Members of the Far Fighter 400, l-r: Bert Swafford, Jeff Roland, Devin Villegas, and Matthew Morgan.
Back in 2011, neighbors and homebrewers Bert Swafford, Kevin Muggivan, and Jeff Roland decided that “brewing by yourself sucks,” to quote Swafford. “It’s boring. Brewing together makes it fun — it’s like the difference between playing solitaire on a Friday night and playing poker with your friends.”
Matthew Morgan and Devin Villegas joined them and since all five hailed from the 400 block of Telemachus Street in Mid-City, they dubbed themselves “Far Fighter 400,” and the group is looking for more members who want to hang out and brew.
“It’s about friends getting together and having a good time,” says Swafford. The Far Fighter 400 club has no set monthly meetings, no dues, and no official mission statement, although their unofficial slogan is “more brewers, more beer, better world,” according to Morgan.
Earlier this month, the quintet introduced themselves and the club to a group of potential recruits at Treo
— owners Pauline and Stephen Patterson are supporters of the club, who are their neighbors and regular customers at their other establishment, Finn McCool’s
Although they don’t take themselves or brewing too seriously, the trash talking between the five during their brewing sessions got to the point where they decided to hold a competition to see who could back up their boasts with a blind tasting by their friends. They added a fundraising component, with the winner choosing which charity would get the money collected. Last year, they raised and donated $500 to the LA-SPCA.
The event has outgrown their yards, and the Pattersons have stepped up to offer Treo as the location for the 2015 competition, which will take place April 18.
The five homebrewers don’t want anyone to be intimidated. As Villegas says, “If you can make tea and wash dishes, you can brew beer.” Beginners who don't have their own equipment can use the club’s equipment on brew days. If interested, check out their Facebook group
. Future brew days will be announced there.