Southern California craft beer staple Beachwood Brewing is adding to its fleet of spaces, opening the new Beachwood Brewing & Distilling on Saturday, August 20. The new 24-tap tasting room and spirits distillery sits in the Bixby Knolls area of Long Beach at 3630 Atlantic Avenue, housed inside the former location of the now-shuttered Liberation Brewing. Really though, this new distillery space is just one part of a big new plan to expand beyond beer for Beachwood.
The group’s new tasting room will offer small-batch limited craft beers brewed on site, as well as Lambic-style brews from the Beachwood Blendery, and west coast IPA favorites from the company’s existing brewing facility in Huntington Beach. That’s a lot of craft beer for the brew-craving Long Beach area, but it’s the distillery operation that is really raising eyebrows. Once fully operational, it will make Beachwood not only one of just a few distillers in Long Beach, but it also places the operation into an even more elite club of brewers going down the path of craft cocktails.
“Distillation is something that we have talked about doing for years,” says Beachwood owner Gabriel Gordon in a press release. The focus will be to craft locally made vodkas, gins, and rums at the facility, as well as mixers including tonics, ginger beers, and bitters. “The Blendery has honed our ability to work with all kinds of fruits, herbs, and spices, as well as [fine tuning] our blending skills.”
The new Atlantic distillery and tasting room is a bright, open space with industrial polished concrete floors and exposed ducts. Twenty-four trophy-handle taps line the tiled wall behind an orange accented cinderblock bar. Natural wood tables with safety-cone colored chairs fill the room, along with high-top tables, each seat offering a clear view of the action going on behind the scenes.
Gordon and partner Lena Perelman first launched the powerhouse business back in 2006, with the intention of bridging the gap between LA’s growing and San Diego’s prodigious craft beer scene. Since then the group has scored countless beer awards and accolades, and has worked to offer other options as well, including (for a time) barbecue. While their Main Street facility in Seal Beach was popular with beachgoers for a time, it ultimately closed in 2020 as a result of the pandemic.
In 2011 Beachwood Brewing opened its first brewpub on the promenade in Long Beach, and in 2014 the group the Beachwood Blendery, a small-batch Belgian-style Lambic-inspired brewery filled with oak barrels for aging. They also operate an outdoor tasting room at the Steelcraft food hall in Orange County’s Garden Grove.
All told, Beachwood is now in possession of a Long Beach distillery, the barrel-aging space, a distribution brewery in Huntington Beach, and the brewpub on the promenade. There are plans in the coming months to push even further, adding a second outdoor tasting space at the upscale waterside shopping hub 2nd & PCH, which is already home to some of the area’s most prominent culinary names like star chef Michael Mina. And if that weren’t enough, look for Beachwood to grow into Huntington Beach with a standalone pizzeria and pub down the line. The Warner Avenue space will be led by chef Waldo Stout, who has done stints at Little Coyote, Bestia, Gjusta Bakery, Roberta’s, and Bavel. And while there won’t be any brewing on-site for the forthcoming New York-style pizzeria, the restaurant will be milling its own flour utilizing yeast strains from the Blendery, and creating a custom pH and mineral balance of water at the breweries for dough fermentation to create a signature crust.
Sixteen years on, it seems that Beachwood is eager to expand beyond the borders of traditional craft beer to offer a bit more to eat, drink, and do along the water.