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.