A cold glass of Equinox Sour Blonde Ale from Eagle Rock Brewery (Katie Cortez/Union Weekly)
A look at a craft beer bottle shop in Long Beach
By Abraham Alapisco Staff Writer
When it comes to craft beers, having unique options is the key to satiating the tastes of craftheads. When a picture of Hillary Clinton pouring a foamy beer during her campaign for the Democratic party nomination was released, it created a bad taste in an emerging subculture that revolves around finding the next great flavor. Pursuers of great beer don’t have to look far in Long Beach because there is Stateside Crafts which sells a variety of craft beer, artisan snacks and contains a tasting room to promote an experience.
Alpha Tolman cheese and Vermont Summer Sausage. (Katie Cortez/Union Weekly)
The bottle shop, which first opened its doors in December 2014, is nestled in emerging part of Bixby Knolls business district that attracts a variety of customers. The front of the shop has a window display with crates and barrels decor. The location takes pride in the craftsmanship necessary to create such brews.
As soon as you walk in, you see an assortment of snack and spreads assorted on shelves to the left, which are meant to complement the drinks sold there.
A jam brand called Anarchy in a Jar caught my attention with its unique name and design. At the register there are different types of sausages, salami, and fresh baked local bread in and around the counter. Patrick Homa of Stateside Crafts later told me that it comes from small-artisanal producer.
A view of the snack wall (Katie Cortez/Union Weekly)
The idea for the shop came to Homa and his partner Dawn Nadeau, the owner of the shop, when they were visiting Michigan. They went to breweries around the region and left with a desire to set up a location in Long Beach that sold higher quality beers.
“We took the same approach with our food as we did with our beer,” said Homa, who explained that the shop takes pride in supporting local producers that make distinct commodities. The small businesses products that are stocked at Stateside is part of the shop’s identity as place to find all-American made products.
“This is our dream shop,” he said with pride. The store is meant to serve as a vehicle to sell an estimated 300 high caliber beers that constantly change due to the seasonal brewing of craft breweries. It’s part of the excitement surrounding the shop as a place where you might discover something new that becomes your next favorite brew or food item.
Stateside Crafts provides a different lineup of beer flights every Wednesday through Sunday (Katie Cortez/Union Weekly)
As I continued perusing, I noticed the flight options marked on the chalkboard frames. I tried four different types in 4 ounce glasses and become attached to the Revolution XPA by Eagle Rock Brewery. I complemented the drinks with Alpha Tolman, an aged, robust flavored cheese, and a hearty Vermont Summer Sausage.
When I sat down, pictures of local musicians lined the wall to my right as I enjoyed the restaurant’s food and the company of Editor-in-Chief Katie Cortez, who gravitated toward the Equinox, a sour beer also from Eagle Rock Brewing. Customers around us were also engaged in the camaraderie often found in such environments. It’s an inviting place where guests share a rapport through drinks, food and conversation.
From front to back: Dragon’s Milk Bourbon Stout by New Holland Brewing, Steve Austin’s Broken Skull IPA by El Segundo Brewing Company, Straffe Drieling Belgin Style Tripel by Logadon Farm Brewery, Revolution XPA Extra Pale ale by Eagle Rock Brewery. (Katie Cortez/Union Weekly)
Stateside Crafts also has a Royal Ale Society, a beer club, where members receive specialty bottles each month, a store discount and reduced rate on flights. For Homa, such clubs help promote localism and shared interest in Bixby Knolls that was kind of ghost town in the 90s; but, it is rapidly changing and becoming more of an attraction these days.