The newest entrant to Torrance’s rapidly growing craft brew scene is actually a refugee from San Diego where the city’s nasty political scene under its now disgraced former mayor prompted a relocation to a more welcoming business environment.
Absolution Brewing will become Torrance’s fifth craft brewery when it opens on Columbia Street, hopefully shortly before the end of the year, said co-founder Wes McCain.
The Torrance Planning Commission will consider its conditional use permit application this fall, he said.
“They’re well aware of what it takes to open a brewery,” he said. “We don’t have to teach the politicians what’s necessary.”
No they don’t, not with the city’s emergence as a craft beer center at the expense of Los Angeles, where taxes and the economic climate in general are much more onerous.
Incidentally, McCain said the brewery will concentrate on Old World beer styles made with New World hops.
LA Beer Week gets bigger every year as more craft breweries and brewpubs open with every passing week.
Check out this guide to LA Beer Week dinners and tastings for a full run down of whose drinking what where.
And you know an event is scaling new heights when they create a shuttle to ferry folks between venues as they have this Saturday.
Angel City Brewing, above, may have reopened earlier this year in downtown’s Arts District after relocating from a site just outside Torrance, but it’s the South Bay and other suburban locations that are ahead of Los Angeles when it comes to craft breweries (Photo by Staff Photographer Steven Carr).
Read the story here.
Shrine to craft beer: Long Beach’s Congregation Alehouse (Photo by Staff Photographer Steven Carr).
Los Angeles News Group restaurant reviewer Merrill Shindler takes a bite (and sip) out of Long Beach’s Congregation Ale House (also with locations in Pasadena and Azusa).
Read the review here.
You know we’re heading into harvest season when local breweries are mixing seasonal crops with craft beer.
Two new seasonal brews will be unveiled this weekend.
Downtown’s Angel City Brewing is up first with the launch of its Avocado Ale at its aptly-titled Avocado Festival on Saturday, which includes a guacamole contest.
Food trucks like Steel City Sandwich and Octopops will also be on hand.
Torrance’s Smog City Brewing has added wild fennel growing in Playa Vista to a 5 percent alcohol by volume Scotch Ale they will tap Sunday dubbed Fennel of Love.
It’s the first of a new series of limited edition beers called the Forager Series that “uses hand harvested fruits and herbs to create unique beers that put a spin on traditional styles.”
Here’s more, from the brewery newsletter:
These flowers are not to be confused with fennel seed or fennel pollen, the flowers impart a subtly sweet anise character into a lightly malted and fruity beer. The result is a subtle licorice and fruity aroma balanced by a smooth crisp and lightly malty beer ending in the perfect amount of roast character thanks to the midnight wheat for added balance.
And, yes, we know the 1959 Frankie Ford hit is actually “Sea Cruise.”
But what’s being billed as the first pair of craft beer-themed cruises (the first sets off next month from Mexico to Hawaii) in the industry sets sail from San Pedro next April.
From the press release:
The seven-night California Beer Festival at Sea departs on April 12, 2014 from the Port of Los Angeles and will travel up the California coast with stops in Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Monterey, Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico. Included are specially planned beer and lunch pairings, craft beer round table, and CBF Craft Beer Heaven with Ninkasi Brewing Company and Lagunitas Brewing Company participating. Prices start at $639 per person for an inside stateroom to $1.089 per person for Concierge Class.
Celebrity Cruises have apparently converted several of their Michael’s Clubs that used to serve cognacs and other fine liquors into craft beer venues that serve about 60 microbrews including Celebrity Century, the vessel hosting the California Beer Festival.
Owner Chris Sparacio has opened Timeless Pints in Lakewood (Photo by Staff Photographer Robert Casillas).
Lakewood’s Timeless Pints Brewing Co., became the latest entrant into the fast-growing Los Angeles County craft beer scene when it opened its doors this weekend.
It’s a familiar story: home brewer seeks to turn hobby into business and the result is the first craft brewery in the Long Beach area.
And while the brewery is new, Sparacio has gone for that ageless feel with whimsical beer names like A Precarious Proposal Amber Ale and a Taste of Fate Red IPA.
Read more here and check out Friday’s grand opening below:
*Torrance’s Smog City Brewing is marking National IPA Day Thursday by tapping its first keg of Hoptonic Porter. From the brewery:
“The boys used mango and peach juice as the sugar source for the cask refermentation and generously double dry-hopped with Simcoe and Chinook (hops) respectively.
And if that’s not enough, we’ll have our Amarilla Gorilla IPA and Hoptonic IPA on tap as well!
*Organizers of the fourth annual LA Beer Crawl set for Aug. 10-11 have reduced prices by $5 this year to the event that includes the tasting of more than 100 different craft beers at seven bars and restaurants. Tickets start at $49. Full details here.
*The twelve Southern California locations of Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar are marking the company’s 10th anniversary through Sept. 12 with a collaborative Belgian Blond Ale brewed in association with Matthew Brynildson, master brewer at Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Studio City’s Stout Burgers & Beers hosts its inaugural beer festival Sunday — and this one has a bit of a twist, according to the organizers.
“There will be 18 hand selected breweries that will be pouring two beers per brewery. All the beers will either be barrel aged, sours, or unique one-offs. These beers will never be seen again or very hard to get, so don’t miss out!”
Sounds good in concept, but I will be interested to hear any feedback from this festival where tickets cost between $60 and $70 a person.
That’s pretty steep compared to most beer festivals. I’m sure the organizers will defend the price pointing to the unique nature of the brews being poured.
But it’s my experience a craft beer festival focusing on strong ales and other kinds of experimental brews can literally be hard to digest. Frankly, it’s a bit difficult trying to sip your way through what are very often beers that are high in alcohol or have other qualities that don’t make them approachable, session-type brews.
Good luck to those of you willing to try, however. Let us know if you got your money’s worth.
Looking 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.