Smog City Brewing Company has embarked on the road to owning their own brewery, which leads to Torrance (very close to Monkish Brewing, but more on them later). I arrived to check out the facility earlier this month along with award winning Tustin Brewing Company brewmaster Jonathan Porter and wife Laurie, the driving forces behind the venture.
The space is currently a blank canvas – with concrete being leveled in the brewing and fermenter areas – but I was lucky enough to see their plans for the brewery. It will start with the brewing equipment, five fermenters, and two lagering tanks. As demand increases (which it should considering how good the beers are), there’s room to add more and bigger equipment down the line, like a small bottling line and other fun stuff.
There will also be a QC lab, room for barrels and a cold box which is also where the taps will be for the very important tap room which will allow you to try a wide range of Porter’s beers. He will be brewing on a system that traveled all the way from New Mexico and you will be able to taste Southland favorites like L.A. Saison and the Great American Beer Festival gold medal winner Groundwork Coffee Porter along with new offerings like Amarilla Gorilla IPA. And you might get to see the brewhouse as you sip the beer if current plans hold.
If you can’t wait for their beers then you will have opportunities this month. Beer Belly will host a Smog City night on the 26th with a mega line-up of their beers: L.A. Saison, Groundwork Coffee Porter, Hoptonic IPA, Sabre-Toothed Squirrel (Hoppy American Amber), Amarilla Gorilla (New IPA), Weird Beer (5-grain saison with lemon peel and sage) and The Nothing (double chocolate imperial stout).
Super Exclusive/Rare Beers!: Bourbon Barrel-Aged O.E. (english barleywine aged in bourbon barrels), O.E. on Rye (2009 english barleywine aged in a sazerac rye whiskey barrels), Quercus Circus (barrel-aged sour blonde) and Bourbon Collaborative Evil (bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout collaboration brew with Beachwood Brewing).
I mentioned Monkish Brewing earlier because they have Beer of the Week honors. Vigil is a Belgian-styled dark wheat ale with thyme. Henry Nguyen, the Monkish brewer, describes the beer as a “rustic dark brown ale consisting of a large amount of wheat, and balanced touches of caramel and roasted malts. The soft hints of nuttiness, caramel, fruits, and spices are joined by earthy and herbal aromas and flavors from the addition of thyme. With savory nuances, Vigil pairs well with food.” Also, for your rounded education, “In ancient times, thyme was one of many herbs grown in monasteries and monks stuffed pillows with thyme to aid those suffering with insomnia.”
Your Homework this week is to be pushy and tell your barkeep or favorite beer bar to do something. I want you to demand that the local beers from breweries like Monkish and Smog City and Eagle Rock (who is coming up on three years of age) are always on tap. Let the powers that be know that you prefer to drink local and fresh as much as you like to see San Diego or Portland beers. For some that will be easy. For introverts it will require mustering up the courage to question why there is no El Segundo or Strand on tap. But it will make our L.A. scene more vibrant in the long run.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.