Compared to other parts of California, Los Angeles took a little longer to fully join the craft beer revolution. Now, it’s on board big time, with hip taprooms throughout the region.
Start in East L.A. at Eagle Rock Brewery, opened in 2009 and arguably the city’s first major player. It has now a neighborhood-y outpost on Colorado Blvd., too, serving such signature brews as Stimulus Coffee Belgian Amber and Manifesto Witbier along with some surprisingly sophisticated dishes (pork cheeks with pearl onions and celeriac; Cornish hen with potato, radish, and nettle chimichurri).
Next, sample what’s on tap—and see what’s on the walls—at Angel City Brewery, also known for displaying local artwork in its airy, gallery-like space. Head to leafy Glendale (a favorite address for celebs) to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere at Pub LA, aka The Pub at Golden Road, which serves up Golden Road Brewery creations such as 329 Days of Sun Lager ad Wolf Among Weeds IPA.
No beer geek’s visit to L.A. would be complete without downing a few of the selections at the sprawling Highland Park Brewery Chinatown. Claim a picnic bench on the patio or inside the brewery’s cavernous warehouse digs to order up one of its straightforward Baseball Lagers, or something more experimental, like Twiced Sangiovese, a barrel-aged rustic saison aged on the pomace (the solid remains of pressed grapes) of its namesake grape. Another option is to take advantage of this itinerary for a Long Beach Coastal Brewery Crawl, which takes you to three beachside breweries and a cidery with no driving required.
North of the city, in the Conejo Valley, follow locals to Tavern Tomoko & Ladyface Brewery. And south of L.A., discover a trio of outstanding craft brew finds: El Segundo Brewing (in El Segundo), Monkish Brewing (in Torrance), and Belmont Brewing Company, founded in Long Beach in 1990.