By Jenny Peters and Andy J. Gordon
On June 19, Brouwerij West, the destination brewery in San Pedro, started Summer 2016 off with a big celebration. From 12 to 8 p.m. at their warehouse courtyard located at 110 East 22nd Street, the mostly Belgian-beer brewery presented the first of a series of free monthly parties called “Popfuji.” This kick-off celebration launched their first German-style beer, a Pilsner named Popfuji (in honor of the ancient Roman holiday known as Poplifugia).
In addition to the beer, eight food trucks, seven bands and a DJ turned Popfuji into a mini music festival that attracted about 2500 people. Families came out to celebrate Father’s Day and everyone in attendance enjoyed the live music, food and tasty beers. It was a sweltering hot day, so guests were lucky to be able to go inside the Brouwerij West warehouse to escape the sun. The bands played outside and the sun-drenched concrete courtyard was surrounded by food trucks and other vendors. Inside, taps were flowing with Brouwerij West beers and picnic tables were set up so guests could relax.
Besides the new malty, refreshing and slightly hoppy PopFuji pilsner, attendees could choose from four traditional Belgian-style beers. Dog Ate My Homework is an intensely fruit-forward saison brewed with blackberry juice. Tripel is a high-alcohol, classic Belgian-style strong ale that is surprisingly mild in flavor. Saison Extra is an easy drinking saison that is slightly fruity with a dry finish. Get Back is another saison made with rangpurs, which is a hybid of mandarin orange and lemon. It is dry, slightly hoppy and fruity.
All that refreshing beer demanded some good food and the trucks at the event provided a variety of choices. Some of the highlights included Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese, who offered several variations of those comfort-food sandwiches. Mangia South of the Border had tasty meatball and tri-tip sandwiches to go along with other Italian/Mexican fusion treats. Me So Hungry served tender Korean pork belly sliders as well as other selections. Bellybombz had a variety of flavor-packed boneless wings.
Desserts were well represented as well. Best Froyo had several flavors of frozen yogurt, plus unlimited toppings. Paradise Cookies & Ice Cream offered a wide selection of yummy choices. Tactile Coffee served both hot and cold highly caffeinated drink treats.
Brouwerij West will be hosting additional parties at their brewery. PopFuji was just the first free event. The brewery owner, Brian Mercer, is looking forward to making the parties a fun destination for beer-loving Southern Californians. He is planning to create a more comfortable, shaded outdoor space for guests and is working on booking great bands and food trucks for the next event.
All ages are invited and admission is free, but guests must be over 21 to enjoy the beers. Both beer and food are offered at reasonable rates. Mark your calendars for the next Brouwerij West summer celebration, coming July 30, 2016.
For more information, go to www.brouwerijwest.com
110 East 22nd Street
San Pedro, CA 90731