Like a malty lighthouse calling beer lovers from all around, a 27-foot-tall silo stands prominently at the corner of Torrance’s latest brewery.
But this beacon of brews marks a brewery that is unlike any other in this beer-loving city.
While plenty of breweries serve food or call in food trucks, The Brews Hall, which is set to open by the end of the month, combines a high-end food hall anchored by four counter-service restaurants that offer seafood, burgers, fried chicken and Mexican fare with a pair of breweries that tap all styles of beers.
And it’s all backed by a well-known local restaurateur and his very funny friend.
“I find that’s what people want, they want this one stop shop,” said Michael Zislis, who along with his brother David Zislis and business partner Dave Furano, have teamed up with comedian George Lopez to open The Brews Hall.
“When I did this brewery with George I wanted it to be more than just one dimensional, and George got it, too,” Zislis said as he sat under large red umbrellas in front of a row of 12 roll-up glass doors on the patio of the brewery. still under construction, on a recent afternoon.
As head of the Zislis Group, he’s responsible for several well-known restaurants like Rock’N Fish in Manhattan Beach and L.A. Live; Rock & Brews restaurants and The Strand House in Manhattan Beach.
The company’s new project is being built out of a former Goodyear tire shop at 21770 Del Amo Circle and is anchored by two new breweries.
There’s Buzzrock Brewing, which will focus on all sorts of beers, from pilsners to stouts, and George Lopez Brewing Co: Ta Loco Cerveza, which will be an experimental brewery inspired by Latin flavors and the influence of its famous namesake.
Once it opens, people will be able to order tacos, burritos, churros and other Mexican dishes at the counter of George Lopez’s Chingon Kitchen. Or you can grab a burger at the sports-themed Colin Cowherd’s The Herd. Chicken TWILI (The Way I like it) will offer chicken wings, sandwiches and chicken tenders. And Rock’N Fish Grill will serve seafood dishes such as salmon, fish and chips and clam chowder.
“Food halls have been popping up lately and I just find them to be magnificent in the sense that your wife can get a piece of fish at Rock’N Fish, I can get a hamburger at the Herd and my kids can get a quesadilla and churros, so there’s something here for everybody,” Zislis said.
The food will be brought to tables located in the patio and in front of gray granite-top bar where bartenders will serve drinks in front of large copper tanks.
People can also order liquor and mixed drinks since this is a full bar, which is a rarity at most breweries since they tend to serve beer only.
The Brews of the hall
However, it’s still a brewery so the beer will be the focus as it’s made in more than a dozen large tanks that are visible from the patio.
Buzzrock beer offerings will run the gamut of styles.
“It’s not going to be about focusing on any one particular style, it’s going to be all over the place. That’s what we like to do, not be limited to some sort of niche,” said Justinian Caire, the head brewer behind both beer concepts.
For Ta Loco Cerveza, which translates to You Crazy Beer, Caire is working closely with Lopez to develop the brews.
“We’re looking for Latin inspiration. We’ll find some of that through research and mostly through communicating with George…we’ve talked with him to explore what he’s looking for and likes,” Caire said.
Some of the beers so far include a paloma IPA, which is inspired by the cocktail with grapefruit and lime flavors and a horchata stout beer.
Later down the line he has plans for a pulque-inspired beer. Pulque is an ancient alcoholic drink that dates back to Mesoamerica and is made from the agave plant.
“I definitely think it will be an experimental brewery. We’ll go a lot of different ways with different flavors,” Caire said of Ta Loco Cerveza.
Oh, and as far as that prominent silo outside the Brew Hall, well that’s not there just for looks.
Zislis spent $50,000 on it so he’s planning on putting it to good use by using it to store the malt for the brews.
Still, its main job will be to help the standout brewery stand out even more.