The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2011

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Page 50 of 124

ON-PREMISE PATTER PUSHING THE LIMITS FOR BEER AND BBQ PHILES Brewery G Just Add a by Rich Manning / photos by Leigh Castelli abe Gordon faced a grand chal- lenge. As the owner and Executive Chef of Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach, California, he had a desire to open a second, larger restaurant, since his tiny neighborhood venue perpetually felt like it was stuffed with entire communities. At the same time, he wanted to use this expansion as a basis to escalate his beer program. Considering the fact that his steady rota- tion of 24 artisan brews on tap had already garnered nationwide acclaim, he knew this would not be an easy task. Co-owner Lena Perelman shows off Beachwood Brewery and BBQ's signa- ture rib plates. Undaunted, Gordon nabbed renowned Los Angeles home brewer Julian Shrago to help him launch Beachwood Brewery and BBQ in the adjacent city of Long Beach. Thus far, he has met his charge with great aplomb. Since opening in July, customers have been fl ocking to his enlarged downtown location in bunches, eager to enjoy the eatery's combination of Carolina-style barbecue and a selection of beers highlighted by Shrago's eight house-crafted brews—a lineup that ranges from his award-winning Melrose IPA to the popular Kilgore American Stout. Gabe Gordon's desire to create a relaxed, neighborhood ambience is just as strong as his drive to provide delicious Carolina- style barbecue and artisan beers to his Like the original Seal Beach locale, Beachwood Brewing and BBQ has built its philosophy on a loose, relaxed ambience balanced with cuisine that contains a slight adventurous streak. For example, guests may see unusual menu offerings such as wild boar or alligator next to more traditional barbecue plates and Southern sides. The venue's beer choices are also driven by this sense of fl air, according to Gordon. "We view the beer program like we view the food program," he says. "Since we have a community of customers who trust what we're doing in the kitchen, we want to extend that kind of trust to our brewery." This inherent faith among the clientele has given Shrago a great sense of freedom to play around with his brewing techniques. Moreover, it has sparked a desire within him to utilize his in-house brewing as a tool of enlightenment. "Ultimately, we'd like to push the limits of what people think of when it comes to beer," he says. "Hopefully, by doing so, we'll set some trends of our own." 50 / the tasting panel / september 201 1

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