El Segundo Brewing Begins Bottling Beer

El Segundo Brewing throws a release party Friday in its downtown tasting room for its first two bottled beers, White Dog IPA and the new Standard Crude Imperial Stout.

Both will come in 22oz “bombers.”

“White Dog was our best seller last year,” said Tom Kelley, who along with founder, proprietor and brewer Rob Croxall is one of the two driving forces behind the rapidly growing brewery.

“IPA is just so strong in the market,” Kelley added. “We want to be (a brewery) focused on hops, so it makes sense for our first bottles to be an IPA.”

As for the stout — a seasonal beer that follows in the wake of its 7.5 percent ABV Hyperion Stout, (you’ve got to admire a brewer brave enough to name a beer after a nearby sewage treatment plant) — the 10.2 percent ABV monster was ready to drink for the holidays, but the labels weren’t quite finished.

Bottling is always a big capital investment for a small brewery like El Segundo, which doubled its initial 60 barrel fermentation capacity last June and plans to double it again come March, but in this case a mobile bottler came to the brewery and three hours and 150 cases later Croxall and Kelley were ready to go.

The plan is to eventually bottle their entire lineup of beers for sale at the brewery and offsite.

You’re missing out on a whole segment of the market if you’re not bottling,” Kelley said. “It’s a new revenue stream.”

The White Dog IPA is a representative Southern California microbrew of the genre with the by now familiar citrus notes up front and center. However, they use 50 percent wheat in the malt bill — most IPA’s use no wheat, observed Kelley, a certified cicerone (the equivalent of a wine sommelier) — which is more akin to a white beer or hefeweizen, but without the yeast-driven flavor (must be those Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand).

The Standard Crude has deep undertones of blackberry and tobacco, but unlike many beers should age well if left for a few years, Kelley said.

The release party begins at 5 p.m. with a special cask of Rum-soaked and Oaked Hyperion Double Stout to be tapped, too. Savory meat and veggie pies from El Segundo Catering Co. are also available.

Can’t make it Friday?

The Select Beer Store in Redondo Beach hosts a release party from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday ahead of the Super Bowl with others to follow Feb. 7 at the huge Whole Foods Plaza El Segundo (which has a new 30 tap system in its tasting room), Sunset Beer Co. Feb. 8 and Wally’s Wine and Spirits Feb. 23.

For more on the brewery, check out this story that appeared around this time last year in the Daily Breeze.