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Here’s the Intel on Six New Breweries Opening in Southern California This Year

Long Beach and Orange County’s craft beer explosion continues with a lot more home grown brands

Left Coast Brewing Co.
Left Coast Brewing
Left Coast Brewing Co.
Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

Six breweries are on track to open in Long Beach and Orange County in the next six months, which is a massive boom for an area already rich with craft beer production. These forthcoming breweries aren’t the only ones getting in on Southern California’s beer expansion, as Long Beach’s Liberation Brewing Company spiked its taps for the first time in April.

Many are first-time brewery owners, some are expansions, and others took advantage of a 2015 zoning amendment that made it far easier to open a brewery within Long Beach city limits. Here are six breweries to keep an eye on in the coming year in Long Beach, Tustin, Irvine, and Bellflower.

Ambitious Ales

Ambitious Ales started construction in April, is scheduled to start brewing in August, and hopes to open in October. Partners Juan Carrillo, Garrett Carroll, Jon Cuthbert, Jerome De Leon started home brewing six years ago. The crew developed a following and received feedback from their communities before finding investors. After initially looking at an Anaheim location, the four settled into the cozy Bixby Knolls neighborhood in Long Beach.

Ambitious Ales
Ambitious Ales
Garrett Carroll

Flash forward to 2018, and Ambitious Ales is taking shape inside the former Tuttles Camera, which was built in the 1930s. The partners are not outsourcing the construction, as Cuthbert already is a general contractor. With 3,600 square feet, Ambitious Ales will ultimately house a ten barrel brew house, a tasting room, and a patio. They won’t operate a kitchen, but with the Bixby Point shopping area directly across the street, there are plenty of food options available nearby. The property has plenty of space to host food trucks, or even future pop-ups.

Ambitious Ales. 4019 Atlantic Avenue, Long Beach, CA

Left Coast Brewing Co.

Left Coast Brewing Co.
Left Coast Brewing Co.
Left Coast Brewing Co.

Irvine’s newest brewery is the San Clemente-based Left Coast Brewing Co. The Orange County Register reported that the 5,300 square foot location opened on July 11 with a dog-friendly patio and Kansas City-inspired menu. Executive Chef Jason Tsiames cranks out three types of mac and cheese, pulled pork, cornbread, sliders, chili, and spends 75 hours slow-smoking brisket. And while triple IPAs and ales rule the tasting room, the Left Coast crew plans to distill spirits on site as well.

Left Coast Brewing. Sand Canyon Plaza, 6652 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine, CA

Steady Brew Beer

On July 21, the Steady Brew Beer Co. opens near the airport in East Long Beach. Partners Robert Booth, Aaron Henderson, and Dennis Russo already have a presence in the craft beer market, as local markets, bars and restaurants began selling Steady Brew Beer in January. According to the Long Beach Press Telegram, the trio opted for a 39-person tasting room with six beers on tap to expand their reach. Steady Brew Beer Co. will serve a neighborhood lacking in local beer options.

Steady Brew Beer. 2936 Clark Avenue, Long Beach, CA

Ten Mile Brewing at Steelcraft Bellflower

Steelcraft’s container park model proved to be successful enough where the company broke ground at upcoming locations in Bellflower and Garden Grove this year. As the only brewery tenant at Steelcraft Bellflower, beer lovers will be able to grab a pint and enjoy it in the massive outdoor dining area with a sandwich from Neal Fraser’s Fritzi Coop, or something sweet from Long Beach Creamery.

The original Ten Mile Brewing opened in September as Signal Hill’s first neighborhood brewery. They claim to have a type of beer for everyone, so while the blondes and IPAs will be familiar, the more adventurous beers include a pre-prohibition inspired Kentucky Common, and barrel-aged beers. Both Steelcrafts will open in fall 2018.

Taps Brewery & Barrel Room in Tustin

Joe Manzella opened the first Taps Brewery and Barrel Rooms in Brea in 1999, and now the fourth location heads for Tustin on July 23. The Orange County Register covered the new 19,000-square-foot brewery and tasting room’s opening. The new location will be the production facility for his restaurants, and plans to brew 5,000 barrels this year, with a goal of 25,000 in the future.

Manzella has TVs and pool tables, but also brought in pinball machines and video games to up the appeal. Meanwhile, chef Roman Jimenez will oversee a daily Taps food truck outside, selling everything from bulgogi fries to burgers.

Taps Brewery & Barrel Room. 15501 Red Hill Avenue, Tustin, CA

Trademark Brewing

Ilana and Sterling Steffen secured Trademark Brewing’s 20,000 square foot space earlier this year. The first-time brewery owners created a storefront facade, and the brewery will showcase a 3,000 square feet tasting room that overlooks the manufacturing area. The two mezzanines that will eventually host private events, an extra tasting room, or potentially an arcade with a bar.

Trademark Brewing
Trademark Brewing rendering

Just like most of the other new breweries opening this year in Southern California, Trademark Brewing has no full kitchen, with a large area dedicated to food trucks. When ready to order beer, Trademark Brewing has an easy way to figure out what’s best for any imbiber. The first menu will be dedicated to hoppy palates; the second mostly German, Belgian, and French; and the last to sour and barrel aged beers. The opening is scheduled for late 2018.

Trademark Brewing. 233 East Anaheim Street, Long Beach, CA

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