A Bigger Lab

A lot of space on this blog is devoted to grand openings and second (third) locations for local breweries but equally important are images like the one above. Long Beach Beer Lab recently unloaded a new Brewhouse into their growing space on Willow Street.

According to the brewery this upgrade means they can brew “at a capacity we’ll beyond what we have been. This will allow for more beer, more variety of beers and an even higher quality product for our drinkers.”

They also explained via social media that, “This expansion project is coupled with further beautification of our 500 block of Willow Street with plans for additional retail and creative social space.”

Congratulations on the growth and for your community support over the last year plus.

Low Road

News broke yesterday that the Golden Road expansion to Oakland (specifically the Temescal neighborhood) is kaput.

This was due primarily to community opposition from both residents and the Bay Area Independent beer world but was probably helped by the troubles that SABInBev – Golden Road – Sacramento has been having with noise issues amongst other complaints.

Whether this is a harbinger of future expansion plans or just a roadbump will be seen as years pass but what it does show is that Bud will need to pick sites in a much more careful manner because they do not want to have their craft cover blown.

It was blown in San Diego for 10 Barrel and then again in this instance and considering that transparency is not Dilly Dilly, a third strike might cause exponential PR damage.

My best guess is that these satellites are not long for this world. Restaurants are a fickle business and not in the Bud wheelhouse so if the costs start to run, they might too. Or they will transition them to other uses.

San Miguel (not a casino)

Los Angeles already is home to large breweries from Bud in Van Nuys to Miller off the 210 in Irwindale as well as Pabst in Los Angeles. Add to the big list, the Philippine-based San Miguel Brewery. The international brewery announced plans for its first US production site somewhere in Los Angeles.

San Miguel is on a spending spree to increase their capacity at home and will be plunking down around $150 million for this SoCal site which will take 2-3 years to build.

According to San Miguel president Ramon Ang, “The reason we are going to build a brewery in the US is because the volume of exports today in America can now warrant us to put up the brewery to support that volume,”.

They must think that the market for beer is robust enough not only in L.A. but on the West Coast as well to warrant the expense.

Sweetwater of California?

Sweetwater Brewing of Georgia has plans now to build a second brewing facility somewhere on the West Coast by 2017 with California getting the odds on favorite status. Will the encourage other Eastern breweries to eye the west?

There are also longer range plans to add a Midwest/Central brewery as well.
The goal for Sweetwater being to have hubs to get the beer to people in local markets without as much shipping.The brand is currently sold in 18 states, as well as Washington D.C.

Modern LA Times

On the same day that the sale of Golden Road was announced, off to the side, the Modern Times of San Diego made some noise of their own:

“Well, we weren’t planning to announce this quite yet, but for some reason today feels like the right day. In 2016, we’re planning to open a pilot brewery, restaurant, and specialty coffee shop in Los Angeles. Expect crazy one-off beers, decadent vegan food, & mind-blowing espressos, pour-overs, & cold brew.”

Unless the plans are already underway, 2016 seems ambitious. So look for more news in the coming months.

A Kinetic Expansion

Brewing in northerly Lancaster has taken a huge square foot step forward as Kinetic Brewing Co. in cooperation with the city will expand from their current brewery/restaurant into a production facility + tasting room + outdoor events space. As with all things brewery related, timetables are kinda fluid but look for this to open up in late 2017.
Once online and brewing, Kinetic will be able to quadruple their production in the first year alone and then really go big by year three. But the two key items that stand out to me are the potential for a garden with a hop farm and the addition of a canning line. For the environmentally and drought aware, they will be taking aiming to hit the goal of being nearly footprint neutral with the addition of solar power and water recycling.

Enegren is Growing, check them out


Enegren Brewing Company is sometimes out of sight and out of mind for the L.A. Beer savvy but they have been plugging away since 2011 and they will premiere their new 15-bbl brewery on January 24th, 2015.  They are spoken of in terms of their tech savvy and their engineering prowess and now they have quadrupled the brewery’s brewing capacity. while also doubling the tasting room size!

This might be the time to either acquaint or re-acquaint yourself with their wares because they will have a special beer on tap….

“The brewery has partnered with The White Heart Foundation charity to commemorate this milestone. The White Heart foundation serves the needs of our wounded warriors through direct community support. A special White Heart White IPA brewed with Cascade, Citra and Galaxy hops will be for sale exclusively at the brewery with 100% of the revenue donated to charity.”

A German Fig

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I don’t think they will be close neighbors to Stone Brewing but Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company is not content with creating a mini-empire of tasting room and brewing outlets. They are also going back to Germany. Fig Mountain “Owners Jaime and Jim Dietenhofer are excited to go back to their roots as they evaluate potential site selections for a new European brewery in the Bavarian region of Germany. “. And brewer AJ Stoll will be learning the German words for Hoppy Poppy and Hurricane Deck as the emissary to Europe.

In the works are “a new line of European beers such as Dunkelweiss, Marzen, Weissbier and other lagers,” according to Dietenhofer, “with the potential to import these beers back to the United States.”

Is this the start of a major migration?

Cismontane + Santa Ana


Cismontane has been bubbling in the background.  Bottles are available but I haven’t seen many events or tap handles of late.  Now I may have the reason behind that sorta absence.

They are building a tasting room, additional brewing facilities and a DISTILLERY too!  The tasting room will be the first online later this month (fingers crossed on my part).  The distillery will be second and very well may be the 1st ever in Orange County. And of course, last will be the brewing kettles and fermenters.  They always are.

They address is 1409 East Warner in Suite C in Santa Ana, not Rancho Santa Margarita.


A Stone in the Marienpark

Stone Brewing Co. has finally pulled the trigger on their on “East Coast” brewery expansion with their “announced plans to open a production brewery and expansive destination restaurant in Berlin, Germany.”


I am glad to see this move progress. It has been talked about for awhile and it will be very interesting to see how a really physical export of American craft beer fares in Europe.

“With an anticipated opening in late 2015 or early 2016, Stone is making an initial investment of more than $25 million to renovate a historic gasworks complex in Marienpark Berlin, turning the more than two acres (9,290 square meters) of indoor and outdoor space into a world-class operation that will welcome beer enthusiasts from around the globe. Stone will be the first American craft brewer to independently own and operate a brewery in Europe. Stone Brewing Co. – Berlin will encompass three components: a brewery and packaging hall, a Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens restaurant and a Stone Company Store.”

What remains unsaid is how much they will Deutsch-afy this outpost. Will they brew any maltier beers? Will they just do what they do in Escondido? Or somewhere in between? I hope they take this opportunity to do something different. Embed Stone in the community. One step could be to have a lead brewer from Germany who has some free reign in the Brewhouse.

“Additionally, the company launched an Indiegogo crowd-participation campaign today, so fans can participate in the venture by purchasing special collaboration beers to be brewed with award-winning, renowned craft brewers from around the world at Stone Brewing Co. – Berlin once the facility is operational.”

This is probably the weirdest part of the press release. Why is this part of it? I would not have used crowd sourcing at all. Need extra funds? Sell those same rewards for the same price via your own website. Add a certificate stating you are helping to build the new brewery and call it a day. This is because, I believe that crowd funding is for smaller entrepreneurs without access to conventional loans.

When all is said and done, this is a really positive step forward. My questions are more along the line of, how will this turn out rather than hyper-critical.