Beachwood Brewery Brings Home Silver from 2015 Great American Beer Festival

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Photo by Asia Morris.

You can celebrate both your loves—coffee and beer—as Beachwood BBQ & Brewing celebrates its silver medal win at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival (GABF), which took place in Denver this past weekend. The hometown brewery turned heads and tastebuds with its imperial chocolate coffee porter Mocha Machine, which was also awarded a bronze medal at the World Beer Cup in 2014.

Beachwood raked in the notoriety at last year’s GABF with two medals alongside being named the Best Large Brewpub and Best Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year. Their Mocha Machine, made with beans roasted at Portola Coffee Lab in Orange County, won the gold in the coffee beer category.

According to Julian Shrago, Beachwood owner and brewmaster, Mocha Machine was originally inspired by a beer called Coffee Monster brewed by Jeff Bagby during his tenure at Pizza Port.

“The vision for this beer was to have something that captured all the flavors and aromas of a rich mocha, while still distinctively maintaining an identity as a beer,” said Shrago. “The base beer itself is brewed to meld perfectly with the coffee and cacao nibs it’s aged on.”

Shrago said his love for coffee developed when he took a trip to Italy as a teenager, that “the intensity of a well-brewed espresso is inspiring and satisfying.”

Portola Coffee Lab roasts the coffee for all of Beachwood’s coffee beers and they are also the reason Shrago fell in love with coffee again as an adult.

And while Beachwood tapped a “victory keg” that coincided with National Coffee Day on Tuesday, Shrago says Mocha Machine is a porter they brew several times a year, so it’ll definitely make a return soon enough for all those who missed out on the festive libations.

“Winning a medal for Mocha Machine at this year’s GABF was a humbling experience,” said Shrago. “There are so many talented breweries making amazing beer; it’s an honor to be recognized in such a prestigious way.”

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. In her off-work hours she has competed in cycling races in Milan, Barcelona, Seoul and Brooklyn.
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