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Simi, Smell Me, Taste Me Sunday

These photos were taken Sunday at Enegren Brewing Company in Moorpark, CA and Lab Brewing Company in Agoura Hills, CA. A few days ago I was at El Segundo Brewing Company and was introduced to Joe Nascenzi, one of the owners of Enegren Brewing Co., a microbrewery in Moorpark, CA. After talking with him for a while, and hearing what kind of beers they were brewing over there, I knew that I had to head out there with Tanya. While I am a definite hophead, Tanya is more into saisons, porters and stouts. When Joe told me about their oatmeal stout and chili pepper saison, I promised to pay them a visit.

While one microbrewery is frequently like the others, with the only difference being the taste and variations of the beers they brew, Enegren Brewing is definitely different than any other I have visited. Brew Captain Chris Enegren studied mechanical engineering at Loyola Marymount University and when he graduated from brewing in his kitchen he put this knowledge to work in designing a proprietary brewing system unlike any I have ever seen. Complete with a computerized command center, their brewing system is entirely automated. It is a very cool system to check out, and they produce a quality product. When we got there Sunday they were in the process of building a new refrigeration unit as they had moved their larger one to a unit next door. In other words, they are expanding, with the hopes of beginning to bottle beers in the near future. Continue reading

Sleepy Hollow and the Legend of Candy Cane Lane

These photos were taken last night at the Sleepy Hollow area of Torrance, which is known as Candy Cane Lane during the Christmas season; a look at the photos makes it easy to figure out why they call it that. On December 1, Tanya and I went there to take some photos like I have for the past couple of years. There were definitely a lot of lights that went up between then and now. Homes that we thought were decorated on December 1 had even more decorations on December 18. Even though it was cold and windy, there were a lot more cars and pedestrians out enjoying the view.

After the first night of photos I submitted a report to CNN’s iReport, and was subsequently vetted by them for use on CNN. In the vetting process I was asked things like why they called it Sleepy Hollow and how long has the mass decorating been going on. My dad had told me that he thought the decorating had been going on for 40 years; so I passed that along as fact. The Sleepy Hollow thing I could not answer because I did not recall it ever being called that when I was a kid. One of my Facebook and Business & Beer friends, Dan Thomas, sent me a message that he knew who the “father” of the Candy Cane Lane phenomena was and he put me in touch with him, a Mr. Bob Solomon. Here is his story: Continue reading

50 shades of South Bay gray; a day at the beach

Every once in a while I need to just take a day off, away from the house for a while, and yesterday was that day. I had been seeing Facebook status updates mentioning big surf was coming and I figured that with the rain clouds that it would make for some nice photographs. Since Tanya has been feeling a lot better for the last few weeks, she has been able to use her Canon Rebel again; so she was excited to join me. Without bothering to look at the surf report, we headed over to the beach.

We started off at the breakwater at King Harbor in Redondo Beach. While the waves crashing over the breakwater I was hoping to capture did not exist, there were quite a few surfers out there enjoying the swells. We then ventured over to the Hermosa Beach Pier to see if there might be some more dramatic scenery or surfers by the pier. There wasn’t. After several minutes it started to rain a little, so we used the opportunity to move along to the Manhattan Beach Pier. I knew that even if there was nothing else happening, we could go to the Roundhouse Aquarium.

We happened to park right around the corner from Brewco and since we had a nice time the first time we were there we stopped in out of the rain for a bit. After meeting the GM and setting a date for a Business & Beer gathering we headed down to the pier and a visit to the Roundhouse Aquarium. It is small but pretty cool. If you are in the neighborhood stop in and bring the kids. Continue reading

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