The Discover Torrance crew descended upon Strand Brewing Co. the day before their grand re-opening. For people who loved what they were brewing before, you will be so excited to experience this new phase in this incredible new space. For people who have not yet discovered them, there has never been a better time to try their brews.
This is truly a story of “slow but steady.” Co-Owner Rich Marcello, told us that the company was started with $10,000 of his wife’s grandmother’s bingo winnings (and yes, they were able to pay her back). He helped build the business by selling to places in the South Bay who valued local ingredients, local business and quality. And from there, Strand Brewing Co. grew. In fact, on the day we visited they had grown so much that they had outgrown their 900 square foot tap room and into the more than 35,000 square foot open space that is now stamped with their name.
Like the Brandts at Red Car, people scoffed when Rich Marcello, and his co-owner (and master brewer) Joel Elliott wanted to open up shop in Torrance. Marcello tells a story of doing an interview with a writer from a known beer magazine where he predicted that Torrance would be the craft beer capital of Los Angeles County, if not the state. When the writer published the article, he laughed at the notion. The magazine later folded, but Marcello’s prediction has certainly come true!
The vision for the new Strand Brewing Co. space is to create a sense of community. They are looking to create a beer garden atmosphere that is communal and fun (no televisions to distract from conversation here). They want a place that feels good to be in. Instead of trying to also run a restaurant, their new space, with their wide warehouse doors, can easily accommodate food trucks and other vendors to make the experience even more festive.
Their logo incorporates a lifeguard stand – because it’s a universally understood symbol of good things, the good life (and, as Rich jokes “Baywatch”). And the name is a physical connection to the South Bay. Their philosophy for running the company is to “treat staff well, vendors well, and to make a good product in a safe environment,” Marcello explained.
But how’s the beer, you ask?
My tasting partner Andy has thoughts on the ones we sampled in October:
Harvest Ball: A hoppy beer that surprises. And never fear, that orange-y flavor is not from orange juice.
Beach House Amber: Rich in color and lighter in taste than expected – also not as hoppy. I can see why they recommend pairing it with tomato-based meals.
Expression Session IPA: It’s the perfect brew for anyone who likes IPAs, and it is light enough to still work when the temperatures rise. It’s light on alcohol, with hints of grapefruit.
Atticus IPA: Atticus is richer and more nuanced than I expected it to be. Very smooth and balanced! I can see why they recommend trying it with spicy food.
Batch 100 Stout: This was a delightful brew. It has notes of coffee and chocolate. Don’t be fooled, this packs a punch. Don’t drink it like you would a Guinness. You’ll feel the impact of the alcohol much faster. They recommend pairing it with chocolate lava cake or brownies. Note: warm it up in your hands, and notice how the flavor changes.
White Sand Imperial: This was my favorite! Some citrus-y notes that were a pleasant surprise.
Overall: When I heard that their inspiration was the beach-scene of the South Bay, I was expecting everything to be light and maybe “wheaty.” These beers were surprisingly rich – more like coming off a morning surfing off the North Sea. Full of character and taste, if you love craft beers, you should give these a taste.
If you love craft beer, you should definitely stop by the new Strand Brewing Co. tap room at 2201 Dominguez St, Torrance, California 90501. When asked about the craft beer movement as it looks now, Marcello replied, “We’re in the middle of something awesome.” After visiting their new space, we’d have to agree!