Cellar No More

I was vigilantly checking my credit card statement when I saw a strange name on a purchase. I looked at my calendar and saw that I was at the Eagle Rock branch of Craft Beer Cellar that night and not at some place called Talon. I dug a little more and found out that the Talon is now the new name of the bottle shop.

The only news that I can find was on Facebook saying that Tom & Nicki have taken over. Leads me to think that the franchising through Craft Beer Cellar is having problems over on the West Coast too or maybe some other answer is at the root of the sign change.

I made a quick stop and did not see any of the regular staff on hand but the shelves were stocked so let’s hope that the beer choices stay strong.

Museum Quality + In the Cellar

Two interesting news tidbits practically screamed to be combined. The New School Beer Blog noted that a new Portland establishment called the Beer Museum had opened and though it was called out for being more tap room and beer accessory store, than museum, I found it highly interesting that in the closing remarks that this would be a better fit of a store for the Portland Airport.

Secondly, the Boston Globe has reported on the strained relationships between franchisher and franchisee of Craft Beer Cellar (One of which, I frequent in Eagle Rock). Stores are closing. Lawsuits are flying and so are insults.

Even with decreasing craft sales and increasing competition, I see bottle shops as a vital cog whose mission shouldn’t be re-booted but should be tailored to their community. If you are in a mini-mall next to a coffee shop, you should look into collaborating and cross promoting. If you are near a brewery or two, maybe you should have a special section for them in the cooler,

Tweaks not re-invention.

LABW9 & Craft Beer Cellar – Eagle Rock

Craft Beer Cellar in Eagle Rock will be very busy for #LABW9. Check out my picks from their roster of fun plans….

Saturday, June 17 – L.A. ALL DAY IPA – L.A. IPA Tap Takeover, 5 to 10 p.m.

Tuesday, June 20 – Transplant Bottle Release Party & Beer Trivia, starts at 8 p.m.

Saturday, June 24 – Hecho En the East Side Craft Beer & Art Show, featuring beers brewed in East/Northeast LA, 5 to 10 p.m.

Sunday, June 25 – Beer & Donut Pairing with Donut Friend – 2 to 4 p.m. (must purchase ticket in advance)

Not Up to Snuff

Craft Beer Cellar has always had a strongly opinionated business stance. And 2017 the 28 stores in the chain will bring another one forward….

Each store will carry a set of “required and highly recommended beers,” and there will be a “Do Not Sell” list. You could, for instance, find no room on the shelf due to “lack of adherence to style, off flavors, and inconsistency in quality…”

What this means is that you could walk into one of their branded shops and not find a local brewery or far flung brewery in the cold case because they are not above the standard. Or you might find, the hefeweizen on sale but not an IPA with a proven bad track record.

Part of me agrees with this. We all need to be more open and upfront about beer flaws. Is it hard to do in a nice manner that can be taken constructively? Yes, but that is partially because we are out of practice in doing it. If CBC can fairly judge and pass that grade to the brewer and help them improve, then great. But if it turns into a bickering match then nothing is improved.

The other part of me though wishes that the call was up to the store owner. Due to the Byzantine nature of distribution in this country, some owners might have an easy time dropping a brewery. But others may have to buy other beers from a portfolio which could lead to some awkward sales calls.

Either way, the breweries on the naughty list needs to be transparent to the customer so that informed decisions and true education can happen.

Craftsman at the Cellar

Tonight! Saturday, November 12 from 5 to 9 p.m. the Craft Beer Cellar in Eagle Rock will host their Second Saturday Session featuring the beer of Craftsman Brewing Company, the longest standing independent small brewery in Los Angeles!
Outside of Maximiliano restaurant which has a long Craftsman list, we don’t usually see lists of Craftsman so take the opportunity for a flight special, LA Wing Co foodtruck will be in the parking lot and their will be merchandise giveaways!

Another Cellar of Craft Beer

L.A. is now the proud home to two locations of the growing chain of craft beer shoppes, Craft Beer Cellar. I am a frequent visitor to the Eagle Rock location with its lovely patio to enjoy one of the 8 beers they have on tap before I head off with to-go bottles and cans in hand.

Now the Crossroads Shopping Center in Torrance (‘natch) will house franchisee # 2 and they will be throwing a grand opening on April 23rd. The only downside being that they won’t be pouring beer as of yet. Just to-go to start which will put them at a disadvantage compared to Select Beer. But if they can stock up on Torrance beer, they could become a hub for that huge brewing community.


If you have not found the time in the new year to visit the now open Craft Beer Cellar in Eagle Rock, well, I have an excuse for you….

“On Saturday, January 9th from 4-8p we’re hosting our first of many Second Saturday Sessions and to kick the year off right who better than Eagle Rock Brewery to take over our tap room! The Eagle Rock crew will be in the house and some awesome beer will be pouring from the taps, like Manifesto, their Witbier style beer, Stimulus, their Belgian-style Amber with Intelligentsia Coffee, and a bunch of their delicious core lineup. As if that wasn’t enough, Eagle Rock Brewery Public House will also be offering some of the delicious munchies! All Eagle Rock Brewery Beer bottles to-go will be offered on sale with 10% off!”

And if you read that whole paragraph, the other easter egg is the fact that the Public House will be providing some foodie treats. Great way to kill two beer birds with one visit.

Craft Beer Cellar

Whilst perusing the People issue of All About Beer, I noticed a little throwaway line about a pair of entrepreneurs who have started a chain of craft beer bottle shops.  It said, that they were going national and one spot on the list was a little burg called Los Angeles.

And lo and behold it appears another bottle shop is headed our way….

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Craft Beer Cellar is primarily in Massachusetts but they are expanding outward.  And from what I have read are big on beer education.  Which was a theme of the people issue.  Which is why I think they will fit in with the likes of the other LA beer-lebrity from that issue, Ting Su of Eagle Rock.  What I especially like after reading a few of their blog posts is that they tell their opinion but also don’t take it as gospel.  They explain why they do things and that is that.  Love it.

I will update where they will be opening (Los Angeles could mean anywhere) and when (hopefully in 2015).

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