The wave of craft beer bars, restaurants and breweries continues to inundate Orange County with new places to grab a pint, and Beach City Brewery is building a following of locals in Huntington Beach.
Tucked in an industrial park just west of Beach Boulevard, Beach City Brewery is the first craft beer production facility in Surf City USA. Visitors strolling through the roll-up doors of the nondescript building are immediately presented with a shining 15-barrel brewhouse and a line of stainless steel fermenters. Around the corner from the production equipment is a short bar and cozy tasting room. The seating is picnic tables and plastic patio furniture, a welcome sign to beer fans that the brewery's start-up money went into equipment and not atmosphere.
On a recent visit to the 3-month-old brewery, the tasting room was already hopping with HB locals sipping on pints and eating pizza from the nearby Round Table (the tasting room doesn't offer food, but food trucks make regular appearances at the brewery). There was a line-up of eight beers on offer, including the expected Pale Ale, IPA and double IPA, (PCH Pale Ale, Hang 5 and Hang 10 respectively). The brewery also offered a few less-common styles like a braggart (a honey beer) called Long Live The Queen, and a biere de garde (the lesser-seen cousin of the popular farmhouse-style saisons).
Pints range from $5 to $7, and tasters' flights are available: the "Funboard" is 5-ounce glasses of any four brews for $10, while the "Longboard" will let you sample all eight beers on tap for $18. Growler fills of the four core brews are also available every Thursday for $10.
Head brewer Derek Testerman's beers show a lot of promise for such a new operation, and the beers I sampled were balanced and approachable.
The standout of the flight was actually the Overcast Summer Wheat which was light, refreshing, and well balanced between the fresh cereal flavors and fruity hops. The Crimson Typhoon imperial red ale was also a bit of a surprise as I don't usually enjoy the heavy malt character of the style, but Beach City's take had a lot of complexity and character beyond the signature caramel flavors, and it masked the higher alcohol content well.
Beach City Brewery is open daily from noon until 10 p.m. (8 p.m. on Sundays), and the beer is available on tap at select bars and restaurants in Orange County.