Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Introducing the Beachwood BBQ Rotating Tap at 320 Main

Now along with your 35-day Dry Aged Rib Eye or your Lobster Roll Sliders you can enjoy an ice cold local brew from Beachwood BBQ straight from the tap at 320 Main! The rotating tap will feature a different brew from Beachwood's stacked roster every couple weeks. This month's beer is the Citraholic IPA. We took a minute to chat with the masterminds behind the hops, Beachwood GM, Kyle Crabb, and Beachwood Brewmaster, Julian Shrago:

Kyle Crabb:

What is the history Beachwood BBQ?
A: Beachwood BBQ was opened in 2006 By Gabe and Lena Gordon. Gabe is a fine dinning chef by trade specializing in southern food. When they were deciding on a concept for Seal Beach, they tapped the local community for ideas and BBQ was the over whelming response. From there Beachwood BBQ was born.

Q: What's your role at Beachwood?
A: I came on board at Beachwood when we expanded after the first year. We doubled our size, put in a bar, and separated the dinning room. I was hired as the first bartender, then bar manager, then my current position as General Manager. I love working for Gabe and Lena, they are wonderful people and a pleasure to work for. It is hard to find owners with as much passion for the business as they have, and that is the core of their success as owners.

Q: What's your favorite beer at Beachwood?
A: My favorite style of beer varies from season to season. Currently I am really into Imperial stouts but I am always up for a fresh IPA, lambic or gueuze. My Favorite Beachwood beer is Melrose IPA. Julian is a master brewer, and his IPA's are some of the best in the country in my opinion. We always knew that Brewing would become a part of Beachwood BBQ. When Julian joined our team I knew the beers would be great. I am very excited about the future of Beachwood Brewing and can't wait to see what's in store for this next year.

Q: Are you excited about teaming up with 320 Main to get the Beachwood brew even more exposure in the community? Are you teaming up with other restaurants like this?
A: We love 320 Main! We have had a special relationship throughout our history in Seal Beach . I believe our similarities in craft beer for us, and craft cocktails for them, go hand in hand with the innovation we our both trying to achieve in the culinary scene of Seal Beach.

Q:  Can you explain how the rotating tap at 320 Main will work?
A: I love to have 320 Main carry a rotating Beachwood Brewing tap. This means that the beer we give them from week to week will be ever changing, just like our tap list at Beachwood BBQ. I am also looking forward to doing collaborative events with 320 Main in this next coming year.

Julian Shrago

Q: How did you get involved with Beachwood BBQ?

A: Gabe and Lena (Gordon) had been friends of mine for a few years and I was a frequent patron of Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach. About the time they were thinking about expanding the Beachwood enterprise, I was about to launch a production plans for a production brewery. We decided to join forces and create Beachwood BBQ & Brewing together in downtown Long Beach.

Q: What kind of credentials does one need to be deemed a "Brewmaster?" (What's your history in this field. Training, etc.)

A: You don't necessarily need formal training, but I certainly helps. There are a handful of schools in the US that offer professional brewer programs. I am an aerospace engineer by trade (mechanical engineer by degree). I spent over a dozen years in an industry that, in my opinion, is a great blend of art and science. Brewing started as a hobby at home, but over the years developed into a passion. Friendships with professional brewers and the honor of brewing as a guest at production breweries (as a homebrewer) was my segue into professional brewing. For me, brewing is in many ways an extension of my engineering background.

Q: What is your vision for the Brewery? 

A: To be a place that continually strives to hit new creative marks. For me, creative freedom and the ability to share that with thousands of people (craft beer consumers) is a gift. If I can do that and have it be well-received by our customers, that is remarkably rewarding.

Q: How do you go about creating the different brews? Is it a spur of the moment thing or do you go in with a plan of what you want to create?

A: Some of my recipes existed before we opened and have remain largely unchanged. Our flagship IPA, Melrose is a good example of that. When it comes to new recipes, I think of flavor first. I think of what I want to taste and smell in a beer, what secondary qualities (like mouthfeel, carbonation, etc...) will help me best achieved that goal. Then I think of what ingredients and what percentages of such will get me across the finish line.

Q: What is your crowning jewel? The brew or project you're most proud of at Beachwood.

A: That's like asking a mother who her favorite child is. Every beer is special for its own reasons. I put my very best efforts into everything I do, regardless of the beer.

Q: What other local breweries do you admire?

A: One thing that's special about the craft brewing commnity is that business competition is something that doesn't really exist. I'm not sure I could pick a favorite because I feel that we're all friends and the sense of cammeraderie is peerless.

Q: What's your favorite kind of beer?

A:I don't have a single favorite type of beer. I go through phases. I am, however, always up for a fresh IPA, good Belgian beer, or a well-brewed traditional German lager. For me, it's about drinking expertly-crafted beer, independent of style most of the time.