Beachwood BBQ and Brewing Brings Home Two Medals From GABF


Head Brewer Julian Shrago wearing his GABF gold medal. Photo courtesy of Beachwood BBQ & Brewing’s Facebook.

Less than 16 months after brewing his first batch of beer in Downtown Long Beach, Beachwood BBQ & Brewing’s Head Brewer Julian Shrago has won not one, but two medals at this year’s Great American Beer Festival—the country’s most prestigious judged competition for brewers held this past weekend in Denver, Colorado. 

Though also well-known locally for their incredible IPAs and American-style pale ales, Beachwood brought home a bronze medal in the French-and Belgian-style Saison category for El Verano and a gold medal in the Sweet Stout category for Udder Love, a milk stout.

The medal wins are even more impressive when taking into consideration that this was the biggest year ever for the GABF. With the popularity of craft beer growing each day, more than 4000 beers from 580 breweries were entered in 79 beer categories for judging. Winners were determined by certified judges in a blind taste test. 

In the past, brews from beer meccas such as San Diego, Colorado and Oregon have dominated the winning titles, but this year saw a far more even spread. Breweries in Virginia, Illinois, Texas, New Mexico and Pennsylvania littered the winner’s list and only a few Southern California spots brought home titles.

Though seven other breweries in Los Angeles County—including previous medal winner Rock Bottom Long Beach—entered beers into the GABF competition this year, only Beachwood placed. In Orange County, both Pizza Port San Clemente and The Bruery in Placentia brought home two medals each.

Beachwood BBQ & Brewing opened on the Promenade last July as a brewpub version of the original Beachwood BBQ, a Seal Beach restaurant that is consistently named one of the top-rated places to get a craft beer in the country. Though the brewery did not win any medals at last year’s GABF (chalk it up to the fact that they sent some of the first batches ever made on a new system), they did win a gold medal for their Foam Top cream ale at the World Beer Cup in March of this year and have earned priase for other house beers from many industry publications and beer websites.

With an endlessly rotating guest tap list featuring rare and specialty beers from around the world and now two GABF medals for Shrago’s stellar house beers, Beachwood is quickly putting Long Beach on the map for beer geeks around the country.

To view all of the GABF winners, click here. 

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Sarah Bennett is a contributor to the Hi-lo and the editor-at-large at the Long Beach Post. She is also a professor at Santa Ana College where she was once a student before transferring to USC to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Sarah has written about music, art, food and beer in local, national and international publications for over a decade. An L.A. native and longtime resident of Long Beach, she is the co-founder of Long Beach Zine Fest and managing editor at theLAnd magazine. She never sleeps.