Tag Archives: inland empire

Airwaves 2013 was a succes (aka why IE beer matters)!

The aftermath of Airwaves' bottle share.

The aftermath of Airwaves’ bottle share.

Don’t they say that you know a party was good if you don’t remember it? Well, since in all my drunken awesomeness I’ve never managed to black out, I know a party was good when I don’t have a lot of photos of it. With Beer Geek Radio‘s first anniversary party–dubbed Airwaves 2013–I spent so much time meeting new people, laughing my ass off and drinking good beer that the only photos that actually exist from the day are, like, two blurry ones my new drinking buddies (including one awesome chick) and one of a graveyard of empty bottles.

Billed as the largest collective bottle share in the Inland Empire, Airwaves was a beer festival organized to be not only a party for local podcast duo Beer Geek Radio (the subject of my IE Weekly cover story the same week), but also a chance for the local beer community to come together and drink beer from breweries in one of the largest growing scenes in the country.

I know that people (especially in LA) scoff at the idea of anything cool or culturally significant coming out of the Inland Empire, (much less beer worth drinking) but after attending Airwaves, I have even more respect for its beer community and feel like that what’s bubbling out there is worth a deeper look. Continue reading

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Peanut butter beers, Beer Geek Radio and my recorded-opinions debut

Brad Grider of Beer Geek Radio gives a Mona Lisa smile over some peanut butter beers

Brad Grider of Beer Geek Radio gives a Mona Lisa smile over some peanut butter beers

Two days before Christmas I drove out to a deserted office park in Rancho Cucamonga, drank two peanut butter beers at a conference room table with two hilariously offensive dudes and called it reporting. Being a legit beer journalist kinda rules (except, of course, for deadlinezzz).

A few days earlier, I received a last-minute note from my editor at the IE Weekly saying that the story on Beer Geek Radio I had pitched for a small feature in preview of their year anniversary party on January 5 was cover worthy–did I think I could get copy in by December 28? I didn’t think I could do it, but of course I love a challenge (and, for some reason, making more work for myself over the holidays?) so I accepted and made plans to meet up with the BGR dudes to interview them and be a guest on an episode of their show.

Since I had only met Brad at the Eclipse release party and that got pretty hazy after the first 30 minutes, I wanted to sit and do the interview first. The guys were almost as foul-mouthed as me and I loved talking candidly about our opinions on the beer scene. I was also surprised to learn about all the new breweries that are opening up in the Inland Empire since I had only been to Hangar 24 and attempted once to go to Packinghouse, but it was late on a Sunday night and I should have known they would be closed.

After an hour-long talk with the microphones off (during which we drank a Lips of Faith Super India Pale Ale, Zombie Dust and a Velvet Merlin), two bottles of peanut butter beers appeared on the table and they turned on their equipment. I’d never recorded a podcast or even spoken on record before, but with two cool dudes keeping things casual, It wasn’t nearly as nerve-wracking as I had anticipated. We drank the Terrapin peanut butter porter and the Rogue Voodoo Donut Memphis Mafia ale, spouting real-time opinions to each other and bantering off of how gross the latter was.

Brad put the episode up a few days later while I was hours deep into writing the meaty cover story about his show and listening to it and feeling a part of something bigger was super motivation to finish the damn thing. They always did say I have a face for radio…haha

I’ll post the cover story when it hits the streets January 3, but until then, go to PodOmatic and check out episode 33 of Beer Geek Radio featuring commentary from yours truly (warning: I sound like a man).

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Hangar 24 part 3

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For the third time in a month, I found myself back at a brewery that I never even thought I would have a chance to visit–Hangar 24 Brewery in Redlands. Visits one and two were too quick: a hop off the freeway after an IE Weekly interview and into the airport-adjacent brewery where I had a few tasters, filled an expensive growler, bought some bottles and hit the road home.

This time, however, I was with my man and not in a rush (we were on a meandering drive back from attending a wedding in Palm Springs) so we hungout and drank full glasses of beer on the shady concrete patio while the bottle line clanked in the background and the air smelled like brew day goodness.

I’ve never been to a brewery that’s operating full steam ahead on a Sunday afternoon, but apparently that Orange Wheat needs to hit distribution and not like any of the regulars who live in this last-bastion-of-the-citrus-industry town are fazed by a working grain silo.

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I’m always pleasantly surprised by the diversity of people that love this place. Mexican day laborers, suburban dads, biker dudes, college kids, recovering day hikers, young Hispanic mothers and white boy Angels fans all hang out here at this off-the-grid brewery nestled in the foothills of the Inland Empire.

Merch is a little pricey but beers are spot on (drank some Fresh Hop IPA and the new Local Fields beer, Gourdgeous). Didn’t get another growler fill (how the hell am I supposed to get rid of 2 liters of beer in 48 hours?), but as always, I was stoked to have an excuse to stop by Hangar 24.

Hangar 24 is located at 1710 Sessums Dr., Redlands, CA (909) 389-1400, hangar24brewery.com

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