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Brewing beer, curing meat, or making cheese? Tell us about it

Best Beer

casualcat Dec 16, 2008 08:35 AM

Ok, so i love beer, all sorts. Now when i go to out to the bars, they really don't have much of a selection, are there any good places to go that have more than 3 beers on tap? i mean like easily 10, and then any places that have a bunch of micro brewed beers in LA?!

  1. t
    Tony Miller Feb 7, 2009 06:22 PM

    I was introduced to cask-conditioned beers a few years ago in Pennsylvania, and loved them. I also found them at the Steelhead brewpub in my former home town of Burlingame, CA, and enjoyed them too. Since moving back to LA, I have found nada.

    Any other cask-conditioned enthusiasts, or any recos regarding LA locations that serve it? I'd prefer South Bay, West side, or Long Beach, but would go anywhere in a pinch.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Tony Miller
      ozbuc Feb 7, 2009 08:16 PM

      Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach always has something on cask. Their food is a carnivores delight.


    2. s
      SteveOtruba Jan 21, 2009 08:21 AM

      When I was travelling to LA regularly my best beer places were usually British Pubs such as the Robin Hood Tavern in Van Nuys or the Crown and Anchor in Thousand Oaks.

      Nowadays I'm travelling more to OC and have found a variety of good places.

      My current favorites are Taps Fish House & Brewery in Brea which always has eight of their biers draft and usually one cask. Their brewmaster Victor makes a wide variety of styles ranging thru English, German, Belgian and American. So far pretty much all of them that I've tried have been true to style.

      Other Pubs with good bier selections in that area that I've liked have been The Olde Ship in Fullerton for a good English Pub, Heroes in Fullerton and Yard House in Brea both with hugh selection of drafts.

      1. moto Jan 9, 2009 11:55 PM

        About fifteen taps, but well selected, huge selection of bottled beers to take away: Hollingshead's Deli in Orange (the city within the county). They'll let you sample anything, the prices aren't cheap but fair for the quality, and you have a choice of portion size. Lots of regular beer-ists frequent it which keeps the always-changing selection of taps fresh. As far as cali microbrews, I know the n.cal ones better as a resident there, and they have n.cal stars like Russian River ales, and always a solid representation of Belgian and German stuff on tap, not the usual big brewery products, either. The German and Belgian bottled selection is equal to most I've seen in LA/OC, and the old guy and his son know what they're pouring. They do straightforward, basic deli sandwiches and a couple of plain salads, as far as eats. cheers

        1. b
          burntwater Jan 9, 2009 05:43 PM

          Verdugo is a great place for exceptional beer.

          Their macro tap is Stella and it only gets better from there.

          They are into rotating as much unique, quality and seasonal taps as they can at this little gem in Glassel Park.

          As of a few nights ago they had Fantome on tap which is pretty much unheard of around these parts and most of the US for that matter.

          Here's a report card from folks who care about good beer....


          1 Reply
          1. re: burntwater
            laeditormatthew Jan 12, 2009 06:04 PM

            Verdugo is amazzzzzing!

          2. j
            jlrobe Jan 9, 2009 05:05 PM

            LA is not a beer town, but luckily LA is a huge place, so it still has some offerings. Here is my cookie cutter response.

            Comprehensive and/or Great Selection:
            Lucky Devils
            the otheroom
            fathers office
            Blue Palms Brew House
            The 3rd Stop
            library bar
            lucky baldwins / Delerium Pub
            laurel tavern
            Najas (Best Selection, bad atmosphere)
            Daily Pint
            stuffed sandwhich
            el prado
            Brussels in Laguna Beach
            Boneyard Bistro (Expensive Sit down restaurant)
            red lion tavern

            Restaurants with 15+ Quality Offerings:
            library ale house in Santa Monica
            3 on fourth in santa monica
            Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach
            cafe boogaloo In Hermosa Beach

            Large Selection, but unimpressive in my book:
            yard house
            Barney's Beanery
            Good Luck Bar

            Restaurants with a < 10 truly solid choices but possibly worth a mention:
            Village Idiot
            Pure Luck Restaurant

            LA's upper crust is solid (as always), but the typical LA bar is TERRIBLE.
            All of the places I mentioned are quality IMHO.

            2 Replies
            1. re: jlrobe
              peppermonkey Feb 2, 2009 02:43 PM

              Thanks jlrobe. I've only visited a few of these places but I can tell you know what you're talking about. I'll have to make my way through the rest. I'm no beer connisieur but I Belgian beers rule, although I do like my racer 5 and anchor steam

              1. re: peppermonkey
                jlrobe Feb 7, 2009 03:53 PM

                "Thanks jlrobe. I've only visited a few of these places but I can tell you know what you're talking about. I'll have to make my way through the rest. I'm no beer connisieur but I Belgian beers rule, although I do like my racer 5 and anchor steam"

                sure thing. Racer 5 is GREAT stuff, and achor makes some solid beers, e.g. their summer ale with BBQ ribs! Belgians make great beer, but so does American Microbrew.

            2. l
              lakeshow318 Jan 8, 2009 07:03 PM

              seriously. the best place to go is the daily pint on pico and cloverfield on west LA. most interesting beers. very divey, but they have SHUFFLEBOARD! need i say more. oh yeah, they have some of the rarest beers that i've seen in LA. occasionally some hand pumped cask ales, etc. nifty place. guys to girl ration is around 9.9:1.0 but what do you expect.

              1. l
                luvlife2day Jan 8, 2009 03:11 PM

                I would recommend the Yard House in Pasadena or Naja's - big selection at both!

                1. m
                  Mateo R Jan 8, 2009 10:44 AM

                  Barneys beanery has about 40 beers on tap, and I think they are included in the happy hour specials. As a founding member of the Rogue Nation, I can't recommend any beers brewed in LA. They do offer several selections from Stone, which Is the best microbrewery in Southern CA.

                  A list of my Favorites:
                  Rogue Brutal Bitter- Does anyone know where to find this on tap in LA?
                  Stone Arrogant Bastard- Your palate in not developed enough to appreciate this one.
                  Bohemia - great with food or on a hot day.
                  Grimbergen or Leffe- something different.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: Mateo R
                    laeditormatthew Jan 9, 2009 04:40 PM

                    nice, i have my rogue card! Where in LA had rogue on tap?!?!

                    1. re: Mateo R
                      Bjartmarr Jan 12, 2009 07:14 PM

                      "I can't recommend any beers brewed in LA"

                      I was similarly unimpressed by Angel City's offerings the last time I tried them, but what about Craftsman? I've had some fine, fine beers from Craftsman over the past few years.

                      Besides the smoked porter, does Stone make anything that isn't aggressively hopped? I like my hops in moderation.

                      1. re: Bjartmarr
                        laeditormatthew Jan 13, 2009 10:36 AM

                        All the ones i have had are hopptastic, nothing moderate. It's weird, i used to hate Stone brews but i can only imagine my taste buds changed (what is the theory, 5 yrs? 3yrs?) and now i cant get enough!

                        1. re: Bjartmarr
                          tastycakes Jan 13, 2009 01:59 PM

                          try the vertical epic aged a couple years

                          1. re: tastycakes
                            laeditormatthew Jan 13, 2009 09:15 PM

                            By Stone? Where can i get it?

                            1. re: laeditormatthew
                              burntwater Jan 14, 2009 05:55 AM

                              The Vertical Epic is a seasonal release once a year starting in 2002.
                              The 08 release was 080808 so it's harder to find now but not impossible.

                              Call Red Carpet in Glendale, They may still have some

                              The Verdugo has Rogue in it's rotation.
                              Shakespere Stout on Nitros was the last thing I had from them (pretty recently) but it may be gone.
                              If there is a hot beer on tap it can go pretty quickly.

                              Most of the better beer bars usually have some type of Rogue handle
                              like Dead guy or even double Dead guy.

                              1. re: burntwater
                                laeditormatthew Jan 14, 2009 08:02 AM

                                haha i had the Shakespere a few days ago at V too! Man i love rogue, i just recently tried double dead as the original is one of my favorite beers! Never been to red carpet and i used to live in Gdale. Have you had Delerium Nocturnum, it is on my list too.

                          2. re: Bjartmarr
                            jdwdeville Jan 20, 2009 07:14 PM

                            i'm also anti-hops, try the oaked arrogant bastard, the new wood tames the overwhelming bitterness in this version.

                        2. b
                          B Minus Jan 7, 2009 04:21 PM

                          The place you are looking for is Verdugo Bar.


                          1 Reply
                          1. re: B Minus
                            grabtrees Jan 8, 2009 09:10 AM

                            oh nice, look at this one! thanks!

                          2. t
                            tastycakes Jan 7, 2009 03:04 PM

                            blue palms on hollywood and gower next to the henry fonda theater is the best - 20 plus craft brews on tap every day, selection changes every few days. awesome sweet potato fries too!


                            1. j
                              Jaytizzle Dec 16, 2008 04:00 PM

                              Not sure where in LA you're at but if you're ever in the Orange County area go to the Goat Hill Tavern in Costa Mesa. They have 141 beers on tap. The most I've seen anywhere so far!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Jaytizzle
                                mikester Jan 9, 2009 03:17 PM

                                Have you been here lately ? I haven't, and have not heard much about it for quite a while, so I'm curious how ther're doing. Last time I was there (quite a few years ago), the german beer that I'd ordered was just, plain flat, and the bartender tried to tell me that it was correct. I've been to Germany and had my share of lagers, and it was not correct. I think the large selection means that turnover is too low on the less popular taps.

                              2. mollyomormon Dec 16, 2008 03:27 PM

                                and in january, the golden state on fairfax:

                                1. ozbuc Dec 16, 2008 03:15 PM

                                  Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach. You can see the beers they have on tap here.


                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: ozbuc
                                    maiweezy Jan 7, 2009 02:24 PM

                                    seconded! especially because they had cask ale here the last time i went

                                  2. l
                                    luhkee Dec 16, 2008 11:57 AM

                                    Links here...

                                    Cafe Boogaloo
                                    1238 Hermosa Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

                                    Naja's Place
                                    154 International, Boardwalk Redondo Beach, CA

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: luhkee
                                      kevin Dec 17, 2008 03:51 PM

                                      naja's is good, you can also go to the Stuffed Sandwich.

                                      closed to a thousand beers but they are all in the bottle, except for a rotating tap of a near dozen.

                                    2. l
                                      luhkee Dec 16, 2008 11:56 AM

                                      Najas on Redondo pier has an enormous selection.

                                      Cafe Boogaloo in Hermosa has well picked beers, good music and excellent food.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: luhkee
                                        JBC Dec 16, 2008 12:43 PM

                                        Naja's - Beer Count:

                                        88 - On Tap
                                        94 - Belgium (bottled).
                                        96 - Other Bottled Beers
                                        278 --> Is that enough ?


                                        1. re: JBC
                                          grabtrees Dec 18, 2008 08:39 AM

                                          hahaha wow thats incredible. perfect.

                                      2. h
                                        heckonwheels Dec 16, 2008 10:21 AM

                                        T. Phillips has about 70-80 beers on tap. Locations in La Verne and Glendora.

                                        Also good is Lucky Baldwins in Pasadena and Sierra Madre with about as many, very good for Belgians. Bud and Coors not on tap there, only in bottles and hidden away as much as possible.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: heckonwheels
                                          PurpleTeeth Dec 16, 2008 01:10 PM

                                          Love Lucky Baldwins in Sierra Madre but at the one in Pasadena the beer is always too warm. The Coffee Table Lounge in Eagle Rock has more than 20 on tap. A mix of imports and usa and always very cold. The Weihenstephan is soo good!

                                        2. a
                                          a213b Dec 16, 2008 10:06 AM

                                          I would also add Boneyard Bistro.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: a213b
                                            casualcat Dec 16, 2008 10:21 AM

                                            thanks, i really dont like the hollywood scene, i want a good beer and a good time with friends.

                                          2. n
                                            nick_r Dec 16, 2008 09:02 AM

                                            Chowpatty has many good suggestions. I'd add the Library Alehouse on Main Street in Santa Monica. And, of course, there's the Yard House in Long Beach or Pasadena, with its 100 or so taps, but it's not so much a bar as a tourist trap.

                                            But Father's Office is the daddy of them all.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: nick_r
                                              jdwdeville Dec 16, 2008 02:40 PM

                                              +1 on the Library Alehouse, last night it was packed to the hilt and they staff still took the time to ask me what I like in a beer in order to recommend something I'd enjoy.
                                              I can't quite recommend it, but the Otherroom on Abbot Kinney in Venice has a good selection of beer, if high priced and loud.

                                            2. Chowpatty Dec 16, 2008 08:39 AM

                                              You'll find plenty of other threads on this, but start with:
                                              Father's Office
                                              Third Stop
                                              Verdugo in Glassell Park
                                              Library Bar Downtown
                                              Wurstkuche sausage Downtown
                                              Lucky Baldwin's in Pasadena
                                              Laurel Tavern
                                              Rustic Canyon

                                              Where are you located? There's plenty more in other neighborhoods.

                                              13 Replies
                                              1. re: Chowpatty
                                                laeditormatthew Dec 16, 2008 09:21 AM

                                                Ugh i am sorry but Laurel Tavern sucks, all CA beer and terrible service with a poor layout.

                                                I second Verdugo, best selection i have seen in LA.

                                                1. re: laeditormatthew
                                                  Chowpatty Dec 16, 2008 09:29 AM

                                                  well, I haven't actually been to Laurel yet, but nothing wrong with California beer!

                                                  1. re: Chowpatty
                                                    bulavinaka Dec 16, 2008 02:31 PM

                                                    I'm scratching my head and don't know what's wrong with CA beers as well... A lot of great brewing going on all over this sudsy state...

                                                    1. re: bulavinaka
                                                      laeditormatthew Dec 17, 2008 03:18 PM

                                                      Oh no disrespect to CA beer just that there are 49 other states and roughly 190 other countries so when a mediocre CA beer gets served over it's superior international counterpart i cry a little. And really, i strongly disliked Laurel when i went. STRONGLY!

                                                      1. re: laeditormatthew
                                                        bulavinaka Dec 17, 2008 04:00 PM

                                                        That's fair and can understand your aversion. I've never been to this place but think the concept is interesting - highlighting a region's specific products - in this case, beer. I would think visiting this place a few times would give one a pretty firm understanding of the various "styles," as well as fairly determining one's likes and dislikes about general styles or specific brews from our wonderful state.

                                                        I turned my nose to most brews that weren't from Belgium for quite a while until I started giving some bottles from NorCal a try - now I'm a big fan of those as well. Had I stumbled across a place like Laurel, I would have dropped my baseless bias a lot sooner.

                                                        I looked over the YELP reviews and it seems that you had quite a different experience from the majority of posters - not that this makes you wrong or them right. All in all, it sounds like it just wasn't your cup of tea with a fair dose of service issues. But as for the beers, what did and didn't you like, just so I can get a better idea of their offerings and your palate? Thanks

                                                        1. re: bulavinaka
                                                          laeditormatthew Dec 18, 2008 08:35 AM

                                                          Oh i would agree kevin, they both are.
                                                          As far as beer goes i truthfully love everything, I love Rogue Dead Guy, Most anything by Unibroue, Delerium, even some good old Wisconsin PBR.
                                                          To be honest their beer didn't bother me, it was good and there was plentiful selection but i felt like a few selections could have been replaced with MUCH better international brews. As far as the place itself is concerned, the service was terrible, we sat at the bar for a while before we were even acknowledged. I mean it is def a trendy gastro pub, you are expected to have the plot with out being told. I dont get how they have full service food but no waitresses, at least we didnt see any for the tables. Does every one order at the bar? Can any other hounds clarify this? Anyways, like i said on yelp, if i am sitting AT THE BAR i should not have an empty glass for more than a minute, i mean come on. As far as the food is concerned; the chorizo fondue was okay, greasy and def need a more malleable cheese as when it cooled it became a solid mass. It wasn't really fondue at all just heated cheese with chorizo and mushrooms, tasty but nothing i couldn't make in my microwave. The fries pretty much sucked, i was ALL for pork fat drizzled fries, i was even a little excited but they were SO flaccid and the pork fat really only would have been good if they had the fried charred acidic crispy flavor instead of a semi baked potato feel/taste. I dont know, i was just excited for a cool gastro pub but it was pretty bad experience. I will prob give it a second chance in order to try some of the more daring menu items but i hope the service and quality is better when i do... OH and it is pricey as hell.

                                                        2. re: laeditormatthew
                                                          jlrobe Jan 9, 2009 05:18 PM

                                                          "Oh no disrespect to CA beer just that there are 49 other states and roughly 190 other countries so when a mediocre CA beer gets served over it's superior international counterpart i cry a little. And really, i strongly disliked Laurel when i went. STRONGLY!""

                                                          Laeditormathew. Are you trying to convince Californians that other states in this country matter? That is blasphemy. All kidding aside, Californians take great pride in their artisinal products whether it be our fine cheeses, wines, and yes Beer.

                                                          We have every beer imaginable between the ultra malty belgians and ultra hoppy California style IPAs On one end of the spectrum we have Brother Thelonious (superior to chimay IMHO) and Damnation Ale (superior to Duvel IMHO), on the other end of the spectrum we have killer IPAs like Racer 5 and Ruination Ale. We've got porters like black butte porter and we have got crazy stouts, like Stone Imperial russian stout. If I want 50 different varities and a selection of over 100 quality beers, I have to look no further than my golden state.

                                                          That being said, obviously german, belgian, Pacific Northwest and East Coast beers are not to be missed despite CA's awesome selection.

                                                          1. re: jlrobe
                                                            laeditormatthew Jan 12, 2009 06:03 PM

                                                            Well said. I didn't see Thelonious or Damnation there (i dig both and might have missed them) and i pretty much like anything Stone brews but i stand by not liking Laurel Tavern.

                                                            1. re: jlrobe
                                                              grinninggourmand Jan 18, 2009 04:05 AM

                                                              One thing: Black Butte Porter is a product of Deschutes Brewery (Bend/Portland, Oregon).
                                                              California can boast many fine craft beers, but as an Angeleno recently moved to Portland: fresh-out-of-tap Pacific Northwest beer is plentiful, and amazing! (I miss LA., but the beer here helps.) Most important is to patronize local breweries, for the best beer supply, and support of the local crafters. If the alcohol ordinances support refillable growlers (which I'm not sure happens in L.A), that's a great way to take home a supply of fresh beer.

                                                              1. re: grinninggourmand
                                                                jlrobe Jan 22, 2009 03:19 PM

                                                                "One thing: Black Butte Porter is a product of Deschutes Brewery (Bend/Portland, Oregon). "

                                                                Funny you mentioned that. About 3 days ago while driving around town and thinking about beer (like I always do), I remember my mistake. Thanks for calling me on it!

                                                                grinninggourmand. you make an excellent point about Porland. As CA is known for its farm to table, Portland is known for its brewer cask to beer mug!
                                                                Like I said, the pacific northwest does not dissappoint!


                                                          2. re: bulavinaka
                                                            kevin Dec 17, 2008 03:49 PM

                                                            pasadena based Craftsman 1903 and Prohibition are both wonderful beers.

                                                        3. re: laeditormatthew
                                                          hyacinthgirl Jan 7, 2009 12:08 PM

                                                          Just tried Laurel Tavern last night and had a much better experience than you, Matthew. While you do have to order at the bar (no waitresses), the bartenders were all friendly and extremely attentive and the food came out quickly. Even when it got a little busy, I never had to fight for bartender attention and eye contact the way it can be in many bars. They were even helpful in recommending some new drinks to try.
                                                          I'm not a beer drinker, so I won't comment there.
                                                          As for the food, it was good. The best? No. But the burrata beet plate was very nice, well sized and more than enough burratta for two of us splitting it (we can both be a bit burrata territorial, so it was nice to not be fork fighting for once...). The fries were not the crispiest, it's true, but they weren't flaccid either, and they had a nice amount of seasoning and taste. Again, certainly not the absolute best fries, but there also weren't any leftover.
                                                          I didn't try the pork belly skewers, but my meat obsessed friends were licking their fingers.
                                                          All in all, a nice experience.

                                                        4. re: Chowpatty
                                                          liltamby5 Dec 16, 2008 11:59 AM

                                                          Library Bar is great! They have some great Ales! Also Father's office is a great choice too. Plus they have the best Burger's around...Beer and burgers...doesn't get much better than that!

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