It’s wonderful when a new establishment opens up inside a historic Downtown building and is able to integrate contemporary features and attractions with the essence — and even mysteries — of the original structure.
Such is the case with Altar Society Brewing Co., the huge, multi-faceted brew pub slated to open soon at 230 Pine Avenue. Altar Society will inhabit the former home of the Masonic Temple, which was built in 1903 and retains its turn-of-the-century flavor.
Altar Society is expected to host its soft opening toward the end of this month. The Grand Opening is expected to take place in mid-October.
Jon Sweeney, who co-owns Altar Society with his partners Chris Evans and Courtney Dubar, provided a walk-through earlier this week, noting that this brick structure was among the few in the area to survive the historically devastating 1933 earthquake completely intact.
The impeccably designed old building will provide an attractive backdrop for Altar Society’s offerings, which include lagers, IPAs and seltzers brewed onsite and served on tap; Sliders, sandwiches, wings, fries, and New York-style pizza near the front; and a cafe in the back serving Altar Society brand coffees.
It’s a setup which really delivers that vibrant, slightly moody, big-city feeling.
Upstairs is the already-thriving events space and the temple itself, a dazzling room with an arched, exposed-beam ceiling accented with slim, elegant chandeliers. The space, which is available year ’round and is in high demand, includes the third floor lounge along with a bride and bridesmaids room.
“Where else can you walk into a 1903 building and experience all that?” Sweeney asked.
Evocative interior signage by industrial artist John Moss will set the tone for your Altar Society visit, drawing your eyes toward the massive stainless steel brewing tanks, which are state-of-the-art yet somehow reminiscent of yesteryear. “Our tanks were custom-made to fit this unique brewing space,” said Head Brewer Derek Wasak. “Utilizing all our tanks, we can have up to seven styles brewing at once.”
Patrons can sample up to 13 Altar Society beers — and a couple of seltzers — on tap, just a few feet away from the tanks in which they were brewed.
“We kept the aesthetics and vibe of the building to give a nostalgic and timeless feeling, area-appropriate and community-appropriate,” said co-owner Evans, who also pointed out the ten 65-inch screens discreetly installed throughout the ground floor’s 7500 square feet of space so no major sporting events will be missed.
“We’re very excited to be open to the public soon,” said Sweeney. “We’re hoping that this will be another big jump-start for Downtown business.”
For more information about Altar Society Brewing Co., follow along on Instagram @altarsocietybrewingco.
For more Downtown Long Beach businesses, make sure to visit downtownlongbeach.org/interactive-map for the full directory.