Thirsty customers flocked to Beachwood Brewing in Downtown Long Beach on Saturday to sip one last pint of award-winning brews while they still could. The 12-year-old establishment officially closed today.

“It’s a little bittersweet,” said Beachwood founder and co-owner Gabe Gordon, who was helping serve drinks behind the counter, “But this location has launched an amazing company.”

Beachwood had announced its decision to sell its Downtown location earlier this month, saying the move was to expand and diversify its operations. Gordon also noted that the location never fully recovered after COVID, though there were other factors outside of the pandemic that went into the decision.

“We have four brewing facilities and this one is our least efficient,” he said. “Just from a business standpoint, this one just kind of stopped making sense for us.”

But fans of the popular drinking establishment won’t have to wait long for a new brewery to emerge. Beachwood’s location has been sold to master brewer Ian McCall of ISM Brewing, whose ties to Beachwood go back years as one of the original brewers at the business.

“Ian coming in here is rad,” Gordon said. “We’ve grown up in this industry together and now it’s his time. And the bonus is that Long Beach is about to get a world-class brewery. I can guarantee that, and I think it’s a win for everybody.”

Despite the bright future, Gordon said he and many others see the closing with some sentimentality and recognize the value Beachwood brought to the nearby community and the beer scene at large. When Beachwood opened its Downtown location almost 13 years ago, Gordon said, it was the first brewery to open in Long Beach in 20 years.

“I’d like to think we helped revitalize this area,” he added.

Customers drank indoors and on the patio at Beachwood Brewing’s Downtown Long Beach location before the business officially closed for business on Saturday, Oct. 28. Photo by Cheantay Jensen.

What’s more, Beachwood set the standard for what it meant to support craft brewing, with tap lineups featuring beers from their own production and other California brewers. Eventually, Beachwood would expand enough to supply its entire 30+ tap menu in-house.

Throughout the week, Gordon said, customers have been reminiscing about their memories with Beachwood. One couple who met at the Downtown location are now married. Another man said that he decided to become a brewer himself after tasting Beachwood’s Amalgamator, a West Coast-style IPA.

“That’s crazy we’ve been doing this long enough and well enough that people made life decisions based on something we created,” he said.

Beachwood founder and co-owner Gabe Gordon chats with customers at the brewery’s Downtown location, which officially closed Saturday, Oct. 28. Photo by Cheantay Jensen.

Gordon made clear that Beachwood’s closing doesn’t mean the company is going anywhere. Downtown still has Beachwood’s Blendery, a tasting room and brewing facility that focuses on Beachwood’s sour ales. Beachwood also has a taproom and distillery in Bixby Knolls, and they just opened a new taproom at the outdoor shopping center 2nd & PCH.

“I’ll miss the community that we have here, but only to the extent that the community doesn’t just walk next door. It’s kind of like we’re just moving down the street,” he added with a laugh.

For now, locals will have to wait a few weeks while ISM Brewing works to open its business at the Downtown locale. In an interview with the Long Beach Post, McCall said he hopes to reopen the space for a soft launch in November.