While their name may be a bit of a homage to the slacker, laid back bowling enthusiast "The Dude" from the cult classic movie The Big Lebowski, these local dudes prefer brewing to bowling and have been doing anything but slacking over the past two years forming the South Bay's newest craft brewery.
Started by Strand Brewing Company's original head brewer Jeff Parker with the financial and business backing of majority owner Toby Humes and investor Mike Holwick, the brewery is hoping to make waves in Los Angeles as it begins distribution this week at local South Bay bars.
Two years ago, Humes realized that there was a lack of locally made craft beer and eventually coordinated with Parker to begin forming the idea and concept around Dudes' Brewing.
"When we were out and about, we would always ask about local beers and there wasn't always an abundance of local beer out there," Humes said of the beer market two years ago. "We noticed we were drinking beers from Maui and San Diego and all sorts of different places."
With the idea of creating a local brewery in mind, Humes (who has taken on the title of "THE Dude") and Parker began weekly Friday meetings to hammer out a business plan, beer styles and the massive planning effort involved in building a brewery from the ground up.
"I wanted it to be very Southern California and very Los Angeles more specifically," Humes said of the brewery's name. "I think there is a massive market here and I think if you can make good beer, you hardly have to go outside of LA if you dont' want to."
Unlike most small startup breweries who begin with smaller brewing systems and build upwards and demand increases, Humes said that he wanted to start off big and get things right from the beginning. In the first year, Humes said he hopes to produce about 12,000 barrels (378,000 gallons) of beer.
"Everyone seems to run into issues in the brewing industry with demand... It seems like everyone is always saying they can't make enough beer," Humes said. "We just think the demand in the market is such that if we do what we need to do from a consistency and a quality standpoint, we think we can do that (reach 12,000 barrels)"
From a brewers perspective, Parker – an Hermosa Beach resident and graduate of Redondo Union High School – said that setting things up to allow for growth will help them in the long run.
"Just from doing brewery tours, we noticed that nobody was really thrilled about ongoing construction," Parker explained. "Toby said, 'We are going to buy it all at once, pack the place, have tanks waiting, and have construction be over... If we can do it, let's do it now.'"
The Dudes' 30 barrel brewing system actually has the capacity to brew approximately 50,000 barrels, or, 1.5 million gallons of beer per year, Parker said. Once the brewery gets up and running at full capacity, Parker said The Dudes' Brewing will be the first large production brewery in the South Bay.
In addition, the Dudes' brewing system is fully automated, which takes a lot of the manual work out of the brewing process and leads to a more consistent product for each brew cycle.
"With a potential to have the cellarage for 50,000 barrels annually puts us as a major producer in Los Angeles and that is exciting," Parker said. "It was exciting being the first craft brewery in Torrance back at Strand, but this is a totally different feeling because this isn't grassroots and friends and family stuff – this is built to actually make a bunch of beer."
And what to do with all that beer?
Parker and Humes said that in addition to normal keg distribution to bars and restaurants, Dudes' hopes to also begin canning its beers for distribution to the Los Angeles market by June. Eventually, they hope the brewery can expand distribution to the San Diego, Orange County and San Francisco markets.
Currently, The Dudes' Brewing Company is releasing four of its beers including a Blood Orange Amber (brewed with orange peel and vanilla), Coconut Porter (brewed with toasted coconut flakes), Grandma's Pecan (brewed with Georgia pecans), and their Day 1 Pale Ale at upcoming launch parties.
Future beers include a massively hoppy double IPA as well as an Imperial Red Ale that Parker hopes will be a tribute to the Marines and the red stripe on their pant legs.
While the brewery is not open to the public for beer tasting, the dudes hope to build a taproom somewhere near the beach in the South Bay in the next couple of years. Parker said the taproom will also house the brewery's barrel program featuring sour beers and oak-aged beers.
"We are just trying to carve our little niche out and by no means step on anybody's toes," Humes said of the brewery's future. "Craft brewing is a good industry and everyone is pretty cool... We are all just trying to take a couple small bites out of Miller Coors and InBev."
"We just hope everybody likes our beers as much as we do," Humes said.
To see the Dudes' beer launch events this week and next, check out the beer calendar listings below.
Here is a look at what else is happening with craft beer this week (March 13 - March 19) in the South Bay:
Beer Bars, Restaurants and Stores
Hot's Kitchen | Hermosa Beach
Dude's Brewing Beer Release | Thursday, March 14
Hot's Kitchen will be releasing beers from the South Bay's newest brewery – Dude's Brewing in Torrance. The new lineup of beers that will be featured at Hot's on Thursday include:
- Day 1 Pale Ale
- Grandma's Pecan (Brown Ale)
- Coconut Porter
- Blood Orange Amber
Naja's Place | Redondo Beach
The Dudes Brewing 'Official' Release Party | Friday, March 15 | 5:00 p.m.
Naja's will also celebrate the South Bay's newest brewery with the "official" release party on Friday.
Free glassware and giveaways will be available as well as the brewery's lineup of beers for purchase. The dudes from Dudes' will be on hand to share a beer and answer questions about their new brewing venture.
The Rockefeller | Hermosa Beach
Beer School With Ballast Point Brewing | Monday, March 25 | 6 p.m.
San Diego County brewery Ballast Point will be on hand for Rockefeller's monthly beer school. Participants will be able to talk with the brewer and learn about some of Ballast Point's beers as they drink them. The restaurant will feature $3 tasters of Ballast Point beers and $12 taster flights (and customers will get to keep the glass). Beers on tap will include:
- Longfin Lager
- Calico Amber
- Sculpin IPA
- Sea Monster (Imperial Stout)
For reservations call 310-372-8467 or visit eatrockefeller.com for more info.
Select Beer Store | Redondo Beach
Pi Day | Thursday, March 14 | 5 p.m.
Select Beer will be celebrating "Pi Day" (3/14, get it?) and wrapping up its week-long one-year anniversary celebration by hosting pie company I Heart Pies to pair up their sweet and savoury pies with beers on tap.
Pies from I Heart Pies will include:
- Jamaican Beef
- Chicken Jambalaya
- Colorado Green Chile
- Onion and Cheese
- Chocolate Bourbon Pecan
- Peanut Butter
Saint Rocke | Hermosa Beach
Easy Reader Beer Experience & Gastropub Challenge | Sunday, March 17 | Noon
Craft beer and food pairings from the top breweries and gastropubs in the South Bay hosted at the Saint Rocke. Vote on your favorite pairing. Win beer tours and tastings, and other prizes. Listen to great live music, and meet the brewers and chefs of the South Bay.
$29 advance ticket includes five beer and food pairings from the South Bay's top breweries and gastropubs, custom taster glass, admission to the live music festivities, and entry to win over $1000 in prizes. Doors open at noon.
Breweries and Gastropubs participating:
- El Segundo Brewery
- Monkish Brewery
- Strand Brewing Co.
- Brewery at Abigaile
- Smog City Brewing
- Hot's Kitchen
- The Rockefeller
Live music from: Hang Dog Expression, Johnny Jump Up, and Los Sindicate.
Dudes' Manhattan Beach Launch | Saturday, March 16 | 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
The Dudes will celebrate the launch of their beer in Manhattan Beach with a party at Simmzy's beginning at 11 a.m. Meet the Dudes and try one or all of their four beers on tap.
Sophie's Place | Redondo Beach
Sophie's South Bay Beer Week | March 10-16
To celebrate all that is South Bay craft beer, Sophie's will continue to feature two beers from each local brewery on tap until March 16. Beers on tap until Saturday include:
- Strand Atticus IPA
- Strand Beach House Amber
- Monkish Rosa's Hips
- Monkish Crux
- Smog City Groundwork Coffee Porter
- Smog City Sabre-Toothed Squirrel
- El Segundo Brewing Citra Pale Ale
- El Segundo Brewing Hyperion's Stout
On Thursday, March 14, Strand's Rich Marcello will be on hand for a meet and greet session. Marcello will be bringing along the Second Sleep Russian Imperial Stout and all Strand beer will be offered for $1 off.
Dudes' El Segundo Launch | Sunday, March 17 | 1-5 p.m.
The Dudes will celebrate the launch of their beer in El Segundo with a party at Tavern on Main beginning at 1 p.m. Meet the Dudes and try one or all of their four beers on tap.
Bottle Release Party | Saturday, March 16 | Noon - 8 p.m.
After three years of brewing in the South Bay, Strand Brewing will release its beers in bottles beginning Saturday and will celebrate at its Torrance tasting room. Beers being released on Saturday will include:
- 24th Street Pale Ale
- Atticus IPA
- Beach House Amber Ale
- Second Sleep Imperial Stout
Strand's White Sand Double IPA and a special cask of oak aged Second Sleep Russian Imperial Stout will also be tapped at the event.
Tap room hours this week for beer tasting and growler fills are:
Thursday: 4-9 p.m.
Friday: 4-9 p.m.
Saturday: Noon-8 p.m.
Sunday: Noon-6 p.m.
Tap room hours for beer tasting and growler fills are:
Wednesday: 5-9 p.m.
Thursday: 5-9 p.m.
Friday: 5-9 p.m.
Saturday: 2-9 p.m.
Sunday: 2-7 p.m.
The Brewery at Abigaile | Hermosa Beach
Head brewer Brian Brewer said that the brewery has sent out its second shipment to its distributor which means that drinkers should start seeing Abigaile's Orange Blossom Blonde Ale and Death or Glory IPA on tap at local establishments soon.
Tap room hours this week for beer tasting and growler fills are:
Thursday: 4-9 p.m.
Friday: 4-9 p.m.
Saturday: 3-8 p.m.
Sunday: 1-6 p.m.
Other Craft Beer Events
Strand Brewers Club
San Diego Bus Trip | Saturday, March 16 | 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
The club has also scheduled a bus trip to the American Homebrewers Association Rally at Stone Brewing in Escondido on March 16th. To attend the rally, you must be an AHA member, but those who want to ride along and visit Stone Brewing can still come along.
The bus ride is $30 and will leave Redondo Beach at 10am and return 10pm. The club will also visit White Labs Tasting Room and Societe Brewing. For more info email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor's Note: Only establishments that have submitted updates are included in this column. If you own a beer bar, brewery, beer store or beer-centric restaurant in the South Bay of Los Angeles and would like to include your establishment's updates in this column, please send editor John Schreiber an email at John.Schreiber@Patch.com. This column relies on the updates from local business owners to keep it running—please contribute!