It's remarkable that at a gastropub offering Russian River, Ballast Point, AleSmith and other delectable beverage varieties, the most tasty of brews at Beachwood BBQ may have been the house beers.
Image courtesy http://thefullpint.com
Beachwood BBQ only disappointed in that I left my beloved knit cap there after an entertaining night, and now find myself some 3,000 miles separated from that hat. And, worse, from the inviting atmosphere at Beachwood.
During a recent work trip to California, I visited the Long Beach location of Beachwood BBQ twice. The first occasion was not intentional. In fact, I was ignorant of Beachwood until, really, entering its cozy, but modern establishment.
My original destination that first night was the mostly disappointing Congregation Ale House next door. The second visit was upon the recommendation of co-workers, both of whom not only knew more about beer than I, but certainly knew more about the local beer scene.
And they raved about this place. And also about Beachwood BBQ's original location in Seal Beach.
As a native East Coaster, it would be simple to indicate that the highlight of the Beachwood BBQ experience was the opportunity to enjoy the near-Holy Grail status beer provided by Russian River. But, truthfully, the beer was second to the service, which was tremendous.
It was clear that all members of the staff retained an intimate knowledge of beer. They were happy to share of that wisdom. And of beer, with samples handed out liberally.
So happily welcoming. A laid-back southern California vibe, enveloped in hip, simple, mostly metallic decor.
But about that beer selection? Yeah, it was excellent. The number of taps was not overwhelming, but expertly chosen. Should you not believe me, see for yourself. A web cam highlights Beachwood's present selection.
Again, the impression most deeply ingrained was, surprisingly not of the delightful libations, but of the congenial service.
During both visits, staff entertained my beer-focused discussion with genuine enthusiasm. Clearly, Beachwood BBQ was a place where my passion for craft beer was shared.
As amazing as the beer was, and it was, the memories now are warming because of the inviting atmosphere and the easy welcome received at Beachwood BBQ. From hostess to barkeep to server, all of Beachwood's crew made certain that my reflections will always be positive.
Alas, the beer was excellent, especially the house-crafted brews, for which I offer sincere kudos to the Beachwood BBQ brewer. All versions of their I.P.A.s (of which there were at least two), the house Saison, and the milk stout were particularly delectable. And, from my understanding, award-winning.
It is with the utmost sincerity that I admit Beachwood BBQ's Hop Jitsu IPA impressed as much as the Russian River brew I had during the same visit. That's distinguished company for a local beer.
Clearly, Beachwood BBQ receives my highest recommendation. It's a few taps short of five stars. But TheCraftBeerGuru.com offers it 4.5 (out of a possible 5) stars.