Ok it’s time to play another round of Let’s Go Visit LA Breweries Today Ok, Fine (LGVLABTOKF). Today’s brewery is only ten days old so let’s put this newborn through its baby legged paces: Surfridge Brewing Company Brewing in El Segundo. Laying foundation, El Segundo has become this Shasta Manhattan Beach of sorts, expensive as hell, nestled in between the airport and the Chevron refinery. A wealthy beach community dripping in Shimano clip in pedal shoes and triple wide strollers, lacking the pure selfishness of the ultra luxury seaside hamlets that LA can provide. It is against this backdrop that this new brewery emerges.
Upon entering you are draped in several interlocking Etsy boards worth of inspiration. The black velvet text boards, wood carved HOP BAR complete with swingtop apothecary jars, innumerable tap handles carved from jade and every surface gleaming in whites or lacquered wood. It feels like the hotel lobby of some gaudy Miami SLS endeavor. The fermenters are inexplicably lined up in this arctic linen fever dream along the wall, outside of the brewing space.
The beer is fine. Really what type of morphological originality can we expect from a brewery that still has the new brewer smell? The kolsch is clean, the pale ale is their best beer and feels like a benchmarked Sierra Nevada pale, everything is as it should be. Then you see it, out of the corner of your eye, you can’t even process what tiny residence of reclaimed wood has been set before you: a child’s seaside cabin playset. This brewery not only has a full on child’s area with affirming posters like YOU ARE LOVED, but a no fooling tiny shack to play in. This is truly next level Maidisynn maneuvers.
While still reeling from the insanity of this industrial day care facility, you look at the carrera tile wall, when is it not subway tiles. When is it not ripped straight from Magnolia Journal: Hop hottles. That’s right, here for the usurious sum of two american dollars you are provided with a steeping cage, a pinch of simcoe, and careless abandon. They let you dryhop your own beer. To what end, it is hard to say. Maybe someone likes the ultra faint olfactory presence of old dry hops in their beer for what amounts to a negligible rest.
Maybe this place was designed for that crescent blade of receding hairlines and Under Armor shirts, the nostalgia of fading virility transferred into tap recitals and Dodge Hellcats and pop warner. Perhaps it isn’t even about the beer at all, the 30 empty draft lines each a dry reality untapped, beers to come, experiences that may never fill your glass. It is a place to slide slowly into comfortable track home mediocrity, Sonos speakers, various smoking and grilling components, green eggs and oiled baseball mitts tucked under mahogany Ethan Allen twin beds.
It sure isn’t about beer at this point.