Founded as a unique collision of barbecue restaurateurs and an up and coming brewer, the continued growth of Beachwood BBQ-Brewing-Blendery has resulted in them successfully balancing the art and science of experimentation and drinkability.
The original Beachwood BBQ location in Seal Beach, California was founded in 2006 by the husband and wife team of Gabe Gordon and Lena Perelman. Their unique, groundbreaking location featured a custom draft system with groundbreaking processes and technologies, including the regular rotation of draft taps, as well as temperature and pressure controlled draft lines (known as the “Flux Capacitor”) allowing for adaptability to each beer-style on draft.
The other co-founder of what became Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, is Julian Shrago. Helming the brewery as Brewmaster, Shrago started homebrewing in the mid-90’s in Santa Barbara, later joining the Long Beach Homebrewers in the 2000’s. Shrago further burnished his brewing credentials by working with brewer friends at a number of Pizza Port locations – including the creation of Tovarish Russian Imperial Stout (still brewed today at Beachwood), working with Triple Rock Brewing in Berkeley, as well as Port Brewing, where he created Panzer Pilsner which netted the brewery a silver at GABF in 2010.
With Julian having frequented Gabe and Lena’s Beachwood BBQ, becoming friends after it’s opening, they decided to partner up, enabling the BBQ’s expansion of operations and affording Julian the opportunity to become a full-time brewer and co-owner. The much anticipated opening of Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in 2011 eventually allowed Julian to quit his day job as an aerospace engineer a year later, focusing his attention on manifesting his own flavors and a natural inclination toward experimentation.
Right out of the gate, Beachwood BBQ & Brewing was awarded two medals at the Great American Beer Festival in 2012, following up with 5 medals and Mid-Sized Brewery of the Year in 2013, then Large Brewpub of the year in 2014 with 2 more medals. Not long after, the brewery created another location a block away, specialized solely in barrel-aging, the Beachwood Blendery. This new off-shoot enabled even further experimentation for Shrago, specifically within the realm of spontaneous fermentation and blending Lambic-inspired Wild Ales.
Soon after, in 2016, Beachwood Brewing opened a larger production facility and taproom in nearby Huntington Beach, affording them the opportunity to package and self-distribute even more of their beer. That same year they were awarded 3 more medals and Large Brewpub of the Year at the World Beer Cup. Later, in 2018, as the brewery continued to grow, they linked up with Stone Distributors, enabling them to further expand the footprint and availability of their brands in California. And while 2019 saw the brewery open their 4th location at SteelCraft in Garden Grove, in 2020, the venerable original Beachwood BBQ location in Seal Beach was forced to close due to the prolonged pandemic.
In all, between their success at GABF where they’ve garnered 18 medals, then winning 9 medals at the World Beer Cup, Beachwood has won at least one medal every year they’ve entered beers in these two competitions, since they opened in 2011. Since that time, both arms of the brewery have created over 570 unique beers, specializing in West Coast IPAs, Coffee + Milk Stouts, Imperial Stouts, and Lambic-inspired mixed fermentation Ales.
They’ll be celebrating their 10th Anniversary next week and have been working with Day One Distribution for almost 4 years. So we’re extra excited to have received one of the largest shipments of their beers to Oregon ever! We’ve received 5 different cans and 6 draft options from Beachwood Brewing, as well as 3 bottles and 3 draft options from Beachwood Blendery, now available throughout the state:
- Amalgamator ~ West Coast IPA ~ a dynamic West Coast-style India Pale Ale that’s delightfully light in body and bursting with unique aromas and flavors. A massive dry hop charge of Mosaic hops lays down an aromatic amalgam of passion fruit, blueberry, dank resin, and citrus notes ~ 7.1%. Available in 16oz cans and on draft.
- Citraholic ~ West Coast IPA ~ a “modern” West Coast-Style IPA that’s focused on Citra, one of our favorite new American hop varieties. Brewed with an abundance of Citra hops, we also blend in Warrior, Columbus, and Simcoe in the kettle for good measure. Citraholic is double dry hopped for two weeks with an abundance of Citra (and a touch of Columbus) imparting heavy aromas of citrus & tropical fruits with melon and gooseberry nuances. A base of American 2-row malt and scatterings of light British caramel malt create the perfect foundation for this unique and powerfully pungent IPA ~ 7.1%. Available in 16oz cans and on draft.
- Funk Yeah (2019) ~ Gueuze-inspired Ale ~ blended once each year using carefully selected barrels ranging from 1 to 3+ years old. Made with house culture, spontaneous beer and wort that was in the coolship and then pitched into to find the perfect blend of acidity and character. Funk Yeah 2019 is the second blend. Over an entire week around 100 barrels and several puncheons were tasted through and narrowed down to less than 10. The final beer is a blend of barrels ranging from 15 to 43 months old and 27 months average age and showcases the best of our barrels. These choice barrels and decisive blending created a beer that has amazing depth,complexity and drinkability. The aroma is deep with funky earthy tones and a slight salinity. On the first sip soft acidity carries the aroma forward with earthy aged hops, slight stone fruit character along with a sense of nuance and age. It finishes dry with a pleasant but slight lingering acidity and a touch of oak ~ 6.5%. Available on draft, limited.
- Funk Yeah Apricot (2019) ~ Gueuze-inspired Ale with Apricots ~ our Gueuze-inspired beer that is re-fermented with apricots. We carefully selected 1, 2, and 3-year-old barrels inoculated with our culture and a few barrels from our spontaneous program to find the perfect blend of acidity and character. California-grown apricots are added at the very peak of ripeness to re-ferment and preserve the best qualities of the apricots. Vibrant yellow in color with lacing foam brings you into bright, deep, and intense apricot aromas with underlying earthy funk. Sweet, juicy, mouthwatering apricot upfront finishes dry with hints of aged hops and funk in the finish ~ 6.2%. Available on draft, limited.
- Funk Yeah Boysenberry (2019) ~ Gueuze-inspired Ale with Boysenberries ~ a carefully selected blend of one, two, and three-year-old barrels re-fermented on boysenberries. We selected barrels that would stand up to the intense jammy character of boysenberries and fruited at a slightly lower rate to maintain a balance. Flavors of jammy boysenberry, balanced acidity, funk, aged hops, and an oaky vinous finish ~ 6.5%. Available on draft, limited.
- Funk Yeah (2020) ~ Gueuze-inspired Ale ~ Funk Yeah is our Gueuze-inspired beer that is blended once each year using carefully selected barrels ranging from 1 to 3+ years old. We hold nothing back to make this blend each year using beer made with a house culture, spontaneous beer, and wort that was in the coolship and then pitched into to find the perfect blend of acidity and character ~ 6.5%. Available in 500ml bottles, limited.
- Funk Yeah Boysenberry (2020) ~ Gueuze-inspired Ale with Boysenberries ~ a carefully selected blend of one, two, and three-year-old barrels re-fermented on boysenberries. We selected barrels that would stand up to the intense jammy character of boysenberries and fruited at a slightly lower rate to maintain a balance. Flavors of jammy boysenberry, balanced acidity, funk, aged hops, and an oaky vinous finish ~ 6.5%. Available in 500ml bottles, limited.
- Funk Yeah Nectarine (2020) ~ Gueuze-inspired Ale with Nectarines ~ a carefully selected blend of one, two, and three-year-old barrels re-fermented on nectarines. We selected barrels that would stand up to the intense stone fruit character of nectarines and fruited at a slightly lower rate to maintain a balance. Flavors of ripe nectarines, balanced acidity, funk, aged hops, and an oaky vinous finish ~ 6.5%. Available in 500ml bottles, limited.
- Hayabusa ~ Japanese-style Lager ~ an ultra-crisp and refreshing Japanese-style lager made with American barley, Canadian pilsner, toasted flaked rice and German Hallertau Mittelfruh hops ~ 5.3%. Available in 12oz cans and limited draft.
- Natural Born Shredder ~ West Coast IPA collaboration with Highland Park Brewing ~ This is a full-blown West Coast-style IPA that’s ready to rock and fully shred! Features American 2-row and North Star Pils malts, plus Citra, Chinook, and Centennial hops ~ 7.1%. Available in 16oz cans and limited draft.
- Party Sequence (Plum & Nectarine) ~ Tart Blonde Ale with Plum and Nectarine ~ 5.5%. Available in 12oz Cans.
- System of a Stout (2020) ~ Imperial Coffee Stout ~ an imperial stout infused with all the traditional ingredients of a savory cup of Armenian coffee: cardamom, molasses, coffee (of course), and brandy. In the kettle, the beer is lightly dosed with green cardamom for exotic spice notes. Molasses adds a richness that seamlessly blends in. The finished beer was then aged for several days masterfully roasted coffee from Portola Coffee Lab in Costa Mesa. The beer was then aged for several weeks on Armenian brandy-soaked oak chips for yet another dimension of flavors and aromas ~ 11.2%. Available on draft, limited.
- Vanilla System of a Stout (2020) ~ Imperial Coffee Stout ~ is inspired by a traditional cup of Armenian coffee. This rich stout is brewed with molasses, vanilla and cardamom, then aged on coffee from Portola Coffee Roasters and oak chips ~ 11.2%. Available on Draft, limited.
Content for this article sourced from Beachwood Brewing, The Full Pint Podcast – Julian Shrago, Food GPS, BeerAdvocate, LA Weekly, LA Eater – Huntington Beach, LA Eater – SteelCraft.