1st Visit – Hi-Lo Long Beach

Count me as a fan of the OG Hi-Lo in Culver City and now I can tick from my to-do list visiting their second location.

Right on Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach is a bright airy spot with more room for the well curated treats that Hi-Lo specializes in from fancy Iberico ham potato chips to the excellent Tony’s chocolate. But what they excel at is fine spirits and craft beer.

Now the only complaint I have is that single cans are not in high abundance. This is a buy a four pack place. If you are good with that, then you will find an eclectic selection. Weldwerks, ForeLand, Cellador and Bottle Logic are there. Sours to pastry stouts. And a nice little watch the foot traffic outside bar area that I would re-visit.

You should certainly add them to your beer shoppe list.

Another GABF Schedule Change

No Great American Beer Festival for the second year in a row. The return has now been marked for Fall 2022. This year will be a combination of the brewery passport that they used for last year along with the Craft Brewer Conference and Denver Beer Week aligning in September. The awards will go on too and will be broadcast just like last year as well.

Obviously this was the safest option. They may well have been able to hold the event considering the vaccine rollout is over 17% now but any setback between now and September would have led to concerns. Not to mention that any festival this year would probably have to temperature check everyone or check their vaccination cards. Not to mention – Part 2, that they would probably have to reduce the amount of attendees drastically.

Soundtrack

As more and more folks get vaccinated, normalcy is slowly returning. But, if you, like me have not gotten your shot yet but want that sound of a bar in your home, well then ….

…then head to I Miss My Bar and hear what we all have been missing.

New in Orange County

One could argue that now is a great time to open a brewery. California is re-opening so a new taproom won’t have to rely on 4-packs to go. Maybe that is why an uptick is happening south of us in Orange County with Dueling Ducks Brewing Co.

..who opened last month and Juniper & Morgan who premiered this month…

..which means quite the epic Orange County trip will need to become planned.

In the Heights 2

Count me as a fan of The Heights Deli and Bottle Shop and now there will be a second outpost, this time on San Fernando Boulevard in the Glassell Park neighborhood.

According to my intel, they will be taking over from the previous liquor store tenant. Look for the same blue color and The Heights font on the building. The big clue is the #2 that you will also see painted on the facade.

I will pass on more info when available, the best news is that the “when will you open?” question has changed in recent days from a shrug emoji to, we are open.

Meet Benny in the Fall

Ground has been broken for Benny Boy Brewing

…and the fingers crossed / everything goes to plan opening date is September. Knowing the City of LA and the then (hopefully) after effects of pandemic times, I would say October or November might be closer.

Either way this freeway adjacent, five lanes of traffic away from the Brewery Blocks brewery and Cidery should be an excellent outdoor spot to re-acclimate oneself to drinking at a new brewery instead of the four-pack and flee method currently in place.

Updates to follow.

New in Portland

Being an expat Portlander and not being able to return home to try Oregon beers has been trying to say the least and the New School Beer + Cider blog is not helping by posting a rundown of new breweries coming to the state. I strongly encourage you to check out the full list but below are the breweries (and contract brewery) that struck me as places to visit.

A brewery, in a formerly church with a gorgeous bar like that. What a great drinking environment.

A new Japanese and food based brewery is a really nice addition to the beer scene.

Contract brewing has always needed more facilities and more people focused on smaller breweries. Back Forty ticks both of those boxes and does distilling too.

That is one wicked cool logo and the fact that they will focus on the wild side of beer is even cooler.

That’s Progress

Beer Clubs can be fun. Lots of breweries have them but I was intrigued by the spin that Progress Brewing has on their version…

The 10 pint can allocation includes:

  • 2 pints of an Exclusive Single Barrel Release (a new one each month, and only available to Progress BotM Club Members)
  • 4 pints of our Side-by-Side Series which has 2 pints of a Progress favorite, and 2 pints of that same favorite with a unique ingredient (a new one each month, and only available to Progress BotM Club Members)
  • 4 pints of assorted Progress favorites

This allows the members to not only get the next new thing but also keeps the standards in rotation as well. I love the side by side idea especially since I saw they had a Gin & Tonic inspired version.

Not Tap For Now

The Glendale Tap is a flat out great space for craft beer in Los Angeles, also quite dark inside so when I visited recently, I didn’t even try to take a photograph though I wanted to because the bar, it is leaning into its new existence as basically a bottle shoppe. And I mean bottles literally. They have a lot of glass inside.

The above photo from their Facebook page shows some of the large format bottles that they have. You could stock a beer cellar in one stop. For me, I was in the market for a special birthday beer. After five minutes of looking, I had three strong choices and after another five minutes (I was on the clock, I don’t stay inside anyplace for long) I had another couple added to the list, making my final choice harder.

They also have the hip IPAs of all sub-styles in a cooler, so your trend beer buddies will be happy too. I say venture over to San Fernando and get ready to find a special beer of your own.