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3rd Annual South Bay Beer & Wine Festival

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With gorgeous weather providing a lovely backdrop for attendees at the South Bay Beer & Wine Festival, attendees were able to enjoy their sampling of dozens of breweries, wineries, and more.  

Taking place at Ernie Howlett Park in Rolling Hills Estates in the South Bay area of LA County, the third annual South Bay Beer and Wine Festival was presented by the Rotary Clubs of El Segundo, Palos Verdes Peninsula, and South Bay Sunrise.

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In addition to the many wineries and even some spirits served, there were over three dozen breweries pouring their liquid goodness into attendees’ taster glasses.

 

As this is a beer website, I’m going to focus on the beer (as I did at the festival). The great news was that there were no long lines whatsoever at the festival. In fact, the longest line I saw went a few people deep, so attendees were able to get whichever beverage they so chose without having to wait (or waiting less than a minute), so it was fantastic not to have to wait.  Moreover, some of the breweries had their owners or head brewers there, so it was amazing to get to directly speak with them about their brewery and their beers without having to wait behind a bunch of other people.

For those ambitious souls who may have been interested in trying all of the beer - without stopping for food, wine, lemonade, coffee, or tequila (which were also offered at the many tents) - it would have been a daunting task to try all of the beers in four hours (the event ran from 1-5, with VIP access as early as noon). Each brewery present had 2-4 beers available on-tap, with some bringing out beers midway through the festival. (Also, Firestone Walker, which had four beers on-tap, also had the incredibly delicious and boozy Parabola, their 13.1% ABV Russian Imperial Stout, for those who knew to ask for it.)

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While many of the breweries brought pale ales and wheat ales, there were plenty that also brought IPAs and stouts.  There were even some sours (Phantom Carriage, Brouwerij West, and Barrelhouse Brewing brought some) and Russian imperial stouts (Mother Earth Brewing, Firestone Walker, and Barrelhouse Brewing brought some). Although you can blame me for not having drank enough beer, I was able to manage visiting more than a third of the breweries present.



Smog City’s Kumquat Saison (saison with kumquats), Mother Earth Brewing’s Sin Tax (imperial peanut butter stout), Phantom Carriage’s Broadacres (Berliner weisse with strawberries), Firestone Walker’s Parabola (Russian imperial stout) and Opal (dry-hopped saison), and BarrelHouse Brewing’s Prickly Pear Sour (sour) and Curly Wolf (BBA maple vanilla Russian imperial stout). There were plenty of IPAs at the event, many of which were incredibly enjoyable, such as Firestone Walker’s Luponic Distortion, Arts District’s Kablamo Rye IPA, Riip Beer’s Citra Bomb rye IPA, and El Segundo Brewing Company’s Mayberry IPA.

 

I do have to say that while I thought Firestone Walker’s beers were all solid, it did not surprise me, since it’s a well-known brewery.  However, the brewery that really caught my attention and had not been on my radar previously was BarrelHouse Brewing. The two sours they had on-tap, Elderflower blonde ale and the previously mentioned Prickly Pear Sour, were great, as was their IPA, and their Russian imperial stout was awesome.  Not as big and boozy as Firestone Walker’s Parabola, the Curly Wolf was lighter, both in alcohol content (9.4% ABV) and on the palate, but it was really tasty.


The South Bay Beer & Wine Festival was a delight and I would certainly recommend it for the future!

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