Best Brewpubs / Microbreweries?
Hey all. I've been visiting Chow.com and reading posts for a while, but this is a first-time post for me. My girlfriend and I are big time beer people and we only recently moved to LA.
We were both wondering if there are any good brewpubs or microbreweries (with tours/tastings) in Los Angeles. I know there are plenty in San Diego and we've been to quite a few of them, but what about LA? Do you guys have any recommendations?
I've never been to Good Microbrew in Silverlake, but I drive by it all the time and it always has a decent amount of people in it.
I believe The Library Bar - downtown (6th and Flower?) have a good menu.
The Red Lion - also in Silverlake - is a proper German beer garden and is fantastic. Make sure you go all the way upstairs. And it fills up quickly with locals.
Good is not good at all, neither is Stuffed Sandwich. Yes, Good has a lot of beers, but if they do brew their own, which I doubt, no one has ever recommended it.
Library Bar is good but not a brewpub, I don't really care for most of the German beer selections at the Red Lion but it's ok if you want a patio.
However, to recap this thread, the only worthwhile local places where they actually brew beer seem to be Belmont Brewing and possibly Manhattan Beach Brewing, Red Car, Anacapa and Rock Bottom.
Went to Manhattan Beach Brewing yesterday and got a taster of all their brews. A lot of people order the Manhattan Beach Blonde, but I thought it had a funky aftertaste. The Hefeweizen and IPA were okay, but The Rat Beach Red and Winter Ale were the best. The place was pretty nice inside and the bartenders were friendly. Didn't try the food though, but it looked fine.
It was a bright and sunny day out and we had never been to Manhattan Beach before, so that made the trip more than worth it.
The Bruery in Placentia (Orange County) makes amazing Belgian-style beers and has a tasting room.
As the Beer Advocate list shows, there's a few others like Red Car in Torrance, but you'll usually get much better beers by going to one of the bars listed here and ordering something from Craftsman or from one of the other local breweries like Telegraph, Dale Bros. or Deans Bros. Hopefully Eagle Rock Brewing will get up and running soon with a tasting room.
BeerAdvocate lists nine brewpubs in the LA area, none of which receive particularly strong reviews:
Note: The Gordon Biersch in Pasadena closed recently.
There's one excellent brewery in the LA area, Craftsman in Pasadena:
However when I emailed Mark Jilg (Craftsman's brewmaster) a few months ago asking about tours, he replied that they don't do them yet.
There are some excellent beer bars around, though. My favorite so far is Fathers Office, but I haven't yet tried Blue Palms, Verdugo Bar, Daily Pint, or Boneyard Bistro, all of which are supposed to be excellent.
1018 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403
Dara Thai Cafe
3655 W Anthem Way Ste B127, Anthem, AZ 85086
2310 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405
3229 Helms Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90034
Blue Palms Brew House
6124 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
The Verdugo Bar
3408 Verdugo Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90065
Thanks for the advice guys. It's too bad that there aren't more brewpubs or open breweries like Stone in LA. Having lived in Kentucky and Georgia, I'm used to having places like the Bluegrass Brewing Company and the Sweetwater Brewing Company around. Guess this is all the more reason I should pick up the pace with my own brewing and start my own company!
Also, what's the word on Manhattan Beach Brewing? I heard they were good.
I've never visited Manhattan Beach Brewing, but BeerAdvocate contributors seem to be fairly equivocal:
Yelpers can't seem to get too excited by it, either.
I'm not aware of any really in LA proper that have tours/tastings. BJ's and Oggi's pizza places have some decent microbrews, as does Alcatraz Brewing (there is one in Orange, in OC but I am not sure if there are others). Also in Long Beach there is Rock Bottom, they brew on the premises as well.