10 Best LA Breweries for Craft Beer
For clarification, it's not exactly in Highland Park—brewing still takes place there but the main spot to get the beer is at Highland Park Brewery's Chinatown warehouse. An ample space where gleaming vats and oak barrels brew up some of the finest craft beers in the Southland. Plus, a full kitchen and ample patio space that often gets a good crowd. Some of their more popular beers include Hello LA, Timbo Pils, and their barrel-aged sour ale.
Tucked at the southern tip of LA County, the seaside town of Long Beach is where you'll find Beachwood Brewery, with over 30 draft beers in their taproom. The brewpub also has some of the area's best barbecue, offering temptations like wings tossed in beer buffalo sauce, slow-smoked andouille sausage, plus fried pickles with a chili buttermilk dipping sauce. And, of course, some great IPAs and lagers among the craft brews.
Eagle Rock Brewery
Straddling the line between Atwater Village and Glassell Park, and not far from the Eagle Rock neighborhood, the Eagle Rock Brewery has been satisfying beer lovers since 2009. Pull up a seat, in their tasting room or out on the patio, and play a board game with friends as you enjoy their small-batch creations. A good place to begin is with their signature Populist IPA, then perhaps choose from a variety of Belgian and German-style beers, or maybe an American pale ale.
Housed in a cavernous warehouse in the Arts District, the Boomtown Brewery welcomes with a pool table, shuffleboard, long wooden tables for large gatherings, and comfy couches in more intimate spaces. Plus, a big patio where you can enjoy wood-fired tacos with your beer. And about that beer? Popular choices include the Bad Hombre Mexican-style lager, Mic Czech Bohemian-style pilsner, and the Chavez Ravine IPA.
While technically a San Diego brewery, the Modern Times research and development brewhouse in Downtown LA qualifies as Tinseltown-made craft beer. This "Dankness Dojo'' is a funky spot, bedecked with piñatas, comic book art, and vintage accents everywhere. The Dojo is also a coffee shop with a vegan food menu. But most folks come for the beer; there are over 30 of them on tap! While there are seasonal offerings, a few of the year-round favorites include Fortunate Islands IPA and the Black House stout.
Monkish Brewing Co.
The Monkish Brewing Co. lies outside the LA brewing epicenter of Downtown Los Angeles. If you want to sample some of their famed Belgian beers, pale ales, and IPAs, you're taking a trip to Torrance. Where you'll get a reward of free pretzels for your effort. You can enjoy one (or more) of their brews in their pour room, back tasting room, or recently opened outdoor patio. When you're ready for food there's usually a good food truck parked nearby.
Smog City Brewery
While in Torrance, you'd be remiss not to swing by the Smog City Brewery. Plop down at a picnic table on their color-splashed patio to sample some of their signature brews: West Coast IPA, Mango Pango, Coffee Porter, and From LA Wit Love, to name a few. And when you've worked up an appetite, this is another spot that welcomes some of the area's best food trucks on a regular schedule.
MacLeod Ale Brewing Co.
Head "over the hill" to Van Nuys to meet the beer connoisseur couple Jennifer and Alastair Boase. She's got roots in Pasadena; he hails from the West Highlands of Scotland. Together they craft British-inspired beer at the MacLeod Ale Brewing Co. Brews such as Yorkshire-style cask ales, oatmeal stout drafts, and English ciders bring in British ex-pats from across the Big Orange. Plus, some amazing pizzas—who's up for a jalapeño pie topped with bacon, panko crumbs, and parmesan?
An outlier in terms of location, the original Homage Brewing sits at the eastern edge of LA County in downtown Pomona. And is well worth the drive from town. But there's also an option that's closer for most Los Angelinos: their Chinatown space. Whichever location you choose, you can enjoy craft beers like their pineapple-coconut IPA Beach Samba, plus a selection of barrel-aged saisons infused with a variety of fruits.
Los Angeles Aleworks
A stone's throw from Elon Musk's SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, the Los Angeles Aleworks is fronted by an astroturf-covered parking lot with umbrella-shaded picnic tables and wooden barrels for bellying up to with your brew. Inside it's an industrial-chic space with high ceilings and steel beams galore. With 25 taps in the tasting room, it's hard to say where to start, but perhaps with one of their Hoppy pale ales is a good place.
LA has some of the best breweries in California, all ready to pour a cold one for you. So why not enjoy a craft beer in LA today?Written by William McCleary for Knockaround.