By Mike Levin
Amazed at the proliferation of breweries in our area? Wonder which to frequent? Wish there were a guide to help you? Then you’re in luck, because Daniel Drennon is here to help you.
Drennon, our Belmont Heights neighbor, is the publisher/editor/head writer of Beer Paper, the premier craft beer publication in California. Founded in 2013, the paper is a monthly publication that chronicles the best of the California beer scene.
Drennon says Beachwood Brewing on the promenade in downtown Long Beach is Beer Paper’s “home brewpub.” He points out that Beachwood, by universal acclaim of expert judges at the World Beer Cup in 2016, was named the Champion Brewery.
Drennon’s career as a beer writer began in 2009 when, while working in the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office as an environmental policy analyst, he brought a cooler of craft beer to a party hosted by the editor of the LA Weekly. This led to a stint as the first beer writer at the LA Weekly when there were only four breweries in LA County. Now there are over 100.
Beer Paper covers all of California, which now boasts over 1100 breweries statewide. A recent trip led Daniel to a new favorite - Liquid Gravity in San Luis Obispo. The brew master, Brendan Gough, opened the brewery in late 2019, just before the pandemic, and has turned it into a medal-winner in record time. When we asked if the burgeoning Central Coast brewery scene offers any competition to the wine industry there, Drennon laughed, saying, “You can love both. My wife prefers wine so we split our Central Coast visits between the fabulous wineries and the excellent breweries. It’s a win-win.”
Drennon is a down-to-earth type. “I don’t know the science of beer making”, he says. “What I bring to the story is the perspective of a beer fan. The beer in your glass should be delicious and then simply enjoy the moment, hopefully among the company of friends sharing that moment.”
With a beer-only fridge in his garage filled with world class brews from all over California, Drennon and friends often enjoy a Belmont Heights evening of conversation and laughter on the backyard patio. He smiles, “That’s really what beer is all about.”
Find feature stories and an extensive directory of brewpubs at https://beerpaperla.com. It’s a good read. Especially when paired with a great beer.