These photos were taken over the course of three years, beginning with my first visit in January 2020, a follow-up visit in January 2023, and ending with my visit on Memorial Day 2023 to Boardroom Brewery, El Segundo’s newest craft brewery.
So yeah, this tale begins back at the end of 2019 when Brouwerij West co-founder Dave Holop asked me if I knew anything about what was to be El Segundo’s fifth craft brewery. I was given an address and started dropping by every time I went to El Segundo. On January 8 I lucked out and showed up on a day that Forchi, the owner, happened to be there, having lunch as I recall. I introduced myself, and got permission to grab some photos. At that point in time Forchi knew he wanted to open a brewery; he was pretty much waiting for approval from the City of El Segundo and did not even have a name picked yet. If he did, he was holding it close to the vest.
The location immediately grabbed my attention as it is an old Quonset hut that was placed there in World War II as a parts factory, primarily making parts for aircraft. It is quite photogenic, and apparently the design of Quonset huts makes them cooler than your standard brick and mortar buildings; so if it ever warms up here again we can test that theory.
When I got home to upload the photos to my laptop I named the gallery ES5 as it would be El Segundo’s fifth brewery, but it had no name. In January of this year I dropped by, but no one was there, however, there was now signage that suggested that they at least a name. When I looked through the blacked out windows I could see that there was a brewhouse, so progress was definitely being made.
A few days ago a friend sent me an Instagram link from @boardroomatarena suggesting they were opening this weekend; he asked if they were taking over the old Surfridge Brewing location. When I saw the address I knew exactly who it was and made plans to stop by on Monday, Memorial Day.
When I arrived yesterday, they had a nice group there and a couple dogs, so I knew I was going to have a good time.
Apparently I had not been paying close enough attention because they had actually celebrated their grand opening this past Friday. I was not going to let that get in my way, so I proceeded to check out their space, which now includes a “meeting room” area in the back that also included what seems to becoming the norm, video games!
After grabbing some photos and meeting beertender Duke, I made my way back to the bar where I reintroduced myself to Forchi and received a flight of the five brews they currently had on tap; a pilsner, kolsch, pale ale, PNW IPA, and a Mexican brown lager.
I know this is not a beer review site, but I feel I need to mention that frequently being the guy that tries to visit breweries shortly after they open does not always work out, but these beers were solid. If I were to rank them, my favorites (in order) were the IPA, pilsner, Mexican lager, kolsch, and pale ale. It was kind of funny that my flight had been misidentified and I thought the kolsch left a lot to be desired; until I tasted the actual kolsch and discovered that what I was told was the kolsch was actually the pale ale.
The fact of the matter is that all five brews were solid and the head retention on each of them was so outstanding that I actually felt the need to mention it.
While I initially announced on my Facebook page that El Segundo was getting their fifth brewery, the past three years have been tough for small businesses. In the past few years Surfridge Brewing closed (stay tuned, apparently will reopen), and Rob Rubens became R6 Distillery, so Boardroom Brewery is El Segundo’s third brewery after El Segundo Brewing and Upshift Brewing.
Boardroom Brewery has a 7bbl, all electric, brewhouse with one 15bbl fermenter and four 7bbl fermenters, all manned by brewer Reuben Ruiz. They are dog friendly and have food trucks/popups scheduled for days they are open.
If there is a downside to Boardroom it has to be their parking which borders on nonexistent in that they do not have their own parking lot. On the upside, EL Segundo does not have parking meters so if you can find a spot, jump on it. Personally, I found a large parking lot just north of the brewery, on the east side of the street. It looks like an old church, and I saw no signs telling me I could not park there, so I took advantage of it with no parking ticket. I am not saying it is legal to park there, but I had no problems.
Boardroom Brewery is located at 211 Arena Street in El Segundo. They are currently open Thursday from 4:00 to 9:00 PM, Friday and Saturday from 4:00 to 10:00 PM, and Sunday from 2:00 to 6:00 PM. Cheers!
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