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American Craft Beer Week: Hermosa Beach

Saturday was day six of American Craft Beer Week (ACBW), and we actually found a gastropub and a brewpub we were unfamiliar with; and in the process were able to come up with 19 American craft brews that we had not tried yet. That in of itself is a pretty noteworthy accomplishment. For day six we visited The Rockefeller and Abigaile, both located in Hermosa Beach, within a couple blocks of each other.

The Rockefeller is a gastropub; meaning they serve food and upscale beers brewed by others. I had called ahead of time to see if they offered beer flights and the manager, Colleen, assured me they did. When I arrived I discovered that they offer a wide array of draught beers, both domestic and foreign. They do not have flights made up; you create your own. Since they do not offer four different dark American craft beers, I had my work cut out for me trying to create a flight Tanya would like. Since Tanya’s palate has evolved over the past week, I just avoided the hoppy brews and came up with Jamaican Red Ale, Bayhawk Chocolate, Mission Blonde and Boont Amber. She liked them all, with the Jamaican Red being her favorite. I started off with a flight of Sofie, Allagash White, Green Flash IPA and Palate Wrecker. Since the brews were all delicious we decided to stay for some food and I created a second flight, with Colleen’s assistance. The flight consisted of Victory Prima, Helles, Bootleggers and Islander IPA. I honestly could not tell you which was best; I would not have a problem ordering any of them. Continue reading

American Craft Beer Week: Manhattan Beach

Thursday was day four, or hump day, of American Craft Beer Week. These photos were taken at Brewco and Simmzy’s; both gastropubs located in Manhattan Beach, CA. While I thought I had planned out where we would end up trying craft brews for each day, I discovered that the brewery I had planned on visiting Thursday was closed, so I had to start looking again. I had heard the name Brewco mentioned a time or two, and they offer flights of craft beers, so we headed over to Manhattan Beach.

Brewco was formerly known as Manhattan Beach Brewing Company, but they stopped brewing beer about three years ago and decided to concentrate on serving food and craft beers brewed by others; this is what makes them a gastropub as opposed to a brewpub. And who says drinking beer will not make you smarter? Brewco offers a couple predefined flights, a Hop Flight featuring Sierra Nevada’s Hoptimum Double IPA, Pitch A Tent Double IPA, Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA and a Hangar 24 DIPA. As you might have guessed, that is what I opted for. Tanya got the Cismontane Black’s Dawn and I finished with a Wookey Jack Black for dessert. Continue reading

American Craft Beer Week: Redondo Beach

The 7th annual American Craft Beer Week continues and we visited two more local craft beer suppliers; Select Beer Store and Redondo Beach Brewing Company, both located in the Riviera Village area of Redondo Beach. While I was readily familiar with Redondo Beach Brewing Company, I only became aware of Select Beer Store last weekend when we visited Strand Brewing Company and the beer-tender, Bonnie, informed us that Strand Brewing would be featured at Select Beer Store as part of American Craft Beer Week. Select Beer advertises that they stock more than 350 bottles and twelve rotating taps of American craft and imported beers. Since it is American Craft Beer Week, Select Beer had a South Bay Tap Takeover featuring El Segundo Brewing, Monkish, Strand Brewing and Smog City. While they do not offer flights, they did offer half pours so we were able to try a few different brews. The downside of that is that the beers we liked the best were not available “to go.” Oh well, guess we will have to return.

Since Select Beer Store does not offer food, we headed around the corner to Redondo Beach Brewing Company for some more tastings and some good food. As I mentioned above, I have been familiar with Redondo Beach Brewing Company for a while and that is why I had no hesitation in adding them to the local brewers I would visit this week. Redondo Beach Brewing Company currently has six different brews going; most of which I had tried previously, but the Belgian Winter Wheat was a new one for me and it was amazing. I think I may be becoming a fan of Belgian brews; at least the way they brew it in Southern California. Continue reading

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