Beachwood BBQ of Seal Beach, rated as one of the Top 5 Beer Bars in America by Beer Advocate magazine, is opening a second location on the Promenade in downtown Long Beach on Tuesday, July 5. Beachwood BBQ and Brewing is easily one of the most anticipated openings in L.A.'s brief but suddenly brilliant craft beer scene.
Chef-owner Gabe Gordon has teamed up with home brewer Julian Shrago to add a brewpub with 90 barrels of fermentation space at the new Long Beach location. Shrago, an aerospace engineer whose IPA won gold at the National Homebrewers Conference and whose collaboration with Port Brewing, Imperial Panzer Pilsner, took home the silver at the Great American Beer Festival will produce eight year-round craft beers, a few "seasonals" and a few "special beers." Beachwood BBQ and Brewing will feature the same stellar list of 24 rotating guest taps as the original.
The original Beachwood, open since 2006, was one of the first bars to rotate every single tap when a keg blows. "This keeps a sense of excitement about the beer list and we never immediately repeat the same beer," says Gordon. Gordon designed his own high-tech panel system, which he jokingly calls "the Flux Capacitor," that dispenses the lines of beer such that he can set gas mixtures and pressures individually for each and every beer. This enables him to pour ales at 38 degrees but imperial stouts at 48 degrees.
At the new location, Gordon says he built "a walk-in within the walk-in so that 12 of our 36 handles can be poured at cellar temperatures if we desire." The beers are listed in chalk on individual placards on a wall that is available online or via phone application 24/7 via "The Hop Cam."
With the boom in craft beer popularity creating a supply/demand stress on some of the smaller craft brewers, Gordon and Shrago say they are "creating their own allocation" of great craft beer to augment what they already receive from other brewers. In addition to Shrago's aforementioned IPA, the initial Beachwood line up will feature Knucklehead Red, Foam Top Cream Ale, Uno Belgian Single Ale, and Kilgore Stout.
What's Gordon, a line cook since 16 and an executive chef since 22, put on the menu? North Carolina pulled pork sandwiches on pretzel bread, slow-smoked, dry-rubbed baby back ribs, beef short ribs, and sides like blue-cheese grits, collard greens, smoked asparagus and hush puppies.
Recently, Beachwood hosted a Russian River Brewing beer pairing dinner with brewer Vinnie Cilurzo. Cilurzo brews double IPA Pliny the Elder, the second-rated beer in the world by Beer Advocate, and highly rated sour beers like Consecration and Supplication. The coup to get him to Seal Beach from Santa Rosa spoke volumes about Beachwood's status as perhaps the best beer bar in California. You have a better chance of finding Pliny the Elder at Ralph's than you do of getting Cilurzo for a beer pairing dinner.