Aspiring brewery owner Dave Hodgins recently acquired some noteworthy fans.

Hodgins, who works in clean-energy financing in Los Angeles, is preparing to open a brewery with his wife, Vanda Ciceryova, in downtown near the Los Angeles River, appropriately called Dry River Brewing. He recently donated six kegs of his beer to a fundraiser for the L.A. River Revitalization Corp., a non-profit dedicated to returning the river to a clean and natural state. He’s agreed to share 1 percent of his beer profits with the group.

To his surprise, event attendees Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, and Harry B. Chandler, a photographer who’s descended from the famous Chandler family, became fans of the beer and chatted with him throughout the evening.

“Beer gives you something in common to talk about where you might otherwise be dumbstruck,” said Hodgins, 32. “You can go on and on with this common interest. Otherwise what do you talk to Harry Chandler about?”

Though he was delighted with his new fans, Hodgins was disappointed he couldn’t get another attendee, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, to try the beer.

“He’s gluten free so he didn’t drink any beer,” Hodgins said. “I was really bummed. But I shook his hand.”

Whole New Bowl Game

Every year when the Rose Bowl comes to town, Kathryn Schloessman, president of the L.A. Sports & Entertainment Commission, has to balance her personal fandom with what’s best for business.

Schloessman, 50, has been a USC fan practically from the crib – her mother was a homecoming queen at the school and her father the president of a fraternity. She graduated from USC in 1984 and even keeps a picture of current athletic director Pat Haden on her wall.

But as part of her job at the commission, she’s also a booster of the Jan. 1 Rose Bowl game – last month she was promoting it with a new celebrity golf tournament and social media campaigns. The game draws the top teams from the Pac-12 and Big 10 conferences, unless they are playing for the national championship in another bowl game.

Rather than pulling for USC to make the big game, she said she roots for other schools to bring out-of-town guests to Los Angeles and spend money on local hotel rooms and entertainment.

“It’s very counter to Trojan culture,” she said, “(but) I can sell my allegiance when it’s better for the city.”

Staff reporters Jacquelyn Ryan and Jonathan Polakoff contributed to this column. Page 3 is compiled by Editor Charles Crumpley. He can be reached at ccrumpley@labusinessjournal.com.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.