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Jun 3, 2010 03:54 PM

Can a restaurants legally brew and serve their own beer in Los Angeles?

I was curious if it was legal for a restaurant in Los Angeles to brew it's own beer on the premises and serve it to its customers. Anyone know?

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    1. Gordon Biersch Brewery
      Crown City Brewery

      Crown City Brewery
      300 S Raymond Ave # 2, Pasadena, CA

      Gordon Biersch
      145 S San Fernando Blvd, Burbank, CA 91502

        1. re: shellshock24

          are additional permits required beyond what a normal restaurant might have?

          1. re: drogomo

            I believe there is a specific liquor license for brewing beer, and you may need another one to sell it. If you look at the ABC web page, it looks like you need #23 to make beer, but that doesn't allow you to sell it. Special licenses like that are hard to get if the city you're building in doesn't like the idea of a local brewery.


        2. Wasn't Wolfgang Puck's Eureka, back in the early '80's exactly this concept. Apparently, it came well ahead of its time.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Bob Brooks

            Yeah. I really liked that place, in fact, and was disappointed that it never caught on.

            1. re: Jack Flash

              Well, it caught on with the public--it was usually jammed--but, according to Puck's people, the brewing operations were so expensive that it never could make a profit. Apparently, they had hoped to market the beer outside the restaurant as well but were too undercapitalized (or overextended) to do so. It was a great place and was sorely missed when it closed. One might say that it was the best of times, it was the wurst of times.

              1. re: New Trial

                >> "it was the best of times, it was the wurst of times."

                So were they making sausage, too?

                1. re: Tripeler

                  Indeed. He even brought in a sausage specialist from Germany to help them create wonderful and interesting in-house specialties to go along with the traditional ones they made.

          2. Of course. It's called a brewpub (if it's principally a restaurant that serves its own beer) or a microbrewery (if it's principally a bar or tasting room, with or without a restaurant). Not only can you sell your own beer for consumption at the brewpub, you can sell your beer for "off-sale", meaning to go, either in sealed bottles, kegs, barrels or growlers.

            You need to apply for a Type 23 license from the California Dept. of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC -- The cost is $100 for the first year and $171 per year thereafter. Make sure you check whether there are moratoria on new alcoholic beverage licenses in the area you're looking in.

            And for God's sake if you're looking into selling your own beer—which is highly to be encouraged if it increases the general quality of beer available in LA—hook up with someone with prior restaurant experience. Trying to navigate the ABC without knowing what you're doing will almost certainly result in no license.