For the last three years, Long Beach's Beachwood BBQ and Brewing has been blowing minds and winning awards with a slew of impressive house beers made by rocket-scientist-turned-professional-brewer Julian Shrago. Gold medals for concoctions like milk stout Udder Love, Foam Top cream ale and El Verano saison (plus half a dozen others) line the walls at the LBC offshoot of Seal Beach's original Beachwood BBQ, and most days, beer geeks–decked in The Bruery and Russian River Brewing Company shirts–saddle up to sip on bragging rights at its wooden bar.
Though Shrago has yet to win an actual award for any of his hop-forward brews, it's common local knowledge that the man absolutely kills it when it comes to American-style pale ales and IPAs. After all, he's made more than 40 of them since first firing up the kettle in July 2011–everything from the cirtusy, Grand Prix-themed Pole Position to the decadent Beachwood 7, brewed with seven malts and seven hops for Seal Beach Beachwood's seventh anniversary.
In honor of his brewery's third year on this rock, Shrago again went deep into American-style pale ales and IPAS–his specialty–and created Greenshift, a surprisingly drinkable 10% ABV double IPA loaded with six different varieties of hops that engage your nose and tongue in a fight for total sensory wreckage.
Citra, Amarillo, El Dorado, Nelson Sauvin, Galaxy and Warrior hops were combined into this single golden beverage, taking drinkers on a space-age ride through the aroma and flavor spectrum: first you smell grapefruit, then spice, then tropical fruit, then the bite hits your palate with sticky, resinous hoppiness as the liquid glides down your throat and into your quickly thinning blood stream.
Think you can finish a full pint of Beachwood's most multifaceted Double IPA yet? Bottles sold out weeks ago, but kegs remain on tap at the downtown Long Beach restaurant and bar.
Beachwood BBQ, 210 E. Third St., Long Beach, (562) 436-4020; beachwoodbbq.com