Posts by WC Staff

Saturday: Santa Monica Vegan Oktoberfest

Oct 2

vegan_oktoberfestBenefitting Expand Animal Rights Now, an organization dedicated to using the legal system to help animals, Santa Monica will host the first-ever Vegan Oktoberfest this Saturday.

VIP tickets are sold out, but General Admission tickets for the 1-6 p.m. session are still available at $45; these tickets include one beer stein and unlimited beer during the event. Most beer these days is vegan, and all beer at Saturday’s event will meet strict vegan standards. Food-for-purchase options will be entirely vegan, with gluten-free options as well (more info on vendors is available on the event website).

SoCal breweries showcasing their wares include Saint Archer, Hangar 24, Golden Road, Modern Times, Karl Strauss, Angel City, Venice Duck, The Dudes’, Bravery, Coronado, and Four Sons.

GABF Awards Ceremony: Saturday 9:30 a.m.

Oct 1

After a successful 2013, when Southern California brewers took home 35 medals from the Great American Beer Festival’s awards ceremony, we’re excited to see what happens this year.

Again, there’s a record number of beer entries, so competition will be stiff.

Can Victor Novak (representing TAPS last year) continue winning ways with new employers Golden Road? Will Beachwood repeat as mid-size brewpub champ?

We’ll see this Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. (10:30 a.m. Denver time), when The Brewing Network streams the awards ceremony live on their website.

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Victor Novak (far left) is a competition veteran

The “Ultimate Figcation” Contest

Sep 30

FIGCATIONFigueroa Mountain Brewing Company wants fans everywhere to have an opportunity to experience the beauty of Santa Barbara County while enjoying their handcrafted beer. So, ten days ago, the company began offering the chance for the “Ultimate Figcation” – a four-day, three-night stay for two at The Fess Parker (a Doubletree by Hilton Resort).

To enter the contest, simply visit www.FigMtnBrew.com/Figcation and plug in your name and e-mail address now until October 31, 2014; tweet for a bonus entry.

“We love Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Valley so much that we wanted to share it with craft beer lovers everywhere,” explains President, Jaime Dietenhofer. “The ‘Ultimate Figcation’ is an opportunity for anyone to win a luxury vacation where they can learn all about Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company and experience the area that we pay tribute to with every bottle of beer.”

The contest winners will enjoy pints of beer in FigMtnBrew’s Santa Barbara taproom just a few blocks from The Fess Parker resort, along with a meal from Lucky Penny. Also included in the trip is a free ride to the Santa Ynez Valley, 45 minutes north of Santa Barbara in the wine country. While in the Santa Ynez Valley, the winners will go on a special brewery tour with Brewmaster AJ Stoll in Buellton along with a guided tasting of their beer offerings. Lunch at Petros Los Olivos will precede an afternoon of wine tasting at Epiphany and Fess Parker wineries, followed by dinner at the Los Olivos Café & Wine Merchant. The winners won’t go home empty-handed; each will receive some Fig gear to take with them to wear in their hometown.

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Brewmaster AJ Stoll; courtesy photo

Can’t wait to see if you’re a winner? Fess & Fig Fall Escape packages can be purchased at the Fess Parker Doubletree Resort from October 1 through December 31, 2014.  Receive two 22oz bottles of beer from Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. and two souvenir pint glasses in your room along with a 15% off voucher for merchandise and beer “to go”.  Then enjoy a brewery tour and two tasting flights at the nearby FigMtnBrew taproom in the FunkZone. This package is only offered from October 1 through December 31, 2014.

‘Brew Dogs’ Unleashed in LA

Aug 26

BREW_DOGS_GOLDEN_ROAD_POSTER 72 dpiViewing Party Wednesday Night at Golden Road

By Tomm Carroll 

Further indication that Los Angeles is quickly ascending to the ranks of the nation’s best beer towns is not only the city’s inclusion in the second season of Brew Dogs — the rollicking reality TV show starring James Watt and Martin Dickie, the two cheeky Scots behind the rebellious BrewDog Brewing — but the scheduling of the LA episode as the season finale, which airs this Wednesday, August 27, on the Esquire Channel.

BrewDog, originally based in Fraserburgh, Scotland, and now located in nearby Aberdeenshire, gave the previously stagnant UK brewing industry a good kick up the arse when it launched seven years ago, arguably jump-starting the craft beer movement that is currently engulfing Britain. Likewise, Watt and Dickie — taking as inspiration the unfortunately short-lived Brew Masters reality series starring Dogfish Head Brewing’s Sam Calagione on the Discovery Channel in 2010 — are shaking up food-and-drink-themed reality TV with a smart, funny and rollicking one-hour show that is both craft-centric and information-accurate. 

As fans of the first season already know, Brew Dogs premiered its second season, which expanded to 10 episodes (up from last year’s six), on June 25. The series follows “beer evangelists” Watt (the bald one) and Dickie (the hairy one) as they travel across the Colonies (the US to us), visiting different American beer towns, celebrating the distinctive craft beers, breweries and beer bars therein, and creating their own unique, local-ingredient-sourced beers, more often than not some sort of gimmicky or stunt brew. 

Other craft beer destinations featured this season included Alaska, Chicago, Colorado, Delaware, Las Vegas, Maui, New Orleans, North Carolina and Northern California. There is no word yet on a possible third season of the show.

While the producers and Esquire folks have remained pretty tight-lipped about where the show visited locally, it is well known that the episode’s finale takes place at the Pub at Golden Road Brewing in North Atwater Village, because local beer press and select members of the craft beer community were invited to be in attendance for the taping back on May 6.

It has recently been leaked that there were also stops (sometimes only to shoot B-roll and promos) to such breweries as Monkish and Smog City in Torrance, Beachwood BBQ and Brewery in Long Beach, Ladyface Ale Companie in Agoura Hills, Eagle Rock Brewery in Glassell Park and San Pedro Brewing, as well as such beer bars/restaurants as Blue Palms Brew House in Hollywood, Daily Pint in Santa Monica, Naja’s Place in Redondo Beach, Surly Goat in West Hollywood and Glendale Tap. 

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Homebrewer Dana Cordes, left, Brew Dogs Martin Dickie and James Watt, and homebrewer Andy Ziskin describe their beers to the judges and the crowd at the taping of the finale of the Los Angeles episode of Brew Dogs, taped at Golden Road brewing in May. Photo by Lloyd Brown / craftbeerguy.com

As is par for the course, each episode concludes with the show-ending tasting of the beer the Scots brewed whilst in town. But in a change-up from the usual conclusion, for the LA episode there was actually a “taste-off” at Golden Road; Watt and Dickie, who normally brew together, separated and each brewed with a local homebrewer to concoct the quintessential LA beer. Their co-brewers were Andy Ziskin and Dana Cordes, respectively — both members of the Woodland Hills-based Maltose Falcons, at 40 the nation’s oldest homebrew club.

“Our goal when we visit a place is to bottle it up in a beer,” Dickie said after the taping. “In LA, where it’s all about sunshine, we wanted to use citrus, avocado and other flavors known to this area.” Explaining that the LA episode is homebrew-oriented, Watt added, “Things have changed here about five years ago, thanks to people making beers at home. We wanted to check out one of the most exciting homebrewing scenes on the planet.”

Dickie and Cordes’ beer was a Double IPA, made with several kinds of citrus and avocado, while Watt and Ziskin opted to brew a Saison, using sage, peppercorns and avocado. Also, in a departure from the assembled crowd tasting the final beers and rendering a verdict of “Drink it!” or “Dump it!” at the end, for this episode a three-judge panel of experts was formed: Meg Gill, president and co-founder of Golden Road; Sang Yoon, executive chef and owner of the two Father’s Office gastropubs, and Sarah Bennett, local beer writer for LA Weekly and Beer Paper LA.

The crowd all received tastes as well, and echoed the panel’s decision. I was sworn to secrecy, and can’t tell you which brew team won, so you’ll have to watch the episode to find out. But I can tell you that it wasn’t even close. Beers, chats and selfies followed, as the Scots mingled with the crowd once production wrapped. Then they were gone, off to Maui to shoot another episode.

According to Cordes, the homebrews tasted at the end of the show are actually the beers that he and Dickie, and Ziskin and Watt, brewed during the filming of the episode. In every other Brew Dogs show, the beers ostensibly stunt-brewed on parade floats, swamp boats, moving trains, etc. — without any concern for sanitation — are not the actual brews quaffed at the conclusions; those are brewed conventionally, using the same ingredients. 

In celebration of the airing of the LA episode, the Pub at Golden Road is hosting a public viewing party this Wednesday evening, beginning at 8:00 p.m. (Brew Dogs airs at 9:00 p.m.) on the side lawn. Homebrewers Cordes and Ziskin will be attendance, as will all three judges, pending availability. And there may even be a surprise or two. Fans of Brew Dogs should expect nothing less.

When he’s not writing about beer, Los Angeles-based Tomm Carroll works in the entertainment industry, so this gig made him feel right at home. Contact him at beerscribe@earthlink.net.

LA Beer Week 2014 Set for September

Jul 8
New LABG logo, designed by Kelly Erickson at Girls Who Like Beer

New LABG logo, designed by Kelly Erickson at Girls Who Like Beer

The Los Angeles County Brewers Guild (LABG) has taken the reins of organizing Los Angeles Beer Week to bring you the first-ever LABW hosted by breweries, for beer people. The change comes after LABW’s original committee chairs decided to pass the torch to the fast-growing Guild’s welcoming arms. LABG couldn’t be more thrilled to curate the 10-day event which will launch with a newly revitalized LA Brewers Beer Week Kick-off festival at a new location in Downtown LA on September 20th featuring an invitational-style roster of California breweries and the largest-ever showing of LA beer represented.

“The founders of LABW did a great job creating a structure around which the culture of craft beer was able to grow and flourish over the past five years,” LABG President Jeremy Raub said. “The LA Brewers Guild aims to continue building on that strong foundation, adding more interactive and educational components that will engage and energize the LA beer community.”

The LABG consists of over 20 LA breweries that are committed to craft, community, and culture. LA Beer Week will be entering its sixth year and will feature over 100 events around the greater Los Angeles area. This year’s event will be produced by the Guild’s Events Committee spearheaded by El Segundo Brewing’s Tom Kelley.

LABW6“The group of passionate advocates that have held the reins all these years has now entrusted them to the Guild, and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Kelley. “It’s a natural progression for LA Brewers to take over, and we are certainly up to the task of showcasing all the great beer being made in LA County.”

Save the Dates:
September 20-28: LA Beer Week
September 20: LA Brewers Beer Week Kick-Off event
September 25: Meeting of the Guilds (LA/SF/SD) at Mohawk Bend

Connect:
Twitter: www.twitter.com/labrewers
Instagram: www.instagram.com/labrewers
#labeer | #LABW6

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