Itsy Bitsy Ciders: Long Beach’s First Cider House Offers A Break From Ordinary Craft Beer
BY: COLLIN JAMES
Craft beers are all the rage, but the market is rapidly becoming oversaturated. Let’s face it– for some people, most IPAs taste the same, and a new craft brewery is just another brewery these days. Enter Great Society– Long Beach’s only mead and cider house located on the corner of Broadway and Atlantic avenues.
No beers on tap here, or even popular ciders like Angry Orchard. Instead, Great Society carries an array of 20 different ciders and meads on tap and even more in bottles. These drinks pack a punch in alcohol content, putting most craft beers to shame. Some ciders carry an ABV (an alcohol by volume) as high as 8.5 percent, and two meads on tap reach up to 12 percent.
And don’t fear the sweetness. Even the meads, made from fermented honey, will not leave you with a sugar high. For those who don’t know where to start, catch a flight-- samples of four various ciders. Tasters, a single sample, are also available for $2.50. Perfect if you want to find the right cider before ordering a pint.
Here’s a sample of the many varieties of ciders and meads on tap:
The Black Dog 101
The cider that bites back. Made from lemons and infused with live charcoal in the keg. It’s black, tart and bitter as hell. It’s the double IPA of the cider world. 6.9% ABV
Nectar Creek Clary Sage
This mead tasted like liquid honey. But, instead of an overly sweet taste, you get to taste the clover the honey was made from. 5% ABV
Mission Train Perry
This pear cider is tart, semi-sweet and goes down a little too easily. 6% ABV
Reverend Nat’s Revival
Your classic apple cider. Well-balanced flavors with just enough fizz. 6% ABV
Honest Abe Strawberry Mead
A personal favorite. A little sweet, a little sour and a nice crisp finish. 8.5% ABV
Great Society is built on the grave of the old Peppercorner, a one-time East Village breakfast spot. The change is so fresh, the old Peppercorner sign is still visible from the Google Maps street view. Great Society opened in August and is the newest edition to the changing roster of restaurants and bars in this up-and-coming neighborhood.
Pizza Pi is now Rebel Bite, the Green House coffee shop is now Linden Public and Bliss 525 has become Padre Mexican Cantina. In a neighborhood constantly looking for the newest trend and latest restaurant fashion, Great Society may have found its mark in the form of one of the only cider houses in all of California.
Great Society’s menu is also filled with trendy bites to eat.
On the left-hand side of the menu is a line of helpful dots correlating to all the vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. However, they still carry a classic house burger– a fat and juicy Angus beef patty with grilled onions and a bacon-pear jam on a pretzel bun. A word of advice– keep the oversize toothpick in the burger. Things will get messy otherwise.
The appetizers include fried Brussels sprouts, fries with house-made sun dried tomato ketchup and four-cheese mac and cheese.
Patio seating is available, and you can sip your cider with the cool ocean breeze washing over you. Or you can sit at the bar and watch Women’s International Roller Derby with 70s funk blaring on the radio. Although the establishment is no more than a month old, it’s already filling up with customers at happy hour.
Give Great Society a try for trendy drinks and a hearty bar grub. After all, you can only put so many hops into an IPA before it tastes like dirt. No two ciders taste the same at Great Society, so you might as well try them all.
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