Firestone Friday March 1 and Smog City Monster Brew March 9

Greetings Pacific Gravity! 

There are 2 fun events coming up within the next 2 weeks.  Our First Friday for March is this Friday, 3/1 and will be held at Firestone Walker Propagator which is always a good time, and our Monster Brew at Smog City will be held next Saturday 3/9.  Read below for details!

Firestone Walker Propagator First Friday this Friday!

For March’s First Friday, we will be back to something local and descend upon Firestone Walker Propagator in Venice – Please Join us!

Time:        Friday, March 1, 2024 7:00pm
Location: Firestone Walker Propagator
3205 Washington Blvd.
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
Phone: (310) 439.8264

They always have a wide selection of different styles available for tasting including sours, stouts, some barrel aged things and yes, even some IPAs…
Their food is also quite good, so it should be the full First-Friday experience!

We hope to see you there!

Monster Brew 2024 at Smog City – Sign Up Now!

Porter has once again graciously offered to host a monster brew at Smog City Brewing CompanyThis will be our 8th Monster Brew with Brewmaster, Jon Porter (and lucky 13th if you count the ones he hosted previously, going all the way back to his days at Tustin Brewing!).  These events are always a highlight of the year’s activities and an unreasonably huge amount of fun, so please come out and join us!

Date:  Saturday, March 9, 2024
Sign-Up Deadline: Mon March 4
Time:  ~7:00 AM Mash-In
~12pm Fermenter Filling
Location:  Smog City Brewery 1901 Del Amo Blvd, Torrance, CA 90501

If you have never participated in a Monster Brew, here is how it works:

  1. Order wort ahead of time.
  2. Purchase yeast and any ingredients desired for modification to the wort – I suggest supporting local South Bay Brewing Supply (call ahead to verify stock)
  3. Arrive at the Monster Brew with a clean plastic or metal fermenter (NO GLASS!) which we will fill with UNFERMENTED wort.
  4. Take it home and modify as desired and pitch your yeast
  5. Ferment until ready for bottling or kegging

For this year’s batch, Porter will be using a base wort based on the ever popular Little Bo Pils that will allow for maximum creativity.  Consider this your blank slate.  For the hop heads, boost up the bitterness with your favorite English or American hop tea to make an awesome IPA, or darken it up with roasted malts to make a porter or stout. Use your imagination to make the most awesome beer ever.  Each person will need to pitch a yeast of their choice, add adjuncts to the wort, dry hop in secondary, or do nothing special to it at all.  To see the full recipe and for modification ideas, see Carl’s extensive “How Do I Modify My Monster Brew?” post.

We need a headcount WELL BEFORE the brew session, so we can plan the batch size.  The cost will be $35 for each 5 gallons of wort and you can order as many batches as you like  If possible, please pay in advance.  If you want wort but cannot attend the event, you may designate a buddy who can attend to collect your wort.  (We do not have a delivery service.)

You can sign up one of two ways:

1. Pay now with Paypal with  If you do this your reservation is good to go.
2. Drop a line to saying how many batches you want.  Payment will be due on brew day.  We will accept payment at the Monster Brew: cash or check and will be accepted – NO CREDIT CARDS (though of course you will still be able to pay via the paypal link/QR code with credit card).

Bring a pre-sanitized PLASTIC or STAINLESS STEEL fermenters for each 5-gallon batch you purchase.  Absolutely NO GLASS fermenters will be allowed in the brewery due to the risk of breakage. You may bring small glass vessels with yeast or other additions, however. Fermenters must have a wide opening for the filling nozzle. Plastic buckets are ideal, but Cornelius kegs are acceptable. Again, please do not bring any skinny-neck containers – we may not be able to fill it.

If there is wort left over at the end, we will hold a lottery to determine who may purchase an additional 5 gallon allotment. Bring an extra fermenter if you are interested.

Yeast and any additional ingredients you wish to add to your wort are not included. You can bring your yeast to the brewery, or pitch it at home.  We recommend getting your supplies in advance.  I suggest purchasing at South Bay Brewing Supply, which also happens to be near the brewery if you need last-minute supplies on brew day, but of course supplies may be limited, so it’s better to plan ahead!

Please park on the WEST side of the building to keep the tap room lot open.
The tap room will be opening to the public at noon.

We will have coffee and some light breakfast snacks in the morning.  Later on, the food trucks will be setting up in the parking lot.  In addition, Porter will be supplying tasting samples of some of his fine brews mid-morning.  Cut off time for free pours will be shortly before the tap room opens for business.

We hope to see you all there!

Competition Corner March 2024

The 2024 Brewer of the Year competition cycle is now underway.  So get those brewpots going while the fermentation weather is still on the cool side.

First up is the American Homebrewers Association National Homebrew Competition. The entry  process has been updated this year, with some significant deadline changes:

Feb 27 – March 15: Entry registration and payment.  You must be an AHA member to enter.
March 29: – deadline for entry changes
May-June: Shipping and judging of first Round
July 29 – August 9: Final Round Shipping/Drop-off Window (San Diego)
August 17 – 24: Final Round Judging
October 10: Award Ceremony at Great American Beer Festival

March – Mayfaire Competition.  Entry registration will open on March 1st at  Entries are due by March 29th. South Bay Brewing Supply is the closest drop-off point.    If you bring your entries to the March club meeting on March 21, I’ll run them up to the valley.

April/May/June – California State Fair. Look for details in the next month or so.

As we enter the summer months, we do not foresee a revival of the Los Angeles County Fair. Instead, we have added the Long Beach Red White and Brews competition.  This competition focuses on 30 different American styles.  But, please note, if we do hear that the County Fair competition is revived, it is still included in the competition cycle.

September – Pacific Brewers Cup.  We are running the competition this year, so there will be much more info to come.  We will need quite a bit of volunteer help as well.

October – California State Competition.  This will be the last competition of the 2024 Brewer of the Year season.

Upcoming Styles of the Month

  • January – Winter beers
  • February – Belgian beers
  • March  – British Isle beers
  • April 2024 – Pale beers
  • May 2024 – Dark/black beers
  • June 2024 – Sour beers, smoked beers, and wood-aged beers
  • July 2024 – IPAs
  • August 2024 – No style of the month (Summer Party)
  • September 2024 – German and Czech beers
  • October 2024 – Alternative fermentables beers (using sugars and/or grains other than malted barley)
  • November 2024 – Fruit/spice beers, meads, and ciders/berries
  • December 2024 – No style of the month (Holiday Party)

Upcoming Events

  • March 1: First Friday at Firestone Walker Brewing
  • March 9: Monster Brew
  • March 21: Club Meeting at Tortugo Brewing Company – Style: British Isle Beers