Great American Beer Fest 2015: Local breweries take home 24 medals

Ritual Brewing GABFGreater Los Angeles area breweries can pat themselves on the back.

They’ve claimed 24 of the 282 awards given out at this year’s Great American Beer Festival, which took place Thursday through Saturday of last week.

The winners were chosen from 6,647 entries from 1,552 breweries.

A total of 15 breweries, large and small, from the Santa Barbara area through the Inland Empire were awarded.

Head over the jump to see the list.

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Tickets available for Slater’s 50/50 Backyard Brewfest

Tickets are available now for the next Slater’s 50/50 Backyard Brewfest, which will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 5, in the parking lot of the chain’s Lake Forest location, 24356 Swartz Drive.

A total of 27 breweries and cideries from Southern California and elsewhere will be showcasing more than 40 different brews. Slater’s 50/50 will be serving up some of its most popular menu items.

The event, produced in conjunction with the Lake Forest Chamber of Commerce, is also a fundraiser for Boys and Girls Club of Lake Forest, the Lake Forest 4-H Superstars, Soroptimist International of Lake Forest and South County Outreach.

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BJ’s hosting IPA pairing dinner next month

BJs IPA DinnerBJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse locations are hosting an India pale ale pairing dinner in March.

The five-course dinner will be paired with IPAs from Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Samuel Adams, Samuel Smith Brewery, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Stone Brewing Co., and of course, BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse.

During the course of the dinner, BJ’s will be serving its next seasonal beer BJ’s Goliath Imperial Red Ale.

In Southern California, the dinners are scheduled between Monday (March 3) and Wednesday, March 12.

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The Rookery celebrating first anniversary today with special brews

Rookery First AnniversaryPomona’s The Rookery Alehouse & Grill is celebrating its first anniversary this weekend, and it’s kicking off the festivities at 11 a.m. today (January 17).

As part of the event, the eatery will be tapping 19 special beers from Southern California and beyond that it has squirreled away.

The celebration will last until 8 p.m. Sunday (January 19), however the beers likely will not.

Read on to find out what’s on tap.

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Want to buy a South Bay gastropub?


When Steve Rodriguez, left, opened the 1321 Taproom Bistro in Old Torrance in spring 2011, locals hoped it signaled not only a milestone in the redevelopment of the business district, but a sign the craft beer movement in the South Bay now had culinary pretensions to match the aspirations of its brewers.

Sadly, it proved a false dawn.

The new chef quickly departed and the restaurant became notorious for its relatively high prices, hit and miss cuisine and strange layout and decor.

This writer personally had the worst BLT and then Caesar salad in my entire life (fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice … you get the idea).

Also, guests had to walk through the entire (vast) dining room to reach the bar where you were greeted by uncomfortable stools designed that way to ensure bar flies didn’t linger (they needn’t have worried with that food).

The restaurant staggered on until  recently when even the lure of $3 locally brewed craft brews on a Monday night couldn’t draw in the wary. Now that’s a sure sign of its impending demise.

On the plus side 1321 had a welcoming woody decor and a cool massive mural celebrating the history of Torrance in the bar.

But it couldn’t survive.

And now, in an apparent effort to recoup the hundreds of thousands of dollars the owners surely plowed into the huge, old building, it’s up for sale at an asking price of $3.5 million.

Good luck with that.

There’s a market for craft beer in Old Torrance.

Tortilla Cantina just down the street serves around 40 draft brews, for instance.

The difference between that restaurant and 1321? Decent, moderately-priced food.

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Catch Game of Thrones (the show and the beer) at Steam Haus tomorrow night

Although we haven’t yet seen it in bottles yet, Brewery Ommegang‘s second beer from its “Game of Thrones” series has been released.

Corona’s SteamHaus Gastropub has received a keg of Take the Black Stout and will be serving it beginning at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow (October 24).

The gastropub is inviting fans out to watch the show and try the beer. The first 30 people will get collectible glassware.

For more information, click here.

Steam Haus is at 2785 Cabot Drive, Suite 110.

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Rock & Brews opens at LAX


Rapidly expanding El Segundo-based Rock & Brews, part-owned by members of rock band Kiss, landed today at Terminal 5 at Los Angeles International Airport. It’s the fourth location in the craft beer-centric chain to open after its flagship location in El Segundo and new sites in Redondo Beach and Los Cabos, Mexico.

Rock & Brews at LAX will offer dine-in and “Grab and Go” service. It’s the first in a series of locations the company hopes to open in airports.

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