Breweries and Wineries

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American Craft Beer Week, Day One

Today is the first day of 8th Annual American Craft Beer Week (ACBW). We had such a good time finding new craft beers last year that I decided to try something a little different this year. I am going to do my best to visit as many Great American Beer Festival gold medal award winning breweries as possible. Today we rode down to San Clemente and visited Pizza Port brewing. After a little pizza and beer we headed back to Long Beach with the intentions of visiting Beachwood BBQ & Brewing. I did not know that they were closed on Mondays. Fortunately, the Congregation Ale House is virtually next door. While they do not brew beer there, they did have an award winning Wookey Jack available, so all was not lost.

You can learn more about our craft beer journey on CraftBeerGuy.com Continue reading

A visit to Babe’s Bar-B-Que Brewhouse & Alpine Beer Co

Last week I had a trade show to photograph out in the Phoenix, AZ area, so I had an opportunity to visit a couple brewpubs during my travels. We decided to leave on Tuesday evening and drive out to Indio to get out of the city and have an easier drive into Tempe the next day. We set our sights on Babe’s Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse in Rancho Mirage. To be honest, we targeted Babe’s for their peach pie; I had completely forgotten they were a brewpub. Naturally I got a flight, and each selection seemed perfectly suited for the desert. While we were there our server told me Alice Cooper and Cheech Marin were there so I went up and asked if they had a problem with my taking a photo; they didn’t. We chatted a little as we had some connections, in a couple of ways. It was pretty cool and they were very nice guys.

On the way home from Arizona on Sunday, we took a detour on I-8 and stopped in Alpine, CA at Alpine Beer Company. I have only been able to try Alpine’s brews on a few occasions, at special events, so it was a treat to be able to visit the brewery and get a flight of samples. Everything they do that I have tried is really good. It is a nice place to visit with some pretty good food; I know we will be back. Continue reading

Strand Brewing Company Bottle Release Weekend

It seems like there is a lot of action in the beer world around here lately and today was no exception. Strand Brewing Company, a microbrewery out of Torrance that my regular readers have undoubtedly heard me mention on numerous occasions, has graduated to the next step in the ranks of professional brewers; they are now bottling some of their beers. These photos were taken at their tasting room on Saturday afternoon as the first bottles became available.

Their first round of 16.9 oz bottled beers consists of their Beach House Amber, 24th Street Pale Ale, Atticus IPA and their latest, Second Sleep Russian Imperial Stout. To celebrate the event, they brought out Second Sleep on cask and they returned White Sand Double IPA to the tap rotation. Apparently, the actual bottling was completed several days ago; however, the labels did not make it in until 6:30 PM last night! It made for a very long evening for the Strand Brewing crew as they labeled all the bottles prior to the 12:00 PM launch.

The festivities continue Sunday and the pricing on the bottles is excellent, so head over and pick some up for your St. Patrick’s Day dinner. I recommend the Second Sleep for dessert. Continue reading

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