Torrance’s Smog City features Battle of the (IPA) Casks II Saturday


If you attended the inaugural battle of the casks last December at Smog City Brewing in Torrance you know what it was like to sample five distinctly different beers based on the brewery’s Bare Knuckle Porter.

Well, round two is upon us and this time the brewery’s excellent Amarilla Gorilla IPA is featured with a variety of unusual ingrdients including tea, wine juice and fruit purees.

Check out the recipes here.

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Torrance’s Monkish Brewing Company marks two-year anniversary this weekend

monkishlogoUnderscoring the rapid growth of the craft beer industry in Southern California, Torrance’s Monkish Brewing Co., celebrates two years of serving Belgian-style ales this weekend.

For a historical perspective, check out the story that ran in the Torrance-based Daily Breeze two years ago.

And for more details on the weekend event, which includes food trucks and limited release beers, click here.

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Absolution Brewing Company opens — or is that baptized — Saturday in rainy Torrance

AbsolutionBlessed with beer: Steve Farguson, left, vice president of sales, and Nigel Heath, self-described chief tasting officer (and CEO), are two of the three partners behind the latest entrant into the fast-growing Torrance and South Bay craft beer scene, Absolution Brewing Co. (Photo by Staff Photographer Robert Casillas).

Torrance’s Absolution Brewing Company opens its doors for the first time Saturday. Read more here.

CEO Nigel Heath discusses some of the brewery’s offerings in the video below:

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Torrance’s Smog City Brewing Hosts Inaugural “Battle of the Cask”

smogcitylogoI was at Torrance’s Smog City Brewing Co., over the weekend partaking in the brewery’s latest limited edition beer, a cherrywood smoked porter.

It is, by the way, an excellent winter warmer perfect for a late Sunday afternoon with the chill of the evening closing in.

And if you’re a porter fan, then Smog City is the place for you at noon Dec. 28.

The brewery rapidly becoming known as being the most adventurous in the county will host its first-ever “Battle of the Cask,’ a friendly competition among its beer-making employees. Each edition will feature different variations on the same style of beer and first up is a porter.

Using the brewery’s Bloody Knuckle porter as a base, five beers will be offered including a:

  • Fruit and Maple cask that contains dried orange cranberries and maple syrup.
  • Peanut butter and chocolate cask that includes dried peanut butter and cocoa nibs.
  • Mint chocolate cask suffused with chocolate powder, cocoa nibs, mint oil and vanilla beans.
  • Toasted coconut cask containing toasted coconut and vanilla beans.

Is your mouth watering? Mine, too.

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Inaugural LA IPA fest coming to Mohawk Bend

Calling all hop heads. The inaugural Los Angeles IPA Festival – showcasing more than 60 breweries – is coming to Mohawk Bend this weekend.

“Hoppy IPA has become the defining style of West Coast beer, and no one loves their hops more than we do in LA,” according to the LA IPA Festival website.

The event is open to the public but reservations are needed for Saturday and Sunday. According to Mohawk Bend’s website, the bar area will be open to festival guests.

Local breweries such as Redlands-based Hangar 24 Craft Brewery and Torrance-based Smog City Brewing Co are among the participants.


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Weird Beer (and others) in Torrance this weekend

Torrance’s Smog City is expecting big crowds from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday for its “Rarest of the Rare” event with about 20 rarely seen and little known beers served at two bars.

Among the promised concoctions is a Weird Beer (a five grain Saison with spices), a Grape Ape IPA made with 500lbs of flame grapes, pressed on site, and a Bourbon Collective Evil, a 2011 collaboration with Julian Shrago of Beachwood BBQ.

And gourmet hot dogs will be served.

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Torrance’s next craft brewery: Absolution Brewing Company

AbsolutionThe 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.


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Suburban Los Angeles County craft beer movement fizzing in Torrance and elsewhere, falling flat in city

Angel City BreweryAngel 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.

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Brews News: Thursday is National IPA Day, LA Beer Crawl & more

*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.

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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. 

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