Local brewers

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El Segundo Brewing Bottle Release Party

These photos are from the El Segundo Brewing Company (ESBC) Bottle Release Party which was held Friday night, February 1. The Bottle Release Party was to celebrate the two brews they are now providing in 22oz bottles, their ever popular White Dog Wheat IPA and their new Stand Crude Imperial Stout. A Facebook status update that went out a couple hours before the event started stated that it would be their “biggest shindig yet;” I don’t think they knew just how big of a shindig this was going to be.

They opened at 5:00 and when we arrived around 5:30 there was already a line going out the door. I figured that the line must have been for those buying growlers and leaving, but it was for people buying pints. The line for growlers and bottles was on the north end of the counter. The tasting room was standing room only and the crowd overflow went to the brewery itself, with guests sharing space with the fermenting and storage tanks. In addition to the ESBC usual offerings there was a rum soaked and oak barrel aged Hyperion Double Stout; and El Segundo Catering Company was there offering two types of pies featuring a New Zealand Meat Pie and a Spiced Vegetable Pie.

The Standard Crude Imperial Stout will be a limited release seasonal offering and the White Dog IPA will be available all year long. The plan is to start offering all their ales in bottles as soon as possible. Judging by the turnout tonight, the only problem I foresee is keeping enough in stock. Congratulations to Rob and Tom, you have taken a huge step forward in the craft beer arena. Continue reading

Strand Brewing Co Pint Night at Naja’s Place

These photos are from Strand Brewing Company’s Pint Night at the world famous Naja’s Place, located on the International Boardwalk at the Redondo Beach Pier. This event was to commemorate Strand Brewing Company’s three years of brewing craft ales and was held at Naja’s Place because they were the first location to pour Strand Brewing Company beer. For Thursday’s celebration, Strand provided these fine brews:

Beach House Amber Ale
24th Street Pale Ale
Atticus IPA
Black Sand Double IPA
Bagheera East IPA
Special Cask of Double Dry Hopped Atticus IPA

The event started at 6:00 PM and advertised that the first 50 attendees got to keep their glassware with the Strand Brewing Company logo. We had Business & Beer starting the same time, so I did not make it until 8:30. Judging by the crowd they had, the glassware was probably gone by 6:30; Naja’s Place was absolutely packed. I wanted to try the Atticus on cask, but that was gone long before I arrived; I will have to wait. It is obvious that Rich Marcello and Joel Elliot, co-owners of Strand Brewing Company, have built a very strong following; they are to be congratulated for a job well done. Here is to three more years, and then some. Continue reading

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

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