Archive for February, 2014

Our 3rd Grape Ape IPA is Here

Update 2/25/14

Our 3rd Version oF Grape Ape IPA is here!

GrapeApe IPA

Grape Ape IPA-Semillon – 7.4% abv

The 3rd installment of our experimental IPA brewed with Semillon grape juice and features Australian Topaz and Mosaic hops. Expect a huge bouquet of fruity tropical hop aromas with notes of pear, mango, and perfume-like spice.

Semillon contributes peach and pear flavors while German Kolsch malt and wheat adds cracker and bread crust along with light toast to a soft bitter finish.


Last Sunday we kegged Grape Ape IPA for the L.A. Beer Blogger Summit held at Smog City’s taproom. While enjoying the company of some 45 local beer bloggers, all of which were sipping on Smog City’s offerings, we learned a little from Bernie Wire of Friends of Local Beer, Tyler Graham of Stone Marketing, Josh Liberman and Smog City’s own Laurie Porter.

The big take away was: use your photography in the same way you use words. Tell a story and you’ll successfully engage your fans and viewers. Shoot Away!!!


VIEW Previous Grape Ape IPA Post HERE!!!

Taproom Growing Pains


If you have been in our taproom at any point in the last few weeks you may have noticed one significant change: more craft beer fans!  Lots and lots of craft beer lovers coming to visit every weekend.  This is largely due to our many fans and supporters spreading the Smog City love throughout Southern California.  If you have shared a growler, bought someone a pint of Smog City, or worn your Smog City hoodie and shirt out for the world to see, thank you for helping us share great beer.

It is great to see so many new faces joining the familiar ones, though sometimes things may get a little tight on space.  Fear not, some new additions are arriving in the coming weeks to help improve everyone’s comfort level.  For starters, a second wall bar has just been added along with bar stools for both to free up floor space and add a few extra seats to keep you all comfortable.  This should also give everyone some extra elbow room to enjoy some of the many experimental batches coming out over the next few weeks.  Kumquat Saison and Hoptango IPA will be making their return soon, so keep an eye on the newsletter for the announcements.  Also in the works are two new Saison variations; one with tart cherries and blueberries, and a second with peach and apricot.

Growth is a learning process for all of us and to see so many familiar faces every week helps reassure us that we are heading in the right direction.  So keep smiling for us and we’ll keep your glasses full.


Smog City and ChocoVivo Collaborate


Smog City, Jay’s Chocolates and ChocoVivo are partnering for a beer and chocolate pairing event, Sunday, Feb 16th from 12-6pm. Here’s just a little about ChocoVivo and Jay and how this event came to be.

We’ve known about ChocoVivo for years. In fact, we’ve purchased her chocolates at farmers markets on the Westside since she opened 5 years ago. So when we got an email saying Patricia, ChocoVivo’s owner and chocolate maker, was going to come down to our brewery for a chocolate pairing…We were definitely excited.

The meeting was the result of a conversation between Jay of Jay’s Chocolates and Laurie. About 6 months ago, Jay mentioned that he’d like to pair his chocolates with our beer. Of course, Valentines was the obvious option. Jay is a local cottage industry chocolate maker. He’s made wedding cakes, truffles, and other such delicacies for friends and family for ages and his truffles are to die for. At any party he attends and brings these exceptional little chocolate nuggets, he’s an instant celebrity…well, at least until the chocolates are gone. You know how it goes… 🙂

Months lapsed and finally Jay and Laurie were back in touch. They figured, let’s launch this pairing and take it to the next level. By bringing in L.A.’s first bean-to-bar chocolate maker, ChocoVivo, the chocolate and beer pairing had taken on a whole new dimension. Coming from craft backgrounds, Laurie and Patricia were birds of a feather…instantly taking to each other’s talent, product, and personalities they lapsed into a 4 hour chocolate tasting at the brewery. During that time, three perfect pairings were discovered. With each pairing, the chocolate literally transforms the beer’s original flavor and character into something new, something completely unexpected.

In the end, it’s all about bringing the things we love together. It’s about having fun, sharing our experiences, exploring flavor combinations, and enjoying the simple pleasures life has to offer. I think with this event, we’ve covered pretty much all of those things.

Here’s how to do the flight

1. Taste the beer first! You will want to do this, as the chocolate is going to change the way your beer tastes and there’s no going back.

2. Eat some chocolate. The biggest shift in flavor isn’t with the chocolates. They hold their own. But when you go back to the beer with a little chocolate in your mouth, you’ll experience a new beer…new flavors will emerge.

3. Drink some of the beer again. Be sure to have the taste of the chocolate still on your tongue. Close your eyes and taste how the chocolate changes the beer and vice versa.

4. Eyes still closed, let your expression of genuine delight come out. Smile.

We’ve selected beers that are not obvious chocolate pairing beers. Knowing that everyone’s instant go-to would be The Nothing and Coffee Porter; we set out to break through the easiest expectation to more complicated and exciting pairings. Yes, those two beers pair incredibly well with chocolate (and The Nothing pairing will actually blow your mind) but what we wanted was something surprising. Something Eye Opening. Something that made you say, “Holy $hit, I didn’t know that could happen!” As a result the pairings are as follows.

The Nothing- Coffee + Vanilla

Smoked Smaug Lager- Mayan Tradition

California Love- Meyer Lemon + Ginger

Smog City O.E.- Jay’s Raspberry Chocolate Truffle

If ever you’ve wanted to put your trust in Smog City, now is the time. Seriously.

Please be sure to RSVP for flights as they are made to order. We will have an extremely limited number of additional flights that will be available on a first come first served basis. Email to reserve your flight!

Limited amounts of ChocoVivo chocolate bars will be available for purchase at the brewery during the event. Please read more about ChocoVivo via the website and don’t hesitate to visit the retail store.

Hop on the Wonka-vator and join us for some seriously amazing chocolate…and beer.

Here are some photos from our visit to ChocoVivo’s factory.

The Chocolate Grinder

The Chocolate Grinder

First round ground chocolate. The chocolate will go through the stones 4 more times before it is finished.

First stage of the ground chocolate.  It will go through the stones 4 more times before it is finished.


The Chocolate Grinding Stone

Laying out the Chocolate for hardening

Laying out the Chocolate for Hardening


Jay’s Chocolate Truffles


This Part of the Process is Magical.