Beer Notes: Library Alehouse Brings HopHead Heaven to Earth

Bartender Leo Stanton at Library Alehouse in Santa Monica. (Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times)

Also: Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach and Long Beach will raffle its Pliny the Younger pints to support the Melanoma Research Foundation, as will Library Alehouse.

Written by Todd Martens for The Los Angeles Times

Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be followed by bitterness — unless, of course, you’re visiting Santa Monica’s Library Alehouse beginning Feb. 15. That’s when the Westside’s craft beer destination will launch its 11-day HopHead Heaven festival, which is specializing in hoppy beers.

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Craft Beer Connoisseur Knows His Suds

Kaufman wears some of the many awards Rogue, one of U.S. craft beers he introduced to Japan, has won over the years at various craft beer competitions.

Written by Eric Johnston for

Domestic and imported craft beers have found an ever-growing number of Japanese fans in recent years, and festivals in major cities and smaller towns have offered the public a chance to sample numerous ales, lagers and porters, as well as a variety of German beers and more exotic concoctions that contain everything from sweet potatoes to oranges and chocolate.

Attend a festival or drop by a craft beer restaurant and it’s likely the owner, as well as the punters, will know Phred Kaufman.

The Sapporo-based American is one of the founding fathers of the domestic jibiiru craft beer movement, but the Southern California native got his first taste of Japan well before he became a jibiiru sensei.

Kaufman first came to Japan in 1971 at age 18 to avoid the Vietnam War draft, like many Americans of his generation who decided to leave the United States.

“I just took off,” Kaufman said. “I didn’t know the difference between Japan, South Korea or China at the time. I landed at Haneda airport and ended up getting a job at an area paper box factory for ¬•1,000 a day.
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