I had high hopes for Long Beach’s Congregation Alehouse: a monastery-style bar worshiping all things beer. But things started on the wrong foot when I was told that they didn’t have table service and I’d have to place all orders at the bar. Meh, Father’s Office does this, too. They’ll deliver food to your seat but you have to go up to the bar whenever you want to order another beer, etc. Wonder why that is? With this in mind, the most coveted seats are the ones at the bar. If those are all taken you have your choice of the community tables throughout the bar or the benches on the outdoor patio.
Things didn’t improve when I ordered Dogfish’s Midas Touch ($8) — a beer I had enjoyed this past Sunday at Dionicess’ beer lunch. I was told they had it in a bottle but not on tap but then about five minutes later the beertender came back and said they didn’t have it in a bottle either. So she proceeded to try and sell me on a light beer and then fruity ales. I looked at her incredulously. Wuuut? In their menu it categorizes Midas as a stronger ale. Sure, it’s a sweet, dry ale but it ain’t all that fruity and it certainly isn’t light.
Why was she try to sell me on the less-strong stuff? Was it because I’m a girl? As a girl herself I thought she’d be on my side. Hmm, or maybe I’m being too sensitive? When I didn’t respond right away, she then suggested the Hibernation Ale…or some light beer as an alternative to the Midas Touch. After sipping on each in a sampler glass, I went with the Hibernation Ale ($6), which they had on tap. Really tasty and potent stuff. A dangerous combo with an empty stomach and the residual effects of the antihistamine I took eight hours earlier. Otherwise, I highly recommend it.
Anyway, turns out they have food at this bar, too, especially a variety of sausages, like duck and bacon or pork and goat cheese, which are $7.50 each. Unfortunately/fortunately my bf didn’t want to get food here. He had come here before when the bar first opened and was less than impressed with their small portions, especially considering the prices they charge for them. “They’re snacks, not meals,” he told me as I looked longingly at a basket of Belgian fries that wafted past me. Oh well. I guess he was too hungry to even think of dining here.
In any case, to give you an idea of their beer prices, they charge $5 for Craftsman Heavenly Hefe or Guinness and $8 for Duvel Green. You can either take your pick of the beers they have on tap which are displayed on the chalkboard near the bar, or peruse their bible o’ beers which are categorized by beer type. But, FYI, just because it’s listed doesn’t mean they have it so make sure to have a back-up beer in mind before you place your order.
And they do have a happy hour: $1 off all draft beer and wine, $3 well drinks, $5 burgers or sausages.
201 E Broadway
Long Beach, California 90802 (map)