I’m in California this week visiting my best friends, Nikki and Paul. They recently moved to Huntington Beach, a community about 45 minutes outside of LA. While researching fun activities for my visit, Nikki discovered a brewery only a mile from their apartment!
On Tuesday, after a relaxing morning watching surfers take on the huge Pacific Ocean waves, we visited Beach City Brewery. At first glance the space seems pretty bare bones; it’s in a warehouse and has concrete floors, wooden picnic tables, and exposed brew tanks. However, the brewery’s subtle accents come together to create a funky, comfortable atmosphere. Photographs by local artists are for sale on the walls, their draft selections are scrawled in vibrant colors on dark planks of wood that hang behind the bar, and a steady stream of good music had us tapping our feet from the moment we arrived. They even got into the Halloween spirit with a BCB pumpkin!
Upon arriving we were greeted by the news that they’ll be doubling their number of taps from 8 to 16 later this week. (I guess we’ll just have to make another trip before I leave!) I ordered a flight of four 5 oz pours: the Dat Lupe Doe DIPA, the Pumpkin Ale, the Sweet Crude Stout, and the Ruski Noir. My friend Matt skipped the DIPA and the Ruski and tried the Pierside Pils and the Overcast Summer Wheat instead, and our DD Nikki chose just the pumpkin and summer wheat.
I was really impressed by the Dat Lupe Doe DIPA. It’s balanced, but just a tad on the hoppy side, and despite being 9.5% is still very drinkable. It was the winner of the afternoon for me.
Matt and I also enjoyed the Sweet Crude Stout, BCB’s highest rated beer on Beer Advocate. It has a noticeable coffee flavor that lingers a bit on the palate, and is smooth and slightly milky. Despite the almost 80 degree weather it still managed to be refreshing. Nikki’s favorites were the light, citrusy Overcast Summer Wheat and the PCH Pale Ale, which also has a strong citrus presence.
Beach City Brewery truly has the feel-good, comforting, ambiance of a neighborhood bar. A table of regulars brought in pizza and chatted and laughed with the staff. A lone patron came in wearing a hockey jersey and the TV was immediately turned to the San Jose/Washington match. One of the bartenders brought over complimentary pours of the pale ale for Nikki and Matt, and refilled my glass of Ruski Noir. It’s the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon drinking good beer and having tipsy conversations about life with your best friends.
Thanks, Beach City, for getting my trip to Cali off to such a great start! We’re headed to San Diego (IPA Mecca!) today. Stay tuned!