Posts from the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

growing our brand and spreading the word

This year has been a big one for Smog…but I feel like I say that every year.

With the addition of our second taproom, Smog City at SteelCraft in Bixby Knolls, and the construction of our amazing(and gigantic) Sour Cellar, we’ve felt like we’ve spent the last year trying to tame a wild horse. Porter and I have had to grow and learn from all of these new experiences in ways we never could have predicted. It’s fun. It’s scary. It’s exhausting and it’s rewarding.

So we’ve been asking ourselves, what will 2018 bring?

At home base, we’re in the midst of the largest expansion of our brewery’s since we opened in Torrance nearly 4.5 years ago. The South Cellar’s construction is well under way- giving new promise to increased limited and seasonal beers as well as our beloved year round releases like Little Bo, Smog City IPA, Sabre-Toothed Squirrel and Coffee Porter (My unabashed favorite) and then there’s the impending arrival of our “big boy” bottling line. It’s crazy to think that 2018 will see Smog City in 6 packs. <mind blown>

We’ve been watching the market and believe strongly that craft beer is finally making the shift from luxury to lifestyle. The introduction of 6 packs by many local craft breweries points to a decline of the single bottle sales(mostly year round beers, not special releases) and an increase in 6 packs- what we call “fridge beer”. This is a shift that we welcome with open arms at Smog.

Our “father’s beer” may be different from our own personal “go-tos” but the loyalty he felt towards his favorite beer is not that much different from your support for local taprooms….with so many choices in the market, your safe place is in the arms of your favorite brewery or breweries. We hope to be the “go-to” for many beer lovers in SoCal, a tried and true brewery that brews stellar beers while still testing and pushing the envelop.

So besides the construction, the 6 packs, the taproom in 2018, our highly anticipated sour program will finally hit its stride. Look for m0re releases of delicious wild and sour barrel-aged goodness, flowing in our taproom and available in small batch releases in the coming year. These experiments, and awesome triumphs, will allow us to push our creativity further.

This year some fan and brewery staff favorites included: A purple carrot and thyme sour called IT’S CARROT THYME!, TYPE OH NEGATIVE, a white wine barrel-aged blonde with black currants, rosemary, and juniper and, of course, the ever delicious and seasonal BRIX LAYER, a sour blonde blended with Riesling juice from our collaborators in Escondido, J. Brix Wines. This beer is directly linked to the wine harvest each year, leading to a “window of opportunity” and a flurry of activity as the grapes are harvested, crushed and rushed to our brewery for addition. A liquid reflection of the year’s harvest.

Our primary focus has always been on the beers, expressing creativity in the brewery and in our beers, but this year we have focused some of our attention on growing a sustainable company. One that prides itself on the quality of its product and the wealth of its culture: We are committed to supporting our staff who work so hard to help us realize our vision.

In 2017, we added a bunch of new employees to the Smog family! Tim Harbage, Cesar Alfaro, Toby Sandland, Josh Pickett, Eddie Padilla, Gabriel Velarde, Sawyer Fox, and Sam Pennington. We’re now totaling 26 employees! Amazing.

In July, we became a proud member of 1% for the Planet, committing 1% of our gross sales in wholesale and the Torrance taproom to non-profits that support and protect the environment. To promote those partnerships, we launched our Pints with Purpose series and so far we’ve partnered with Keep a Breast, Aquarium of the Pacific and our long standing partner, Food Forward! I love seeing the taproom bustling on Thursdays, together we are raising money while raising a glass of independent craft beer. And I especially enjoy the fun experiences our partners bring to the taproom. In November, we even had jellies as our special visitors!! You had to see it to believe it.

Smog City has always felt strongly about our impact on the environment; reuse, recycle, and reclaim have been a part of our brand since we started. Pushing into giving back directly to non-profits is a new route and one that may seem out there, but it feels so “Smoggy”! As always, we forge our own path..often cutting through the weeds to get there.

Smog City is deeply invested in our beers, our staff, our community, our environment- in an ever increasing determination to have a genuine impact on the world. If that is what we have achieved, even on a small scale, then we are proud to be Smog City.

Cheers and thank you for your support!

Laurie and Porter

 

My Beer Our Planet


Smog City is a member of 1% for the Planet, an organization that partners environmentally conscious businesses with non-profits that support and protect the environment.

We live in arguably the most beautiful state in the country; with national forests, deserts and oceans (and more) that need to be and should be protected.

Here at Smog, we have a responsibility to this beautiful blue/green marble and to future generations to leave this planet in the best shape possible. We also believe in leading by example; which not only feeds the soul but binds us to our community and ultimately benefits universally.

 

So join us in supporting organizations that matter. Every Thursday, we will donate a percentage of our sales in the Torrance taproom to non-profits. Each month a new partnership and new exciting events to support.

Make it a habit…pay it forward.

 

2017 Calendar

October – The Keep a Breast Foundation

November – Aquarium of the Pacific

December – Food Forward

 

#Smogcitycares #mybeerourplanet

Launching 1% for the Planet

4th of July!

 

 

It’s already the 4th of July?! Where oh where did the year go? Well, better stop lamenting the speed at which time flies and harness the excitement of the weekend.

We hope your 4th of July is rampant with BBQs, fireworks, friends and, of course, beers! Choose your favorite independent craft brewery to support this weekend. Share with friends, spread the word and enjoy the holiday with a product that was brewed with passion, commitment to our communities and uncompromising quality.

Smog City’s Torrance Taproom                                  SteelCraft Taproom

Friday 12-10pm (today)                                                               Friday 12-10pm

Saturday 12-10pm                                                                         Saturday 11-10pm

Sunday 12-8pm                                                                             Sunday 11-9pm

Monday: Closed                                                                            Monday 12-8pm

4th of July/Tuesday 12-5pm                                                       Tuesday 12-5pm

Growlers and Bottles will be available at both taprooms, so make sure to stock up before the holiday is upon us! If you’re stressing for growlers on Monday, head for our Long Beach taproom! We’re open our usual hours.

BEERS FOR THE WEEKEND! We’ve got some new beers that will definitely fit nicely into your plans: Available today: Malton Brown, Matrimony Ale, Red, White and Blue Sour Blonde (cranberries, white peppercorns, and blueberries), Hoptonic IPA, Sabre-Toothed Squirrel

NEW BEER RELEASE: On Monday at SteelCraft: L.A. Saison returns and will be available at the Torrance taproom when we open on Tuesday!

As always, have a safe and happy 4th of July!

The Smog Family

Smog City’s 2017 Anniversary!

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Smog City Anniversary 2017

What an amazing day we had! I managed to snap a few photos before putting my camera away to gather glassware and help out around the taproom! But I wanted to share the photos that I was able to take.

Thank you again for your support. It’s the customers that make this industry such a joy to be apart of. Please continue to support local independent brewers and enjoy the craft in craft beer!

 

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Laurie and Her Mother

EK8A5783-SMThis handsome guy and our two housemade Beer Cocktails, Spicy Tango and

Little Bo Michelada

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Spicy Tango, Tart Saison with a Tangerine Serrano cordial and dehydrated tangerine wheel

EK8A5798-SMPure Joy. Great customers, great friends.

EK8A5803-SMThose in the know. BYOC. LOL

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Pinkies Out!

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One of our Stone Sales Reps! Support!

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Jerald, a long time friend. Best known for the painted blue stripe that runs around the brewery and bright colors inside the bathrooms!He also redid the floors in the bathroom(probably due for another floor soon!) and so much more. ❤

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Justin and Melissa. Justin used to work for us but they both moved to Seattle. We’re so lucky to have them back for the Anni Party each year!!

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The Best People are Beer People

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Mood Maestros spun tunes all day! For hire! 🙂EK8A5847-SM

Tony and his son are long time friends. He built and installed the bars along the taproom walls and the mirror in the lady’s room. Plus our amazing display case at SteelCraft!

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Longtime friends and customers!!

Thank you for your support!

Laurie, Porter and the Smog City Family

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Join us for our LABW events:

Friday, June 16th: Hoptango IPA Release at the brewery taproom! Hop tango is our Hoptonic IPA refermented with fresh mango puree

Open Friday 12-10pm

Sunday, June 18th: Rarest of the Rare returns! Hosted once every two years, we pull out cellared and new bourbon barrel-aged, sour and wild ales for the day! An outstanding opportunity to dive deep into our more limited offerings.

Open Sunday 11-9pm

Monday, June 19th: Beer Cocktail Hour at SteelCraft, Jason Briseno and Jenn Hadar have developed a series of unique and delicious house-made Beer Cocktails using herbs, cordials and more!

Serving Cocktails 4 till they run out or we close at 9pm

Friday, June 23rd: Grape Ape IPA Release in the Brewery Taproom. This special release IPA is made with grape must and heavily hopped with Topaz. The original versions were each made with different combinations of hops and wine must until the perfect union was found. This is the result! Come in for growlers and pours on draft.

Open Friday 12-10pm

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Smog City Taproom and Brewery: 1901 Del Amo Blvd, Torrance 90501 #smogcitybeer

Smog City @SteelCraft 3768 Long Beach Blvd, Long Beach 90807 #smogcitybeer_steelcraft

Growler Tags at Smog!

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Just in time for Memorial Day Weekend!! Starting this Friday(5/26) at noon, we will have growler tags and will be filling BLANK GROWLERS. We have heard your requests and we have really appreciated your patience, now everyone can rejoice. There’s just a little housekeeping to ensure that you have a great experience and your beer is fresh and delicious upon drinking.

  1. We will NOT cover another brewery’s growler or cover growlers for any reason. The growler must be blank or have a non-removable covering on it. Growler Coozies do not meet our requirements.
  2. The volume must be stated on the growler container, only 64oz and 32oz growlers will be filled.
  3. Growler must be clean. We will charge $2 per container if cleaning is required.
  4. It must hold pressure and be a reasonable vessel for holding beer. No milk cartons or Tupperware, Dasani water bottles, shoes, or cupped hands(etc…) will be filled.
  5. Filling a container is at the discretion of the beertenders and supervisor on shift. If the container is determined to not meet our standards for any reason, the beertender does not have to fill it.

WE WILL BE OPEN ON MONDAY for Memorial Day from 12-10pm and pouring fresh 522 to Yakima, our experimental hop Pale ale!!

!!!We will also be offering 10% off all case purchases, mixed cases apply!!!

We hope you have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day Weekend! #drinkresponsibly #drinkindependent

 

Special Releases and the Chaos Effect

Hi All!

I can’t believe this blog has been dormant since Dec. ’16. You know how it goes, you say to yourself: “wow! It’s 2017…we have ALL YEAR and then suddenly it’s May 4th(Yes, May the Fourth Be With You Too) and the year is almost halfway gone.” How does this happen?

Since Dec, we’ve opened our first satellite taproom at SteelCraft. Jan and Feb were welcomed with 2-3 days of rain every week so the SteelCraft project was tested…would people stay home when it rains? No. Does DG turn into mud when it rains? YES. Do people still want to drink beer when it’s raining? YES! and if we put out a tiny 10×10 Smog City branded tent next to the bar, will everyone gather under it and toast to innovation and community? Heck Yeah! Thank you for your support despite the rains.

Pre-branded tent for coverage!

To say we learned a lot in those first two months is an understatement.

We are so thrilled with how SteelCraft turned out. Our partners in this venture: Howard CDM, Steelhead Coffee, Pig Pen Delicacy, Waffle Luv, Desano Pizza, Tajima Ramen, Lovesome Chocolates, and Shave Ice are all amazing people. Amazing partners and collaborators. We’ve all grown into this space together and to be honest, it feels a lot like summer camp when we get together.

The “I remember whens” and “can you believe how far we’ve comes?” abound. We are so thankful to be a part of this space and to Kim Gros who originally brought us a concept on a piece of paper and a really good pitch…an authentic heartfelt pitch. When I saw what she envisioned, I was enthusiastic if not a little bit skeptical but I’m an Incurable Optimist. I told her ” If you can build this, it will be amazing and new and I want in!”

Spoiler alert….She Build It.

Kim Gros and Laurie Porter -©Justin Rudd

We’re now 5 months into SteelCraft. We’ve moved from one construction site to another. The expansion of our production on site. Smog brewed and sold approx 4200 bbl of beer last year. This year we will be happy if we hit 5500 bbl. That’s not huge growth but it’s organic, it’s sustainable, and most importantly it’s true to our principles. As a 100% family owned and operated brewery, Smog City prides itself as an Independent Brewery.

We make the rules (when the government doesn’t make them for us), we decide our path and sustain our brand’s authenticity in every drop of beer we make, every person we hire and every market we move into. It’s thoughtful and courageous.

Man…I started this with the intention of talking about our bottle releases this weekend and where the heck did I end up?! The market activity of the week must have me musing…Heineken buys the remainder of Lagunitas and AB inBev buys Wicked Weed…it’s a heavy week for craft beer.

DRINK BEER FROM HERE!

Well, all that rambling behind us, I think it’s time to talk bottle releases!

This Saturday, May 6th, we are releasing THREE incredibly delicious beers on tap and in bottles. I hope you will join us. These releases are not about moving product(that’s nice and all), it’s about celebrating a new step in the craft and an exciting new experience for our customers.

A new beer(or three) is a great opportunity to celebrate innovation at the brewery, in the taproom

and with friends.

Bourbon O.E. – 13.1% ABV

Bourbon Barrel-Aged English Barleywine
Spending over a year in bourbon barrels, Bourbon O.E.’s generous malt character merges with notes of vanilla, caramel, oak, toffee, and pecan.  Like a fine port or sherry, each year’s vintage is different than the last and will continue to develop over time.
This beautiful new label created by @rcochranart is releasing for the first time although the beer has been with us for years. BOE is finally grown up. Designed to remind you of classic leather bound books, plush fireside armchairs, cigars by firelight…Bourbon O.E. spent 13 months aging in bourbon barrels, layering a complexity that only spirits and oak can yield. Vanilla, Carmel, Bourbon, Char and Oak blend seamlessly with this fantastic old english barleywine.

$14 per bottle, 12 bottle limit.

Ch’Nooks & Crannies – 4.7% ABV

Sour Blonde with Cranberry, Dry Hopped with Chinook
This is the first full-sized production batch of this fan favorite.  Taking our clean sour blonde base and fermenting it with cranberries we then dry hop with Chinook to compliment the fruit character.

$10 per bottle, 12 bottle limit.

Beta Blend – 8.1% ABV

Blended Golden Sour
Debuting with a sneak peak almost a year ago at our Anniversary Party, this beer is ready for it’s full-scale release.  Blended from 1 and 2-year old sour blonde barrels, this beer is complexity in full effect; the oldest portions of this blend are approaching 3 years since brew day.  Balanced acidity, oak tannin and vintage wine character combine and may continue to develop in this sipper for years.$11 per bottle, 12 bottle limit.

 

All in, we have the best crew and the best jobs! Proud to be making our mark on the Los Angeles market and thankful to all of you that support our small business and propel us forward.

Cheers and thanks for reading!

Laurie and Porter