Posts Tagged ‘Strand Brewing’

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. Earlier this week, I posted about the grand opening of Brouwerij West. For now, we look at a few more new establishments in Torrance.

For the most recent brewery to open in Torrance, look for HopSaint Brewing Company. 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.

Although not technically a new brewery, Strand Brewing Co. has a new facility in Torrance. Strand originally had a very small tasting room in Torrance less than a mile north of the Torrance Airport, and with their growing popularity and distribution, they had to move to a larger space. They found that larger space in the form of a warehouse much more north of their old location. This new space, a stone’s throw from the Torrance craft beer core (which consists of Smog City, Monkish, and Dudes), has more than ten times the old space, so Strand can entertain significantly more visitors, brew significantly more beer, and distribute significantly more products. As far as the microbrewery experience goes, Strand serves as the stereotypical microbrewery that out-of-town visitors will recognize. Strand serves beer, plays music, has games, and invites the occasional gourmet food truck to feed guests. Anyone visiting from out of town will appreciate the familiarity of Strand’s tasting room.

Want to check out these and more local breweries? Look into the San Pedro Beer Festival, which will take place in a few weeks. Also keep an eye out for FirkFest taking place that same day, and Sabroso Taco Fest taking place in a few months from now.

7th Annual San Diego Beer Week
November 6-15
San Diego County
http://sdbw.org/

This 10-day festival celebrates the prominence of craft beer in San Diego County. During these ten days, restaurants, bars, breweries, and other businesses will host special events and hold special deals all pertaining to craft beer. Check the website for a list of all events and businesses participating in San Diego Beer Week.

Green Flash 13th Anniversary Release: Hand Shake IPA
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, November 9
Green Flash Brewing, Sorrento Valley, San Diego
http://www.greenflashbrew.com/event/green-flash-13th-anniversary-release-event-hand-shake-ipa-20151109/

Green Flash Brewing releases their 13th anniversary beer today at their tasting room down in San Diego. Enjoy the Hand Shake IPA all day in the tasting room, meet the brewers from Green Flash and Alpine Beer Company from 4pm to 6pm, and check out the various 13th anniversary merchandise available for sale.

The Fall of Troy: Adventour Time
6:30 pm – 11:30 pm, November 10
The Irenic, North Park, San Diego
http://www.sodabarmusic.com/calendar.php?event_id=2532
http://thefalloftroy.com/

Post-hardcore band The Fall of Troy currently tours across the nation, and that tour swings through Southern California this week. Ticket prices for these all-ages shows depend on the location, so click on a show’s link above for details.

The Menzingers: On Tour
6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, November 10
The Observatory, North Park, San Diego
http://observatorysd.com/?event_id=6065355
http://themenzingers.com/

Punk band The Menzingers currently tour across the nation, and that tour swings through Southern California this week. Tickets to these all-ages shows vary, so click on a show’s link above for details.

The Briefs: Live in Southern California
7:30 pm – 12:30 am, November 10, The Echoplex, Echo Park http://www.theecho.com/event/961599-briefs-los-angeles/
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, November 12, Soda Bar, Normal Heights, San Diego http://www.sodabarmusic.com/calendar.php?event_id=2593
http://www.thebriefsofficial.com/

Rock out to punk rock bands this weekend in Los Angeles and/or San Diego. No one under 21 may enter any of these shows.

Swingin’ Utters: On Tour
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, November 11, The Roxy Theatre, West Hollywood http://www.theroxy.com/event/877665-swingin-utters-west-hollywood/
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, November 12, The Garage, Ventura http://holdmyticket.com/checkout/event/221151
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, November 13, The Hideout, Normal Heights, San Diego http://www.eventbrite.com/e/swingin-utters-san-diego-music-thing-tickets-18196283574
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, November 14, Slide Bar, Fullerton http://www.slidebarfullerton.com/calendar
http://swinginutters.com/

Punk band Swingin’ Utters currently tour across the nation, and that tour swings through Southern California this week. Each show has a different ticket price and age limit, so click on a show’s link for details.

Avengers Superheroes Half Marathon Weekend
10:00 am – 12:00 am, November 12
5:30 am – 8:00 pm, November 13
5:30 am – 4:00 pm, November 14
5:30 am – 11:30 am, November 15
Disneyland Resort, Anaheim
http://www.rundisney.com/avengers-half-marathon/

The Avengers Superheroes Half Marathon returns this weekend with a plethora of things to see and do. Participate in any of the races, check out the health & fitness expo, and stick around for after-parties throughout the weekend. The website has an extensive list of everything going on this weekend, so consult with the website for more details.

Business & Beer @ Strand Brewing
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, November 12
Strand Brewing, Torrance
http://businessnbeer.com/strand-brewing-company-november-12-2015/

This monthly networking event for small business owners visits a South Bay brewery every second Thursday of the month. This week, they will hit up Strand Brewing in Torrance. If you have involvement with a small business, love craft beer, or both, then stop by this Thursday night.

The Misfits: On Tour
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, November 12, Majestic Ventura Theater, Ventura http://www.venturatheater.net/event/892239-misfits-ventura/
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, November 13, The Glass House, Pomona http://www.theglasshouse.us/event/884465-misfits-pomona/
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, November 14-15, The Roxy Theatre, West Hollywood http://www.theroxy.com/event/861381-misfits-west-hollywood/
http://www.misfits.com/

Legendary punk band The Misfits currently tour across the nation, and that tour sweeps through Southern California this week. These all-ages shows have different ticket prices, so click on a show’s link for more details.

Craft Beer + Bites @ SILO
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, November 12
SILO in Makers Quarter, San Diego
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/craft-beer-bites-beer-week-edition-tickets-18397901619

This mini beer fest takes place close to Downtown San Diego this Thursday evening. For $30 presale or $35 at the door, attendees get treated to ten pairings of tapas and craft beer. In addition, attendees will find outdoor games (bocce ball, beanbag toss, glorified Jenga, and more) and local designers/makers. Attendees may even bring their pets as well! No one under 21 may attend.

Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk (Second Thursdays)
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, November 12
Downtown Los Angeles
http://downtownartwalk.org/

This free monthly event takes place over many blocks in Downtown Los Angeles. Many galleries will open late, and some parking lots will contain more art, vendors, food trucks, entertainment, and more. Unless you know business owners, free parking barely exists in Downtown LA, although some meters only operate until 8pm. First-time visitors should attend with someone who has gone here prior.

Manic Hispanic: Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, November 13, Karman Bar, Laguna Niguel http://www.eventbrite.com/e/english-presents-manic-hispanic-tickets-18988152074
8:30 pm – 1:30 am, November 14, Characters Sports Bar, Pomona http://www.gonzopresents.com/event/224694

Manic Hispanic will headline two shows in Southern California this week. Tickets to these shows vary in price, so click on a show’s link for details. No one under 21 may enter either of these shows.

Lagwagon: On Tour
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, November 13, The Troubadour, West Hollywood http://www.troubadour.com/event/932953-lagwagon-performing-trashed-los-angeles/
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, November 14, The Observatory, North Park, San Diego http://observatorysd.com/?event_id=6126545
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, November 15, The Troubadour, West Hollywood http://www.troubadour.com/event/932957-lagwagon-performing-hoss-los-angeles/
http://www.lagwagon.com/

Punk band Lagwagon currently tours across the nation, and that tour moves through Southern California this week. Tickets to these all-ages shows vary in price, so click on a show’s link above for details.

Radioactive Chicken Heads @ El Cid
9:30 pm – 12:30 am, November 13
El Cid, Silverlake
http://www.radioactivechickenheads.com/

Rock out this Friday the 13th with these funky rock bands in Silverlake. The cover for this show costs $13.

Bubble Run – San Diego
8:00 am – 12:00 pm, November 14
Sleep Train Amphitheater, Chula Vista
http://www.bubblerun.com/upcoming-locations/san-diego/

Tired of the same 5k run everywhere? If you have had your fill of color runs and glow runs, try your hand at the Bubble Run. Participants wear all white and run through colored foam bogs in this 5k race around the Sleep Train Amphitheater. Registration costs $40, and all levels of runners may participate. Space will fill up fast, so register early, and try to carpool to this event.

6th Annual Nuke the Fridge Con
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, November 14
Frank & Son’s, Rowland Heights
http://nukethefridge.com/

Check out Nuke the Fridge Con happening this Saturday in Rowland Heights. This FREE event features many famous people in the comics industry, such as Sarah Underwood, Stan Lee, and more. The first 100 guests receive a goodie bag! Please note that this event now only lasts one day instead of the full weekend like in previous years.

Repticon Los Angeles
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, November 14
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, November 15
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://repticon.com/losangeles.html

Check out two days of reptiles, amphibians, exotic pets, pet products, seminars, and more this weekend at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa. General admission starts at 10am and costs $15 for both days, $10 for one day, or $5 for children. Online-only VIP admission costs $12 for adults or $5 for children, allows admission to both days, and allows entry at 9am on Saturday.

Escondido Tamale Festival
10:30 am – 4:30 pm, November 14
Grape Day Park, Escondido
http://www.escondidotamalefestival.org/

Indulge on tamales at this FREE and all-ages festival this Saturday in Escondido. This event will features dozens of food vendors, live entertainment, vendors, arts & crafts, and more. Everything comes at cost, so guests should bring plenty of cash for this day. A special VIP package costs $35 that includes exclusive gourmet tamales along with craft beer and wine pairings.

Barrel-Aged Speedway Stout & Hawaiian Speedway Stout Release Party
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, November 14
AleSmith Brewing, San Diego
http://alesmith.com/

Come taste one of San Diego’s most coveted brews this Saturday at the AleSmith tasting room in San Diego. They will also have a handful of other variations of this brew on tap for you to try.

2nd Annual San Diego Cheese & Beer Festival
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, November 14
Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, Liberty Station, San Diego
http://www.sdcheesefest.org/

Indulge in gourmet cheeses and craft beers this Saturday afternoon in Liberty Station in San Diego. General admission costs $45 and starts at 1pm, while VIP admission costs $75, starts at 12pm, and includes VIP seating. All attendees receive 12 cheese and beer pairings. No one under 21 may attend.

Walker’s Wild Ride
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, November 14
Orange & Santa Ana
http://www.firestonebeer.com/events/walkers-wild-ride.php

Firestone Walker will tap four very rare sour beers at four different locations in Orange County this Saturday. Visit their website for a schedule of their stops; however, which beer they tap at each location remains a secret!

1st Annual Cali Uncorked Festival
12:00 pm – 7:00 pm, November 14
Oak Canyon Park, Silverado
http://www.uncorkedfest.com/

The organizers behind Orange County Brew Ha Ha bring to you this new festival unlike anything ever before: Cali Uncorked. This festival combines craft beer, wine, food, music, and comedy all in one location. With over a hundred different beers and wines to sip on, you will not run out of different things to try here. General admission costs $50 and starts at 1pm, while early admission costs $65 and starts at 12pm. All guests receive unlimited beer and wine tasters while supplies last. Food comes at cost, so guests should bring extra cash for food here. No one under 21 may attend.

Skyland Ale Works 1st Year Anniversary
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, November 14
Skyland Ale Works, Corona
http://www.skylandaleworks.com/

This little microbrewery in Corona has survived a year in the craft beer industry, and they will celebrate at their tasting room in Corona this Saturday. They will have their anniversary ale on tap, plus a few variations of the anniversary ale as well. Prepay for the commemorative anniversary glass to receive a beer pour with the glass; otherwise, guests can buy the anniversary glass for $6.

Helm’s Brewing 3-Year Anniversary
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, November 14
Helm’s Brewing, Kearny Mesa, San Diego
http://www.helmsbrewingco.com/

Helm’s Brewing turns three years old this week, and to celebrate, they will have a plethora of special brews on tap at their tasting room in Kearny Mesa this Saturday. This celebration has no ticket or cover charge – simply show up, and pay for cold ones as you go.

Balboa Craft Beer Festival
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, November 14
Balboa Village, Newport Beach
http://www.balboabeerfest.com/

Enjoy beach weather and craft beer this Saturday afternoon near Balboa Island. General admission costs $55, and includes unlimited beer AND food. No one under 21 may attend.

Root Beer Floats with Stateside Crafts
2:00 pm – 5:00 pm, November 14
Long Beach Creamery, Long Beach
http://longbeachcreamery.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/985623561502786/

Stop by Long Beach Creamery in Bixby Knolls this Saturday afternoon for delicious refreshing root beer floats for just $6 each.

La Quinta Brewing’s 2nd Anniversary Party
2:00 pm – 9:00 pm, November 14
La Quinta Brewing, Palm Desert
http://www.laquintabrewing.com/

La Quinta Brewing turns two years old this week, and to celebrate, they will have their special anniversary beer on tap plus a few other special beers. In addition, they will have a food vendor on site, plus live music throughout the day. This event has no ticket or cover charge – simply show up, and enjoy good times.

Outpost Festival
2:00 pm – 11:00 pm, November 14
East End, Downtown Santa Ana
http://outpostfest.com/

A music, art, food, and multicultural event comes to Downtown Santa Ana this Saturday. General admission costs $40, while VIP admission costs $80 and includes access to a VIP tent.

Orange Coast Magazine’s Annual Wine Affair
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm, November 14
Sub-Zero and Wolf Showroom, Costa Mesa
http://www.orangecoast.com/wineaffair/

Sample many wines from some of the top wineries on the west coast this Saturday Costa Mesa. In addition to all the wine, local restaurants will also sample hors d’oeuvre to go with the wines. Admission costs $75 presale or $99 at the door. Use promo code yelpwine to receive admission for $55. No one under 21 may attend.

Art Crawl Experience
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, November 14
Center Street Promenade, Downtown Anaheim
http://www.downtownanaheim.com/artcrawlexperience

Downtown Anahiem will see a variety of activities and exhibits this Saturday night. Visitors can expect to find tons of art exhibits, live music, food, food trucks, drinks, yoga, dance, and more. Visitors may park for free in the parking structure located at S Clementine Street and W Oak Street.

Bang Boom Bash
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, November 14
Mid City Arthouse, Los Angeles
http://bangboombash.com/

Music, burlesque, and booze all collide in one event this Saturday night in Los Angeles. General admission to this raunchy show costs $12, while VIP admission costs $18 and includes a special cup and drink ticket. No one under 21 may attend.

All Female Art Show
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, November 14
Public Beer & Wine Shop, Long Beach
http://www.publicbeerwineshop.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/938676562894052/

Five local artists will showcase their art work in Downtown Long Beach this Saturday night, in addition to special beers on tap for breast cancer awareness. This event has no cover charge. No one under 21 may enter.

2nd Annual Mosaic Craft Fair
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, November 15
The Alhambra at Urban Community, Alhambra
http://www.mosaiccraftfair.org/

Get crafty at this arts & crafts fair this Sunday afternoon in Alhambra. Free to attend for all ages, visitors will find dozens of independent designers selling their goods, a handful of mobile food vendors, a beer garden, live music, entertainment, and more.

Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, November 15
Marine Stadium, Long Beach
http://dearhandmadelife.com/patchwork-show/

This semi-annual arts & crafts fair consists of a series of Sunday fests at different locations: Long Beach, Oakland, and Santa Ana. As with any typical arts & crafts fair, Patchwork will feature many traditional forms of art and merchandise, but also mixes in alternative art – thinking outside the box, or Rebel Art. Featuring clothing, accessories, home goods, jewelry, pet items, and more, this FREE fest caters to a wide & diverse crowd. Food trucks will serve guests during the fest. Always remember to carry cash, since most vendors only accept cash. The surrounding neighborhood contains plenty of free street parking.

Wild Goose Tavern’s 3rd Anniversary Party
3:00 pm – 9:00 pm, November 15
Wild Goose Tavern, Costa Mesa
http://www.goosebar.com/

Wild Goose Tavern turns three years old this weekend, and to celebrate, they will have a party at their place in Costa Mesa this Sunday. During the first hour, guests will receive complimentary appetizers. Throughout the night, they will have a silent auction, raffles, merchandise for sale, and more. A portion of food sales will go towards a charity too. This event has no cover charge – simply show up and have a good time.

In today’s society, the spread of information, such as the advent of social media, has helped to educate citizens about the benefits of higher quality products. Tastes and preferences constantly change, and we now see that more and more people start to prefer quality over quantity. If we look around the world, the terms we associate with quantity tend to refer to corporations that have a global reach, such as some soft drink companies or fast food chains. If we want quality, we tend to search locally, as local businesses focus more on the quality of their products and services. For example, in the past few years, a large shift in the preference of beer has gone underway, where most beer-drinkers now prefer local craft beers as opposed to mass-produced light beer common around the world. Microbreweries tend to crop up in geographical clusters centralized along a particular city or region, such as Vista or Mira Mesa down in San Diego County. Craft beer fans in the greater Los Angeles area can find breweries all over the place, but will soon want to start visiting the South Bay more often, as numerous new microbreweries have opened up in the past couple of years. If you have not yet familiarized yourself with the South Bay craft beer scene, I recommend starting with these five microbreweries to visit this season, and then branching out from there.

5. Phantom Carriage Brewery

One of the few themed microbreweries that I have visited, Phantom Carriage Brewery broke new ground this year opening up as the city of Carson’s first production microbrewery. This particular location inches closer towards the stretch-of-no-beer that runs from Long Beach northward through a handful of cities all the way up to the San Gabriel Valley. True to the name, Phantom Carriage has a dark, goth-like theme inside the tasting room – dim lights along with a general dark interior contributed towards the effect of an actual physical phantom carriage nearby. With a slight speakeasy vibe, Phantom Carriage will surely please anyone of any generation.

4. Monkish Brewing Co.

In many counties with a thriving craft beer culture, one brewery always exists as the black sheep of the herd. In San Diego County, Lost Abbey clearly holds this title for their odd and strong brews that have nothing to do with the IPA dominance of San Diego County. In Orange County, The Bruery easily represents the black sheep for their heavy catalog of sours and strong beers, not to mention a barrel storage facility that holds over 3,000 filled barrels. In the South Bay, one could wager that Monkish Brewing Co. would fulfill the role of the black sheep of this region. Monkish definitely strays away from standard offerings that travelers would expect of a brewery. Whenever I visit a new brewery, I always look for the standards: something light (lager or pilsner), wheat/white ale, pale ale, amber or brown ale, IPA, stout or porter, and something strong. Monkish breaks this pattern by simply serving whatever they feel like. Monkish also tends to brew uncommon types, such as experimental sours or Belgian styles. I find their tasting room’s business hours a bit strange, so check up on when they open before you make the journey here.

3. El Segundo Brewing Company

Currently residing as their city’s only microbrewery, El Segundo Brewing Company remains a solid fixture in Downtown El Segundo with no plans of vacating any time soon. Looking into their building does make one wonder if they should consider moving into a larger building though, as they have the smallest tasting room I have ever stepped foot in. As a popular fictional character once said, “Size does not mean everything,” which reflects perfectly here at El Segundo Brewing. Despite a small tasting room, this brewery churns out amazing brews capable of winning medals. Along with a bottling line for retail sales, El Segundo Brewing continues to stand their ground as a solid force in the craft beer market.

2. Smog City Brewing Company

When thinking about the originals of the South Bay beer scene, Smog City Brewing Company usually comes to mind. Centrally located in Torrance, 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.

1. Strand Brewing Co.

The South Bay holds a handful of craft beer businesses, but none of them could stand at their current position today with Strand Brewing Co. Much like how Kogi BBQ started the gourmet food truck craze, Strand basically put the South Bay on the craft beer map. Obviously they did not do it themselves – they had the help from the local avid craft beer loyalists seeking to bring some young life to an otherwise industrial area. Out of all of the South Bay breweries, Strand has traveled quite far with their beers – I have spotted their 24th Street Pale Ale in Las Vegas before. One could even say that they have the greatest reach if they can traverse into another state. The people love Strand, and Strand gives back to the people by participating with the locals in events, fundraisers, festivals, and more. Check out the Strand tasting room in Torrance soon for a fun time.

Get Happy – Old Pasadena Happy Hour Week
March 1-14
Participating locations, Old Pasadena
http://www.oldpasadena.org/happyhourweek/

Enjoy extended Happy Hour food & drink specials at participating locations in Old Pasadena during this two-week period.

Odd Market – Eagle Rock
5:30 pm – 9:30 pm, March 9
All Star Lanes, Eagle Rock
http://theoddmarket.com/eaglerock/

A handful of gourmet food trucks and local vendors will swarm into Eagle Rock tonight for some bowling and local fun. Free to attend, simply drop on by and bring out your friends and family.

Bayside: On Tour w/ Senses Fail
6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, March 11, House of Blues, San Diego http://www.houseofblues.com/sandiego/events/eventdetail/?viewNav=/event-detail&eventId=0A004D73F3BD2E11&oid=0
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, March 12, The Observatory, Santa Ana http://www.observatoryoc.com/event/Bayside-and-Senses-Fail
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, March 14, House of Blues, West Hollywood http://www.houseofblues.com/losangeles/events/eventdetail/?viewNav=/event-detail&eventId=09004D71C90A44EC&oid=0

Bayside currently tours across the world with Senses Fail, and that tour will swing through Southern California this week with three shows. Tickets to these all-ages shows vary in price, so click on a show’s link above for ticket information.

Business & Beer @ Strand Brewing
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, March 12
Strand Brewing, Torrance
http://www.facebook.com/events/329215447281477/

This monthly networking event for small business owners visits a South Bay brewery every second Thursday of the month. This week, they will hit up Strand Brewing in Torrance. If you have involvement with a small business, love craft beer, or both, then stop by this Thursday night.

Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk (Second Thursdays)
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, March 12
Downtown Los Angeles
http://downtownartwalk.org/

This free monthly event takes place over many blocks in Downtown Los Angeles. Many galleries will open late, and some parking lots will contain more art, vendors, food trucks, entertainment, and more. Unless you know business owners, free parking barely exists in Downtown LA, although some meters only operate until 8pm. First-time visitors should attend with someone who has gone here prior.

Smog City Brewing – Tap Takeover
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, March 13
Wicks Brewing, Riverside
http://www.facebook.com/events/748982245209980/

Wicks Brewing out in Riverside will have a handful of Smog City’s brews on tap this Friday night.

Shattered Faith @ The World Famous Doll Hut
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, March 13
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/1604417626445950/

Get your weekly dose of punk rock this Friday night at the Doll Hut in Anaheim. The cover for this show costs $8. No one under 21 may enter.

Bubble Run Irvine
8:00 am – 12:00 pm, March 14
Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Irvine
http://www.bubblerun.com/events/los-angeles/

Tired of the same 5k run everywhere? If you have had your fill of color runs and glow runs, try your hand at the Bubble Run. Participants wear all white and run through colored foam bogs in this 5k race. Registration costs $40, and all levels of runners may participate. Space will fill up fast, so register early, and try to carpool to this event.

2nd Annual Street Machine & Muscle Car Nationals
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, March 14-15
Fairplex, Pomona
http://www.streetmachinenationals.net/street-machine-and-muscle-car-nationals-march-14-15-2015

Come see over a thousand muscle cars, classic cars, hot rods, and more at this weekend-long car show at the Fairplex in Pomona. Tickets cost $18 if purchased from participating O’Reilly Auto Parts stores, or $20 if purchased online or at the gate. Children can enter for $5. Bring cash for parking which may cost up to $10.

Select Beer Store’s 3rd Anniversary Party
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, March 14
Select Beer Store, Redondo Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/935979336421264/

Select Beer Store in Redondo Beach turns three this week, and to celebrate, they will have some rare brews on tap for you to try. Stop on by any time this Saturday and try out what they have in store.

The Factory’s 6th Annual Eco-Green Beer Fest
12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, March 14-17
The Factory Gastrobar, Bixby Knolls, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/375598209315502/

Starting this Saturday and lasting until Tuesday (St. Patrick’s Day), The Factory will bring back their annual green mugs for sale. The mug plus one beer fill costs $8, and any subsequent beer fills in that mug cost $5.50. Anyone with a mug from previous years can bring those back in and reap the $5.50 beers.

Long Beach Irish-For-A-Day Inaugural Parade
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, March 15
Pine Avenue, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.partyonpinelb.com/

Celebrate the arrival of St. Patrick’s Day with an Irish-themed parade this Saturday afternoon in Downtown Long Beach.

Anaheim Night Market
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, March 14
Farmers Park, Anaheim
http://anaheimpackingdistrict.com/event/2015/3/14/anaheim-night-market-2

Anaheim Packing District will hold its own night market this Saturday night. Unlike most other night markets taking place around Southern California, this has nothing to do with the Asian-influenced night markets. Instead, this event will simply have local crafts, artisans, musicians, curators, live music, and more.

Title Fight – On Tour
7:30 pm – 12:30 am, March 14, The Regent Theater, Downtown Los Angeles http://www.theregenttheater.com/event/735107-title-fight-los-angeles/
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, March 15, Glass House, Pomona http://www.theglasshouse.us/event/736177-title-fight-pomona/

Title Fight currently tours across the nation, and that tour will swing through Southern California this weekend. The tickets to these all-ages show vary in price, so click on a show’s link above for ticketing information.

Night of Punk @ The Redwood
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, March 14
Redwood Bar, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/1537493046533202/

Rock out to some local punk rock bands this Saturday night in Downtown LA. The cover for this show costs $7. No one under 21 may enter.

Dirty Little Secrets Rock Burlesque @ Cirivello’s Long Beach
9:30 pm – 12:30 am, March 14
Cirivello’s Sports Stop, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/1409237889387726/

Enjoy a FREE burlesque show in Long Beach this Saturday night. No one under 21 may attend.

4th Annual Leprechaun Leap 5K
7:00 am – 10:00 am, March 15
The District at Tustin Legacy, Tustin
http://leprechaunleap.org/

Warm your body up for St. Patrick’s Day with this Irish-themed 5k run/walk this Sunday morning in Tustin. Registration costs $40 for adults or $18 for minors.

30th Annual Los Angeles Marathon
7:00 am – 2:00 pm, March 15
Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
http://www.lamarathon.com/

The SOLD OUT LA Marathon takes place this Sunday morning. If you intend to commute anywhere near this, plan your route accordingly.

Graffiti Run – Los Angeles
8:00 am – 12:00 pm, March 15
Fairplex, Pomona
http://www.thegraffitirun.com/locations/graffiti-run-los-angeles/

Love color runs? The Graffiti Run takes place this Saturday at the Fairplex in Pomona. As a precursor to St. Patrick’s Day, runners may choose to wear green in addition to the standard white worn by color runners. These types of runs emphasize color and having fun as opposed to actually racing to compete, so a participant’s age or physical status does not matter. The first race starts at 9am, and heats of 500 runners take off every 20 minutes afterwards. Registration costs $50, and you must register online – no one can register the day of.

103rd Kit Collectors Expo
9:00 am – 3:00 pm, March 15
UFCW Local 324, Buena Park
http://www.kitcollectorshow.com/

Hundreds of vendors will gather here to showcase their model kits of cars, ships, planes, miniatures, armor, sci-fi/fantasy, space, and more. Admission to this all-ages expo costs just $5.

Los Angeles Seafood Festival
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, March 15
Olvera Street, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.lafoodfestivals.com/

Dozens of food vendors will serve up delicious seafood along Olvera Street this Sunday afternoon. Free to attend for all ages, visitors can simply pay for the food that they want without the worry of paying to enter.

Punk Rock Show in Corona
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, March 15
Maya’s Cafe, Corona
http://www.facebook.com/events/757501200984344/

Enjoy some great local punk bands in Corona this Sunday night. The cover for this all-ages show costs $5.

In today’s society, the spread of information, such as the advent of social media, has helped to educate citizens about the benefits of higher quality products. Tastes and preferences constantly change, and we now see that more and more people start to prefer quality over quantity. If we look around the world, the terms we associate with quantity tend to refer to corporations that have a global reach, such as some soft drink companies or fast food chains. If we want quality, we tend to search locally, as local businesses focus more on the quality of their products and services. For example, in the past few years, a large shift in the preference of beer has gone underway, where most beer-drinkers now prefer local craft beers as opposed to mass-produced light beer common around the world. Microbreweries tend to crop up in geographical clusters centralized along a particular city or region, such as Vista or Mira Mesa down in San Diego County. Craft beer fans in the greater Los Angeles area can find breweries all over the place, but will soon want to start visiting the South Bay more often.


Smog City Brewing

For the longest time, little to no one regarded the South Bay as the place to go for craft beer. Historically, South Bay contains a wide ethnic variety of citizens with clearly defined neighborhoods and cities. Industrial businesses take up most of the inland space, while areas closer to the coast appear more like surf towns, which gave way to a handful of bands and musicians popular today. Corporate businesses quickly took up residence to attract the business of the hundreds of thousands of visitors that the South Bay sees annually. Over the past decade, the amount of local businesses have started to increase, and with it, the preference of locals to visit these local establishments over the corporate businesses. This change in tastes opened the door for microbreweries to move in and take up residence as well. When the dust had settled, craft beer fans can now see the South Bay as a place to visit for at least a day to get their beer-tasting on.


Strand Brewing

From breweries to brewpubs to specialty beer stores, the South Bay will feel like home to any craft beer enthusiast. Powerhouses like Strand Brewing, Smog City Brewing, El Segundo Brewing, and Monkish Brewing have settled in nicely within the community, while newcomers like King Harbor, Absolution Brewing, and Dude’s Brewing seek to establish themselves as one of the fine breweries in the South Bay. Specialty beer stores, such as Select Beer Store, provide an interactive shop to browse through many beers, as well as ask questions and learn more about beer. Craft beer bars, such as the infamous Naja’s Place, allow groups of friends and/or families to congregate and enjoy some food & drinks.


Dude’s Brewing

No matter what type of facility the business operates in, craft beer has found a home in the South Bay. Whenever you find yourself heading towards the Los Angeles area or Orange County, make a detour and check out how craft beer runs in the South Bay.

With all these big beer fests going on around this time of year, we tend to overlook the smaller crowd. A beer fest comes with a handful of objectives: provide lots of beer for attendees to drink (quantity), or invite micro breweries that need exposure (quality). Oktoberfest provides a prime example of the former – attracting thousands of people to one location to guzzle bad overpriced beer. When you want to find good beers but have no idea where to start, a beer fest makes for a great place to start, as it exposes attendees to a variety of local beers. Some larger beer fests get dominated by larger companies like Budweiser or Corona, so in order to seek out the locals, we have to look at smaller fests. In terms of any type of food & beverage festival, size does not always mean everything, and The Factory’s Drink Good Beer Fest proves just that.

The Factory Gastropub in the Bixby Knolls neighborhood of Long Beach has always had a penchant for supporting the local beer scene. Everyday, customers will find taps stocked only with craft beers in the dining room. Every month, they host various beer-related events, such as tap takeovers, bottle shares, beer pairings, and homebrew meetings. The Factory strongly supports the homebrew movement, encouraging locals to take up brewing beer at home. This notion to support homebrewers activated the invocation of the Drink Good Beer Mash-Up & Homebrew Competition. This event combined a homebrew contest with a small beer fest, which saw the launch of Ohana Brewing‘s flagship beer last year. Now running for the second year in a row, the 2nd Annual Drink Good Beer Fest has grown to include more homebrew entrants and micro breweries in this event. Following last year’s launch, Congregation Ale House launched their new beer at this fest. For as little as $25 for presale admission, attendees received up to four hours with ten 4oz beer pours at this fest – plenty of time to get through it all. I even bought more drink tickets since I had exhausted my original allocation with an hour left to go.

Breweries in attendance: Figueroa Mountain Brewing, Noble Ale Works, Dudes’ Brewing, Kinetic Brewing, Firestone Walker, Sierra Nevada, Cismontane Brewing, Strand Brewing, Congregation Ale House, Stone Brewing, The Bruery, Smog City Brewing, Pizza Port, Latitude 33, Iron Fist Brewing, Golden Road Brewing, Ohana Brewing, Los Angeles Ale Works, Eagle Rock Brewery, New Belgium, Monkish Brewing, Epic Brewing, Karl Strauss, Hangar 24, Ritual Brewing, Bootlegger’s Brewery, Valiant Brewing, El Segundo Brewing, Tenaya Creek Brewery

Of particular note, Los Angeles Ale Works decided to not only bring beer like everyone else, but also to bring craft soda. I have seen homebrewers and micro breweries head in the direction of craft sodas, so to see it in fruition here makes the vision appear more real. It also helps that, for an outdoors festival, they carried the only free non-alcoholic beverage. To sample at this fest, they brough Ketsara, a Thai Tea soda.

Nearly every brewery brought up to two different beers to try. For a small fest, one would expect to see standard beers available instead of the fancy stuff found indoors at popular establishments. However, a few of the breweries decided to man up and bring strong stuff. A handful of the beers floated around the 9% range, but Firestone Walker wins the strongest of the fest for bringing their §ucaba, a 12.5% barleywine. Other beers I got to try:

  • Hangar 24 Brewery – Kirschen, a 3.9% Berliner Weisse (not pictured)
  • Epic Brewing – Santa Cruz, a 5.8% brown ale
  • Eagle Rock Brewery – Unionist, a 5.4% Belgian ale
  • Monkish Brewery – Seme Della Vita, a 9.8% Belgian Tripel
  • Smog City Brewing – L.A. Saison, a 5.8% saison
  • Karl Strauss – Peanut Butter Cup, a 5.8% porter
  • Firestone Walker – §ucaba, a 12.5% American barleywine
  • Tenaya Creek – Old Jackalope, a 10.4% barleywine
  • Iron Fist Brewing – Dubbel Fisted, an 8.1% dubbel
  • Golden Road Brewing – Hudson Imperial Rye Porter, an 8.5% strong porter
  • Kinetic Brewing – Saison Été, a 6.6% farmhouse ale
  • Dudes’ Brewing – Grinning Face, a 6.2% American porter

At the start of the beer fest, The Factory’s owner Natalie welcomed Congregation’s owner Travis as he blessed the beer and the day for everyone to enjoy.

At the end of the beer fest, the homebrew contest organizers finally announced the winners of the competition. Their homebrew will receive limited distribution in the South LA/Orange County area for a limited time.

Who said size matters? We have not seen so much content in so little space since Slater’s 50/50 held a beer fest in the parking lot right outside their newest location. All the breweries brought so much beer, and most of them brought their strong stuff too, a rarity in small-size beer fests like this. A giant canopy provided enough shade for any attendee wanting to escape the hot sun, as well as the snacks table where attendees could purchase snacks, water, or food from the restaurant. Also, how often does a small beer fest last four hours? Most beer fests nowadays last only three hours, or four with a “VIP admission” that costs more than general admission. The Factory went in the right direction with this beer fest, as it serves multiple purposes, such as exposing people to new beer & breweries, and exposing people to The Factory, a gastropub in an otherwise family-friendly neighborhood. Stay tuned for this fest next year, and start thinking of beers to brew to enter into this competition!