State Brewing Grand Opening

by Sean on February 19, 2018

In between a belated Valentine’s Day brunch and an early birthday pie celbration, I moseyed down to Gardena for the “official” grand opening of State Brewing.

Here are some photos and beer notes:

One of the tanks inside the brewery.

The brewery is growing their Gardena footprint but are also very cognizant of regulating the growth and also maximizing how they use the R&D – Pilot System they have. Some wild beers are in the plans for the future as well to add to the multiple hop offerings and stout Project lines.

The Opening menu.

I tasted the Can’t Flocc, Won’t Flocc which was solid as well as the Family Julius which was very much a creamsicle beer. That silken orange flavor. My favorite was the Raindrop Pils that had Huell Melon hops. Really crisp with a hint of the bitter to it. And I had to try a Project beer, so I had a taster of the S’mores.

Dark Side – Light Side

Cheers to more State beers!



by Sean on February 18, 2018

I would expect nothing less in label art than this from the combo of Pizza Port and 3 Floyds….

Very trippy and skull driven. All for a session IPA. You won’t be able to miss it on shelves for sure.


Pears and Paw Paws

by Sean on February 18, 2018

Thanks to Upland sending beers L.A.’s way, I might see what could be super expensive but would be an epic sour collaboration with Cascade that also uses rarely used in sours fruits. Pears and paw-paw that is aged in oak barrels.


Only Stout

by Sean on February 17, 2018

If you are a fan of malt then Andy Black and Yorkshire Square Brewery have the event for you! The N’Owt but Stout Festival features dark beer on cask and kegs on March 17th.

Three bars will be serving starting at Noon on St. Patrick’s Day and at 2pm there will be a panel extolling dark beers and malt.

This is a ticketed event and it said ticket will get you…
– Snazzy commemorative glass
– Infinite pours of all beer from 12-5pm
– Access to the Brewer Panel


Steelcraft, the Sequel

by Sean on February 17, 2018

If you have quaffed a Smog City brew at the Bixby Knolls Steelcraft location, you may have wished that you had your own shipping container chic place of your own.

Well if you are near Garden Grove, the second SteelCraft is coming later this year and will house eight new restaurant iterations, from pizza to coffee to ice cream.

And for beer? Well none other than the excellent Beachwood Brewing. It will mark their 4th location around the southern end of the Los Angeles area.


An Old Chalet in Eagle Rock

by Sean on February 16, 2018

The Black Boar is no more and it is back to being the Old Chalet. But this is not some retro throwback to old school suburban dive bars.

I visited the Black Boar when it made the switch and found it to be one of those, “hey, craft beer is cool, let’s sell that without really changing much inside” places. I didn’t need to go back what with the Oinkster just down the block one way and then Craft Beer Cellar opening much later further east.

Now it is in the capable hands of Clay Harding of 38 Degrees fame in his role as part of the Artisanal Brewers Collective. That means the beer will be better and it will be my closest bar from their group. Will it be of a theme with Tony’s and Mohawk Bend? And will I find Bell Marker beer on tap?

Only a first visit will tell.


Orval Day…

by Sean on February 16, 2018

…is coming and I suggest you buy a bottle to celebrate earlier rather than later.

Last March, I went a’lookin’ for a bottle to pop open on the appointed day and found empty shelves at my local and at two BevMo’s.

Orval is such a fun beer and one that I should have more than once a year and you should too.


1st Visit – Long Beach Beer Lab

by Sean on February 15, 2018

Gotta love the 710 Freeway on a Sunday. It was an easy glide down to Willow Street for a first visit to the Long Beach Beer Lab.

And it is a lovely set-up. Big, airy warehouse ceilings. Barrels at the window on the right as you walk in, fermenters on the left. And food, the LBBL also makes bread and pizza. You can even buy a loaf to go!

There is a pretty Van Gogh-ish star painting heading up the stairs to the balcony seating where you can view the downstairs and its long rusted look reverse L bar and rustic rustic tables.

All of the beers looked lovely. Fluffy heads to them. And the bartenders were more attentive and helpful even coming out from behind the bar to talk. The set-up reminded me of a lit version of what Phantom Carriage has done in Carson.

Here are some back of the envelope reviews of the six beers that I sampled….

Bier D’Agrumes
Light and bright. Beautiful lemon taste. A bit thin.

Rye Not ???
Kvass style. Little tartness. Rustic.

To Blave
Very similar to Naughty Sauce except a touch thinner. Nice soft pillowy texture to it.

LB 4.20
NE IPA bright pineapple. Again soft and feathery. Quite bitter though at the back.

Berries Chocolatey Nuts
Jam upfront for sure. Candied peanut taste follows. Weird. Almost like potpourri

Super NES
Dry Hopped Saison funky aroma. Sour IPA’ish. Tart but balanced by the hops.

Overall, I was quite impressed by the beers. They all had a touch of thinness to them which might be a house style and a point of differentiation from other breweries that are all about big.

With Ten Mile just down the road on Willow and with Steelcraft and Smog City just up Atlantic. This is a neat little beer hop.


Sean Suggests for February 2018

by Sean on February 15, 2018

Let’s talk color, or more specifically, color and texture by starting with a Hazy IPA, moving on to the clarity of a West Coast DIPA and then finally the dark malts of a strong coffee beer.

Bootlegger’s/ CLOUDWARE IPA6.3% ABV
“This Hazy IPA has an Orange juice-like appearance with fruit juice aromas of passionfruit, lemon, and stonefruit. The low bitterness and high fruitiness make for a very drinkable hazy IPA”>

“An homage to the west coast, Macleod Ale’s “Doubled Over Happy” is all of the citrus, dank, and pine on the nose you want from an IPA, all while having a perfect malt blend on the palate for an easy drinking, balanced, crisp DIPA.”>

“This bold, imperial brown ale gets its body from a team of malts including Caramel malt for sweetness, flaked barley for dense foam, a bit of Chocolate malt for its deep color and Aromatic and Munich malts to add even more depth. German and Perle hops add a touch of bitterness to balance the malty sweetness. The addition of rich Sumatra coffee takes this perfectly balanced imperial brown ale to a decadent level.”>

All of these beers can be found at Sunset Beer Co. (unless they got bought up real quick)


Roller Derby, Park and Beer

by Sean on February 14, 2018

Looks like Tony Yanow is adding to his Burbank roots with a big development announced last month and I have been mulling over the plans for a bit now.

photo courtesy of the City of Burbank

A 2.4-acre site at 10 W. Magnolia Boulevard will become event space, Roller Rink (Yanow loves the Roller Derby), restaurant space, outdoor park space and for readers of this blog, a “craft beer pub.”

Artisanal Brewers Collective has been super busy and seemingly getting busier. This project will take a long time to get through all the permit process mumbo jumbo, then the de-construction of the site before the construction.

Questions about who will be drawn to it exist for me though. There is a big Ikea nearby and it will be neighboring the Metrolink – Burbank station but will that provide foot traffic to the space? Will the beer aspect be the draw? Or is event space that lucrative a business?

Due to the trains and the 5 freeway, there are dead ends aplenty so how do eyeballs see it and then get to it? I also foresee issues with late departures from the Metrolink parking meeting early arrivals on weeknights for coveted parking spots.

Lastly, will it be Yanow / ABC beer for sale only? Or will it be more of a Tony’s / Mohawk style with multiple taps?

Many questions to learn the answers to.