The Funk Comes to Long Beach: Beachwood Blendery Now Open On the Weekends
Those looking for beers with funk in Southern California just got a treat – a tasting room now open on the weekends. With funky sour beers on-tap regularly available, Beachwood Blendery is now open on the weekends. Located in Long Beach not far from the Long Beach location of Beachwood BBQ, Beachwood Blendery is focussed on making sour and wild ales.
While Beachwood Blendery has been open one weekend in November, December, and January, each for bottle releases, those searching for funky beers will now be able to regularly visit. Now, it will be open on an ongoing basis from 2pm until 9pm on Saturdays and noon-6pm on Sundays.
Beachwood Blendery is, according to the Beachwood website, making these tart beers using “ingredients, equipment and brewing methods that are both steeped in tradition and admittedly modern.” This combining of both tradition and new approaches will be accomplished by
The more traditional method employed will include the use of un-malted wheat, aged hops, a copper-lined koelschip placed in the rafters, spontaneous fermentation, used French oak wine barrels and puncheons.
The modern approach will create new-style sour beers using local water and non-traditional ingredients to make modern mashes which will be pitched with quantified yeast and bacteria, then fermented and aged in both steel and oak barrels.
Due to the longer time needed for the aging of sour beers – their “sour beers age in oak barrels for 9 months to 3 years” – the Blendery’s “vision of producing fruited and un-fruited lambic-style beers”, will end up in the Blendery releasing “these experiments in phases”:
The first year will see what will be called the “Propagation Series.” These beers will be made to test how the different yeasts and bacteria preform in the Beachwood Blendery environment. The results of these experiments will factor into what will become their signature lambic-style beers.
This opening weekend, there were eight beers on-tap, most of which were available for sale in bottles. Unlike most taprooms of breweries, there were no taster flights available. So, unfortunately, it is not cheap to try all, or even many, of their beers. Beers come poured in different sizes, depending upon the beer, in either 25CL, 30CL, or 33CL pours, all of which ranged between $4-6.
The beers on-tap were three variations of a Berliner Weisse (3.6% ABV) – rye (Propagation Series No. 004), rice (Propagation Series No. 064), and oats (Propagation Series No. 512) – as well as a spelt saison with Brettanomyces and Mosaic hops (5.4% ABV) (Propagation Series No. 128), Single Barrel Experiment Pineapple (6.4% ABV), Single Barrel Experiment Cranberry (6.4% ABV), Propagation Series No. 016 (6.4% ABV), a barrel-aged Saison with Brettanomyces, and Propagation Series No. 256 (6.4% ABV), a barrel-aged Saison with Brettanomyces and peppercorn.
Of these, I tried the Propagation Series Nos. 016 and 256, with both providing some wet horse blanket funkiness, especially some lovely funkiness on the nose.. With No. 016, I thought there were more noticeable tree fruits, although I think the 256 had a slightly more tartness.
The beers are served in really cool glassware for these pours, certainly setting them apart from any of the breweries around these parts. In addition to the beers, they were also serving a blood orange funkmosa and a sumo orange funkmosa, a beer version of a mimosa with either blood orange juice or sumo orange juice combined with Propagation Series No. 512.
The visual aesthetic of the space is comprised primarily of wood, giving it a contemporary, minimalist vibe. While the space was not too crowded, it was far from empty, making it possible to still find seats. It will be great to check out Beachwood Blendery for more sour beers here in Southern California!