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Beer's Always Prime Time at BBC


For some time now, I have been a loyal subject of that troika, Marathon, Full Sail and Long Beach Crude. I refer not to win, place and show candidates at Santa Anita, but to the three elixirs brewed at the Belmont Brewing Co.

Situated near the Olympic swimming pool in Belmont Shore, the BBC is an appropriate haven, day or night, for a single guy or a single girl, a starlit date, a Sunday afternoon family outing or a rousing celebration. Indeed, the dress may be casual, but be informed, the beers are taken seriously.

A large aquarium one encounters upon entering enforces the marine motif. There are brewing tanks to be ogled as one bellies up to the bar, a television that occasionally shows Australian rules football or English soccer, and a large picture window from which one can scan the ocean as well as the oil derricks.

Outside, the senses are equally assaulted on a patio that overlooks the beach: the bracing salt air, the sun-washed salmon colored walls, the dazzling expanses of beach, sailboats, sea gulls, the Long Beach skyline and, finally, the Queen Mary.

Then there is the food, great food, served by athletically efficient waitresses in short denim skirts: a divine angel hair pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, fish tacos, Reuben sandwiches, individual-sized pesto pizzas and the mammoth and delicious Chinese chicken salad.

But easily the star attractions, the sina quo non, are the beers brewed on the premises: Marathon, the lightest of the three; Full Sail, which billows in your mouth like an expanding balloon; and Crude, pumped raw from one of those oil derricks.

There are amenities, such as a happy hour featuring drink specials (limited, since the bar serves only its own beers, plus a few wines--no mixed drinks are available), but the best time to be here is in the middle of the afternoon when, on a sunny day, you can contemplate the horizon or your navel, or someone else's navel on the beach below.

Belmont Brewing Co., 25 39th Place, Long Beach. Open Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to midnight; Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. (213) 433-3891.

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