LA Beer Hop Joins the CBTOA

When LA Beer Hop first opened its beer bus doors in 2012, there were eight breweries in Los Angeles, about 2,500 breweries in the US, and a handful of brewery tour operators nationwide. Now, in 2018, there are over 90 breweries in Los Angeles, over 6,400 breweries in the US, and a global network of brewery tour operators functioning in cities of every size all over the world.

We’ll talk more about how our company has fit into all of that growth next week when we write a post celebrating our 6th Anniversary, but for now, we’re here to talk about that global network of brewery tour operators: LA Beer Hop has joined the newly formed Craft Beverage Tour Operators AssociationThe CBTOA.

What is it?

The CBTOA is a 501(c)(6) non-profit with a mission to support craft beverage tour operators and grow their business opportunities by building bridges between its members and the craft beverage, tourism and allied communities around the world.

Officially formed in August of 2018, the Association came together after a group of like-minded tour operators met in March 2018 at the Beer Marketing and Tourism Conference in Burlington, VT. At that conference, a group of tour operators sat in a hotel ballroom and discussed the future of the industry.

These tourism titans (LA Beer Hop included) discussed lots of things surrounding our industry, such as the need for a platform for tour operators to communicate with each other (other than in a hotel ballroom in Burlington), about how beneficial it would be to create “best practices” for Beer Guides, and about how we could band together to get better representation in other industries (think ticketing software and insurance). We all agreed that creating a global association was the best course, so a committee was put together consisting of owners of tour companies all over the world and three months later, the CBTOA was born.

The CBTOA committee consists of Chair Ashley Rose Salvitti of Brewvana Portland Brewery Tours, Vice Chair David Phillips of Dave’s Travel and Events Group, Treasurer Hal Mooney of LA Beer Hop (that’s us!), and Secretary & Communications Director Barry Hansen of City Brew Tours.

It’s a big step for our company, and a big step for our industry. I’m proud to not only be a member of the Association, but to be on the committee as its Treasurer. It’s a wonderful opportunity to help drive the beer tour industry to new heights and continue to ferment the best possible craft beer community.

DTLA FRIDAY NIGHTS

Beginning on Friday, August 3rd LA Beer Hop will be doing tours of the DTLA breweries during happy hour.

Every Friday night from 5pm-8:30pm we will be touring the breweries around Downtown Los Angeles. Beer tastings included. Fun included. Beautiful sunset pending availability.

The tour visits three breweries and includes a flight of beer at each place, bottled water, and as much beer info as you like. The entire event takes about four to five hours and the ticket is $69/person. Dinner will be available during each tour.

Tickets available online and are limited to 15 seats per Friday.

LA Beer Hop is also available for private and corporate tours on any Friday.

Breweries include: Mumford • Indie • Dry River • Arts District • Highland Park Chinatown • Boomtown • Modern Times DTLA • with special guest The Spirit Guild

New Tour! Burbank & Glendale – Starting April 8th

Starting April 8th, we’ll be touring the best beer over the hill!

Burbank & Glendale have slowly developed their beer scene after Golden Road settled into the neighborhood in 2011. Now, they’re quietly home to some of the best beer in LA. Check out the crisp, clean and super-drinkable beers of Brewyard Brewing or the more seasonal and experiment-driven beers of brewmaster Chris Wawloski at Verdugo West or hop on over to The Brewery at Simmzy’s Burbank for beers crafted by a longtime Los Angeles homebrew legend alongside Simmzy’s delicious food.

Tours begin on April 8th and occur every other Sunday at 1:00pm. They depart from the Burbank Metrolink – 201 N Front St, Burbank, CA 91502 (ample parking and easy metrolink service).

The tour visits three breweries and includes a flight of beer at each place, bottled water, and as much beer info as you like. The entire event takes about four to five hours and the ticket is $69/person. Food will be available during each tour.

Tickets available online and are limited to 15 seats per day.

LA Beer Hop is also available for private and corporate tours in this area.

Breweries include: The Brewery at Simmzy’s Burbank • Verdugo West Brewing Co. • Lincoln Beer Company • Golden Road Brewing • Brewyard Beer Company • San Fernando Brewing • Henson Brewing Company (they’re new)

 

Road to Cicerone® Tour!

Hop on this special East & Central tour with Certified Cicerone®, Hal Mooney!

Visit three of the best breweries in LA and chat with Hal about wild yeast cultivation, hip hop varietals, food pairing and all of the geekiest beer topics you can think of over a flight of beers at each location (he’ll be drinking too, not driving). At each brewery we will dive into a different aspect of Cicerone knowledge – sensory evaluation, production techniques, and food pairing. Includes beer & food.

Breweries: Verdugo West (for sensory evaluation), Eagle Rock (for production techniques) and Mumford (for food pairing featuring Baldoria).

What’s Included: A flight of beer at each location, a brewery walkthrough of each location, food pairings provided by Baldoria and as much beer info as you like.

Ticket: $80 (and $50 for DD)

Pickup Location: Union Station

Time: 1:00pm

Date: March 5th, 2017

GET TICKETS HERE

What’s a Cicerone? It’s the beer equivalent of a Sommelier – a certified professional who has acquired a level of expertise in beer history, production, service, storage, food pairing, and sensory evaluation.

New Los Angeles Breweries in 2016

Have you fulfilled your New Years’ Resolution to drink more beer this year? If not, there’s still enough time to cram it in at one of the many Los Angeles breweries before the end of the year. And if you didn’t make that resolution… then what’s wrong with you? There is an insane amount of good beer in Los Angeles right now and you should be drinking it. With friends. At the breweries where they make it.

Here’s a list of all of the new Los Angeles breweries. If you want a full list of all of the LA breweries, please check out our page here: labeerhop.com/breweries.

Los Angeles Breweries – Class of 2016

Indie*

Located in Boyle Heights, this shabby industrial taproom serves finely-tuned beers on the weekends and in 16oz cans. If you want to visit, they’re hosting a cheese and beer event with Vagabond cheese this Saturday (12/17) at their taproom.

Boomtown*

Equal parts brewery and warehouse party, this Arts District brewery is now open every weekend serving around 10 or more different crafts.

Frogtown

A homebrew shop turned tasting room and brewery. They’re not officially “open-open” yet, but they’re open enough to count them in the class of 2016.

Cosmic*

They were contract brewing for quite a while before opening their brewery in Torrance a stones throw from Monkish, Smog City and The Dudes (I think you could literally hit Monkish with a stone from Cosmic if you were really good at throwing stones). Also, you pour your own beer here, no bartenders.

Santa Monica Brew Works*

They’ve been brewing for a while, but their rather large Santa Monica taproom officially opened this year making them the only taproom in Santa Monica out of all of the Los Angeles Breweries. Go to check out a wide range of beers brewed onsite and grab some food from their rotating schedule of foodtrucks.

Brouwerij West*

Formerly part of the contract brewing club, Brouwerij West had a much-anticipated opening this year at an enormous location in the Ports’o’Call in San Pedro. They make a bunch of experimental (and good) Belgian and French-style beers in a taproom that could fit a fleet of elephants.

Homage Brewing

Alright, it’s out in Pomona, but it’s worth the trip. It’s the first brewery to really adopt the white walled, green plants, clean atmosphere of a coffee shop (I’m looking at you Dinosaur coffee). You might say that this brewery is “on trend”. And boy are they doing things right. Innovative beers, trendy styles done well, well adorned taproom, good music, and incredibly warm people. Do yourself a favor and head out to Pomona.

Rob Rubens Distilling and Brewing

The only combination brewery and distillery in LA (although we definitely smell more coming), Rob Rubens opened his speakeasy-style tasting room and brewery/distillery in El Segundo this year. So far, they’ve made some pretty tasty beers and a small collection of spirits: vodka, gin and a white whiskey.

Cellador Ales

Maybe one of the most anticipated breweries, certainly one of the quietest, this small brewery is operating all the way up in North Hills slowly turning out some really innovative oak aged beers. They don’t have a tasting room yet, but you can find their liquid in small format bottles around LA (they’ll be in large bottles soon). Look out for Firegold – A funky farmhouse ale brewed with Mosaic and El Dorado aged with oranges & orange peel in a French Oak Puncheon.

State

They just put beer out in the marketplace but their taproom isn’t open yet, so they JUST made the cut to be part of the class of 2017. This Gardena brewery also just got Robert Sanchez from Kinetic Brewing to come and serve as their Brewmaster. Be on the look out for lots of fun beers in 2017.

Scholb

Started by Patrick Schulz and Jason Kolb (blend their two last names together and you get…. “Scholb”… Ta-da!) this two-family brewery opened up about 50 yards away from Absolution in Torrance and instantly became a fan favorite. It’s a one of the friendliest taprooms you’ll find anywhere, filled with well made beers, smiling bartenders and locals.

Zymurgy

Does this mean the LA Beer scene has come full circle? Zymurgy Brew Works, located in Torrance (of course) is a DIY Brewery and taproom. You can now brew your very own beer alongside professional brewers who assist you in every aspect of production.

*Breweries with a “*” have brewed before this year, but they opened their taprooms full time in 2016.

2016 LA Beer Hop Father’s Day Gift Guide

You love your dad. You want to get him something nice for Father’s Day, but you got him a Personalized Steak Branding Iron last year and you’ve run out of ideas. Don’t fret, LA Beer Hop is here to be your Guide to Father’s Day. Here’s our 2016 Gift Guide.

LA Beer Drinkers

  • Take him on an LA Beer Hop – you can buy a specific date or a gift certificate – that’s a no brainer.
  • Make him “Beer Guide” official with an LA Beer Hop T-Shirt.
  • Go to Three Weavers Brewing and pickup the new Unity Beer brewed by Three Weavers in collaboration with the LA Brewers Guild.
  • Take him to the LA Beer Week Kickoff Festival on June 18 – Tickets here.

Beer Geek Dads

Free(ish) Adorable Gifts

  • Get him grandchildren. Or a puppy.
  • Take him on a hike and talk to him about his childhood.
  • Play cards with him all night.
  • Go to a record store with him and try and figure out what his musical taste was like.
  • Frame an article from his hometown newspaper.
  • Get him a book that you’ve read or will read. Then talk about it.

Gifts That Have Personally Worked

New Brewery Alert – Brewyard Brewing

We’ve had two breweries in Glendale for a while now: Golden Road and Eagle Rock Brewery… or so we thought. In reality, Golden Road is in Los Angeles and Eagle Rock Brewery is in Glassel Park, they’ve only been in the Glendale of our minds. However, the barley gods have given us a new brewery that is in both the Glendale of our minds and our maps. Brewyard Beer Company – 906 Western Ave, Glendale, CA 91201.

The homebrew duo Sherwin Antonio and Kirk Nishikawa just opened a 4,500 square foot facility in Glendale and will start seving beer to the public this month. They’re slated to start serving up four flagship beers: California Common Lager (Steam Beer), Passion Fruit Saison, Schwarzbier & an IPL (India Pale Lager). Which all sound like great additions to the growing roster of flagship beers available in Los Angeles.

With hours similar to that of the Eagle Rock Brewery taproom, they’ll be open Wednesday to Sunday with opening and closing varying each day.

And within a short time they’ll be a welcome addition to our East & Central tour, along with other (soon-to-be) newcomers like Arts District Brewing, Iron Triangle Brewing and Boomtown Brewery. We’ll keep you posted on the development of that.

Hal is a Certified Cicerone®!

Woot, woot! Our owner and Beer Guide Hal Mooney is now a Certified Cicerone®. What does that mean for you and for LA Beer Hop?

A Cicerone is like a “sommelier”, but instead of knowing everything about wine, a Certified Cicerone® knows everything about beer including beer styles, processes, ingredients, techniques, history, food pairing, serving and tasting. It’s a significant knowledge base. If you want to, you can check out the Certified Cicerone® Syllabus for the exam just to see the wide swath of information that it covers.

The title of Certified Cicerone® is granted by the Cicerone Certification Program. To attain the title of Cicerone, you first must pass the Certified Beer Server exam, then subsequently pass the Certified Cicerone® Exam. The exam is a five hour long affair that consists of three parts: written exam, tasting exam, and demonstration. To see a more detailed account of what the exam is made of, feel free to check out their exam breakdown

What doest that mean for LA Beer Hop? Nothing really. All of our Beer Guides are learning about beer every day (tough job, I know). The most important part of the certification process isn’t that Hal received his certification, but that he is continuing his education about beer and acting as a stellar representative of craft beer. The certification is happy proof that we all at LA Beer Hop take this seriously.

We’re eager to share all of our information with you. If you’re ever interested in taking the exam or have any questions about beer in general, feel free to give us a shout.

Los Angeles Represents at the Great American Beer Fest

It’s award season! And we’re happy to report that our hometown Los Angeles and Orange County breweries racked up a bunch of awards to bring home from the Great American Beer Fest in Denver, which is definitely The Oscars for breweries. Fewer tuxes, more beards.

– Craft Beer Won – The Brewer’s Association just announced that there are now 4,000 craft breweries in the US. Well, make that 3,999 because Golden Road just jumped ship.

– Beachwood Brewery – Recieved a silver medal in the Coffee Beer Category for their Mocha Machine.

– Smog City Brewery – Received a silver medal in the Belgian-Style Fruit Beer Category for their Kumquat Saison.

– TAPS Fish House & Brewery – Received four medals for TAPS Kellerbier, Amend This! American-style PilsenerThe Velvet Hog Chocolate Beer, Irish Red and the esteemed Midsize Brewpub of the Year award.

– Bottle Logic – Received two medals for their Lagerithm and Cobaltic Porter.

– Noble Aleworks – Received a silver medal for their Session IPA Nose Candy.

As the LA Times points out, overall, California breweries were awarded 67 medals and four out of the seven brewery of the year awards.

New Tour Alert – Greenbar Distillery

We’re adding to our East & Central Tour! Which isn’t crazy considering how much brewery growth there has been already in 2015. What is crazy is that it’s not beer. It’s liquor.

Greenbar Organic Distillery has been crafting an insane array of liquor in Downtown Los Angeles for over 10 years, but they were only recently able to operate a tasting room. They have every imaginable spirit is in their arsenal: vodka, whiskey, tequila (real tequila made with agave), rum, and as much brandy as you would ever want (which is a lot). And it’s all organic. And it’s all delicious. And it’s all yours. Well, not yet. But if you come on one of our East & Central tours it can be yours.

At each visit to Greenbar, you will taste a flight of five of their spirits, tour their distillery and learn as much about distilling liquor as you like. That’s right. Try five different liquors, but don’t worry… the liquor is before beer.

For the time being, we will be adding them to just one East & Central tour at the end of every month, with plans to expand that over time. We’ll be adding their distillery to our private tour selection as well.

If you have any questions about how you can visit Greenbar with us or even on your own, feel free to shoot us an email at contact@labeerhop.com.

What we’re drinking right now: Greenbar Organic Distillery Poppy Brandy (not kidding and it’s amazing).