When you’re at Burnin Daylight, you’re with family.
That’s not the Lomita brewery’s motto, but it probably should be.
The familial vibe was on full display at Burnin Daylight’s one-year anniversary party on Feb. 1. Tents lined the small parking lot, protecting kegs and taps from the sun, a live band played covers that focused heavily on Cali rock (yes, that means plenty of Sublime), and the brewery’s mascot — aka the family dog, Mac — presided over the festivities from his comfy bed in the production space.
Burnin Daylight was started by head brewer Brendan Lake, who honed his chops at Stone before heading back north to bring beer home to South Bay. He helped get Phantom Carriage up and running, then brewed at El Segundo and Hop Saint. Now firmly in charge of the beers at his own venture, the brewery system is a one-man show, but the business is a family affair. Brendan runs Burnin’ Daylight with his parents, Bob and Shannon Lake, who were also on hand for the anniversary party.
While Brendan gamely moved between tables to make sure everyone’s glasses were full and kegs were regularly being rotated, Shannon tended to Mac and chatted with friends and regulars. She even joked at one point that when they opened the brewery, she gained 15 sons, which goes to show just how close the entire Burnin crew is despite only being open for 12 months.
Happily, Burnin has the chops to back the completely packed party that was baking in the sun on the unusually warm February day. There’s plenty of competition in South Bay, with the overloaded Torrance bordering Lomita, but Burnin didn’t have many of the first-year quality woes that many breweries go through. Solid from the beginning, their strong IPA game has only improved with each brew, and the Burn One, the one-year anniversary IPA, was a testament to that. Brewed just three weeks before the party, it’s a tropical IPA brewed with pilsner malts that provide a smooth finish yet strong passionfruit notes.
Inside, all of Burnin’s usual beers were up on the blue board and available for purchase, but outside showcased a nice, curated variety, from the fruitier Papaya Sunrise, a 4.8& ABV Berliner weisse sour, and “Brewtiful” blueberry ale to the Papa’s Stout varieties, which for the anniversary included one brewed with coconut and coffee and an imperial version aged on bourbon barrels. My personal favorites were Hey Fella, an imperial stout that was being served on nitro for the party, and Pines, a 7% ABV IPA brewed with Simcoe and Mosaic hops.
As for the guest beers, El Segundo’s fresh “Power Plant” TIPA, a hazy pale ale from HopSaint, a Beachwood/Topa Topa hazy IPA collab, and an unfiltered Stone DIPA nicely rounded out the options.
By the end of the festival, there was hardly a regular I hadn’t met. I sat in the front seat of a 1920s-era Model T converted into a firetruck, learned exactly which stools the guys pouring beers usually sat in, and had two people come up to me to ask which beer was my favorite before being offered their most-beloved brew to try. Everyone who steps into Burnin is family, which means the one-year anniversary party was just a start of what’s to come.
Check out pictures from the anniversary party, including shots of Burn One, below:
Photos by Daniel L. Emmons