Scorching summer beer sampler: Manhattan Beach beer fest, Torrance beer garden

wavesLooking to escape the heat this weekend?

South Bay residents are a little smug about their weather, which due to the coastal location and a daily breeze that kicks up midday is often significantly cooler than elsewhere in Southern California.

Cooling you off even more Sunday is a 40-plus brewery beer festival in trendy Manhattan Beach at the equally trendy Shade Hotel. Get your tickets here.

Japanese beer garden

The Japanese aren’t known for their craft beer and this beer garden at the ultra-modern Miyako Hybrid Hotel in Torrance is no exception (they serve bubble-infused Sapporo, Kirin and Asahi only), but the food is good (if last year’s beer garden is any guide) and the ambiance enjoyable, although the service was a tad patchy, I found at Gonpachi Restaurant.

They can’t go virtually next door and pick up, say, the excellent Extra Pale Ale from new Torrance brewery Smog City?  Sadly, no.



Claremont Village’s Blues & Brews Craft Beer Walk is Saturday

Foodies and craft beer fans will want to take in the Claremont Village’s fourth annual Blues and Brews Craft Beer Walk, which takes place from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday (June 29).

Participants (21 years of age and older) will be able to tour the village and try food and drink samples from nearly two dozen participating eateries and sample beer from about 15 craft breweries.

They’ll be entertained along the way by over a dozen bands.

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Summer solstice beer sampler: New brews, craft beer things to do — part deux

It’s the first full weekend of summer and that’s a perfect excuse to raise a glass or two.

Here’s a roundup of what’s on tap in Southern California:

bottles2Hawaii’s Kona Brewing has redesigned its custom bottles (which now come with an embossed island chain on them) for the second time in three years making them smaller, lighter and therefore more environmentally friendly (examples of the old and new bottles are to the right).

Incidentally, their Big Wave Golden Ale (not shown here) is an excellent beach brew that’s light and crisp, yet not lacking in flavor.


*Torrance’s Smog City Brewing has released a Little Bo Pilsner with an ABV of just 4.4 percent that was tapped Thursday.

From the brewery press release:

This unfiltered pale lager is all about subtlety and balance. Expect a delicate spice, a touch of honey, and rustic white bread in the nose. Flavors of bread crust and light malt meet the spice of traditional Czech Saaz hops and while the finish is crisp and bracingly bitter, everything is in balance.


Clean, then quench that thirst

There’s not one, but two events this weekend in Southern California that will put you to work (for a good cause) then reward you with a brew or two for your labor.

It’s thirsty work washing a smelly dog and downtown’s Angel City Brewery has combined beer with the chore hosting a “Barks, Bubbles & Brew” event Sunday for Much Love Animal Rescue, which will also have pooches for adoption.

In the South Bay Saturday, there’s this Heal the Bay benefit:



From the Simmzy’s Long Beach, 5271 E. Second St., press release:


From June 18th through the end of July, the Tuesday night special will feature Golden Road’s Heal the Bay IPA served in 16-ounce “topless” tall cans, alongside Chef Anne Conness’ three crispy Carnitas tacos for 10 bucks. 

The Bruery relaxes its policy, will fill unmarked growlers

Bruery growler policyThis changes everything.

In a blog post last week, Placentia’s The Bruery announced that it was relaxing its policy on growler fills, and has begun selling and filling unmarked, two-liter Palla-style growlers.

The change comes from the brewery’s interpretation of California growler regulations, of which there has been much attention paid lately.

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Celebrate the solstice at Dale Bros. Brewery’s Summerfest

Summer is coming!

And what better way to celebrate than with music, food trucks and fresh, ice cold beer?

That’s the plan at Dale Bros. Brewery’s Summerfest, scheduled for 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at the brewery, 2120 Porterfield Way, Upland.

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Beer sampler: New summer brews, craft beer things to do

trumer_pils_t250New brews

*Trumer Pils, a pilsner brewed at Trumer Braueri Berkeley, has just begun distribution in Southern California.

“This is such an exciting milestone for our brewery, said Charlie Paulette, Trumer’s marketing director. “We’ve had our eye on Southern California since we launched Trumer Pils back in 2006, and having served Northern California and San Diego for years, we’re pleased to make Trumer available to beer enthusiasts and foodies alike up and down the coast.”

Pilsners are closely related to lagers, not ales, and as such are excellent thirst quenchers for hot summer days.

Full disclosure: this reporter received some taste samples of Trumer, which is nothing like the sweet mass-produced lagers such as Bud or Coors most craft beer drinkers avoid.

It is an excellent example of the crisp style, an assessment shared by a home brew friend of mine I shared a couple of bottles with in exchange for his review. But don’t take our word for it: Trumer just received a silver medal for the second consecutive year at the 21st annual International Australian Beer Awards, a nation that knows something about drinking beer on warm days. (Its sister brewery in Austria won a silver medal, too, at the same awards event).

Old Torrance gastropub 1321 Downtown Taproom Bistro just made Trumer Pils its unofficial house pilsner, incidentally.

*Torrance’s Smog City Brewing have added a new beer on a limited basis, the alliteratively-named Third Nipple Triple, which checks in at 8% ABV.

*Golden Road Brewing has introduced a Cabrillo Kölsch (5% ABV)  just in time for summer, described as “light and refreshing with peppery and citrus accents.”

Craft beer things to do

angelcity*”Artists on Tap,” a new art exhibit featuring the work of 15 downtown Los Angeles artists bonding over their love of beer, opens Thursday at Angel City Brewery.

“Art brings people together,” said curator J.W. Pippen. “All our artists love beer and the community aspect of a brewery, so what better theme than Artists on Tap?”

The grand opening is set for 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday with punk rock bluesman Lightnin’ Woodcock performing. The exhibit runs through July 7.

Incidentally, while you are there, check out the new limited edition Pickle Weisse, described as “a tart, light-bodied, straw-colored ale blended with pickles.”

*Palos Verdes Peninsula’s Terranea Resort has joined the craft beer movement, opening a new beer garden. From the press release:

Nelson’s Beer Garden is more than a cliff side spot ideal for whale watching. In addition to a selection of housemade sausages, Nelson’s signature giant soft pretzels, the chef’s daily special and assorted appetizers and snacks, Nelson’s Beer Garden boasts a rotating selection of local microbrews, including Dudes’ Brewing Company, one of L.A.’s newest craft beers. The Beer Garden will also carry regional brews such as Northern California’s Lagunitas and San Diego’s Ballast Point.

There is music every Friday night. The best part: you can make reservations by calling 310-265-2836.

*1321 Downtown Taproom Bistro hosts a $50 per person, five-course dinner paired with brews from Torrance’s Strand Brewing Company on June 26. The full menu is here.


California’s craft beer growler issue may have solution in sight: Commentary


Grrr: Growlers and the storage issues they present are the bane of many craft beer fans.

Los Angeles County craft beer drinkers may soon raise their glasses in salute to a longstanding issue in the craft beer industry that could become a thing of the past.

Some county craft breweries will soon begin filling “non-native” growlers, providing a degree of relief to beer drinkers running out of storage space because they generally have little choice but to buy a growler from each brewery.
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Tickets available for Packinghouse Brewing Company’s BrewGrass Festival

BrewGrassIt seems like Southern California brewers are getting together at every opportunity.

Really, we’re OK with that.

The next gathering will take place at Riverside’s Packinghouse Brewing Company’s BrewGrass Festival on June 29.

The event will take place from 1 to 6 p.m. at the brewery, 6421 Central Ave., Riverside.

In addition to unlimited two-ounce sample pours from lots of Southern California breweries, the event will feature food trucks and live bluegrass music from The Salty Suites, The Tail Draggers, Shadow Mountain Band and The Original Bladerunners.

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