The Experience: Smog City Brewing – Steelcraft (Long Beach, CA)

Beerface McGilicutty here, and I have a special piece here for you. I was lucky enough to have the pleasure of enjoying the wonderful beer from Smog City Brewing Company, along with some awesome food over at Steelcraft in Long Beach with The Episodic Eater. I will leave the food to The Episodic Eater though. Let us talk about Smog City’s tasting room located at Steelcraft.



For those of you who are not familiar, Steelcraft is in the Bixby Knolls neighborhood of Long Beach right off of Long Beach Boulevard, hanging out in all its metallic glory in a parking lot. Head into the rectangle-shaped groundwork tool shed-looking beauty, and you will find two wood top table seating areas with applicable seating. Additionally, the cool turf area offers a place for our four-legged friends to hang out and bask in the sun, displaying Steelcraft’s pet-friendly nature.



As I made my way through the steel crosswired doors and into the Thunderdome, I darted toward Smog City’s setup which was of course my destination since I drink that stuff, you might have heard of it, called beer. Immediately I was greeted by their extremely generous staff as they asked what I would be drinking on this fine day. I informed them the reason we were there, and without hesitation I had a flight displaying an array of different colored, photo-friendly pours, accompanied with two full pours.



One of the beers I wanted to touch on was their exclusive Steelcraft IPA (second from left above). It is always neat when you are able to try a beer completely made for its namesake location. Upon the nose I got some sweet citrus notes with some subtle pine. The pour was slightly hazy in color with white half finger head and good lacing. I dove right in, and I will say I am glad the day was beautiful and warm, because it fit the occasion for enjoying such a beer. This embodied the hot day beer profile perfectly. I was able to grab some nice tropical fruit flavors up front, which smoothly transitioned to a bit sharper citrus bite through the middle, followed by that piney, slightly bitter refreshing finish.


Hive Five Amber


The Hive Five Amber was also very cool because damnit, I like honey. It poured that nice reddish amber color you hope for, slightly more opaque than standard red ales, but only slightly. The light beige head gave way to settled bubbles on the edge. When I leaned close to get the aroma, the honey sweetness said hello to my nasal passage very quickly, and made me extremely excited to consume this. I took my first sip, and smiled as that sweet honey danced on my tastebuds. The flavors moved really nicely to a good toasted malt character midway through, followed by a brisk clean finish with some bitterness. This was not overly sweet, and it really stayed true to the character of a true amber. I loved the aroma along with initial hit of the honey.


The Nothing

The incredibly generous guys behind the counter handed The Episodic Eater a couple more full pours as she went back up to grab a couple more pictures. One of which was The Nothing, its namesake coming from The Neverending Story character. This is Smog City’s Imperial Stout in which their bourbon barrel aged variant, Infinite Wishes, is spawned from. More on the Infinite Wishes in next month’s featured beer article.

Back to The Nothing: this one pours very dark with a full finger head which settled to a nice ring around the glass. The nose gave way to roasted malt and dark chocolate, much dark chocolate. I went ahead and grabbed a sip. I let it sit for a little longer on the palate so I was able to pick up everything. Right away you get a ton of dark chocolate. I for one absolutely love dark chocolate, so I was an instant fan. It had a nice smoky charred middle, followed by some slight bitterness along with some sweet vanilla hints. It clocks at 10% and it does not show that much at all. Very drinkable and one of my favorite non-barrel aged stouts out there. Stop in and give this one a try before it is gone until next year, as this is an annual offering from Smog City.



I had a truly great experience at Smog City’s Steelcraft tasting room. While I have always been fond of Smog City’s beer, their accommodation could not have been more generous, and I very much appreciate that. It is a fun environment with a staff who is very knowledgeable and willing to steer your beer drinking palate in the proper direction based on what you generally prefer. With nine beers of varied styles available, you are sure to find something you like on tap. If your infinite wish is to grab a bottle, they have those now available for you too! So leave work, grab a beer, and if you see someone taking obscene amounts of pictures of their beer while dressed pretty damn stylish, it is probably me, so make sure to say hello.



Look forward to more event and beer reviews from Beerface McGilicutty and follow me on InstagramTwitter, and Untappd at @beerfacem!


Smog City Brewing – Steelcraft
3768 Long Beach Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90807


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