Beer with a Blogger: Newhall Refinery in Santa Clarita

When you find yourself stressed out with finals and job applications and the holidays, sometimes all you need is to grab a pint with a new friend.

And my get-together with Stephanie was long overdue. Back when she was pregnant, we had planned to meet up but never got around to it. Now she has an adorable three-month-old son and is allowed to drink again, so it all worked out! (Except the part where I forgot my DSLR. Low-light iPhone photos FTW.)

Beer with a Blogger: Stephanie from Loudmouth Lifestyle

THE BLOGGER

Stephanie Shar from Loudmouth Lifestyle and Baby Loudmouth. (Stephanie is a new mom, works full-time and she runs two blogs. WHAT.) Stephanie moved to L.A. five years ago from Detroit and worked a few “normal” jobs before pursuing her own creative business. I adore Steph’s blog because she has an authentic—and appropriately loud—voice. I’m always engaged when I read her posts and feel like I know exactly who she is. And what you see on her blog is what you get in person. She’s warm, open, funny as hell and is one of those people who cuts right through the bullshit and calls it like she sees it. She’s a really easy person to talk to and is launching a kickass program called Loud Ladies to make 2015 awesome.

Here’s an excerpt from a recent post of hers that I loved and sums her up perfectly:

I tried to keep my thoughts and feelings about the events in Ferguson on Twitter and Instagram. I wanted to stay ‘professional’ and keep this space for my ‘business’ and keep the personal shit at bay. But I’m in the business of getting personal. Welcome to The Loudmouth Lifestyle.

Newhall Refinery in Santa Clarita Newhall Refinery

THE BAR

Newhall Refinery in Santa Clarita, a city 35 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. I loved the area right off the bat when I turned onto the adorable main street where parking was both free and a breeze. The bar itself has a very cozy, neighborhoody vibe (enhanced by their Christmas decorations) and is staffed by very friendly folks. They had at least six different kinds of Sierra Nevada on draft, and it looks like they change that out every once in a while—now their beer menu lists eight different kinds of Goose Island! I wasn’t hungry, but it was so tempting to order food. The place smelled of fried goodness, and the couple sitting next to me had a cookies and creme dessert that looked delicious.

Newhall Refinery Newhall Refinery

THE BEER

I love me some Sierra Nevada, so I ordered a Nooner Session IPA (4.8%). Steph, in true Loudmouth form, asked the bartender for the strongest IPA on tap. So she got an Avery DuganA Double IPA (8.5%). Also worth noting that the prices were totally reasonable. I had two beers (one 16-oz. and one 12-oz.) and paid 11 bucks plus tip. Considering what most L.A. bars will charge you, this was a refreshing change of pace.

Cassie and Stephanie

Needless to say, we had a blast. If I didn’t have to drive home, I would’ve had another beer or two and gotten a little silly. But we’ll definitely get together again. (I still need to meet that sweet babe of hers!) Make sure you check out Steph’s blog—and say hi on Twitter while you’re at it.

Are you a blogger living in (or visiting!) L.A.? Do you like beer? Shoot me an email at wittycassiehere (at) gmail (dot) com, and let’s go to happy hour!

Beer with a Blogger: Bar Food in Brentwood

How’s that for alliteration?

This month’s Beer with a Blogger was a long time coming. Hanna is a good blog friend of mine who lives in Brentwood on the West Side, but our busy lives have made it so that we’ve only met a couple of times in real life. We finally remedied that this past weekend. Read on!

Hanna Scott

THE BLOGGER

Hanna of the newly rebranded Filth. I’ve followed Hanna’s blog (formerly Excelsior Lady) since long before I moved to L.A. She made a similar cross-country move by way of Buffalo a few years ago, and I loved reading her thoughts on being a transplant in a vibrant, huge city. Hanna has one of those true artist brains, which I adore. (You can see some of her illustrations here—how cool are they?) Everything she draws or writes has a raw honesty that I really appreciate, and her eye for photography is spot-on. There’s nothing bland about her. And Hanna’s personality in real life is just as intriguing. Because we felt like we knew each other already the first time we met, it’s always been easy to talk to her. It helps that she’s got the most infectious smile and big, inviting blue eyes. Check out her blog, and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

Bar Food

THE BAR

Bar Food on Wilshire in Brentwood, a great happy hour spot seven days a week. And the happy hour deals are truly awesome, especially for L.A.—I had three beers (over the course of a BWAB record five-and-a-half hours) AND a hot dog, which all together cost $17 including tip! The drafts were $4 apiece and hot dogs are $1 all the time. Yelp reviewers says the other food is really good, too. The bartender was friendly, and we happened to come in on trivia night. Considering we weren’t anticipating playing trivia and the fact that we were first-time partners, we didn’t absolutely suck (i.e., we didn’t finish dead last). Neither of us is particularly great at trivia, though we killed the music round. The trivia host might’ve thrown a couple extra points our way for clever, albeit incorrect, answers. Bar Food had a fun, neighborhoody vibe.

beer

THE BEER

I enjoyed a Green Flash Black IPA and a Deschutes River Ale, while Hanna had a couple of Left Coast Asylum Belgian-Style Tripel Ales.

Bar Food dollar

Hanna & Cassie

grainy selfies FTW!

It was a blast hanging out with Hanna one-on-one for the first time (crazy it took nearly a year for that to happen!). We had a ton to talk about—staying true to our voices in writing, our love for L.A. and wanderlust for other parts of the world, and missing family back home. We also made a friend in a Bar Food regular, an older man in a beret who is a painter by way of Vancouver, born in Scotland. He was such a character, asking us about ourselves and sharing his white-haired wisdom. He was so sweet (and incredibly talkative), and Hanna and I later gushed at having made friends with such a cool dude. Between meeting him and playing several rounds of trivia, a night I expected to be a blast turned out to be just that and more.

Hanna and I vowed not to let so much time go by before hanging out again. Next time, we’re looping in Rachel so they can finally meet!

Are you a blogger living in (or visiting!) L.A.? Do you like beer? Shoot me an email at wittycassiehere (at) gmail (dot) com, and let’s go to happy hour!

Beer with a Blogger: Congregation Ale House in Pasadena

Bonding over beer and blogging really is a great way to make a new friend.

And this month, I made friends with the lovely and adorable Lauren. Check out our happy hour adventures below!

Lauren Breathe & Nourish

THE BLOGGER

Lauren Cash, the blogger behind Breathe & Nourish. Lauren writes about body acceptance, healthy living & habits, food and more. Recently, she wrote a touching letter to her body, and her habit shift series is a great and helpful documentation of how to make healthy changes routine. She and I clicked right away—Lauren’s super easy to talk to, asks thoughtful questions, had several funny stories to share and, as you can see, has the best smile. You can follow Lauren on Twitter and Instagram.

Congregation Ale House

Congregation Ale House

THE BAR

Lauren suggested Congregation Ale House in Pasadena, and it was the perfect spot for a beer enthusiast. The beer list is so long! It’s located in a quaint little section of Pasadena (where I’ve only been a couple of times but is really pretty adorable), so the outside seating area is really relaxed and inviting. The inside is spacious and gorgeous—they of course tied in the theme well with stained glass. Congregation has several other locations, as well.

Congregation Ale House

beer

THE BEER

I got adventurous with a 10.5% alcohol Oskar Blues Deviant Dale Double IPA (which was kind of like drinking two beers), while Lauren sampled both the El Segundo Brewing Company’s Station No. 1 Red Ale and the Anderson Valley Anniversary Imperial IPA. All imbibed was well enjoyed.

Cassie and Lauren

Thanks for introducing me to a great spot, Lauren! I had a blast and hope to hang again soon.

Are you a blogger living in (or visiting!) L.A.? Do you like beer? Shoot me an email at wittycassiehere (at) gmail (dot) com, and let’s go to happy hour!

Beer with a Blogger: Angel City Brewery in DTLA

There’s something very special about blog-friends-turned-real-life-friends.

When you’ve been following each other’s blogs for months (or even years!) and finally meet for the first time, it can be so surreal, because even though you’ve exchanged dozens of comments, read about their most personal experiences and seen plenty of pictures of them, it’s still strange at first that they’re actual people with voices and stuff. It’s also bizarre how totally normal it is to meet them and, like with old friends, have a million things to talk about.

Which is exactly what it was like meeting Rachel for the first time last summer.

Rachel of Existation

THE BLOGGER

Rachel Jackson, the photographer, writer and adventurer behind Existation. This Minnesota lady moved to Los Angeles in 2011 to pursue her California dream (something that instantly attracted me to her blog, since I had dreams and plans of doing the very same). Now, she and her boyfriend Toby live in West Hollywood and explore the great state of California whenever they get the chance. (Check out her photos of Joshua Tree and June Lake, and you’ll want to move out here, too.) What I love about Rachel is how warm, inviting and open she is. Must be that Midwestern charm. Follow Rachel on Instagram and Twitter.

Angel City Brewery

THE BAR

Angel City Brewery in the Arts District of downtown Los Angeles. This might just be my new favorite spot. The vibe is very industrial/casual/chic in this bowling alley-sized warehouse, where dogs are welcome and the bartenders are friendly. Angel City opened up almost a year ago exactly and doesn’t serve food, but it regularly welcomes food trucks to its parking lot. Live music, darts and regular run + yoga + beer events make it the perfect neighborhood spot, and quite frankly, I’m a bit jealous of everyone who lives within walking distance of this place. (There are so many other great spots in this part of downtown, too.)

THE BEER

An Angeleno IPA for me and a Mexican Cola Beer for Rachel—this one seemed to be a hit among the other patrons, too. All imbibed beverages brewed in-house, of course.

Angel City Brewery Angel City Brewerygerman shepherd puppy

Every time Rachel and I get together, the conversation flows naturally, and we end up chatting about so many different things. Namely, all the adventures we want to take, our anxieties and excitement about the future, creative outlets and inspiration, and the paths that have led us to where we are now. It always makes for good, much-needed girl talk.

Oh, and the brewery is just around the corner from the building where Jess and the boys from New Girl live, so of course we had to get a picture.

New Girl building

Real-life friend status even further solidified and a love for Angel City Brewery established. Good times.

Cassie and Rachel

Are you a blogger living in (or visiting!) L.A.? Do you like beer? Shoot me an email at wittycassiehere (at) gmail (dot) com, and let’s go to happy hour!

Beer with a Blogger: The Daily Pint in Santa Monica

Beer and blogging—two of my favorite things.

Sometimes, I drink beer while blogging. (It helps with creativity and stuff.) But not too long ago, I thought a more social way of combining the two might be to drink beer with my fellow bloggers. So I’m kicking off a new series, and if you’re a blogger who loves beer and lives near L.A., I want you in on this. You pick the place, I come wielding a camera and—cheers!—it’s time for blogger happy hour.

But right now, let’s meet the first drinking buddy of the series, Diana from Sunshined.

Diana from Sunshined

THE BLOGGER: Diana Lopez, a web designer and blogger living in the West L.A. neighborhood of Sawtelle. She moved to Los Angeles about a year ago and lives with her boyfriend and two parakeets. Diana might seem shy at first, but she’s super smart, sweet and funny, and she’s not afraid to share her opinion—something I instantly liked about her. Last year, she wrote a guest post for me here on WTH. She tweets @pixelswithin.

THE BAR: The Daily Pint in Santa Monica, where it’s been for more than 25 years. It was voted as one of the top bars in the country on Barfinder.com for three years in a row, and it boasts 33 beers on tap, three beers on cask and more than 100 others in the bottle. The Daily Pint also has one hell of a whiskey list, which I had no interest in other than the fact that the sheer number of options was impressive. It’s got a great divey, neighborhoody feel to it, and our bartender, Alicia, was friendly and gave us some good beer recommendations.

THE BEER: Leinenkugel’s Snowdrift Porter for Diana and both a Stone IPA and a Goose Island Matilda Pale Ale for yours truly.

The Daily Pint

whisky

Since Diana is also an L.A. transplant, we talked a lot about what it’s like settling in after moving here. “I immediately loved L.A. and just took to it. There’s so much to do, and I haven’t taken advantage of it all yet, but I recently went to the bookstore, a record store and two farmers markets all in one day. I love it.”

One of her favorite rituals?

“I usually go to Santa Monica Beach just to walk around—it’s such a luxury.”

 

Cassie & Diana

I was psyched to meet Diana after following her blog and Twitter for so long, and she picked a great, casual spot for imbibing. I hope to see Diana (and the Daily Pint!) again soon.

Are you a blogger living in (or visiting!) L.A.? Do you like beer? Shoot me an email at wittycassiehere (at) gmail (dot) com, and let’s go to happy hour!