More than 800 breweries and 60,000 attendees descended on the Colorado Convention Center in Denver last week (Oct. 5-7) for one of the beer world’s largest events: the Great American Beer Festival.
Rest assured, Long Beach’s own Beachwood BBQ & Brewing and the Blendery were in attendance and represented the city well, coming home with two medals for their beers as part of the industry’s most prestigious award program.
Beachwood (210 E. Third St.) won the only gold medal earned by an LA-area brewery this year for its Hoppa Emeritus in the American-style black ale category. Hoppa Emeritus, originally inspired by Beachwood’s Founder’s Black Rye first brewed in 2006, is a malty and bitter take on the style sometimes called Cascadian dark ale or simply black IPA.
“We love the style, especially with modern hop varieties such as citra and ekuanot,” said Julian Shrago, co-owner and brewmaster of Beachwood BBQ & Brewing.
For the beer’s name, Shrago added, “We’re big heavy metal fans. Papa Emeritus is the frontman of the Swedish metal group, Ghost. ‘Hoppa’ is a playful ode to their music.”
The Blendery (247 Long Beach Blvd.), Beachwood’s small-batch brewery dedicated to Lambic-style beers, won silver in the chili beer category for Dia de los Mangos.
“This beer was inspired by a classic Mexican candy that has a chewy mango and tamarind center coated in chili powder,” Ryan Fields, head brewer and blender at the Blendery, said. “I distinctly remember Gabe (Gordon, co-owner of Beachwood) walking into the Blendery after a trip to Baja with a lollipop in his hand saying ‘we should make a beer like this.’”
The inaugural batch of Dia de los Mangos was scheduled to release right before Dia de Los Muertos, providing the perfect name. Bursting with tart and spicy tamarind and tropical fruit flavor, the beer is an awesome ode to Mexican sweets like Vero Mango lollipops or Pelon Pelo Rico.
Head to Beachwood and the Blendery this weekend to get a taste of these award-winning brews before they run out.