Sunset Beer in Echo Park
This place just opened in Echo Park. It's at 1498 Sunset in the corner of a tucked away little strip mall one block east of Laveta Terrace (across the street from A-Grocery). Very easy to miss so keep your eyes peeled. Not only is it the first craft beer store in the area - it also has a bar/tasting room.
Management assured me that the limited selection would expand considerably in the future but I found it to be fairly well-rounded. I should say in advance I'm not a 'hop-head' or 'beer geek.' I find most American craft brews sledgehammer you with hops, grains of paradise, seasonal herbs, etc. So when I walked in I expected to see a lot of Angel City, Dogfish and other beers that aren't really my cup of tea. What I found was a broad selection of beers from around the world. A few German favorites (including one Kolsch), plenty of American, Belgian and English beers and of course a heaping serving of Unibroue selections - perhaps the only Quebecois import more gag-inducing than Celine Dion.
I was really into the Hitachino Nest selection. I'd had the white ale before and it hadn't made much of an impression. But having quaffed the spectacular Red Rice Ale and Ginger-flavored beer I'm now on a quest to get any and all offerings available here. The Hitachinos are just so much more balanced than their American counterparts. I realize I'm coming a bit late to this party but if anyone knows where I can get a full selection please fill me in - especially curious about the Sweet Stout. Also picked up a Saison Dupont - a cloudy Belgian farmhouse ale strangely reminiscent of unpasteurized maekkoli. I thought I was pretty much over Belgian beers but this stuff was amazing - crisp citrus notes and a moderated ABV.
You can buy beers and drink them in store for a $2/bottle corkage. Also around six rotating beers on tap. If they did a $1/bottle corkage happy hour that would certainly draw me in. Having some olives, nuts, charcuterie, etc. wouldn't hurt none either. Also, posted prices is something I'd like to see. It's a classy move that encourages me to buy more - not less (cough, cough Cheese Store of Silver Lake).
Very glad to have this place in the neighborhood. A good option when one tires of Tecate from the CVS.
Sunset Beer Company
1498 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Nice review of the place, I stopped a few days ago myself.
I found it to be nice little spot to have a beer but not quite a beer destination place in anyone is wondering if it is worth crossing town to get there.
As far as the Hitachino sweet stout you might be disappointed when you find one. It's not the best beer in their lineup or the best example of a sweet stout but you should try it anyways to see for yourself.
Try calling Vendome Toluca Lake or check in with Farbar in Little Tokyo.
You can for sure find some of the other beers in their lineup around town like the Espresso Stout which is quite good and the XH which is the one aged in sake casks.
I would also recommend trying a Fantome Saison if you like the Dupont. It will be a little funkier but a Saison favorite among Saison fans.
A quick follow up on my beer hunt. Was able to find the Hitachino Espresso Stout at Galco's. Amazing balance of chocolate and coffee - not an everyday drinker but a really spectacular beer nonetheless.
I also tried a couple saisons that were new to me. Had the Bruery's Saison Rue - a nice beer but if I'm going to spend $17 for a bottle of something it's probably going to be wine. Also had the Saision Feuillien on tap at Wurstkucke - completely forgettable compared to the Saison Dupont. Still keeping an eye out for the Fantome - I really like the Casper-logo on the label.
715 Dunn Way, Placentia, CA 92870