Laura Bos

BREWMANCE MOVIE

Christo Brock, the writer and director of “Touch the Wall” (a documentary following two swimming superstars on their journey to the 2012 Olympic Games), is directing a new film: Brewmance. The Brewmance movie is about home brewing and the craft beer industry in America and it will focus on the opening of two of Long Beach’s newest breweries!

“Craft beer is a community of sharing and supporting,” Christo said about what impresses him most about the subject. “In some ways craft beer epitomizes all that is great about America. It’s about innovation. It’s about outside-of-the-box thinking. It’s that ‘can do’ spirit.”

The project began when Christo’s friend, who is a member of the Culver City based home brew club Pacific Gravity, told Christo about the club. Specifically, he told Christo that during the meetings the club members share their home brew with each other, offer feedback, share recipes, and generally provide each other with friendship and support. At that point Christo was starting to work on a film about wine but felt more drawn to the supportive community that he saw in the craft beer world. “Besides,” he told me, “craft beer is a more ‘American’ subject.” And thus, the Brewmance movie was born.

The filming of Brewmance officially started with a visit to the Long Beach Homebrewers Club in September of 2016. At that meeting Christo met Dan and Jessie Sundstrom of Ten Mile who were at that time a year away from their opening. The Sundstroms introduced Christo to Dan Reagan of Liberation Brewing and with that the pieces fell into place and the two breweries became the focus of the film.

Brewmance follows the progress of Ten Mile and Liberation from the early stages of their development to their opening day, as well as features interviews with many iconic and important figures in the brewing world discussing development of craft beer in America. Some of the interviewees include Charlie Papazian (founder of the Homebrewers Association), Chris White (of White Labs), and Ken Grossman (founder of Sierra Nevada). Even our very own Robert Garcia, Mayor of Long Beach, speaks with Christo.

Christo and his crew have traveled all over the country to bring to us an all-encompassing understanding of the development of the craft beer industry. Filming will soon come to completion here in Long Beach when Liberation Brewing opens for business later this month. A Kickstarter campaign will begin when the film is ready for editing. When the film is complete it will be offered as a “screening on demand,” which will allow for fans to build-their-own showing.

For updates about the Brewmance movie and some fun sneak peaks, follow their Instagram (@brewmancemovie). For Kickstarter information (when that time comes), other film information, and to learn more about Christo and his film team visit their website (www.brewmancemovie.com). Also, “Touch the Wall” is available to view on Netflix.

MEET A HOME BREWER: STEVE FAULKNER

Shaul (Steve) Faulkner is the Long Beach Homebrew Club’s “Home Brewer of the Year” for 2017, winning the most in-club competitions against other members last year. He has now been home brewing for five years and has been a member of the LBHBC for nearly four years.

He wasn’t much of a beer drinker before he started home brewing, not much liking the flavor of big commercial beers. When a friend invited him to join in for a brew day, they decided to brew an Amber, which was one style that Steve knew he did enjoy. The beer turned out great and Steve realized that he really enjoyed brewing!

“I remember the exact moment I realized that I could really get into brewing and enjoying beer,” Steve told me. “It was the first bittering hop addition in that first batch. It was the change from the sweet, malty aroma to the hopped wort. Just smelling the change in the aroma flipped a switch in my brain and I realized ‘I can make beer that I like to drink.’ After that I was excited about brewing and started reading and watching videos, just trying to learn as much as I could to make great beer.”

Steve’s favorite and most successful batches have been his own original recipes. For his first original recipe he decided to do a little experimenting. On his 38th birthday he went to a home brew shop and tasted all of the grains and picked out his four favorite, which turned the recipe into a porter, and it tasted great! This recipe is now called the 38 Special Porter. It was the first beer that he entered into a home brew competition, which was the “Pints and Knights” competition hosted by the Knights of Columbus, and it won 1st place. He has now entered more competitions that he can keep track of and most recently won 1st place each for his Biere de Garde and for his Flanders Red at the 30th Annual Southern California Regional Homebrew Championship last year.

“The reason I am so proud of these beers is that it affirmed the confidence I had as a craft beer brewer,” Steve said about entering his original recipes into competitions. “The idea that drives me in brewing is that I now have a good palette and that if I like the way my beers taste there will be others that like it as well. Entering beers into competition is the best way to get that sort of confirmation.”

The Long Beach Home Brew Club meets at Stein Fillers on the second Tuesday of every month. For more information about the club meetings and events, check out their website (www.longbeachhomebrewers.com) and follow their Instagram (@longbeachhomebrewers).

LIBERATION BREWING COMPANY

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.

MEET THE BREWER: BLACKWELL

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.

STEADY BREW BEER CO

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 (steadybrewing.com) 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.

Dutch’s Brewhouse

Dutch’s Brewhouse, owned and run by Jason “Dutch” Van Fleet, is located on Atlantic Blvd. in Bixby Knolls. As of their opening in October of 2016 it is the first “Brew on Premise” Brewhouse in this area. They have a great variety of rotating craft beer on tap, which will soon include their own original house brews, and they offer a delicious menu of pizzas, sandwiches, and more.

Being a “Brew on Premise” establishment means that the brewing equipment is available to buy a time slot with which to brew your very own craft beer right there in their brew house. Everything will be included in your brew day from start to finish, you just need to pick your favorite from over twenty original recipes and get started! The process takes between two to three hours, is recommended for up to four brewers, and costs between $255-$300 for 15 gallons of freshly brewed beer.

When the brewing is finished for the day, your beer will be fermented there at Dutch’s in a temperature-controlled space. When the beer is ready it will be filtered, carbonated, and kegged by Dutch’s brew team and you will go back for your second session to bottle it yourself. The bottles are included in the initial price and will be sanitized on-site in preparation for bottling. Once your beer has been bottled and labeled (yes, even your custom labels will be provided) it will be ready for you to take home and enjoy!

At the end of your brew day you won’t have to go far for your lunch and a pint on tap. Their rotating craft beer taps include many local Southern California brews as well as some favorites from farther away. Their ever growing menu, originally created by Frank DeLoach and prepared daily by Head Chef Brandon Lobenfeld, offers tasty appetizers, salads, and their widely praised pizzas. Currently, their menu includes specialties, such as a Frito pie (Fritos smothered in Texas chili, cheese, sour cream, onions and jalapeños), the “Brewhouse” salad (Arugula severed with bacon, blue cheese, marinated tomatoes, and red wine vinaigrette), the “Little Fidel” sandwich (with roasted pork, honey ham, dill pickles, mustard, Swiss cheese, and mojo verde), and “The Cheesus” sandwich (with melted sharp Cheddar, Provolone, smoked Mozzarella & Fontina cheeses!—Did your mouth just water? Mine did…).

All that deliciousness and we haven’t even talked pizza yet… There are currently nine different pizzas to choose from including: “The Huntsman” (with Crimini mushroom, garlic, rosemary, roasted potato, egg, and Fontina, Mozzarella & Parmesan cheeses), the “Dirty Bird” (with beer chicken, BBQ sauce, charred pineapple, pickled chilies, grilled onions, cilantro, Mozzarella cheese, and Ranch dressing), and a Chef Brandon original, the “Burgggzzzaaa” (with ground beef, tomato, red onion, house pickles, Cheddar & American cheeses, and a burger spread). If you can’t decide on which of these amazing pizzas to order, just order two (I’ve done it, and there’s no shame in my game!).

Just to spice things up even further, Dutch’s hosts frequent live musicians, and special events including a recent “Big Ass Friday” which boasted several big and dark beers on tap, an annual holiday Festivus Party, and on Tuesdays they offer a beer and taco combo special. This is the perfect place for a date night, a family Sunday-Funday, or really just any day that you want some great craft beer and amazing pizza! It’s also the only place to get your official Craft Beer LB caps, by the way. Visit their website for even more information about brewing your very own beer (or soda!) and to book your brew session. To keep up with Dutch’s rotating tap list and their special events, check out their Instagram @dutchsbrewhouse.

DutchsBrewHouse.com
4244 Atlantic Avenue
Long Beach, California 90807
562-336-1326

Photos stolen from Dutch’s Brewhouse Facebook & Instagram

Long Beach Beer Lab

Husband and wife team Levi Fried and Harmony Sage are the brains (and heart) behind Long Beach Beer Lab, a brewery and bakery in the Wrigley District of Long Beach. For this venture they have combined their knowledge and passion to create a one-of-a-kind brewery experience. Although the brewery opened only this past fall of 2017, this fermentation collaboration has been many years in the making.

Levi and Harmony were lovers of craft beer long before it was as popular and plentiful as it is today. Levi began to homebrew as a way to keep craft beer in their lives when they moved to Israel for his medical school, his formal training having focused on biochemistry and pharmaceuticals. Harmony, a classically trained French Pastry Chef, has been baking her whole life, starting at home with her family, so deciding to go to culinary school as an adult was a natural choice. With baking and brewing having so many similarities, it was easy for them to share and combine their interests. As they each learned and improved they even hosted their own homebrew beer pairing dinners for their friends and family.

Today, their collaboration projects have grown to impressive heights. Recently, Harmony made sourdough loaves using their house milled pilsner malts, then Levi used that sourdough and sourdough starter in the mash for the Rye Not?!? (a Kvass inspired Rye Table Farmhouse Ale), and now Harmony has used that beer to make more bread! These are the kinds of special details that make everything brewed and baked by Long Beach Beer Lab so exciting.

Their vegetarian/vegan menu— described by Harmony as “Mediterranean inspired food that is California fresh and wholesome” —offers sourdough pizzas that are made-to-order, fresh donuts with specially made jam, vegan salads, paninis, veggie boxes, and of course fresh loaves and baguettes are made daily. They sell crackers, humus, and roasted nuts that are all house made as well (you should begin to see a pattern by this point). This amazing menu is always growing and changing with availability of locally grown products.

On their current tap list you’ll find a New England/West Coast hybrid IPA (Lb 4.20), a Gose with Calamansi Limes (There She Gose), a Saison with Meyer Lemons (Bier D’Agrumes), and a Coffee Cream Ale on nitro (To Blave). At the moment there is a Red Ale, a Golden Ale and a batch of Milk The Mustache in barrels, and soon the Imperial Hoppy Harmony will be finding it’s way into bourbon barrels! Milk The Musque, Needs More Cherries, and Pinot In My Mouth are bottle conditioning and the Bro.Obscurite is in bottles and available for purchase in the taproom.

On Valentine’s Day they will release a special pairing: a Pomegranate and Hibiscus Saison paired with a chocolate cake, with chocolate ganache and pomegranate reduction. Their first official multi-course beer and food pairing, lead by FOH Manager Ijaz Hakim, will be happening on the 21st of February (I’ve heard they are close to sold out!). Ijaz will also be hosting Cicerone classes at the brewery in the near future. They have plans to open a satellite taproom in “The Uptown,” a collection of local eateries set to open in north Long Beach during the summer of 2019. To keep up with their special events and changes to both the tap list and the bakery menu, follow both @lbbeer and @lbbread on Instagram.

LBBeer.com
518 W Willow St
Long Beach, CA 90806

Photos Taken From Long Beach Beer Lab’s Facebook

TEN MILE BREWING

Owned, operated, and loved by the Sundstrom Family, Ten Mile Brewing quickly became a favorite among local craft beer fanatics since it’s official opening in September of 2017. Their unique tap list offers a wide variety of beer styles and their warm and welcoming taproom is a great space to enjoy your favorite house brews and discover new ones. Located on Willow St., just west of Orange Ave., Ten Mile is the first brewery to open in Signal Hill.

After first receiving their keys in early 2016, Dan, Joann, Aaron, Aubrie, Jesse, Kelly, Emma and Myles (along with some help from their friends) teamed up to create the brewery of their dreams. From the flawlessly hand painted beer menus to the rustic wooden bar tops the Sundstroms left no detail un-perfected. They installed their own Brewhouse equipment, designed their taproom and tap system, built the large picnic style tables, and even set up the fabulous copper piping in their gorgeous restrooms. They built “everything but the kitchen sink.”

Brewmaster Dan Sundstrom and Head Brewer Jesse Sundstrom take pride in skillfully crafting popular beer styles as well as some more traditional beer styles that you may not yet be familiar with. Their tap list includes: a Helles Munich Lager, a pre-prohibition style Kentucky Common, British and Belgian style Ales and they even have a Schwarzbier lagering! (And yes, you can get your Blondes and IPA’s here too) Soon we’ll be seeing some barrel-aged beers join their tap list as well. They currently have a batch of “Tsar of the Hill” (a Russian Imperial Stout) and a batch of Barley Wine both in barrels. The Barley Wine will also be available in the taproom “pre-barrel aged” for our tasting pleasure.

Their beers are playfully named by drawing inspiration from both the history of each particular style and the history of Signal Hill itself. For example, the “Discovery Well” Amber is named after the first oil well drilled in Signal Hill and named in honor of being Ten Mile’s first brew in the city’s first Brewery. The “Tsar of the Hill” combines a nod to its Russian style and the fact that the brewery is located on Signal “Hill.” Dan’s current favorite, “Gustav the Messenger,” (a Belgian style Dubbel) is actually named for a famously successful messenger pigeon used during the second world war, which reminds him fondly of his younger days racing pigeons!

The taproom is open Wednesday through Sunday, with extended hours on the weekends, and they host a food truck daily. If you want to take your favorite beers home, you can fill a growler or crowler to take with you. This is a dog friendly establishment so feel free to bring your Doggos and Puppers with you so that the whole family can enjoy the day out. Don’t forget to say “Hello” to Barley the brewery dog! Follow @tenmilebrewing on Instagram for updates about new beers, events, and food truck schedules.

TenMileBrewing.com
1136 E Willow St
Signal Hill, CA 90755

Photos Taken From Ten Mile’s Facebook