Archive for April, 2013

Smog City Taproom Grand Opening, May 18th, 12-9pm

You know you’re dying to come check out our first brews from the new system. While there are learning curves and bumps along the way, I trust in Porter to ride them out with aplomb and skill. We’re excited to invite you all into our new “home” and to join us in appreciating the fruits of our labor.

We Be Brewin'

We Be Brewin’

Smog City is pleased to announce the official opening of our taproom. Join owners, Laurie and Porter Saturday, May 18th from 12-9pm at Smog City Brewing’s new facility to celebrate the end of construction and the beginning of BEER. What better way to celebrate National Craft Beer Week than by welcoming a new craft brewery to Los Angeles!


Smog City Brewery and Taproom
1901 Del Amo Blvd Ste B
Torrance, CA 90501

Checking the Mash

Checking the Mash

We will be tapping several beers brewed in the new facility as well as some cellared beers from our time at Tustin Brewing Co. Quercus Circus and Bourbon O.E. are among the specialty beers slated to be tapped for the opening. Please be aware that there are limited quantities of these beers available.

First come, first served. All beers $6(pour sizes vary) and two flight options available. Sorry, no samples. We’re expecting a nice turnout and this will help keep lines to a minimum!

Looking forward to it!

Laurie + Porter

UPDATE 5/2: After running the taproom for the last week, we have realized that pouring sample flights for our Grand Opening event on May 18th will be too difficult to manage.  So we have decided that we will be pouring full pours only.  On the 18th we will be showcasing our NEW beers brewed in our NEW facility and some barrel-aged beers as well.

 We apologize for the changes but we hope you all understand the constraints we are under and hopefully will appreciate our desire to keep lines to a minimum and glassware available throughout the day! Flights will be available all other days the taproom is open, it is just this one day that we won’t be able to offer them.

Many Thanks!!  Laurie + Porter

Here’s a list of the beers we’ll have available for the Grand Opening, May 18th: 

Smog City XPA

Amarilla Gorilla

Groundwork Coffee Porter

Paper Airplane (our new Belgian Blonde)

Bourbon Red (our new Bourbon Barrel-Aged Red)

Quercus Circus (our Sour Barrel-Aged belgian Blonde)



Recycling At Smog City Brewing



Well, I’m happy to say that construction is now a thing of the past and we’re getting down to business here at Smog City Brewing! Porter is bouncing off the walls in anticipation of doing what he does best…brewing. First brew, Groundwork Coffee Porter. Yup, it’s happening and he’s going for a classic! Give us another couple of weeks and we’ll have beers in the market once more.

In the meantime, I want to revisit(and wrap up) the old upcycle-everything theme we’ve talked about over the last two blogs. At Smog City we’re focused on not only saving money but reusing materials that would otherwise end up in the garbage…and then the dump and so on and so forth…clogging up the planet’s proverbial arteries.

So here’s a rundown of the recycling(and penny pinching) we’ve done here at Smog City!

This is the shipping crate we later used for wall partitions.

Our Glycol Chiller in Its Shipping Crate

You may remember my facebook post regarding the arrival of our glycol chiller. The packaging was mangled and destroyed. Most of it was literally missing. Only two sides of the pallets were in tact and looking good.

Our office needed partitions and I’d spent the last three months agonizing over the cost and general ugliness of manufactured wall partitions. I’d call up dealers, look at their products and never call back. I was not only disgusted with the corporate look of the partitions, I was balking at the cost. For months Craigslist, used office furniture stores and so on were my stomping ground until one night I was thinking about all of the wood and shipping crates we had lying around when it hit me..let’s use the wood we have to build the partitions.

Our office partitions.

Our office partitions.

A little sanding and these two piece slid nicely together. It’s incredibly sturdy and actually makes the office nice and cozy and better laid out than the wide open room it was before. Our son likes his little nook and it looks pretty darn good. Who would have thought?!

When the electricians were done, we asked them to leave behind the wooden spools that held the wires running throughout our brewery. Now Emmett uses them as a table and chairs in the office to eat his lunch on and watch the occasional cartoon. When he needs to run around, he rolls them into the brewery and they become race cars. Double Whammy!

Next we used pieces from our used forklift, which received a facelift upon arrival, as shims to even out the slope beneath our glycol unit. This one is hard to show in photos(so I skipped it) but it has worked perfectly.

Here’s what the taproom bar started out like.

From Junk to Treasure.

From Junk to Treasure.

And Here’s the end result, which I posted in the previous blog but for reference I’m doing it once again.

The glycol packaging looks awesome!

The glycol packaging looks awesome!

Interesting Anecdote: When I was finishing up the bar, our landlord came to check out some stuff around the building. He’s a collector and restorer of Model A Fords. I told him about our upcycling and he told me that Henry Ford of Ford Motors would request shipping crates in specific and exacting sizes. He would then use the wood from the crates to, among other things, build the floor boards of the cars being produced. In fact, after reading an essay on Henry Ford online, I’ve discovered that he made recycling as much a part of his legacy as the cars he built. Pretty amazing guy actually and an inspiration. Read this if you wanna know more! He’s what they call an early innovator of Industrial Ecology.

Mixing Station

Mixing Station

These pieces of discarded unistrut are now the wall attachments for our mixing station.

And one of my favorite recycling feats, the pallets we receive kegs and grain on have become our home chicken coop.

Chickens are a special point for me…When I found out that chickens live and thrive off of brewing waste, adding them to our household was a no-brainer. The spent grain we have after a brew is usually taken by cow farmers but chickens love it too! Since we have not been brewing ourselves, we’ve relied heavily on El Segundo Brewing Co and Monkish Brewing to keep our chickens well fed. Thanks Rob and Henry!!

Recycled Pallet Coop!

Recycled Pallet Coop!


Fudgie Mama, the Alpha Chicken


Sassafras, the beauty but not the brains of this operation.

By the way, chickens are incredible. They eat our brewing waste and they fertilize the ground like crazy….yup, they poop…and poop and poop…once you get past the poop as poop and see it as plant food, you begin to appreciate it a lot more. We fertilized our fruit trees this winter with chicken waste and now there’s a bounty of delicious fruit exploding throughout our yard. Oh and did I mention, we eat fresh eggs daily. Chickens are the gift that keeps on giving.

Eggs! The Ping Pong Ball is for Sassy, she lays better when there is a fake egg in her nesting box.

Eggs! The Ping Pong Ball is for Sassy, she lays better when there is a fake egg in her nesting box.

So there you have it. We’re trying to make the most of everything that comes through our brewery doors. The beer is about to start flowing and behind it are two people who have made it their lives and passion to bring quality craft beer to you, your bars and your restaurants while being as environmentally conscious as possible. We hope you’ll come visit us in the taproom and say hi and maybe use this as inspiration to recycle as well.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve recycled or recycled something into? We want to hear it!

Our Bar is Complete and We Got Our Final Approval

Well, we’re celebrating here at Smog City Brewing! The Torrance building inspector has signed off and all lights are GO. Well, a few more beauracratic hurdles to leap and then we’ll be brewing by the weekend. So to celebrate (besides raising a glass of Smog City XPA at 3:20pm on a Tuesday), we’ll show you the final images and completion of our upcycled taproom bar

In our last blog, we took you half of the way through our bar’s construction. Now it’s time to see the final product. RECAP: We built it from recycled materials: an old wine cellar, the pallet our glycol lines came on, and molding from the Habitat for Humanity Restore. Brett Acker has been integral is building the bar and we are deeply thankful to him. This is a prized piece and we’re excited to share it with you soon.


Beautiful storm clouds tried to frighten us away from priming the bar but it just brought much need shade and a nice breeze. TAKE THAT, STORM!


Our constant companion and super helper.

Priming the Bar.

Priming the Back Bar.


FYI: Primer in toddler hair does not come out easily or quickly…8 days later, we’re still picking out little pieces.

We left the primer to dry overnight and then back to painting.

We call that Smog City Blue, and you'll see throughout our brewery.

We call this Smog City Blue, and you’ll see it throughout our brewery.

Brett holds the unstained molding in place so that I can happy dance around the parking lot. It's looking good.

Brett holds the unstained molding in place so that I can “happy dance” around the parking lot. It’s looking good.

Complete and in place.

Complete and in place.

A little preview of our taproom. It still has some work to be done but this gives you some idea of what you getting into.

A little preview of our taproom. It still has some work to be done but this gives you some idea of what you’re getting into.

Our 12 new taps arrived today! Who’s ready to drink some Smog City beer with us?!?!

Update: Our taproom now: 6/25/15


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