Thursday 24th May 2012
This was an interesting bar and restaurant, one in a chain of just two! When I entered I looked at the long bar and it was packed. Luckily I found a stand up space just off the end of the bar. I looked around for the beer menu prior to making my order and looked up to the wall behind me. There it was and it took the form of wooden chalk boards, each with a separate beer written upon it. I perused these carefully but became confused as, although there was a very commendable twenty-five different choices, there were none from the in-house brewery.
My dilemma was resolved when I spoke to a bartender and he pointed out even more boards hanging above the bar with all of the Beachwood beers listed. He also handed me a menu, simple really. There were a further eleven beers on offer. I was able to have a taster set of four beers and I picked the ones of the styles I like the most. There was a duo playing covers of songs from the first ten years of roll and roll and they provided a good background as I settled down to do some beer tasting.
I started with Alpha Waves Session IPA and that was pretty well what I got; a good bitter with a solid basic flavour yet with very little aftertaste. Next up was Forever Bitter, another good example of the style, well balanced between malt and hops. The Falcon was a very different beer as it was in the West Coast IPA style and was bursting with hop flavour. Having said that I must point out that it was over assertive, just normal, and had a smooth finish. Final sample was Alphamaster, again very hoppy with a slightly contradicting fruit / dry flavour; I liked it a lot. The other Beachwood beers were of many different styles.
However good these were I went for a guest beer for my final beer of the day. This pub commendably always offers one cask beer from its lone hand pump and on this evening it was Stone IPA No 7 (Centennial Hops), an experimental version of their well-known and popular IPA. It was absolutely sublime! I could have stayed till closing time, supping this superb beer and listening to the band, who incidentally used a real double bass, perfect for that genre of music.
There is an extensive terrace for al-fresco drinking should it get too crowded inside. Finally, Beachwood is a great pub, not least for its excellent selection of beers, its BBQ food which is highly regarded, and the general ambience of the place.
Beachwood BBQ and Brewing, 210E 3rd Street, Long Beach, CA. 90802. Tel: 562 436 4020
Open: Tuesday to Sunday 11.30-23.30. Monday: Closed.
The pub is within two blocks of all the local bus routes that serve the Long Beach area and is about the same distance from the Los Angeles Metro Blue Line station.