Chasing Down the Rhino: Catching Up With REV Brewing’s Alex “Rhino” Rebollo

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I really like jazz.  I bring up jazz because I’ve always loved one thing in particular about it…the way groups shout out their “personnel.” If you are part of a good jazz band (even a bad one)…odds are you’ll be called out by name during a show to acknowledge your contribution to the ensemble. When they do, it’s time for your solo. Everyone gets their shine. But with that comes responsibility…you have to show and prove–you  know, be able to keep your seat. You can’t f— it up. One bad note and it’s a wrap. Craft beer is a bit like jazz. It takes a solid squad to produce great beer. No slouches. Everyone has to play a position…and play it well. You have to do your part; otherwise, things can go to sh-t very quickly. Improvisation is encouraged, but you better nail it. Everyone’s watching and waiting to see what you’ve got.

So for this post, I wanted to give some shine to Alex “Rhino” Rebollo…a guy who has contributed his everything in helping build a true LA beer culture—one we can be proud of. I credit him for being an integral part of sparking this whole pedo. Like in jazz, you gotta give props where props are due. Have you heard of this guy called Rhino? If not, then you’re probably not deep in this beer game. Let me explain.

About 4 years ago, I was trying to bring a craft beer from Tijuana called Insurgente into the LA market. You may be familiar with these guys now after their collaboration with Stone and Chris Banker for “Xocoveza.” But back then, they were one of the few Mexican craft beers really killing it at beer competitions around Mexico…and even getting some attention in San Diego. Man, I was so eager to get them into LA. Only issue, I kept hitting bumps in the road. I was so ready top throw in the towel.

But  I kept hearing the name “Rhino.” Everyone I spoke  to told me I had to meet this guy. I heard he was from East Los (like me), knew his stuff, and had been cool with Greg from Stone from Day 1. He was even around when Greg was trying to slang a brew that would later be known as “Arrogant Bastard” back when LA was not really ready for it. Dude also wrote for the Beers In Paradise guys, was a fixture in brew circles, and would most likely be someone who’d be able to help me–or at least point me in the right direction. Funny, he started to sound like a “Godfather” figure or something. I was told you were not legit unless this guy said you were. Long story short, the Insurgente thing fell through, which sucks, but I gained a good friend nonetheless. Word on the street is he is now part of REV Brewing out of Covina…a new brewery that has been gaining a gang of buzz. I’m really looking forward to checking them out when they open to the public on Friday, December 5– AKA Today. Hope to see you there.

Without further ado…let me introduce you to my friend, Rhino. Salud!
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Beyond Oktoberfest: 12 Top German Brews Picks

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I know…I’m late for an Oktoberfest post, but I still wanted to share with you some great brews you can enjoy during and beyond the season. Ahhh, Oktoberfest. You know how it goes down– 16 days beginning in late September where all your friends try to convince you to roll out to an overcrowded beer festival where most people end up getting too wasted.  Hey, I’m not knocking anyone, as long as they’re responsible enough to have a designated driver to get them back home in one piece.  Because I’m not a big fan of crowds, and surprisingly a lightweight, I tend to stay away from big fests and turn my attention to drinking at home or with a close group of friends.

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Brews with the Brewjos: Talking Home Brew and Tacos with Brewjeria Co.

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I’ve been covering beer for a few years through my beer page and Instagram account, @inthesuds, and now I’ve been asked by the fine folks at L.A. TACO to bring some beer coverage to their street art and street food mix. I’m calling my new beer column here “Carbonacion,” and I hope you enjoy reading it! Thanks to L.A. Taco for having me…

It has been both a pleasure and a challenge navigating through all the new breweries sprouting up with all over LA. Some are better than others, but at the heart of every beer is home brewing. Everyone has to crawl before they can walk, right?

This is particularly true with making the leap from home brewing to commercial. If you’re a nerd like me, you can appreciate when guys and ladies get resourceful and put together their own brew kit. Investigating the L.A. scene, I wanted to see if there were some home brewers making noise who were on the verge of making that leap from their backyard shed to a brick and mortar location. The name Brewjeria came up in several conversations…

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Taco Flavored Beer is Here, But it’s not Coming to Los Angeles

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Our friends up north clued us in to “Taco Hands IPA”, a limited edition beer run with flavors inspired by tacos. Intrigued, we reached out to one of the founders, Connor Casey, to find out more about this ultimate taco-lifestyle combination. We were shocked and saddened to find that the beer is only available in San Francisco. If you’ve tasted this brew, please leave us a comment. If you’re a brewer in Los Angeles working on something similar, please reach out.

What’s the brief history of Cellarmaker Brewing?
Cellarmaker opened on October 8th, 2013. We are a small brewery in San Francisco started by two young beer enthusiasts with a history in the beer industry.

What’s your connection to the LA area?
I grew up in the San Fernando Valley.

What are some of your favorite taco places, and what do you order?
Taqueria Cancun and Taqueria Farralito in the Mission District of San Francisco as well as Nopalito if you want some high end tacos! All of these taquerias have tacos that are out of control delicious. Especially after a night of crushing beers! Both of Nopalito’s restaurants actually have Taco Hands IPA on tap this week!

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Business ~ East Los Angeles

making friends

Anheuser-Busch ~ East Los Angeles

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TONIGHT: In Defence (MPLS) and more ~ The Down & Out

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Tonight! Another fucking great show at The Down & Out!   In Defense / Dogteeth / Out of Tune / Cholos on Acid / Cerote 9pm 21+ $5 Happy Hour all night!  More info here.

Lady Liquor ~ Commerce

Lady Liquor ~ 5310 E. Washington Blvd. ~ Commerce

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Eddies JR Liquor Mart ~ Long Beach

Eddies Jr. Liquor ~ PCH ~ Long Beach

Very cool murals here in a classic example of the SoCal liquor store public art. Also good deals on ice cold beer, which they claim is the coldest in town.

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The Thirteenth Annual Southern California Trade Tasting or the biggest wine tasting in LA you could ever go to

Once a year a mass of people descend on the Pasadena convention center to get their plonk on in the afternoon. I admit there have been a few years that I’ve attended where I’ve felt downright guilty; drinking like a true child of Dionysus on a random Tuesday afternoon while Joe Public toils away in their cubicle, but sometimes you gotta just let it go and live like you’re a hip hop mogul even if you hadn’t saved hundreds on some third party cell carrier.

And just before you ask and say “hey, how can I go” – bubby, you can’t. You have to be invited as a vendor who sells wine in some form or fashion – I know peeps at 7-11 and the looks you get when sampling $80 culty Napa Valley Cabs while rocking a 7-11 store number on your id badge are indeed, priceless.
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Doo Dah Queen Parade Tryouts ~ Pasadena

Doo Dah Queen Parade Tryouts ~ Padasena

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Espiau’s ~ Claremont

Espiau’s Restaurante Y Cantina~ 109 Yale Ave. ~ Claremont

Classic little dive bar in Claremont that changes up the signage on the regular.


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