Beachwood Brewing (and BBQ)

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Before my visit to L.A., I did my research.  Given the opportunity to visit some West Coast breweries, which should I choose?  Thus, Beer Advocate to the rescue, with related grades for breweries and their beers.  Located somewhat between where I was and where I was going, was Beachwood Brewing, located in a very commercial area of Long Beach.  It rates a very impressive 99%.  Please note the fresh California rain, a rarity in July.

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And… this also where I note that I failed to actually take any pictures of the sampled beers.  For one, beer “flights” aren’t necessarily photogenic.  Secondly, I had been at the beach and was thirsty, so it didn’t occur to me until later.  And, thirdly, there was good company at the bar.  Oh, and many options.

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This is also a restaurant, and I’m pleased to say that the BBQ, while a pale imitation of southern BBQ, was suitable, and on relative scales, their beer was even better.

The lineup included the LBC IPA (drinkable, but ordinary), Amalgamator American IPA (an improvement – 93 rating), Hop Jitsu American IPA (a step up in the right direction), Hop Ninja Double IPA (yet another step forward – 91 rating), Denver Jackhammer Double IPA (a leap in the right direction) and Beer of the Dragon Double Red Ale (the surprise of the bunch).  The ones listed without ratings are apparently rather new and with limited availability, exactly the type of experience for which a craft beer lover hopes.  All of this means little to non-beer drinkers, but for each of the styles, these were overall an excellent set.  The Red Ale surprised as it had the hops I liked but also balanced with malts.  For a 9.6% ABV drink, it’s surprisingly easy to enjoy.  It’s a good thing I was doing samples, as all of these were 7% and higher.

Behind the bar was this contraption, which they’ve apparently sold to other breweries.  It allows them to individually pressurize kegs remotely.  Patent pending, I’d guess.

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Otherwise, the visit was notable for two other guys, one from Utah and one from Lilburn, GA, another suburb of Atlanta.  Both were in town on business and were no strangers to craft beer.  We made plans to meet later in the week at another brewery, which is another post!  I managed to bring home a bottle of their Hopernicus IPA, as yet untasted (and unrated).  Given the opportunity and even with other breweries to try, I’d revisit Beachwood happily.  They have other less hoppy beers left untried.

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