The Story of Alosta Brewing Co. goes way back!
To truly tell the story of the Alosta Brewing Co. we have to go back about 20 years. Our Co-founder, and Director of Brewing Operations, Herb Adams was a local homebrewer. Our other Co-founder, Byron Fisher was a videographer. The two of them met through their wives, who had already been friends for several years. When Byron found out that Herb was a homebrewer, he asked him if he could possibly film the process one time, in order to get more footage to work on his editing skills.
Fast forward a few weeks. Byron filmed Herbs brew session, and edited together a "How-to" video on homebrewing. It just so happened that at the time, Byron had a friend who was the local cable access television director. She was looking for new and original programming to put on the air, so she asked if she could air this video. Not giving it much thought, Byron and Herb said "sure." Several weeks later, Byron received a phone call from his friend at the cable station. People absolutely loved the video and were asking for more. The catch was, she wanted to make it a monthly show so it would need a title. That's when "Brewin' with Herb" was born.
Soon after, they were nominated for a W.A.V.E. award, which is essentially the academy awards for local cable access. Unfortunately, they didn't win. However, within a short time, they were getting requests from cable access stations all over the Unite States. After completing each episode, they would make copies, and ship them all around. Keep in mind, this was the mid-90's, and the internet was still young. YouTube wasn't even a thought at this point. There was however, a small start-up Internet streaming service called ExtraNettv (it was essentially YouTube, before YouTube). They also requested copies of the show, and began streaming it. After about 4 months, "Brewin' with Herb" was pulled from the site due to too much bandwidth usage. The show was averaging 40k views per month (again, mid-90's), which was using way too much of the sites bandwidth.
It was during this time when Herb and Byron talked about how cool it would be to open their very own brewery, and the first name that came to mind was Alosta. However, the costs of starting a brewery along with the laws in the state at the time, it was more of a pipe dream.
With the bulk of the show focusing on homebrewing, it was sometime around 1998 when Herb and Byron decided to mix Craftbrewing into the show. They were invited out to the Southern California Brewing Co., which was located at Alpine Village in Torrance. There they were given a full tour by the brewmaster, and shown how beer is brewed on a larger scale. It was at that point the show began featuring various segments. Part homebrewing, part Craftbrewing and local beer related events. Most notably the Southern California Homebrewers festival.
With the extreme lack of breweries in the So. Cal area (at this point, there were maybe 3 or 4 breweries in San Diego, and 3 in Los Angeles), Herb and Byron decided to make a road trip to Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, they found about 6 or 7 craft breweries, all of which had decent beers. Now, this is where the story gets fuzzy. We're not exactly sure why, but they decided to make it a party, and take people along with them to Las Vegas. Not only did they charter a bus, but they contacted several breweries such as, Sierra Nevada, Samuel Adams, Alaskan, and Ballast Point to name a few. Each one of these breweries sponsored the trip by donating around 15 cases of beer, each! That's 60 cases of beer, for about 35 people that were on that first trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. Once in Las Vegas, they visited 6 breweries on the same day, only to spend the night, and return the following day. Whew!!
Little did they know, their Las Vegas Pub-Crawl would become a legendary annual event. Every year from 1999-2011, they would charter a bus, fill it with 40 people and beers that were generously donated by some of the top breweries in the world (Stone, Dogfish Head, Port Brewing, Coopers, Unibroue...). People from as far away as Australia came for this event. It was on one of these pub-crawls, where they met our other Co-founder, Jamie Caldwell. Jamie was a local police officer, who had a background in photography. After attending his first pub-crawl around 2002, Jamie, Byron and Herb quickly became friends. After seeing some of Jamie's photography work, they asked him if he would like to be the official photographer for the Las Vegas Pub-Crawls. Without hesitation he agreed. For the next 9 years, Jamie was there to capture the debauc..... 'err we mean good times had by all. Some of the pix that we can show you, are at the bottom of the page.
After putting the camera down, and UN-officially retiring "Brewin' with Herb." Herb, Byron and Jamie together with two other original partners (who have since separated from the company), decided it was time to open their own brewery. In 2012, the process to open Alosta Brewing Co. began. After a very lengthy licensing, and permit process, Alosta Brewing Co. officially opened it's doors on November 21, 2013.
It was a long time coming, and they are excited to be a part of the outstanding LA Craft Beer scene. It's a little surreal, having been there to witness the dark age of LA Beer, when there were only a few breweries with no tasting rooms, to what we have today.