Friday, 18 March 2016 22:16

Get Crafty This Baseball Season!

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I recently rented out my room through AirBNB to a Smog City Brewery employee.  Located in Torrance, the five-year-old brewery quickly developed a cult following for its quality crafted and flavorful beers. 

This wasn’t coincidental and I was giddy when he brought a dozen of their delicious stouts, IPAs and sours.  That same weekend, I stayed in La Quinta at Jim Lefebvre’s house.  Yep, I sipped on some Hoptonic IPA with a baseball legend.

Southern California has been fertile ground for major-league talent for decades. And now with over 50 breweries in L.A. County, there’s plenty of delicious choices for stellar craft beer, too.

I learned more about baseball in one weekend than I have my entire life.  The 1965 Los Angeles Dodgers rookie of the year was named to the All-Star Game in 1966 and was the hitting coach for the San Diego Padres. The World Series Champion played in Japan from 1973-76, then returned to the big leagues as a coach for the Dodgers, Giants and A's. He also coached the China National Baseball Team for the Beijing Olympics. lefebvre jim

His charisma and passion for the game is astounding. His recent endeavor in the game is to simply develop better players through better planning, tools, collaboration and teaching.

“Kids love to have something to be challenged to. They want to have incentives to be rewarded. So what we do is create that…suddenly they wake up and they’re a good player!”

“Every single player I know had to deal with some form of adversity to prove to people they can play. And when somebody challenged them they couldn’t do that, they did it. And so that’s what we have to create in our sport, that’s my whole objective and my whole movement, is let’s get the coaches involved. Let’s get them to train certain techniques in the player development program and then make it happen. 

BG: “When you say ‘coaches,’ are you thinking local? Worldwide? National?”

“National. I’m thinking about America.”

And nothing is more American than baseball and beer. 

And with the sudsy revolution in full force, there’s no need to drink the big beer for the masses.  You can enjoy Kershaw’s fastball while sipping a craft beer.

The clocks have sprung forward and Major League Baseball regular season begins April 3rd. Dodger Stadium added craft beer to their line up in 2013 and has continued to add Los Angeles craft offerings.

Goose Island and Golden Road will likely have the largest presence at Dodger Stadium. Pro-tip: Golden Road’s Better Weather IPA and Ballast Point Brewing’s Grapefruit Sculpin are great choices for tailgating because cans are easily portable.

For smaller craft options, check out the loge-level concourse and the relatively new Think Blue Bars. CraftBeer-DodgerStadium21-640x580

The taps rotate, but past siting’s included Fireman’s Brew Brunette, Eagle Rock Brewing’s Revolution XPA, Dudes Brewing, Stone Brewing Co. Arrogant Bastard Ale, Anchor Brewing Company Anchor Steam Beer, El Segundo Brewing’s Blue House Citra Pale Ale and Angel City’s Witbier.  Confirmed craft brews for the 2016 season include Fireman’s Brew Blonde and Brunette.

Angels Stadium also has a nice selection now, offering craft beers such as Bootlegger's Brewery Palomino American Pale Ale, New Belgium Brewing Ranger, Stone Brewing Co. Arrogant Bastard Ale and Hangar 24 Brewery Betty.  Hangar 24 also carries their Ballpark Beer, a blend of a classic Pilsner with an American Wheat Beer. 

And of course San Diego’s Petco Park is in on the craft scene with San Diego locals like Ballast Point, Alesmith, Mike Hess, Karl Strauss, Coronado, Lost Abbey and Stone. Don’t miss Stone’s rooftop beer garden with twelve different beers on tap.

After checking out a Dodger game, check out these awesome craft beer spots.  

Sunset Beer Company is in Echo Park on Sunset Blvd. It’s tucked away in a nondescript mini mall, so you could easily miss it.  But with over 800 craft bottled beers (with only a $2 bottle/corkage fee) for purchase and 12 rotating taps, it’s definitely worth a visit. 

Just 1.2 miles away from the stadium, also on Sunset Blvd., is the ever-popular craft beer bar, Mohawk Bend. With 70 taps that include beers like Kern River’s Just Outstanding IPA, Bottle Logic Recursion 8.0, Mother Earth Cali Creamin’ cream ale with vanilla and Refuge Blood Orange Wit, there’s surely something to please every palate. 

Beer. It’s always been as American as baseball. But now, the craft revolution has taken hold not just in our breweries, bars, grocery stores and homes, but also in the stands. America’s national pastime’s lineup is now a whole lot tastier.

Play ball!







Loge Dodger Beer Image: Mohawk Bend, Kelly

Cover Dodger Beer Image: Austin Passy / Infield Inbox /

Read 11459 times Last modified on Friday, 18 March 2016 23:36
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