On this episode of "Beer Artisan," we see how LA’s young breweries have fostered a tightly-knit community with brewers who are not afraid to push the envelope. Los Angeles' brew scene is fairly young with some of the city's veteran breweries only dating back to 2011. However, in that short span of time, LA has churned out some of the coolest, most diverse brews created from some of the coolest, most diverse brewers.
Smog City began brewing in October 2011 before they even had their own space, using Tustin Brewing’s brewpub to distribute their brews to restaurants and bars throughout Los Angeles County. This allowed head brewmaster Jonathan Porter and the team to establish a presence in the craft beer community.
“We started by renting a warehouse nearby and sort of brewing and selling, and delivering on the weekend and after work, and that paid off in dividends because by the time we opened the doors here we already had a reputation,” he said.
By 2013, Smog City had purchased its own full-scale brewing equipment, formalized plans for their new brewery and taproom in Torrance, and began brewing in their own brewery. Since then, Porter and Smog City have won three Great American Beer Festival medals for their Coffee Porter, Kumquat Saison, and Sabre-Toothed Squirrel brews.
Co-owner and Manager, Laurie Porter points out that Smog City brews are not dictated by their consumer base, but an embodiment of their characters.
“You’re really saying 'Okay, here’s us — put it in a bottle!' If you like it, then you respond to our brand. If you don’t like it, there’s another brand out there that you’re really gonna love. We’re not land grabbing everybody,” she said.
By doing so, Smog City plays to the craft beer mentality of "the rising tide floats all ships."