Congregation Ale House
Taps: 37 / Bottles: 117
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 33 | Reviews: 15 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by slander:
4.2/5 rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Oh, fuck; the neighborhood. Sorry. Neighborhoods. Plural. But then it got moreso downtowny and less scary those last few blocks, with the threat of not finding one’s car upon return decreased significantly. Which I’m all about when in a rental in the foreign land that California is...
Corner joint, eased in. Off to the right, a wraparound marble topped bar with a cushy soft lip, wood base, and phat phoot box. Seating for 10 or so broken once by a large pillar and again beyond the shorty corner. And no bar would be complete without glowing, coaster sized, beer cooling spots with breweries I can’t see as having approved their participation in the ‘Chilldisc’, their edges illuminated in changing colors.
Matching marble barback counter, holding 32 handles on 2 rows of 16 each on the barback, a few of which are empty. Glassware countered to both sides of & behind the taps, and a rack on the end with tulips, snifters, flutes, & stemmys. Bottles coolered below and around the bend. Stained glassish logo piece behind the bar above, and shelved inlays to both sides with random bottles displayed.
Big windows over both sides of the corner, and beigey walls otherwise; gargoyle action, placards & tins, and flatscreens in the corners. Tap handles displayed in rows up high along the wall borders. Dark ceilings, exposed ductwork, and massive wrought iron chandeliers with candle looking lamps. Drop bulb lamps in rows, mounted solos, and strung holiday lighting.
4 hightops just off the bar in 2 rows, and 2 lowboys back past there. Bar counter space & a single hightop in the windows up front, and more of the same to the rear below the center draft boards; a slat triptych piece with magnetic strips, maybe, I can’t quite tell. Nook in the back corner with tables, some with kitchen views, and 7 tables of mix & match catching a nice breeze in the side porch over Promenade (Had to put my hand out to make sure there was nothing there before I smashed into the lack of a door).
So, 27 taps up just now, 2/3 of them American craft; the majority of these Bear Republic offerings (Big Bear Stout, Hop Rod Rye, Cuvee De Bubba Wild Ale, Roggenbier, Nor’Cal APA, Heritage Wee Heavy, Grand Am APA, Short Track Dunkel, Jack London ESB, and Rebellions Apollo & Delta), on the heels of an event this past weekend, and the remainder a mix & match more Cali (Ballast Point Smoke Screen, Sudwerk Maibock, Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin, El Segundo Citra Pale Ale), than not (Epic Brainless on Peaches, Great Divide 18th Anniversary Oak Aged IPA). The other 1/3 are imports, Belgian heavy (Dupont Avec Les Bon Veux, Van Honsebrouck Bacchus, Drie Fonteinen Zwet.Be, Ellezelloise Hercule Stout, Het Anker Gouden Carolus Hopsinjoor, Unibroue Blanche De Chambly, Palm, Lindemans Framboise, Schlossbrauerei Au-Hallertau Piwo Grodziskie, Youngs Double Stout).
Wanted the Bear Republic Cuvee De Bubba Wild Ale but it kicked. They did, however, have a lone pitcher of it left in the cooler that I was happy to have at. It didn’t suck. Moved onto the Bear Republic Jack London ESB, grainy but lovely, and then toggled samples of the Bear Republic Rebellions, and having deemed the Delta to be the better of the two, I did imbibe. Returned the next night for more of the same. De Dolle Dulle Teve now added to the mix; Ben is foolishly drinking it while I went at the Bear Republic Rebellion Delta again.
And a bottle list; 132 selections in all, the menu broken out by style. Who, I wonder, granted them Fantome? I like the way ‘lambics & other sours’ (Drie Fonteinen, Hanssens, Rodenbach, and Russian River Consecration), live in a different place than ‘fruit beers’ (Lindemans Kriek & Peche). Nice list overall. Orval runs a toward the top of the range $11, but the priciest item on the menu is the Scaldis Prestige @ $45, with a not so close second De Molen Pek & Veren @ $34.
Big board of foodings dangles to the rear. It’s late, so we’re going to get something on while we can. I did the grilled chicky sandwich, and Ben, the ribeye & white cheddar burger. I violated his fries in his absence.
Servers were good. Ben said “For a place that considers itself a serious beer bar, when you ask what a beer is, they go wiiish and pull you a pinch without hesitation”. I agree and do like that. All sorts of specials, foodwise and drinky drink, too. Girls dressed in catholic school garb do not offend. And they’ve got a really good jukebox. I’ve been running it for more than an hour now. I apologize to no one. Ben attempted to add behind my 16 songs, which are awesome, ‘cause I gone selected them, and I have much better taste than you. I could do some time here…
10-02-2012 00:33:24 | More by slander
More User Reviews:
Congregation Ale House in Long Beach, CA
91 out of 100 based on 33 ratings.