A mini guide to local breweries, gastropubs and Long Beach’s first distillery

Distilleries? Gastropubs? Breweries? What does it all mean?

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In the last decade, Long Beach has become home to an influx of alcohol-fueled watering holes, whether it be bars, breweries, gastropubs and even a distillery, each of them exceptional in their own ways.

Listed here are some local breweries and gastropubs. No, it’s not all of them (as I’m currently still making my way down the list, trying to tackle all of them myself) but here are some of the one’s that I’ve personally experienced so far.

Brewery

A brewery or brewing company is a business that makes and sells their own beer. Long Beach and Signal Hill has been graced with 12 of them, according to hoppedla.com.

Ten Mile Brewing, 1136 E Willow St. Signal Hill

This family-owned and operated brewery concentrates on strong lagers, IPA’s and stouts. No ciders or sours here, but they do have a few light, crisp lagers that are still enjoyable for those with a lighter drinking pallette. A rotation of various food trucks is often posted in the parking lot. The rustic-style brewery has an open floor plan and is dog-friendly, with serene views of the cemetery across the street.

Trademark Brewing, 233 E Anaheim St. Long Beach

IPA’s galore here with the occasional sours and seasonal beers on rotation. They even offer beer cocktails on select days such as classic micheladas, beermosas and beer mai tais. The massive space has the biggest brewery and taproom size on the list and is great for groups, with plenty of seating available. There’s also Jenga, Connect-Four and sandbag games on-site with an outdoor patio and rotating food trucks everyday. And dogs, lots of dogs.

Long Beach Beer Lab, 518 W Willow St. Long Beach

Lissette Mendoza | Signal Tribune
Taco Tuesday’s at Long Beach Beer Lab. On the left is a jicama based taco in a handmade corn tortilla and on the right is a mushroom based taco in a sourdough tortilla, paired with pickled vegetables and red sauce. The beer is a Milk the Peach, a sour with peach notes.

Located in the heart of the Wrigley neighborhood, this lab-themed brewery servers a variety of beers such as roasty stouts, and sour and fruity ales. Aside of the beers, they also have an in-house “Bread Lab,” featuring a selection of artisan breads, pizzas and other vegetarian items made from scratch with locally sourced, seasonal produce.

Lissette Mendoza | Signal Tribune
A vegan jicama-based taco in a handmade corn tortilla with pickled vegetables and red sauce. This and other vegan taco variations are available Tuesday’s at Long Beach Beer Lab.

Liberation Brewing, 3630 Atlantic Ave. Long Beach

This small, five-barrel craft production brewery has six core brews on tap, with additional rotating/seasonal beers. They are currently working with Firebird Nashville Hot Chicken, so don’t forget to try out a fried-chicken sandwich before they run out. An array of daily activities is also featured including beer yoga, trivia, vinyl nights and even small brewing classes.

Gastropub

Essentially, this is just a fancy term for a restaurant that serves quality food and beer. Food trucks don’t cut it at these establishments. Instead, food is made in-house at these joints.

Congregation Ale House, 201 E Broadway Ave., Long Beach

Lissette Mendoza | Signal Tribune
Church-like atmosphere of the interior of Congregation Ale House, located at 201 E. Broadway.

The dark wood and stained glass accents give this cozy place a church-like atmosphere where guests come to “congregate.” The food is outstanding and the carnitas pizza is an absolute must with its tomatillos, onions, jalapeños, cotija cheese and cilantro. They brew their own variety of Congregation beers and offer a wide selection of other drinks including stouts, ciders, sours, ales and curate their own cocktails as well. Indoor as well as heated outdoor seating is available and they’re dog friendly.

Lissette Mendoza | Signal Tribune
Congregation’s carnitas pizza, made with a tomatillo sauce, jalapeños and cotija cheese paired with a Stormalong, Light of the Sun spiced/dry-hopped cider.

Beachwood BBQ and Brewing, 210 E 3rd St, Long Beach

Award-winning beers and barbecue, what’s not to love about this place? Stouts are king here in my humble opinion, but they have a huge variety of IPA’s, sours, nitros, lagers and ales. Their outdoor patio is also dog friendly.

Dog Haus Biergarten, 210 E 3rd St

Lissette Mendoza | Signal Tribune
The interior of Dog Haus Biergarten, located at 210 E. 3rd St.

Their classic cheeseburger sliders made with angus beef, white American cheese and caramelized onions in a King’s Hawaiian bread roll is a savory bite to die for. Their tater tots are also stellar and some of the best in Long Beach. They also offer a grand selection carefully crafted “haus” dogs, sausages and burgers. Wash it down with a regular fountain drink or try one of their local craft beers on tap. It’s also kid-friendly and vegan-friendly and they have a great happy-hour.

Lissette Mendoza | Signal Tribune
A Doghaus classic cheeseburger slider made with angus beef, white American cheese and caramelized onions in a King’s Hawaiian bread roll. Doghaus is located at 210 E. 3rd St.

Distillery

A distillery manufactures their own liquor. In Long Beach’s case, we currently only have one, Portuguese Bend.

Portuguese Bend, 300 The Promenade N.

Lissette Mendoza | Signal Tribune
An angle of Portuguese Bend Distilling, located at 300 The Promenade.

Long Beach’s first, and so far only, distillery opened up in the summer of 2019 on the corner of The Promenade and Third Street in the heart of Downtown Long Beach. They distill their own gin and vodka and feature a full bar and restaurant, and offer craft cocktails, tastings, tours and American food.

Grab one of their $10 cocktails like their Neptune, Satan’s Whiskers or their Black Gold. It’s a great place to grab lunch or dinner with dishes such as their Nashville Shrimp and Grits, Shortrib Pot Roast and Pan Grilled Salmon. Their fig and blue salad is a great option with the sweetness of dried California black mission figs and pine nuts perfectly balanced with baby arugula, bacon, blue cheese and a honey-mustard vinaigrette, don’t forget the option to add their perfectly cooked chicken, shrimp or salmon.

Many of the locations on this list are featured in close proximity to each other. Whether it’s in the Promenade, Atlantic Avenue or Willow Street, a pub-crawl day would be a fun outing, or take it slow and cross one off the list each week. Don’t forget your Ubers and Lyfts if you make this an all-day affair.

Think I missed out on some key place? Feel free to email me suggestions at [email protected] to keep the list going.