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Smog City Brewing opens its own 20-tap tasting room and brewery

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Smog City Brewing Co. finally has its own home. Started by John Porter -- just call him Porter -- and his wife, Laurie, while Porter worked at Tustin Brewing Co., a brewpub in Orange County, Smog City has moved to a new facility just steps from the hot spots of the South Bay brewing scene.

Known for beers like L.A. Saison, Saber Tooth Squirrel and the award-winning Groundwork Coffee Porter, Smog City has become a favorite of L.A.'s craft beer lovers. The brand was started in 2011 with an arrangement to share the equipment at Tustin Brewing, though Smog City quickly outgrew the brewpub's capacity. 

The Porters have spent the last few months focused on building a brewery and tasting room in the Torrance industrial neighborhood that also houses Monkish Brewing and the Dudes Brewery. The new 5,500-square-foot facility will allow for not only more production, but also the development of new recipes, more experimentation and an on-site tasting room in which to serve the brews.

Featuring 20 tap handles, the tasting room sits at one end of the airy and bright building and is open to the bustling brew house and fermenters where Smog City's beers are born. Working behind the bar at Tustin Brewing and getting immediate feedback from the customers was invaluable to Porter, and he says he's excited to have the same intimate relationship with drinkers at Smog City's brewery.

In addition to increasing production and experimenting with new brews, Smog City has signed with Stone Brewing's distribution arm to bring its kegs into more L.A. bars and restaurants. Smog City also plans to package its beers this year, though that won't happen until Porter is happy with the quality and consistency.

The Smog City tasting room, at 1901 Del Amo Blvd., Unit B in Torrance, is open for limited hours Friday and Saturday evenings until the grand opening celebration May 18.

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