Posts from the ‘beer’ Category

Smog City Welcomes Head Brewer Tim Harbage

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As Smog City continues to grow, we have found it increasingly important to put into place systems and organizational elements that allow us to build brand while maintaining our focus and commitment to quality over quantity. Smog City prides itself on organic and conscientious growth with a heavy lean on the culture within our company first and foremost. We are excited to welcome Tim Harbage to the family as our new Head Brewer.

Tim brings to the table a true passion and dedication to not only the quality of the beer but the cohesiveness of the team. We are beyond excited to give him the opportunity to help us set in place the organization and logistical systems needed to grow our business from a small two-person team in 2011 to a robust and successful beer family of 18 here in 2016. The Smog City environment is designed to give a safe and nurturing place to those that prioritize quality, creativity and innovation over all else. Tim has that passion and that drive to build a stronger more passionate team and we welcome him with open arms into the Smog City fold.

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Finished 2013!

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Five years ago Smog City launched out of a small brewpub in Tustin, CA. In our first year, we produced and sold 240 bbls of beer to the L.A. market, hand picking select craft beer bars and restaurants that heralded our creativity, quality and reflected our own attention to building a strong craft beer community. One and a half years later, we opened in Torrance, CA to a “gigantic” 5,500 sq ft facility and a 450 sq ft taproom. To our surprise, it did not take long to outgrow this space and in the last nine months, we have expanded our square footage to 22,000 sq ft, dwarfing our original space.

Much of the planned growth is to facilitate distribution and to grow the exciting Sour Program that Porter has always been extremely passionate about. With some of the weight of running day to day production, logistical standards, overseeing brewers and maintaining inventory lifted; Porter will be able to return to exploring his passion for sour and barrel-aging. In the new space, we have a 2300 sq ft barrel room dedicated exclusively to barrel-aging our already established Sour Program. The temperature and humidity controlled room will give us increased control over the process and allow us to nearly double our current barrel count.

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The second stage of expansion will be focused on growing our production in the current space from 4000 bbl to approximately 12,000 over the next five years. Slow and steady growth allows us to continue to put in place the best staff and maintain quality control measures to ensure that our brand and beers remain consistently balanced, creative and reflective of who we are and why.

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Bringing on Tim allows Porter to continue to grow the creative side of Smog City and push through to new styles, new approaches while developing innovative procedures to achieve the unique beers that Smog City is known for – beers like Brix Layer that combines wine juice and barrel-aged sour beer in collaboration with J Brix Winery, our Cuddlebug and Snugglebug fruited sour blondes, as well as our collaborations with producers and businesses that push for innovation and community awareness like Food Forward, Weiser Family Farms, and Beer Camp with Sierra Nevada Brewing.

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With our satellite taproom, Smog City at SteelCraft on the horizon, Smog City’s direct to consumer reach will increase, allowing us to expand the brand, build on our brewery’s consumer education focus and expand upon the opportunity for consumer feedback in multiple locations regarding pilot beers, experimental beers and our core beers. Smog City at SteelCraft is set to open Mid Dec alongside 6 food vendors with a communal sitting area.

Tim’s passion and enthusiasm for beer and the craft beer community are hard to match, which when combined with his engineering background and his strong experience growing young breweries, like Golden Road, will be instrumental in helping us to continue to innovate our already unique approaches to beer production. We are very proud to be a family-owned brewery and look forward to having Tim as part of our team.

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Surviving Smog’s Anniversary Event- Saturday, May 21st

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Halfway through 2016 already and so much has happened. See the images below to see how we looked this time 2013 compared to last week. It’s definitely a little more crowded in here…in three years, not much has changed, right?! 🙂
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SURVIVING (and enjoying) OUR ANNIVERSARY

Saturday May 21st, 2016 11am-10pm

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Ready? Deep breath. Let’s go….
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Smog City has been experiencing expansion in all directions: we’ve grown our Beer Family from 7 team members to 14, we’re celebrating the expansion of our Torrance brewery’s footprint from 11,000sq ft to 22,000q ft(!!), plus our GABF 2015 and World Beer Cup 2016 Silvers!, 7 medals between L.A. International Beer Competition and San Diego International, an epic collaboration with Beer Camp Across America including Beachwood Brewing, Bagby, Society, Lost Abbey and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co, fulfilling and long-lasting partnerships with organizations like Food Forward and L.A. Derby Dolls, and to top it off, the announcement of our anxiously anticipated satellite taproom, Smog City Steelcraft in Long Beach/Bixby Knolls.
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Incurable Optimist.
Each year we brew a special limited released bottled beer to celebrate another year of delicious Smog City beer. Incurable Optimist is our 2016 Anniversary beer named by Laurie(who IS an Incurable Optimist) to reflect the wild and crazy ride these past 5 years have been for Smog City and an even more exciting future than we ever anticipated. For us here at Smog, this year feels like a tipping point from small budding local business to recognized brand.
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Incurable Optimist – Tart Wild Wheat w/Citrus

 5.3% abv

Our 2016 anniversary ale started life as a tart Belgian style Wit that co-fermented with 3 strains of Brettanomyces. We then blended in several choice barrels of 2 year old white wine barrel aged sour blonde. A 3rd fermentation in the bottle with a 4th Brett strain will deliver more complexity as it ages.

Citrus dominates the aroma with lemon, orange, and tangerine while coriander, white wine, and funk linger in the background. Expect a bright hit of tart citrus up front, then stone fruit, vitamin C, and subtle oak in the finish.

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There is much to be thankful for and the future looks bright to the “Incurable Optimist” regardless of the insanity that prevails on the fringes.  Drink to the future today or lay this baby down and watch it mature in its complexity and depth.
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More Space!

We will be expanding the taproom into our adjacent space which means MORE ROOM FOR YOU and more room for more beers! We’re super excited to have this opportunity to really celebrate and do so with elbow room. We’ll have two beer stations in that area with special/limited releases on tap and the beer cocktail, Cuddle Paloma, making its debut.

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VIP Session – ticketed

11-1pm: We will begin checking people in approx 30 mins before 11am to ensure a smooth and expedited start to your day!
As in previous years this is a special ticketed session and is Sold Out.
With the VIP Session you get:
Early admission to the event
2 bottles of Incurable Optimist (less than 1000 bottles available)- Can purchase 2 additional
5 tasters
2 full pours
Access to our limited and special release beers (4 beer stations in all!! deets below)
Access to the ultra-limited Beer Cocktails!
First option to purchase Bourbon O.E. bottles
Avoid the crowds for 2 whole hours!
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General Admission – No Tickets Needed

We will be open to the public from 1-10pm.

Throughout the brewery will be 4 beer dispensing areas with unique Smog City beers…all celebrating the quality and creativity that have become synonymous with the Smog City brand. Chart your passage through the brewery ahead of time and hit all your favorite beers! Below is a list of what the various stations will be pouring.

Beer Stations

Main

Incurable Optimist- Anni 2016 (Tart Wild Wheat with Citrus)
Little Bo Pils
Hoptonic IPA
Sabre-Toothed Squirrel
Grape Ape IPA (RETURNS!!)
Coffee Porter
Drought Stout on Nitro
Spittin’ and Cussin’ (Barrel-aged Sour Brown with Cherries)
ChipShot Coffee Porter
Steelcraft IPA
Smoked Smaug Lager
Imperial Porter
Zwickel Bo on Nitro
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Brewer’s Station (brewhouse)

Bourbon O.E. 2016  (bottles available)
Infinite Wishes 2016 limited
The Nothing
Incurable Optimist (Anni 2016)
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Beer Cocktail: Old Fashioned O.E. – limited
(returns from our anniversary event last year!)
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Old Fashioned O.E.

 Sour Station

Cuddlebug (Sour Blonde w/ peaches and apricots)
Snugglebug (Sour Blonde w/ raspberry and boysenberry) limited
Ch’nooks and Crannies (Sour Blonde w/Cranberries Dry-Hopped with Chinook) limited
Unnamed Beta Blend (white wine barrel-aged sour) ultra-limited
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Beer Cocktail: Cuddle Paloma –  grapefruit cordial with a himalayan sea salt and grapefruit rim
Beyond delicious and ultra-limited!
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Cuddle Paloma

Citrus Station

 Bloody Optimist (Blood Orange Tart Wild Wheat)
Anni 2014 – Strong Saison w/ Merlot (cellared for 2 years!)
Mexican Vacation (Returns!!)- Little Bo with Mexican Lime
Kumquat Saison
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       Bottles of Incurable Optimist and Bourbon O.E. which are being released for the Anniversary will be available throughout the brewery and at all beer stations. No need to line up at the back door as in previous releases, these bottles will be widely available while bottles last.
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Bottles Available:

Incurable Optimist (limit 4 per person)
Bourbon O.E. (no limit)
Kumquat Saison
(2015 GABF Silver for Belgian-style Fruit Beer)
Coffee Porter
The Nothing
Sabre-Toothed Squirrel
(2016 World Beer Cup medalist! Silver for American style Amber/Red)
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 SHUTTLE AND ESBC
       And to make this day even better….El Segundo Brewing is celebrating their Anniversary on the same day! We highly recommend you organize a DD or plan on Uber/Lyft for the day. We will have 2 free shuttles running between the locations every 30 minutes from 1-6pm but space is extremely limited and signing up for a seat on the shuttle will be required. We hope you appreciate our attempt at getting you from place to place and remain patient with the limitations we have in terms of space available. ESBC and Smog are footing the bill, so you get what you get and hopefully you have one hell of a day! 🙂
Sign up will be at the front roll-up door. First come, first served. If you are not there to claim your spot, your spot will be given away
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KEEP THE GLASS!
Remember if you “keep the glass”, you can take home a souvenir glass at a discount!
$10 for a full pour and Smog City logo’d glass you can take home.
Both Belgian and Pints available.
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We Like You and We Really Care
      We anticipate an incredibly wonderful and exciting time to be had by all at our Anniversary but want to remind you to drink responsibly, stay hydrated, plan on how you will get between the events(if you do) and home. We take over-intoxication very seriously and your safety and the safety of others is paramount to the longevity of this wonderful community we are all so profoundly invested in.
Cheers!!
Laurie, Porter and the Smog City Team
Laurie's Dad at Anniversary 2015

Laurie’s Dad at Anniversary 2015

Facebook Event Page

https://www.facebook.com/events/1028567153876335/

INFINITE WISHES 2016- Made Your Wish Yet?

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Who’s ready for a WISHES party?!?!?

Last year we sold approx. 1200 bottles in 2 hours, it was fun and stressful and you guys were awesome…after some thought and a well attended(minor understatement) Cuddlebug release, we decided that the thrill of lines and the anxious anticipation of our fans would be better played out on-line in the social media field than in our parking lot and stretching blocks down Del Amo.

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Cuddlebug B2 Release

We ran a test run with our first barrel-aged sour release, THIS SOUR FUTURE on Brown Paper Ticket and were extremely happy with the results. BPT sales reduced a lot of the stress for both sides. You know your bottles are waiting for you and we don’t have to freak out about crazy long lines. Now I’m not saying there won’t be lines…when you read below you’ll know what I mean. Our sneaky little announcement is going to mess everything up but hopefully not too much and this will be smooth and easy and FUN!

 

This year’s Infinite Wishes 2016 vintage is a limited 3000 bottles. We made it legit with killer label design from our incredible designer, Ryan Cochran, and each bottle is wax dipped in preparation for aging.

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BOTTLE PICK UP

Your name MUST be on the ticket/will call list to pick up and have valid ID

Infinite Wishes bottles pick up at the BACK DOOR of brewery only.

We have 5 cases each of Infinite Wishes 2015 and The Nothing 2015 bottles for sale – 1 bottle limit/$15 for Wishes,  1 bottle limit/ $11 for The Nothing (Purchase at Back Door during pick up)

We invite you to come in and have a beer(duh!). Please come around the front of the building and join us in the taproom!

Parking is abundant. You are welcome to park in the back of our building and in the lot one building to the west at 1947 Del Amo. Street parking on Del Amo and Grammery is also good. Please listen to the signage in front of our building. We work hard to be polite and contentious of our neighbors and that is integral in maintaining good neighborly juju. We will have to ask you to move if you park on the far side of the parking lot next to Doggie Daycare.

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FRONT BAR

The following SPECIAL DARK beers will be pouring on Saturday(until gone) in honor of Wishes’s release. The entire list for the Front Bar will be coming forthwith! Check back for details.

  • Infinite Wishes 2016
  • Infinite Wishes 2015
  • The Nothing 2016
  • Something from Nothing – a small beer made from this year’s The Nothing’s second runnings
  • American Stout (experimental pilot brew)

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BREWERS BAR

At the Brewers Bar, back near the brewhouse, we will have two taps flowing Infinite Wishes 2016 and The Nothing 2016 to alleviate some of the front of house lines.

 

Additional Bottles Available: Purchase at Front Bar

The Nothing 2016

The Sour Future (red wine barrel-aged Sour Brown)

Coffee Porter

Saber-Toothed Squirrel

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2015 GABF SILVER for Smog’s Kumquat Saison and TWO Bottle Releases!

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Making the home team proud!

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Someone must have slipped the “Good Timing” Gods a tenner, cause we just won a medal for Kumquat Saison and this weekend, Saturday Oct 3rd, we are releasing it in bottles and serving it on draft in the taproom. Timing couldn’t have been better!

Needless to say, we haven’t stopped celebrating and we would love to continue the celebration of this SILVER at GABF 2015 in the Belgian- Style Fruit Beer Category with you…on Saturday…in our taproom. You in?!

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What’s the Great American Beer Fest, you say? Well, it’s the single biggest all American Craft Brewery competition, we like to compare it to winning an Oscar. Follow the GABF link and read more and maybe next year, you’ll join us in Denver!

Back to the Quat!

As a quick recap, Kumquat Saison was born 3 years ago from a tree in Porter and Laurie’s backyard. Originally, this limited fruited saison was a small batch, once a year experimental beer. It is now the cornerstone to a wonderful partnership we launched this year with Food Forward, the non-profit gleaning company that harvests fruit from local backyard trees and salvages throw aways at the L.A. Wholesale market. Food Forward donates to local food banks and shelters and is constantly giving back to the community. Currently, FF clocks in over 13 million pounds of salvaged fruit in 2015! For those of you that don’t do math, that’s a lot of “doing good”. To learn more about our partnership check out this blog I did when the first batch released.

Luckily for Smog City and all of you, kumquats are a highly productive citrus with very limited use. I’d venture that there’s no better use than to make beer with kumquats but I think I’m only slightly biased here.

Beyond just being extraordinarily proud to see this beer medal at GABF, we are even more excited because it is a true passion project of Laurie and Porter’s. More hands contributed to and “crafted” this beer than any other Smog City beer and it truly speaks to the community building benefits of the craft beer movement. I’m convinced that this is our secret ingredient…

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These three contributed 250 lbs of kumquats (from one tree) to the first batch! Lorna’s husband (not pictured) planted their kumquat tree in the early 50’s. Wild.

More on Kumquat Saison hère from the LA Times.

HIVE FIVE BOTTLE RELEASE!!

To make this weekend’s bottle release a little “sweeter”…We’re releasing a limited amount of Hive Five, honey beer, in bottles on the very same day. That’s right! Two bottle releases in one day. Yay!

LA Beer Week 2013 the LA Brewer’s Guild breweries brewed beers across the county using a common ingredient, honey. Porter fell in love with brewing with honey and specifically with this beer. 2 years later, we’ve decided to bring it back for a limited run.

Hive Five is made using 5 different kinds of locally sourced honeys: Eucalyptus, Avocado, Wild Flower, Buckwheat and Coastal Wild Flower.

Hive Five boasts intense honey aromas and sweetness without being overly sweet. Very floral and fruity with a beautifully balanced malt character.

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Our former head brewer, Chris Walowski getting the royal “Hive Five” from Greg Koch of Stone Brewing.

4 bottles per person/Kumquat Saison

4 bottles per person/Hive Five

 

Taproom Hours

Wed-Fri 4-9pm

Sat 12-8pm

Sun 12-6pm

Rarest of the Rare II – 2015- #LABW7

It’s LABW7 and we’re 4 days out from Rarest of the Rare!!!! If you love bourbon barrel-aged beer, sour beer, wild beer, experimental beer and all around delicious beer…Rarest of the Rare is the most exciting event of the year…besides our Anniversary Event, course. Everyone loves a good birthday party.

On June 27th from 12-8pm, we dig deep into our cellar and bring out the craziest beers we have available.

The following is your guide to surviving this very special day. Please join us, enjoy, drink responsibly and make sure you have a way to get home safely!

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SURVIVE AND THRIVE!!!

1. First and foremost, we will take over-intoxication very seriously. Please have a way to get home safely, eat lots of food (we have Serendoggity) before, during, and after the event and most importantly…pace yourself

2. Do not park in the Doggy Daycare parking spaces. You will be asked to move you car and you will lose your place in line. We have our half of the parking lot in the front of the building and the center spaces, also the parking lot directly behind our building to the west, plus all of the parking lots to the WEST of us should be open and okay to park in, additionally street parking on Del Amo blvd(across the street) and Gramercy Pl are abundant.

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3. Grab a taster menu and a pencil when you arrive. Mark your order before reaching the counter. 4 tasters per person or 2 full pours per order. Of course you are welcome to get back in line and go for more…this will ensure we don’t run out of taster glassware and keeps the line moving.

4. We will have two bars pouring unique beers. At the bottom of this blog will be the list of which beers will be at which bar.

5. Pace yourself!

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Our 2015 Anniversary Beer, Steamfunk Brett IPA,         bottles still avail

 

6. Growler fills- All growler fill orders will be filled at the main bar.

7. Some of the options will be “taster only”, they will be indicated on the tasting menu with an asterix. These extremely limited beers are $4 per taster.

8. Food Vendor, Serendoggity will be serving up delicious gourmet hotdogs. EAT!

9. Old Fashioned O.E., our delicious beer cocktail made with bitters, orange bitters, orange zest and FIRE, will be making its return! $7/glass, no tasters

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Old Fashioned O.E. ©Bernie Wire

 

10. Pace Yourself!

11. Wanna hashtag on social media? Use #smogcitybeer and @smogcitybeer for twitter and instagram. @smogcitybrewing for Facebook. Plus #RarestOfTheRare  #LABW7 @LABrewers

Share the love and tell everyone!

 

Our Smog City Team.

Our Smog City Team plus Tall Ryan.

 

12. Most importantly, have an amazing day enjoying our beers, and thank you for spending LABW with Smog City Brewing.

*Location of beers subject to change but this is our best guess at this time.

MAIN BAR

-Infinite Wishes-
Bourbon Barrel Aged Imp. Stout
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Double Chocolate Imp. Stout
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-Bourbon Collaborative Evil-
BBA Imp. Stout – collaboration w/
Beachwood Brewing
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-Bourbon Red-
3 year old BBA Strong Red Ale
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-Bourbon Imperial Porter-
3 year old BBA Strong Porter
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-2011 Olde English (O.E.)-
Non-Barrel Aged English Barleywine
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-Mystery Year Bourbon O.E.-
BBA English Barleywine
unknown vintage!
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Strong Saison brewed w/ Merlot then
refermented w/ Riesling must
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-Spittin’ n Cussin’-
Wine Barrel Aged Sour
Brown w/ Cherries
SNEAK PREVIEW!
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Batch 2 BBA Belgian Golden
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Saison refermented w/ Kumquats
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-Chip Shot Coffee Porter-
Spiced Coffee Porter
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-Bloody Knuckle-
Robust Porter on Nitro
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-L.A. Saison-
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-Sabre-Toothed
Squirrel-
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 -Hoptonic IPA-
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BREWER’S BAR

-2012 Bourbon O.E.-
Vintage BBA English Barleywine
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Bourbon Barrel-Aged
English Barleywine
Won GOLD at San Diego Int’l Beer Competition 2015!
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-Old Fashioned O.E.-
Beer cocktail w/ 2015 B.O.E.
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Steamfunk 100% Brett IPA
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-Fluffy Fuzz Buzz-
Sabre Toothed Squirrel w/
Coffee and Cascara
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-My Tai HopT-
Hoptonic IPA w/ Coconut
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-2015 Unity
Tart Saison – official beer
of LA Beer Week 7
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-Pomegranate Unity-
Unity Saison refermented
w/ Pom Molasses
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Cuddlebug
Sour Blonde w/
Peach and Apricot

Bloody Knuckle in a Belgian for dramatic impact.

Check out our tap list from 2013 Rarest of the Rare!

Rarest of the Rare II

1901 Del Amo Blvd Ste B

Torrance, CA 90501

310-320-7664

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American Craft Beer Week – May 11th-17th 2015

How did you celebrate American Craft Beer Week?

We rocked our favorite past-time…Macro Beer Golf. Get down to the taproom to enjoy local, support local and the revel in The Craft.

Steamfunk Brett IPA Bottle Release – Anniversary 2015

 

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Steamfunk Brett IPA

6.8% abv

Much Hops and Much “Bretts” which makes it Much Delicious!

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This golden IPA was fermented with Brettanomyces and dry-hopped with experimental hops to amp the Brett fueled funk.
Expect pineapple, melon, ripe cheese, papaya and subtle sweet lemon above the earthy, and yes, funky flavors that Brett lends to this beer.

Debuts at our Anniversary 2015 Party Saturday, May 9th. 

Sold Out VIP Session 11-1pm, General Admission 1pm-8pm

Growlers Available $22, Bottles $10 and Case discount 12/$100