Monthly Archives: March 2018


Rock Star musician Dan Regan and Rock Star brewer Eric McLaughlin have teamed up for one of Long Beach’s most anticipated new watering holes, Liberation Brewing Company, opening on Atlantic Ave. in California Heights. You may have had a chance to meet this duo at the first annual Craft Beer LB Festival last September where they were pouring the “Some Day IPA,” their collaboration beer with Ten Mile. I, myself, recently sat down with them to chat about their brewery’s development.

“Everyone has their plan to build a brewery, or start a band, or become a DJ,” Dan said about starting this project. “You quickly learn how serious someone is when you say ‘let’s do it’.” When he met with the man who would become his business partner, and who was looking for a new venture, Dan was given the opportunity to show how serious he was about opening a brewery. He responded by handing over a carefully put together book of plans, which he had begun soon after retiring from Reel Big Fish, and the partnership was formed. After a few more years of paperwork and planning, Dan received the building’s keys during the summer of 2016 and construction began.

At the plans’ very earliest stages Dan knew he wanted no one else as his Head Brewer, having always been impressed by Eric’s “challenge accepted” attitude and “zen-like” working style. The two met through mutual friends nearly ten years ago and quickly realized their shared interest in beginning to home brew. “It was swiftly apparent that he was much better at it than I was,” Dan said about Eric’s first few batches. When Eric left his office job to begin working for Ohana Brewing in Alhambra, his work ethic earned him his way up the ladder to Assistant Brewer. His brewing skills quickly progressed to earn him his “award winning brewer” status while with Ohana, the official Head Brewer position for Liberation, and the opportunity to help Dan build his brewery from the ground up.

Liberation’s first beer line up will include the “Figure Eight Pale Ale,” the “Jack Rabbit IPA,” and the “Cyclone Racer DIPA.” Keeping true to LBC, all of their hoppy beers are named after the old roller coasters that were found at The Pike amusement park in Long Beach. They will also be brewing a “Mostly Harmless” Cream Ale, an “Autonomy” Amber Ale, and a “Kompromat” Brown Ale (all three of which are styles that Dan wasn’t initially excited to offer until Eric accepted his hesitance as a challenge and created recipes that Dan couldn’t help but fall in love with). Eventually they plan to add some other fun styles to their tap list like a Milk Stout, an Imperial Stout, and a Saison.

Their current goal is to begin opening to the public in April. To follow the progress of the final touches in the brew house and tap room, and to be the first to hear about the upcoming soft opening dates follow their Instagram: @liberationbrewing. To learn more about Dan and Eric’s beer journeys, you can also follow the Brewmance movie on Instagram: @brewmancemovie.


If you live (and/or drink) in Long Beach then you’ve probably heard of “Blackwell.”
Blackwell has been the Head Brewer for Belmont Brewing Company in Belmont Shore
for nearly nineteen years and in that time he has become extremely well known for his
consistency and quality of beers. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with him and
learn more about him.

He was born near Silicon Valley where his father worked and soon after his birth the
family moved to Louisiana (briefly) and then to Minnesota where he lived until joining
the Army at the age of eighteen. After his service he moved to Albuquerque to attend the
University of New Mexico in order to pursue a degree in Architecture, which eventually
turned into a degree in Political Science and Economics. It was during this time that his
college roommate turned him on to home brewing and, needless to say, he liked it and he
was good at it. The two friends both really enjoyed cooking and found the two hobbies to
be quite similar. “Brewing is a culinary art,” he said about it. “if you like to cook, and
you like beer, you might like to cook some beer.”

After earning his Masters, he happened upon an advertisement in the newspaper for New
Mexico Wineries Incorporated. The winery was holding open interviews nearby for a
Sales Rep. position, he went to the interview, and he got he job. During the year that he
worked for the winery he got to know the clients and shop managers and learned, through
those contacts, of a new brewery opening in the area: Kelly’s Brewery. Unfortunately for
Kelly’s their Head Brewer quit within days of the soft opening, and luckily for Blackwell
he happened to spontaneously stop by to introduce himself just twenty minutes after said
Head Brewer walked out. Some phone calls were made, some sampling of his home brew
occurred, and then Blackwell had his very first job as a Head Brewer.

A few years after starting at Kelly’s, a friend –who was brewing in L.A.– gave Blackwell
the contact information regarding a possible brewing job in Southern California and
Blackwell sent in his resume. As it turns out Belmont Brewing was also looking for a
brewer at that time and reached out to that same contact looking for recommendations
and they found Blackwell, hired him, and on April 4th 1999 he started work as Head
Brewer for Belmont Brewing Company.

He’s often asked what it takes to become a Head Brewer and he say’s (besides working
hard, being persistent, and being able to brew good beer) “You have to do something
really good in a past life, so if you didn’t already get that squared away…” I guess he did
square things up in his past life, and bringing his killer home brew to his job interviews
clearly didn’t hurt either. If you’re not already familiar with BBC beer, a great time to try
them out is during one of their near twice daily Happy Hours and be sure to try
Blackwell’s favorite BBC beer, the “Pale Ale” that is dry hopped with Citra Hops.


Extra! Extra! Read some more about it! Another crop of breweries are set to open in Long Beach during 2018! Steady Brew Co. is one such brewery that has taken Long Beach by storm with their first two beers already available in cans. They are currently building their taproom and new brewery location, which will be located on Spring St. and Clark Ave. near the airport.

Steady Brew Co. founders Robert, Dennis, and Aaron realized that they had something good when Dennis, who is an expert home brewer, made a batch of home brewed beer as client gifts for Robert’s fabrication company, Rock Steady (which is where the brewery gets it’s name). Their beer was a huge success and they decided to take that success to the next level. The three began to search for a place to contract brew, originally planning to have their product available only in cans. Although several local breweries wanted to be able to help, Steady Brew wasn’t able to find the right combination of circumstances for contract brewing until the fall of 2017 when they got a generous offer to brew out of Groundswell Brewing in San Diego. The Steady Brew team, being Long Beach local boys, whole heartedly want to have their beer made in Long Beach for Long Beach, so they agreed to accept the offer from Groundswell to get their beer brewing, and began the process of opening their own brewery in order to bring their brewing back to Long Beach.

Both the “Grasshopper” IPA and the “Thirsty Bird” Blonde Ale are available in cans at more than twenty Long Beach liquor stores and bottles shops including Corked at both the Atlantic Ave. and Stearns St. locations, The Bottle Shoppe on 2nd St., Hops & Vines Market on 3rd St., Liquor Land on Long Beach Blvd, and Belmont Heights Liquor on East Broadway. These two beers will continue to be available in cans when their new brewery opens and their taproom will offer a few new brews including the “Pump Jack” American Ale and the “Rocking Horse” Belgian Style Tripel.

Their taproom is opening in “Time Square” along with the Baja Sonora (which will be re-opening in April), the Creative Cakery’s new location (which is currently located on 2nd street and PCH), and there is rumor of a new Ramen restaurant moving in as well, all of which you’ll be able to enjoy in the Steady Brew taproom while you enjoy a freshly brewed beer. Be on the look out for all of these spots to be open by this summer!

Visit their website ( for an up-to-date map of bottle shops in Long Beach that offer their Blonde and IPA in cans and follow their Instagram (@steadybrewing) for construction updates and tasting events such as the tasting happening on Friday (3/02/18) at Happy’s Liquor located at Norse Way and N. Lakewood Blvd.