When a brewery in Los Angeles calls it a day, it is sad. But when a real path breaker does it, it is doubly sad. If not quadruply sad with it happening smack in the middle of L.A. Beer Week. Such is the case though as Eagle Rock Brewery has decided to end its run at the end of June.

Founded back in 2009 by two really great people, Ting and Jeremy. They have run government gauntlets, brewed many a Unity beer, were there at every early beer festival and so much more.

Who knew that a tiny little brewery in a weird corner side street off a freeway exit with a mild ale as a torch bearer would have such an outsized impact on the direction of craft beer in Los Angeles.

Now only Ladyface Ale Companie stands from the trio of early L.A. breweries. How this will affect The Landing in Burbank or Party Beer Co. who was using the facilities is unknown at this point but this is a real dent and one that I will be processing for a while.

Fun with Alcohol Law

As we have seen in Arizona most recently, there be a lot of just batshit crazy laws on the books and nowhere is that more true than when it comes to alcohol. Anything with a whiff of fun must be morally wrong for others to do.

Case in point, in the 1950’s if you boarded a plane you probably got a free drink and as many as you needed. But, if you were flying over a dry county or municipality, you could not be served a drink even though you were up in the air.

The rationale being that the dryness extended all the way up into the sky. Even though a few minutes later you could get a drink. Flight attendants then, and now had to deal with oddness.

Anchor Returns!

Big news from our neighbors to the north, San Francisco came in right at the end of May as, Hamdi Ulukaya, Chobani founder and CEO, announced the purchase of the whole kit and kaboodle of Anchor Brewing.  All of Anchor’s assets, the steam beer recipes, the brewing equipment and the building and warehouses too. The yogurt business must be good.

THIS SF Gate piece has a lot of good bits to it but what struck me was this quote paragraph… “Brands like Anchor don’t come that easy. How do you value something like this? Do you value it because it’s been here 127 years?” Ulukaya said. “Do you value it because of how much love and passion goes into creating something like this? The ingredients and knowledge and tradition and yeast and secrets? Do you value it because of how much loyalty people have for it? Or do you value it for how much money it makes?”

That sounds atypical of most owners, looking at you shady Sapporo, as the focus seems to be the product and the legacy and not financials. It might be too late for beer from Anchor Brewing this year but 2025 is a possibility.


If I had to pick a state that The Bruery would add a location to, Idaho would not have made the list.  But apparently, this summer (or thereabouts) there will be a Bruery in Boise.

I would have thought that anywhere in California might be easier, or Las Vegas but Idaho it apparently is.

Tip of the Hat!

Russian River Brewing does some really cool things for the craft beer industry.  Their latest is….THIS

..which is just a cool way to help an up and coming brewery. An if Pliny is brewed on that kit, there are some good vibes coming from that for sure.

Sports Bra Franchising

The Sports Bra the much lauded and talked about first women’s sports bar in the world, has announced plans to franchise and bring the brand to other cities.

Owner Jenny Nguyen opened The Sports Bra in Portland in 2022 and now with investment from Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, best known as the husband of tennis legend Serena Williams, and his Ohanian’s 776 Foundation will provide the backing for the endeavor which will hopefully create more places where women’s sports can be watched which in turn might get more women’s sports broadcast.

image from the Oregonian

As a bonus, money from the investment will be re-invested right back into girls’ and women’s sports via the foundation providing even more of a positive feedback loop.

Maybe, a franchise will open here in Glendale!


Usually mergers and acquisitions occur and it is a net negative.  Especially when it is the big players in the beer industry.  A big brewery buys a small one and then proceeds to water down the product or distributors get bigger and bigger until they cannot service all the beer they have in their portfolio.

But the new Circle of Crowns Beverage Group Strategic Alliance is indeed that an alliance.  CCBG includes Inglewood-based Crowns and Hops, Fresno-based Full Circle Brewing and its sister brands Speakeasy Ales and Lagers and Sonoma Cider. All black owned breweries.

The two main prongs of the alliance are a combined sales force bringing not just one brewery but multiple to the table and second Full Circle will use their excess brewing capacity to brew Crowns and Hops beers which, I think, may change once the Inglewood brewery is up and running.

Owning your local market is quite important these days so the fact that each one is in a different sector of California will help as well. But the combined weight might just push growth so that these beers get more placement.

World Beer Cup 2024

CBC, the Craft Brewers Conference was in Las Vegas aka Land of the Sphere and that is where the World Beer Cup awards were announced yesterday.

Here is my Los Angeles centric take on who won…

  • 9,300 beers entered into the competition from 50 countries
  • took 8 categories before California announced itself by sweeping the Coffee beer category
  • Orange County picked up a brace of medals in Strong Porter and Hoppy Pilsner
  • Bend, Oregon was the big city winner
  • Speaking of Bend, 10 Barrel swept the German Style Sour Category, winning all three medals
  • weird fact that German-Style Pilsner was the 3rd biggest category
  • Good to see that Ian McCall and ISM Brewing came up big with multiple medals
  • Got to see Bianca, Jace and Guillermo streaming!
  • Also happy to see L.A. based winners Paperback repping Glendale with Silver, Ogopogo and Far Field with Gold and Cellador with Silver, Bravery with Bronze
  • La Fin du Monde from Unibroue won Gold and I have that in my fridge!
  • Great beer names: Cactus Makes Perfect, Hell Yes Helles, Irish Pre-Nup

You can see the full list of winners HERE

More Small Print

There is the potential that beer labels will have to squeeze in a lot more information onto them in the future.  More specifically, allergens and nutrition information.  Which is not good for those, like me, who need major magnification just to read what hops are in the beer.  And though I like the idea of a QR code that leads you to more detailed information, what percentage of people are going to use that and then what percentage of those will understand the governmental gobbledygook that passes for information?

You can read more HERE from the Brewers Association. 

May the Brew Be With You

I am not a homebrewer but I know the vital importance of having them around to push the recipe envelope without having to sell their beers and to be a minor league from which new breweries can spring with new ideas.

And a cool new idea for the Big Brew 2024 on May 4th is to have a theme.  That theme? Homebrew recipes inspired by Star Wars.

The recipes are Degobah Dunkel, Jabba Juice Hazy IPA, A New Hope Pale Ale, Empire Strikes Back Dark Ale and rounding out the OG trilogy Return of the Jedi Pale Ale.  All OK names but I hope to see some deeper cuts like Ahsoka Amber or Order 66 Betr-Ale.