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Tasting Allagash Brewing at The Rockefeller

Last night The Rockefeller in Hermosa Beach had a beer tasting featuring Allagash Brewing, from Portland, ME. Allagash specializes in Belgian style brews and I had tried their Allagash White on draught and really enjoyed it, so I did not hesitate in accepting the invitation to try five more of their brews. The downside was that the beers were brought in bottles, which [in my personal opinion] is never as good as on tap. Storing the bottles on ice just made the beer colder than I would have preferred, but the glasses were small and my hands are warm so it did not take too long for me to warm it up to a temperature I enjoyed.

Lou, the distributor hosting the tasting, did not bring the Allagash White with him because The Rockefeller sells it on tap. I think he may have been there more for his account that for introducing us to the various Allagash brews. We sampled, in this order, the Allagash Tripel, Dubbel, Curieux, Four and Black. I think I liked the Black best although the Curieux was very nice. It is aged on old Jim Beam barrels for four weeks and you can really taste the bourbon from sitting in the kegs.

The Rockefeller is located in Hermosa Beach on Pier Avenue and will be the location of our August 9 get together of Business & Beer. Any business owners in the South Bay area that are interested in networking with other business owners while enjoying a nice American craft beer is encouraged to join us. There are no dues or rules, just business and beer. Continue reading

Beachwood BBQ & Brewing Long Beach

Yesterday Tanya and I stopped by Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach. We were in Long Beach for the Chocolate Blues & Networking Festival and I knew there were a couple brewpubs in the area, so I figured after a long day of work a nice flight would be a good way to end the day. I recently met one of the bartenders at a local event and Dave over at Select Beer always speaks highly of Beachwood, so I decided to head over. I will be honest, as we worked our way over there I told Tanya there is no way that I would drive here “just for a beer” as it is kind of out of the way for us, but I would soon changed my tune.

Beachwood BBQ is a little difficult to find as the address is 210 E. 3rd Street, but it faces Promenade. They have some small sandwich boards if you are walking by, but if you are westbound on 3rd, you need to know where it is. We were greeted by Ian’s big smile so we seated ourselves at the bar. Their flights are four of their brews, and since they had a total of nine available, we decided to each get a flight so we could try everything they made. We were both very impressed. We tried the Mandarin Dream, Unconditional Blonde, Alpha Master, Knucklehead Red, Thrill Seeker, The Dominator and three versions of the Udder Love; CO2, nitrogen and cask. Tanya really liked the Knucklehead Red and I found all of their IPA’s very nice and hoppy. We ended up bringing a growler of the Mandarin Dream home as it is a Saison and we have both become suckers for them. Continue reading

Organic Berry Bash, Sponsored by Whole Foods Torrance

These photos are of a Berry Bash we had Sunday, sponsored by Whole Foods in Torrance, CA. Since there are new laws about disclosure, I was contacted a couple weeks ago by a Marketing Supervisor at Whole Foods. I am not entirely sure how they became aware of me, but as I have featured photos of contributions they made to fundraisers I have covered, it is possible that this drew their attention. It could have been because of my social media presence. It is possible that they noticed I spend a lot of time promoting local businesses and non-profits; but for whatever reason I was contacted and asked if I would host an organic berry bash in the month of June. As we were already a week in, I had to make a couple phone calls to try and put this together in the next couple of weeks. My dad belongs to a bereavement group and he called to see if any of them wanted to participate in a berry bash. Even though they had absolutely no idea what was entailed, they arrived enthusiastic and en masse. Got to love it.

As it happens, one of my brothers has been in town and he apparently enjoys cooking, so he was quite eager to join in and he offered several tasty dishes. Tanya had a few sauces in mind as well as a breakfast treat we eat frequently, so we were set. Saturday we headed over to Whole Foods to pick up $50 worth of organic berries. We split them up between blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. One of the local brewpubs sells a blueberry/wheat beer, but they do not offer growlers. I decided to head over to Select Beer Store in Redondo Beach to discuss beer with the owner, Wes. He suggested I try Blue Star Wheat Beer which was a great choice as it did not have a bunch of flavors that would hide the blueberry flavor. It worked great. Continue reading

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