Memorial Day Weekend Craft Beer Events in Southern California

growlersI’ve never understood why Southern California residents dash out of town en masse on long holiday weekends negotiating huge traffic jams to spend their days in packed campgrounds or resort hotels cheek to jowl with other Angelenos.

I’ve never understood it, but appreciate it because that means some usually packed restaurants and pubs in Southern California (Torrance’s new Rock & Brews has experienced diners willing to wait up to an hour for a table since it opened, according to anecdotal reports I’ve been getting!)  are relatively crowd-free for the weekend.

And with the booming craft beer industry locally, there’s even less reason to head out of town when you could be enjoying an unhurried quality brew or two at home as summer unofficially begins.

Here’s a look at what’s brewing where this holiday weekend:

  • Downtown’s Angel City Brewery, which officially opened earlier this month, is hosting a Memorial Day barbecue. The event, which runs from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. includes free sliders and dogs from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (or until supplies run out). Angel City has about a dozen brews on tap in their cool historic building in the Arts District including the brand new Pen is Mightier.
  • Torrance’s Smog City Brewing, which also officially opened last weekend, will serve a “decadent” Double Chocolate Imperial Stout cellared since last November that has “only gotten better,” according to co-owner Laurie Porter. Their cool growlers (pictured above) have arrived, too, so you can take home their Smog City XPA for Memorial Day. Incidentally, Torrance Mayor Frank Scotto is scheduled to participate in an official ribbon-cutting at the brewery at 4:30 p.m. June 7.
  • Taste of Brews returns to downtown Riverside Saturday with an impressive lineup of breweries and food trucks. More here.
  • The Federal Bar, a gastropub in the former Madison Steakhouse space, has opened in downtown Long Beach.
  • Also:

What did I miss? Feel free to add other craft beer-oriented events in the comment section.