past Saturday as Boomtown Brewery finally officially opened their doors to the public with the grandest of all grand openings. On their launch day, Boomtown had more than enough beer to last the entire day, and had multiple mobile food vendors throughout the day to keep the masses fed.

Take one step into Boomtown Brewery’s tasting room, and you will see that they mean business over here. From the outside, you will see two separate buildings for Boomtown Brewery – the tasting room to the left and the brewing facility to the right. While their brewing facility has lots to see for the brewing enthusiast, the tasting room has much more in terms of keeping the people happy and entertained. The massive tasting room allows for over a hundred customers at one time, which extends into an annex to the left of the entrance. This annex to the left makes for a great rental space for private parties or more. Each section of the tasting room contains multiple things to keep customers occupied besides the beer, such as billiards, shuffleboard, table tennis, darts, chess, foosball, and more.

Whether a craft beer enthusiast or just someone who likes to find neat local places like this to hang out with friends, you owe it to yourself to check out Boomtown Brewery, which opens for business Thursdays through Sundays each week. Check out what Boomtown Brewery has brewing up by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

Orange County surely has their true fair share of craft beer fanatics that pledge allegiance to the top few local breweries. While craft beer in general encourages people to try new things, the highly conservative Orange County prefers to stick to their guns, opting only to give their loyalty to the best. Orange County has no room to try new things – they only want familiar things, especially in their beers. Perhaps this leads to the reason for high barriers to entry for a microbrewery to grow in Orange County. When people only want the most popular breweries, then the separation grows, much like the division between the poor and the wealthy. On the other hand, the number of popular breweries rises steadily, expanding from the original elite few to a handful of great breweries, which now includes Chapman Crafted Beer.

With Old Orange Brewing going through some strange unknown times (allegedly a bigger brewery bought them out), Old Towne Orange has returned to the craft beer spotlight with Chapman Crafted Beer. Chapman Crafted has existed for over a year by now, but took some time to get the ball rolling; however, do not call them beginners by any stretch. You see, the folks behind Chapman Crafted have a huge history in Orange because they derived from the Haven Collective. They started as just a gastropub in Orange, then expanded to a brewpub in Pasadena, and then acquired the Provisions Market down the street in Orange from The Bruery. They eventually closed down their operations in Pasadena, opting to focus on their home scene, which led to the founding of Chapman Crafted. In other words, these guys already know how to operate a brewery – think of it as them moving operations from Pasadena to Orange. As such, one can expect the same great quality of local beers as before from the variety of beer styles offered.

Check out Chapman Crafted Beer in Old Towne Orange and enjoy a brew or two there, or take some beer to-go. Check out what else Chapman Crafted Beer has coming up by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

The craft beer scene in Downtown Santa Ana has grown substantially from almost nothing to booming the past year. At the start of 2014, places like The Playground, C4 Deli, The Copper Door, and Chapter One existed that served local craft beer; however, most of Southern California’s craft beer enthusiasts never truly regarded Santa Ana as a craft beer destination. This all turned around in 2014 with the introduction of places like The Good Beer Company and Native Son Alehouse, which essentially got the snowball rolling to transform Downtown Santa Ana into a bustling scene where millennials can rampage all they want. The gentrification cycle appears strong in Downtown Santa Ana, and at least its introductory phase shows its progress with these new bars and artisanal shops popping up before the tech businesses move in. For now, we can enjoy these new places to spend our time, such as at the recently-opened Mission Bar.

Nestled right in the heart of Downtown Santa Ana, Mission Bar marks the perfect hideaway for any craft beer fan that ends up in the neighborhood. Mission Bar officially opened their doors to the public a week ago, replacing an old ranchero dive bar. After taking the spot over, the folks touched up the place, spruced it up a little, and added dozens of fresh beer taps all containing a plethora of craft beers. Mission Bar stands out from the rest of Orange County by also carrying beers from out of the area. While lots of Orange County places will only serve local beer. Mission Bar extends a hand to breweries across the country and taps their beers here as well. Some out-of-town breweries seen here include Bell’s, Epic Brewing, and Great Divide. Of course, catering to the local crowd, Mission Bar still has a large selection of local beers. While Mission Bar does not serve food, patrons can bring food in from elsewhere if they so choose. Multiple pool tables and televisions will keep patrons occupied as they enjoy their brews. In the future, Mission Bar plans to implement tasting flights and tap takeovers. Who knows – they may one day host a bottle share here!

Craft beer has long passed its introductory phase, and has made it into the mainstream of today’s society and culture. While mass media will still portray the macro beers in commercials and ads, most avid beer drinkers will know to steer clear away from the macro beers in favor of the local microbreweries. With the high popularity of microbreweries, nearly every populated area has some form of brewery, whether a full production facility or a small-town brewpub. Some local breweries may go into other products, such as coffees, teas, and soft drinks. Other breweries may derive from an existing business, such as with the case of REV Brewing Co.

If you have never gone to REV Brewing Co., you may never know how to find it. Hidden away in an industrial office space in Covina, REV Brewing got their start over a decade ago as a winery. Times change, and REV eventually expanded to start brewing beer. However, their original plan of producing only organic products has not changed. To this day, REV Brewing still churns out only organic wines and beers out of that little production facility they have in Covina. Speaking of which, while they do have a tasting room, if one has never visited them before, it may take some effort to locate REV Brewing. They lie beyond a closed gate, and to gain access, visitors must first call REV Brewing to ask to open the gate. Only then can you get past the gate and to park by REV Brewing. Once you do though, you will discover a comfy cozy tasting room with fresh beers and wines available for you to taste. If you intend to drink for a bit, consider bringing food to munch on while you get your suds on.

While REV Brewing surely does not reside on the minds of many Southern Californian beer drinkers, they still have a fair presence in restaurants, bars, and bottle shops. See what REV Brewing has going on by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

Craft beer continues to get big across the world. The establishment of local microbreweries shows no signs of slowing down. Some regions show greater growth of craft beer than others for a handful of different reasons. One particular reason could involve the local community’s preference towards craft beer. Another particular reason could involve a city’s enthusiasm to house microbreweries. Regardless, microbreweries tend to exist in regional clusters. When you look at states with a prevalent craft beer following, you will notice groups of microbreweries very close to each other. For example, Los Angeles County has the South Bay where a bunch of microbreweries exist close to each other. I had already covered multiple breweries in the South Bay in the past, but new breweries continue to pop up over time. In addition to all the microbreweries, additional craft beer experiences exist, such as a little brewpub known as HopSaint Brewing Company.

Residing on the border of Torrance and Redondo Beach, HopSaint Brewing Company brings another craft beer presence to the South Bay. Although listed as located in Torrance, you can get to King Harbor Brewing rather easily from HopSaint, plus HopSaint resides closer to Redondo Beach (the physical beach, not just the city). Like many of the big breweries in Southern California, HopSaint had a lot of publicity and hype prior to opening their doors to the public because of their marketing and presence at local beer festivals, restaurants, and bars. Their popularity carried over to their facility in Torrance/Redondo Beach, as evident in the full capacity their facility consistently sees. Speaking of facility, HopSaint does more than just a tasting room – HopSaint exists as a full restaurant, serving both food and beverages. This also lends to the popularity of HopSaint, and why they usually have a packed place. If you want to check out their brews, I suggest visiting HopSaint during lunch hours or off-peak hours. Check them out on Facebook too to see if they have any food or beer specials.