Sandra Toledo and Phil Limon homebrew on the balcony of their second-floor condo in downtown Long Beach. Photo courtesy of Maltitude Brewing.

When Latinx-focused homebrew club SoCal Cerveceros first wanted to share DIY beer beyond its seven founding members, they invited a few friends and threw a mini rager in a South Los Angeles backyard.

Three years later and the club is now 130-plus brewers strong. New members hail from every corner of the region—including more than a few based in Long Beach—representing a diversity of backgrounds, experience levels and brewing styles. The feat of encouraging underrepresented beer lovers to make their own brews is so impressive that SoCal Cerveceros was recently named Anchor Brewing’s Homebrew Club of the Year.

And those humble house party beginnings? Well, that’s grown up too.

The club’s annual ColdXela event, happening tomorrow in downtown L.A. from 2-7 p.m., is now one of the most anticipated beer fests in the region, with more than 50 individually branded home breweries pouring hundreds of hand-crafted beers for upwards of 1,000 attendees.

ColdXela (pronounced similar to a certain overpriced, two-weekend event in the desert; “chela” is slang for “beer” in Spanish) is not only a testament to the growing homebrewing community in L.A., but a chance to take a peek inside the flavors, experimentation and grassroots talent that will define the next generation of professional brewers.

Here are five Long Beach home brewers to try while you’re there.


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Maltitude Brewing Co.

Sandra Toledo and Phil Limon only discovered homebrewing about a year and a half ago, but over 100 batches and a house-cultivated strain of yeast later, their Maltitude Brewing is quickly becoming one of SoCal Cerveceros’ breakout stars. Not only was the couple’s hibiscus saison recently selected to represent the club on Anchor Brewing’s pilot batch system (Ruby Sun Saison will debut in L.A. this weekend), but Maltitude’s hand-labeled cans make it one of the few homebrew operations that looks ready for store shelves. Toledo says the couple continues to brew about 20 gallons of beer a week, which is even more impressive considering that their system lives on the second-story balcony of a downtown Long Beach condo.

Pouring at ColdXela:

  • Tequila Barrel-Aged Tamarindo Saison
  • Hazy IPA with Pineapple
  • 2 Blonde Ales
  • European Dark Ale
  • Amber Ale
Espada Brewing is homebrewing twin brothers Joe and Louie Carrillo. Photo courtesy of Espada Brewing.

Espada Brewing

Twin brothers Joe and Louie Carrillo might live and brew in Wilmington, but they consider themselves Long Beach-by-association. Both work in finance for companies based in Long Beach and the two have grown accustomed to using the city as a reference point for their own hometown. “When people ask me where I’m from and do not know where Wilmington is, I usually ask, ‘Do you know where Long Beach is at?’ and people will immediately know,” Louie says. The Carrillos started brewing for friends and family six years ago, but only joined SoCal Cerveceros after last year’s event. The club has motivated them to expand their system, brew more frequently, experiment with different styles and improve their skills—motivating them beyond mere hobby in a way the brothers say is not unlike the car clubs that dominate the Harbor Area.

Pouring at ColdXela:

  • Heart of the Harbor Light Lager
  • Portside IPA
  • Tia Pepina Cucumber Saison
  • Pacific Roast Highway Coffee Stout with Cinnamon and Piloncillo
Preston Brewing beers at Cold Chela 2017. Photo by Fernando Salazar

Preston Brewing

IG: @prestonbrewing

With a resume that spans from Belmont Brewing Company to Network Brewery in Santa Ana to his current position as Head Brewer at Border X in Bell, Lewis Martinez is the most successful professional brewer to come out of SoCal Cerveceros so far. He started making beer at home in 2013 when his son (Dylan Preston, thus, Preston Brewing) was born and has since turned his hobby into an obsession and then into a second career. His eventual dream is to open a Preston Brewing near his home in Long Beach, but for now he makes killer IPAs and lagers both as a full-time job and on his original 10-gallon homebrew setup, which he’s made portable enough to take to parties so he can teach others how to make their own beer.

Pouring at ColdXela:

  • Pineapple Coconut West Coast IPA
  • Lucky Charm IPA

Los Barbones Cerveceria

Award-winning homebrewer Alfredo Rocha doesn’t live in Long Beach, but he’s the longest-standing Long Beach Homebrewers club member pouring at ColdXela. Six years ago, Rocha discovered Long Beach’s iconic homebrew club and its home shop SteinFillers, diving headfirst into the hands-on classes offered there. Today, his house is an ode to his all-grain obsession: he’s accumulated bourbon barrels, kegerators, freezers and tricked-out temperature-controlled fermenters; he also shares an impressive 55-gallon system with eight other homebrewers, who meet up to barbecue and brew a big batch about once a month. Rocha is also one of the few SoCal Cerveceros to enter the competition circuit. His Botas Blancas Belgian Wit’s won eight medals over the years and recently earned gold in regionals, advancing it to the National Homebrew Competition to be judged in Rhode Island this June.

Pouring at ColdXela:

  • Hazy IPA
  • English Barleywine
  • Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Porter

ColdXela 2019 takes place Saturday, April 27 from 2-7 p.m. at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes. Tickets start at $40.