Ooowee Baby, Won’t You Let me Take you on a Beer Cruise?

beershipAnd, 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.

Details here.

Timeless Pints craft brewery opens in Lakewood

timelessOwner 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:

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.


‘Game of Thrones’-related beer available locally

Cooperstown, N.Y.-based Brewery Ommegang has released the first of its ‘Game of Thrones’-related beers.

Released in conjunction with Sunday night’s (March 31) season three opener of the HBO series, Iron Throne Blonde Ale is available in limited quantities at select Southern California outlets.

In stores, it’s available in 750 mL bottles.

I was able to pick one up today at Red Carpet Wine and Spirits, 8678 19th St., Suite 150, Rancho Cucamonga, which is limiting sales to one per customer.

Despite the name, Red Carpet has a great selection of local and hard-to-find beers.

Continue reading “‘Game of Thrones’-related beer available locally” »

What’s the name of Dale Bros. Brewery’s new IPA? You decide!

During its recent 10th anniversary celebration, Dale Bros. Brewery took suggestions for a name for its new Imperial IPA.

The folks at the brewery have narrowed the list down to three (Hopped Upland Imperial IPA, Galaxy Imperial IPA and Inland Empire Imperial IPA), and are looking to pick a winner.

That’s where you come in.

Continue reading “What’s the name of Dale Bros. Brewery’s new IPA? You decide!” »

St. Patrick’s Day March Madness Beer Bracket Battle Extravaganza has begun

Beer fans!

St. Patrick’s Day is a notable day to drink beer, but which beer is the question.

Do you go the traditional route with a Guinness Stout or do you stick with your usual brew, perhaps a Corona even a — gasp! — Coors Light?

We’ve chosen 16 beers based on U.S. St. Patrick’s Day sales and/or popularity in Ireland, and left it to you to choose which one is the ultimate St. Patrick’s Day beer.

Every few days, we’ll tally the votes and narrow the field until there’s a single winner.

Ready? Click here to vote.

Pliny The Younger to be tapped in Claremont on Tuesday

Russian River Brewing Company’s Pliny The Younger will be tapped at 5 p.m. Tuesday Feb. 26 at Eureka! Burger in Claremont, according to a news release.

Pliny The Younger, a triple IPA, has been rated a perfect score of 100 on Beer Advocate and Rate Beer, will be available on a first come, first served basis until it’s gone.

Eureka is at 580 W. 1st St., Claremont.

For more information, contact 909-445-8875.

Beer Goggles Come to LA to Focus on Great Beer

For this inaugural post to the Beer Goggles blog, let me first say welcome, thank you, and cheers. To help Los Angeles better understand the universe of beer that has foamed up all over our great metropolis, the Los Angeles News Group has asked some of its top writers to focus on the city’s booming beer culture.

Over the coming weeks, months, and years, we plan to highlight the most interesting LA beers, breweries, beer bars, beer menus, beer events, beer clubs, beer bargains, beer websites, beer gadgets, and beer people. With the world famous diversity LA possesses, our beer spotlight will take us across cultures, from complex American craft beers in Eagle Rock to exotic malty Indian beers in Cerritos, from rowdy beachside beer halls in Redondo Beach to upscale beer tastings in Pasadena, from Oktoberfest in Torrance to beer festivals in Hollywood, and from beers sold at Zagat rated restaurants in Santa Monica to beers sold at little known blue collar mainstays in Long Beach.

Beer brings people together. It unleashes our inner “I love you man” tendencies. It quenches our thirst, brings happiness by the ounce, and makes life’s special moments as well as its routines a little more interesting. We’ll talk to restaurant owners, home brewers, event planners, beer people, and many interesting components of the growing LA beer world.

As for me, by day and most nights and weekends, I’m the President and Managing Editor of, a nonprofit public charity that researches the pros and cons of controversial issues. I’ve become a beer hobbyist over the years, traveling across the city, state, country and around the world to experience great beer.  You’ll meet the rest of us over the coming weeks and months. If you have suggestions for what this blog should cover, please email and let us know.