DISCLAIMER: NOT an April Fool’s joke.
Prior to 2014, Huntington Beach never truly had a standalone microbrewery. In downtown, they have Huntington Beach Beer Company, but they qualify more as a brewpub, and they do not widely distribute their beers. Huntington Beach also has Brewbakers, but they function more as a homebrew store than an actual brewery. In 2014, Huntington Beach welcomed two new additions to the Orange County craft beer family, starting with Beach City Brewery. Located in an industrial block off the intersection of Beach Blvd and Slater Ave, this microbrewery quickly gained massive ground in the Southern California craft beer market.
However, following their first anniversary last year, things started to slow down for Beach City Brewery. Their coverage in Orange County started to fade, and soon the people started to not pay as much attention to this local microbrewery. Multiple factors may have contributed to the slow decline of this brewery. Based on my observations, the lack of adequate sales reps meant that they could not get the coverage that they initially started with. They also stuck to their initial beer styles for too long. Beach City Brewery started off brewing approachable beers, or beers not too bold or strong for an entry-level or gateway brew. While this may work at first, once the name gets outs there, a brewery must take steps forward to start innovating and pushing limits. All this time, I never observed Beach City Brewery doing that – they stuck to their original approachable beers the entire time. I do not recall ever seeing any barrels in the facility either.
Alas, the time had come for Beach City Brewery to call it quits. This past Saturday, Beach City Brewery opened their doors to the public for the last time, and ran all-day happy hour as a final farewell. Although they made no mention of it, industry insiders have revealed that Beachwood BBQ has acquired the space, and will use it as an additional production facility for their brewing. In fact, Beachwood BBQ has even posted on their website that they seek qualified experienced brewers to fill some open positions. As the saying goes, “When one door closes, another one opens.” So while we no longer have Beach City Brewing around, the nation can surely expect to see even more of Beachwood Brewing within the next year or so.