Newly Distilled in Torrance

As is often the case with Strand Brewing, they tease a new venture in advance and then it gets a little lost before it comes to fruition.

I posted about their distilling a few months back and now, as you can see from the photo, whiskey and vodka under the Strand moniker has arrived.

Available at their taproom to go.

Smog #9

Smog City has rolled with the punches when it comes to their 9th Anniversary and have decided to go big and celebrate over multiple days! Below is the week plans per the brewery…
– The release of Kumquat Saison, our beer brewed in partnership with Food Forward The beer will be available in 4-pack cans for pick-up at all taproom locations, delivery, and shipping in California starting 5/14. $22/4-pack.

– Awesome Smog City anniversary party packs will be given out while supplies last with any purchase of a 4-pack of Kumquat Saison. That packs include: (2) Smog City cookies from Torrance Bakery, Smog City coloring pages, Smog City sticker, Coffee Porter compost, and a special anniversary card from Laurie and Porter! (1 per customer and while supplies last)

– A special Thursday night happy hour Zoom call hosted by Laurie & Porter call featuring Kumquat Saison, Food Forward, a beer cocktail making lesson, and lots of old photos! The call will be on 5/14 and starts at 6pm. Come join us for a good time and to learn about what makes Kumquat Saison such a special beer.

– Kumquat Saison Margarita beer cocktail kits for sale at the Torrance Brewery & Taproom + online for delivery

3941 Tamales onsite at the Torrance Brewery & Taproom Friday, 5/15 from 3pm – 8pm selling delicious pre-made food to go that complements the Kumquat Saison margs perfectly. You will be able to order food ahead of time online for quick pick-up or order onsite. Menu and ordering link coming soon!

Anarchy Seafood onsite at the Torrance Brewery & Taproom Saturday from 2pm – 6pm selling her amazing seafood focused dishes to-go. We’ve missed this food so much! Menu coming soon!

Featured Review – Flying Cat IPA from Strand Brewing

The Curious and Fantastic Flying Cat pours a dark yellow, orange color. Wet mouthfeel up front but a firm kick of old school hop bitterness at the back from this Strand Brewing beer. But for an IPA labeled ad “brewed with Citra hops”, the citrus element is not really there. Way more earth and tree to my palate. With a touch of dried fruit note (pineapple). Don’t quite know why the cat has armpit hair and is flying to close to the sun.


I dabble in spirits. I know that I prefer Southern whiskey and gin above all, though I dabble in tequila and other drinks. Thanks to the L.A. Times Food Section, I found a Torrance based canned cocktail maker that delivers with the name of Drnxmyth. And they have bartenders creating some interesting spins on classic cocktails. The recipe makers get a cut too, which I think is great. So I ordered up a pair to be delivered and here is my verdict…

First up was the Margarita, at first I had a hard time twisting the bottom. You see, these drinks have two separate compartments. When you are ready to drink, you twist to mix the two together. Quite ingenious. The aroma was really nice and it tasted fancy. It had nuanced flavors and wasn’t just a tequila hit. The Gin drink was a little too out there for me. It tasted fine, it just wasn’t to my taste. I wished there had been more cucumber and mint notes. It just tasted a bit herbaceous to me.

They have a whiskey and a rum drink and I would not hesitate to try either. The 10 price point for what is essentially two cocktails is a steal.

Whole New Canimal

I am a little hesitant about talking about future beer events but hopefully, Smog City will be able to get fully “Canimalized” come May 9th. Laurie and Porter always throw a fun party with loads of rare and fun beers. So mark this on your calendar.

Buzzrock Tasting

Thanks to the crew at Hopped LA, I got the opportunity to test out beers from new Torrance brewery, Buzzrock. (and be filmed for an “unCanned” segment too)

Gary Magnone received a whopping 12 crowlers. Basically covering all but a couple of the beers that Buzzrock makes at their Brews Hall at Del Amo location.

Considering the brewer lineage of Stone and Monkish, it was no great shock to find that the beers were all above average. There was some weirdness though, the pale ales were all dark orange in color while the IPA’s were uniformly golden yellow. The Witbier was made with peaches and boy was it dripping with the actual fruit taste, then there was the Sabro Hop Double IPA which was a straight up coconut bomb.

Of the group, my pick for what to try is the Hazy IPA because it too, was weird, but it grew on me. It had the right color and haze profile. The aroma was spot on but when you sipped, it was Cascade hopville. Picture a hazy with the fruit taste removed, replaced by pine. More classical was their Oatmeal Stout which ticked all the boxes for the style. Coming in third for me was the Oat Pale Ale which was bright with fruit and had a nice hop/malt balance.

Between the George Lopez and Colin Cowherd sub-brands, I would steer to the Cowherd. Both the Pils and IPA were down the middle whereas the Lopez beers seemed to be trying to hard and ended up not working well for me.

Promising start though for Buzzrock, enough to make a visit to their Torrance brewery a better bet.

1% Tap

Smog City will now have a permanent handle dedicated to their 1% For the Planet advocacy. And because the percentage is right there on the tap handle, all you have to do is point and you can help contribute a little good back into the world. Look for it at their main location and brewery.

N’Owt 2020

You know you can’t always have a Hazy IPA, so when you return to other styles, return in a big way. Might I suggest Stout, at Yorkshire Square?

There is a crackin’ list of breweries set to appear at the 2020 edition of N’owt But Stout…

Over 30 breweries pouring including:
Beachwood Brewing
Bottle Logic Brewing
Brewery X
Burnin Daylight Brewing Co
Cellador Ales
Chapman Crafted
Creative Creature Brewing
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
GameCraft Brewing
HopSaint Brewing Company
Laguna Beach Brewing Co.
Marin Brewing Company
MacLeod Ale Brewing Co.
Mission Brewery
Morgan Territory Brewing
Pizza Port Brewing Co.
Riip Beer Company
Smog City Brewing
SouthNorte Beer Co.
South Park Brewing
State Brewing Co.
Thr3e Punk Ales Brewing Co.
Yorkshire Square Brewery

Quite a few are not seen around L.A. so this is a great chance to check out places normally out of reach.

Recap -Cask’s Not Dead 2019

Casks were out in force in the parking lot and interior of Yorkshire Square in Torrance for the 2019 edition of the Cask’s Not Dead Festival.

All of the royals were in attendance along with beer fans from as far away as Portland to taste Traditional and “Abnormal” cask beers. Just a touch over 30 casks were available and I tasted through a 1/3. Given a second day, I could have hit up some more.

Standouts included El Segundo’s collaboration with Yorkshire Square on Burton’s Pilgrimage an English styled IPA that I think is somewhat similar to this year’s Sierra Nevada Celebration. Thick on malt but with a big hop hit and a touch of spice note to it. Green Cheek Beer Co. brought in a Yorkshire Pale Ale take named Now Then, How Are We? which was delightful and filled with hoppy fruit aroma all in a 4% ABV body. Beachwood brought hops as well with a West Coast DIPA, By Hops Be Driven that was hugely floral and did not taste at all like 9%.

The only real downside to the occasion was that it was way too hot. How can a festival scheduled in November be over 90 degrees? But the crowds were happy, there were practically no lines except for the inside bar at times as people escaped the sun, and the beer was a lovely change of pace from the usual. If I were you, I would mark next November down for some cask ale.