Monthly Archives: November 2012

Business N Beer\’s return visit to Tortilla Cantina

Last night Business & Beer held their 20th gathering; this time it was a return visit to Tortilla Cantina in Torrance. Tortilla Cantina is a gastropub and taco bistro with up to 40 beers on tap. They offer a very wide selection of craft beers with many Southern California brewers represented; the food is pretty good too. It was a cold and rainy evening which seems to keep attendance levels lower; I am sure the return to Pacific Standard Time is not helping. We had a small group but that gives people more opportunities to talk and that is what networking is all about.

If you are a small business owner or if networking is one of your job duties and you live in the South Bay, you might want to check out This is a different kind of networking group with no mandatory attendance, no dues, no rules. Just come and meet some good people and enjoy some wonderful beers. Continue reading

Beer tasting in the Inland Empire

These photos were taken at I and I Brewing Co, Craft Brewing Company, Lazy Dog Cafe, Black Market Brewing, South Coast Winery, Lake Skinner and Brew-Ligion Brewhouse in the Inland Empire area of Southern California. Tanya and I have not really had a chance to venture away for an over-nighter in what seems like forever, so we decided we would head down to Temecula to see if there was a chance that I could visit with my son and his family and maybe do a little beer tasting. Since I knew a visit with the family was not going to happen very early, we decided to take the long way there and started off by visiting I and I Brewing in Chino. While I and I is very \”micro\” in size, they offer more than a dozen varieties of brew. They accomplish this by brewing very small batches; so while it may be a while before they begin to distribute I know that we will stop by to sample more of their creations. We really enjoyed their Belgian Pineapple Blond and the Peach Wheat.

After leaving I and I, we headed to Craft Brewing Company in Lake Elsinore. I had some prior experience with Craft Brewing as they attended the Hollywood On Tap beer festival back in October. Their Four Headed Hef and Raven Stout were two brews that stood out. Craft Brewing is definitely a place worth stopping by; if in the area. It is a large location so I expect that they will eventually be stepping up production.

Since neither of these microbreweries served food, we made our next stop the Lazy Dog Cafe in Temecula. I was told that they were a brewpub, but when I got there I discovered that their six house brews were actually brewed by Firestone Walker and Bayhawk Ales. They had a nice selection of beers but if I was in the area again, I would probably look a little harder for a gastropub. The fact that they are dog friendly, and we had Buddy and Hershey with us, was really the selling point. Continue reading

Business N Beer returns to Abigaile

These photos are from the week 19 meeting of Business & Beer which was held at The Brewery at Abigaile in Hermosa Beach. The Brewery at Abigaile is my favorite brewpub and has one of the best varieties of in-house brewed beers of any of the local South Bay breweries. It was a cold and damp evening so the attendance level was down a little but the enthusiasm of those that did attend did not wane. People that a couple months ago were strangers are now friends, or at the least, friendly acquaintances. That is what networking and Business & Beer is all about; developing personal relationships that eventually evolve into business relationships.

If you live in the South Bay area and networking is an important part of your business model or job description, you should come visit one of our Business & Beer gatherings. You do not need to ask permission or make reservations. We have no rules, no dues and no mandatory meetings. To ensure you are kept aware of upcoming events, sign up to the Business & Beer mailing list and \”Like\” them on Facebook. At worst, you will enjoy some great craft beers and at best, you will generate some new business. Continue reading

Photos from the IHACI 2012 trade show at Pasadena Convention Center

These photos were taken at the Institute of Heating & Air Conditioning Industries\’ (IHACI) 33rd Annual Trade Show which was held November 14, 2012 at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, CA. This event is recognized as the largest HVAC/R/SM show in the west by the HVAC industry. I was there as the guest of my good friend Phil Walls, owner and inventor of the EZ Recovery Coil refrigerant recovery system. Although heating and air conditioning is far from being my forte, I am glad I attended as I found it pretty informative. As many of you know I am one of the co-founders of Business & Beer; and as a result I have met a few people through our group that are in-between jobs and joined Business & Beer in the hopes of finding new employment. When I talk to these people I always suggest determining what their skill-set is, then determining what void in that field needs to be filled and begin by starting a company that will fill that void. After walking around for an hour or two, looking at what was being displayed and listening to the representatives, whether they were talking with me or someone else, it was pretty easy to come up with some ideas for new business models.

This particular event was free of charge and I am sure there are other trade shows like this that are also free or a very low admission fee; so if you are looking for work but do not really know where to begin, attending various trade shows might be a good place to start. Even if the trade is not something that is really up your alley you might discover that there is a sub-niche in it that you never thought of that is something you are comfortable with. Heck, I ran into one company that was giving away free training and certifications because there is a lack of trained individuals in their field. I guess the point is that you never know where opportunity may pop up, so give it a helping hand and do not limit your scope. It is all about the networking. Continue reading

Photos from Business & Beer at Monkish Brewing Co, Torrance

These photos are from our most recent visit to Monkish Brewing Company in Torrance, with our Business & Beer networking group. Monkish Brewing is a microbrewery in Torrance that specializes in Belgian style ales, with usually seven or eight different options available. Even though the weather was a little iffy with it being chilly and some rain we still had a nice turnout. It seems that Business & Beer is growing to the point that our minimum size is now 10-15 when not too long ago our smaller groups might have only eight. It will be interesting to see where we are at in a couple more months.

Next week, Business & Beer will return to The Brewery at Abigaile in Hermosa Beach. Pretty much everyone in our group and my regular readers know that as far as I am concerned, the Brewery at Abigaile sets the bar as far as brewpubs are concerned. Between their brewmaster Brian and Chef Tin, there is nothing not to love about the place; the only thing keeping me from going there more frequently is that it is not within walking distance. I encourage everyone in the South Bay to pay them a visit at least once. If you want to try some outstanding brews, order a flight; I do not think you will be disappointed.

I want to, once again, invite all small business owners in the South Bay area to consider joining our networking group, Business & Beer. Even if you do not own the business, but networking is an essential part of how you do business, Business & Beer is there for you; especially if you enjoy craft beers. We meet every Thursday evening at a different microbrewery, brewpub or gastropub in the South Bay. We have no rules, dues or mandatory meetings. You do not need a special invitation, just bring your business cards and meet up with us. Everyone in our group is friendly and we all want to meet you. You can find our upcoming schedule and get on our mailing list at; you can also Like Us on Facebook where we will keep you abreast of meetings and special events. Continue reading

Business & Beer comes back to Strand Brewing, Torrance

These photos are from our most recent Business & Beer gathering which we had at Strand Brewing Company in Torrance. Strand Brewing is a local microbrewery that has been growing by leaps and bounds over the last several months. I remember when I first started going there, there would be maybe three or four people on a Saturday afternoon. These days you and more likely to find 15-20 on a Thursday evening. I can imagine that Saturdays are even better. We had about 20 people show up for Business & Beer which was about double of what I expected; it is pretty obvious that we are really growing and that Strand Brewing Company is a crowd favorite. One of the co-owners, Rich Marcello, was manning the taps Thursday and as he is a big proponent of networking, he is always sending interested patrons our way. We do appreciate it, Rich.

Next week, Business & Beer will return to Monkish Brewing in Torrance. Monkish specializes in Belgian style brews, and brewmaster/owner Henry Nguyen has been expanding his offerings with new brews on a pretty regular basis. He even has one I have yet to try [as of this writing]. Additionally, they have expanded the size of their operation so there should be plenty of room for everyone. Remember, Monkish Brewing is a local microbrewery which means they do not serve food, but you are more than welcome to bring food or order in. Monkish seems to draw some of our larger groups, so bring your business cards and come ready to do some networking. Continue reading