Big Red Bus Craft Beer Tour

I have not been on an organized beer tour before and I found an online deal to booze and cruise in the Big Red Bus and I snatched it up. The meeting point is the Auld Dubliner in Long Beach. We took off at noon but they want you to show up around 11:40 so we can just move on out of there.
I arrived about an hour early and I caught the tail end of the Netherlands / Costa Rica game so that was kind of cool. I had a few beers, busted out the drone and got some aerial shots and then James Dulac from the Big Red Bus showed up and started getting things ready.
It went very smoothly and we were on the bus and driving at noon. I would say there was probably 20 people with us. We were in an old school bus that had cool bench seating that looked like it came out of church or something. Very comfortable!

 

James gave us a breakdown of what we can expect as we go into the two breweries on the tour and then he offered us a beer that he had in the cool. We all grabbed a beer and we took the 710 freeway to the 405 Freeway because we were headed to the Monkish Brewery in Torrance.

Monkish was a trip and it did not look like a brewery at all from the outside. It was in an office park so it felt like I was making a trip to the doctors office lol. We filed off the bus and into the front area where we exchanged our blue tickets for tokens and we proceeded to taste 4 different beers. Personally I liked 3 out of the 4 that I tired but that is what it is all about right? We were at the brewery for about an hour and everybody had a good buzz. This is what the bus part is all about!
We hopped on the bus and then headed for the San Pedro Brewing Company. We were greated by a guy name James Brown who was very cool and animated and they hooked us up with a chicken taco buffet deal which everybody got into pretty heavily. This brewery did not have a tasting for us so we purchased the flight of beers at a discounted price which I belive was $8.50. After about a half hour or so, James took us downstairs and gave us a tour around of the basement and basically explained how beer is made. After the tour, I took out my Dji Phantom and got some footage of both the front of the brewery and the bus.

After about an hour here, we headed on back to the Auld Dubliner. A few of us stayed there and played Jenga and had another couple of beers before we parted ways. Overall this is a very fun trip and a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. I am excited to see what other kinds of deals the Big Red Bus has to offer!

 

 

Written by Louie Baur

The Federal Bar

I came to the Federal Bar to check out the inside of it and to try one of their Moscow Mules. They are located way down Pine Avenue and typically you have to pay to park down there but I went to the free structure on 3rd and Pine which lets you park for free for 2 hours. I like this option much better!

So lets start off by talking about the building. I am pretty sure that it was a bank in its previous life so this place is huge! It is a great big open space with really cool ceilings and walls. As you walk in there is a bar to the right and then you walk through the dining area and there is another bar that is elevated in the back. You open a door which leads you to a hallway that has bathrooms and that is also how you gain access to the speakeasy that I have yet to check out.

The Federal Bar 11 e1404572889786 768x1024 The Federal Bar
After I roamed around for about 10 minutes taking pictures with my iphone, I went up to the bar where I met Yonatan who hooked me up with a Moscow Mule. It was probably around 4:30 so I was able to get happy hour pricing which basically means you get $2 off craft cocktails. My mule was served to me in a normal glass and Yonatan explained to me that the copper glasses are reserved for people that go into the speakeasy that is located downstairs. That is how I found out about the speakeasy lol.

There is a cool little patio outside and Pine Avenue is a great place to people watch expecially if you can grab a seat on the sidewalk. I finished my Moscow Mule and headed on down to the next spot.

 

 

Written by Louie Baur

 

Alex's Bar

I was in the mood for a craft cocktail and I decided to settle on a Moscow Mule. It had Stoli Vodka, fresh key lime juice, Fever Tree Ginger Beer & mint. I know that Moscow Mules are entry level drinks when you are talking craft cocktails but I am kind of a noob as of June 2014 and I figured I had to start somewhere:)

Bradley was the bartender on duty and as it turns out, he follows me on twitter which was pretty cool. When I looked I was not following him back so I followed him and so should you. @beewalrus is his twitter name.

Alexs Bar09 e1407166564958 Alexs Bar
Bradley told me that Alex’s bar was an early adopter of craft cocktails in Long Beach. He also said that they quit serving the mules in the cooper cups because people were ripping them off which is a different kind of problem.

Alex’s bar rocks and I have been here to see a few shows. Now I have a place to enjoy craft cocktails as well. We were watching a killer Bruce Lee movie called The Game Of Death and the locker scene was the bomb!


Written by Louie Baur

Tantalum Restaurant

I have heard good things about the Tantalum Restaurant so I decided to head down and try out one of their Moscow Mules. They have a pretty good selection of craft cocktails but I decided to keep it simple and go with the basics. Parking looks like it can be a challenge but I pulled in at the perfect time and scored a spot up front which was a bonus!

They have a really cool entrance with these cool carts on the way in and there is a lot of bamboo and jungle stuff lining the walkway. One I got inside I headed for the bar and it is very impressive. It has a great view of long beach harbor and the bar wraps around what seems like half the restaurant.

I was served quickly and when I sat down it was the 2nd quarter if the spurs game with San Antonio up so that made me happy. (I am not much of a Miami Heat fan). This is a great place to to watch a game.


Written by Louie Baur

Bevmo

I went to Bevmo for my first time last week and I went there because it is the only place that sells Tito’s Vodka. A friend of mine told me about how good it was and I just had to get a few bottles of it and he told me that Bevmo had it but it was going to be pretty hard to find at other stores. I did look around for it a bit and he was right, and I had to drive all the way down to PCH and 2nd street just for a few bottles of vodka.

This Bevmo is a bit hard to find because the address is on PCH but its way in the back of that shopping plaza. I parked in the front and figured that it would be in there somewhere (which it was) but it would have been nice to know that there was a back section and if I did have that info I would have gone there.

The store was really cool and it was my first time in. They have a massive selection of wine, booze and beer. I am pretty confident that I will have no problem finding my next speciality drink here.

Written by Louie Baur

Durty Nelly's

I have been coming to Durty Nelly’s since the 90’s and it has always been a ton of fun. For the most part I come hear to drink on a Friday or Saturday night. There are plenty of hotties around if that is what you are looking for (I was 15 years ago) icon smile Durty Nellys and for the most part the people here are pretty cool. I would have to say a bit better than some of the people you run into at the bars on 17th street.

The bar/restaurant is located right in the middle of a bunch of business so it is a tad hard to find and if you have never been here, you will defiantly have problems getting in. The tendency is to try and get in the door that is closest to where you park your car. The problem is that the only door that is open is off to the side. Actually its not really a problem its just a little strange. When you go you will figure it out.

They have had Karaoke here on the weekends for a really long time and that is fun. I made the mistake of trying to sing Welcome to the jungle on night and that was a total mess but I had a bunch of fun and that is all that matters.

The owner has been here for years and she can run the whole bar area on her own. Her name escapes me which is a shame but she is really nice.

Written by Louie Baur

Wine Down Lounge

The Wine Down Lounge is a cool little wine bar smack dab in the middle of Long Beach. It is a bit rough to find parking here but there is a lot behind the building that was not that full but it did cost a few bucks.

I wanted to come in for a drink while I was in downtown and a glass of wine sounded awesome. I went ahead and had a couple of glasses and had some good conversation with some people out on the patio. The wine that I was drinking was the Coquelicot, “Black Oak Vineyard” Syrah, 2008.

The set up inside is pretty cool and there is a chalkboard on the wall that tells you what is on the wine menu. There is a loft inside and it is interesting to see how they managed the space located around the stairs.

The outside patio was awesome and very spacious I spent most of my time out here. I met Jonathan Rosenson who runs the place and he was very cool an enjoyable to talk with.

Overall this is a great little place to grab a glass and shoot the breeze.

Written by Louie Baur.

The Lobby Bar

Terranea is one of the most gorgeous resorts in all of Southern California and recently, I visited The Lobby Bar at the resort for a quick after work drink with some friends. To park at Terranea you can park a solid distance away for free or you can drop your car off at the valet. The overall feel of Terranea is definitely a state of luxury and relaxation and that is something that everyone will enjoy.

The bar is right near the check-in desk and is easily accessible. I met some friends here and we grabbed some nice seats around a small table. Our waitress took our orders and was very efficient in getting our drinks. I ordered a Jack and Coke and it wasn’t too weak or too strong. The prices of the drinks were a tad high but it is understandable being located on a beautiful resort. I noticed it was pretty busy on a Friday afternoon but the vibe was very mellow and everyone was enjoying themselves. The overall experience at The Lobby Bar is top notch and I highly recommend stopping in for a drink!

Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman at the Laugh Factory

My wife got tickets to see Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman at the Laugh Factory on Saturday night. I have been by this place quite a few times since it opened but I have never seen a show.

We got the tickets and paid an extra $10 per ticket for VIP Status. This was all fine and dandy but the VIP line was really long and we waited in it for a good half hour or longer.

We did get a chance to sit down pretty close to the stage so that was worth it I suppose. I saw a bunch of people up on top and sitting (or standing) up there did not look very appealing.

Right before the show started the girls came around and made sure that everybody was packed in nice and tight. It seemed like it kind of defeated the whole purpose of paying extra to sit comfortably up front.

If I knew that I could show up late and then be selected to sit up front I might have not spent the extra money and took my chances.

The VIP thing bothered me but the show was great so lets talk about that. I have never seen this show before but I am familiar with Kevin Smith’s work in the Silent Bob movies.

Kevin sits behind his computer and controls the sound effects and Ralph is basically the entertainer that reads the news and does most of the impressions. They have a ton of bits and I was laughing my ass off for over an hour.

These three bits had me rolling:

Liam Neeson’s cock is so big
Creepy Clown
The Germans

They are going to try and come through once a month but they do have a podcast and they also do this show in other places. Check it out of you are into Vulgarity and Humor:)