I have to start this blog with just a thank you to my zip code. I live in LA but more specifically in the area of LA that has more micro brew bars than anywhere else. I didn’t really realize how lucky I was until I did a search. Next week I have a meeting in Santa Monica. So I thought, hey I should go down early, have lunch try a new beer and write about it after. Well I turned to a good friend named Yelp, plugged in the zip code and “beers” and wow. Just wow. Where are all the good pubs? Not saying Santa Monica doesn’t have its fair share of great restaurants and fun bars. But the bars all had the same beer menu. The old guys. The basics. Nothing wrong with that. If you like Budweiser, fair enough. I love a cold Guinness.. But literally no place in like a 5 mile radius of where I was going served any CA beers or even any micro brews. Even the places with say “Ye Old” in their name just had the staples of pubs. Stuff we’ve been drinking for years. So I got to thinking where I live in LA, I guess I’m beer spoiled.
I have complied a list of places that we frequent. I promise to dedicate a blog to each and every one of these spots cause they are worth it!
I live minutes from Tony Darts Away http://www.tonysda.com one of the BEST bars in the city. Don’t take just my word for it. They were voted by Draft Mag as one of the best. And the food is unreal. Vegan or not you will love it. Take my advice now. Order the brussel sprouts. You’re Welcome. They have a VAST list of IPAs but also lagers, stouts and all craft brews. I take my son there once a year for spring break. He’s 6 so it’s only been the past two years. But dammit that makes it an annual tradition. No I’m not buying him a beer, I’m buying him a super delicious hot dog and playing a round of Candyland or Sorry with him. They not only have an extensive beer list of great CA beers they also have a shelf full of board games. This isn’t a kid joint, but if you do have a well behaved older child who will play a game of Battleship with you while you try a pint they don’t poo poo it. Just come at an appropriate time for a child to be out and when the place starts to fill up with folks getting off of work, that’s your cue to head home. (And remember: drink more than responsibility if you are with your kid. That means one beer, eat a lot and remind them no drinks til they are 21)
I live down the road from The Pub at Golden Road where they are making the brews right there! Right there! Not only a fun big space to hang out and drink their beers and guest beers (I’ve mentioned before I don’t love all IPAS but I sure like theirs) they have a huge patio where I have seen more than one family. I love a beer place with high chairs.
Granted I do my best beer tasting work when someone else is watching my sons. BUT I will say it’s nice to have the option that on a Saturday afternoon (not evening– come on don’t bring your kids to a bar after 8pm be a good parent and more so a good bar goer that doesn’t disrupt other folks night out). I can sit outside and have a Get Up Offa That Brown while my kids watch the trains go by. Don’t let this deter non parents from going. It’s a huge place. Kids don’t detract from your food and beer.
I also live close to Story Tavern in Downtown Burbank. Such nice people and a great selection of beers on tap. http://www.storytavernburbank.com/ and really yummy food. This place is like a true tavern. No patio but someplace I want to drink on rainy or sunny days. My next blog will be about their flights I enjoyed yesterday, a review of some Ciders and Dogfish Head beers.
If you want to go a lil main stream I do live near Barneys Beanery as well. One can’t ignore their beer on tap and bottles o’ plenty. And their bartenders are also crazy nice. http://www.barneysbeanery.com/burbank#
I recently came across Mohawk Bend in Echo Park http://www.mohawk.la They have an absurd amount of tasty beers on tap. http://mohawk.la/beer/
38 degrees Ale House in Alhambra has an extensive list as well http://38degreesalhambra.com/tap-hunter/
In the mood for a great sausage? Watch it sailor..(pausing while you get your Beavis and Butthead** laugh out) I mean to eat… Link and Hops in Atwater Village great beer great food! http://linksnhops-hub.com By the way Atwater Village is a lil area of awesomeness. More a wine place than beer, although they do have it, I have to mention 55 Degree Wines They have the greatest wine cellar ever. So fun to do flights of beer or wine there. The owner is so nice. And a private room I spent my XX milestone birthday in. Let’s not discuss age..unless it’s of their wine. http://www.55degreewine.com
When Im in the mood for the BEST German beers in the city, where else but The Red Lion Tavern http://www.redliontavern.net Hands down the BEST German Dunkels and other beers and fantastic German food.
Not too far from home I can not only get a good beer but an awesome burger at Stout Burgers http://www.stoutburgersandbeers.com/locations-studio-city
At little farther for me to drive but still this side of the “hill” is Lauren Tavern in Sherman Oaks http://www.laureltavern.net/
I had my first Speckled Hen there and I will be forever in debt to them.
Then you start getting into downtown…Angel City Brewery http://www.angelcitybrewery.com just opened up their new location moving from the West “Beachier” climate to Downtown LA. Yay closer to me!
Also downtown is The Los Angeles Brewing Company. Great beers on tap. Specials. And on an unrelated beer note they do a bottomless mimosa Sunday that kicks ass. When they say bottomless they mean it! http://labrewingco.com/
And one of my new SUPER FAVORITE beer places right there in the Bonaventure Hotel. Bonaventure Brewing Company http://www.bonaventurebrewing.com/. Wow. They have some yummy beers. I mean their blond I could drink for hours and hours, and I have (not Strawberry blond, which is also good, sort of tastes like you are drinking Trix cereal) …and it’s not expensive. I mean $15.50 for a pitcher. Are you kidding me? No wonder I drank there 8 hours one night, yes I realize that translates to an entire work day. (No children involved although I’m sure you could bring them it’s a restaurant with a giant patio and the best view of Downtown LA) They also have guest beers but you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t try their own brews.
The one thing I love about all these places are just nice folks to drink with. Beer people are friendly people. Bartenders want to share with you their knowledge and their thoughts. No one is pretentious. Just good people who like to drink good beers.
I really feel bad I haven’t been to Eagle Rock Brewery yet. http://eaglerockbrewery.com/ I have heard only great things and I have had many of their beers at these bars.
These are just a few of the places we like.I’m pretty sure down the 5 Corridor (that’s the freeway leading from San Fernando to Downtown) is more fun micro breweries, pubs and Gastropubs to go to. And I will… don’t you worry…
Next week trying out Bow and Truss in North Hollywood as well as a good staple in Beer, Karl Strauss up at Universal City Walk (I hear they have Beeramisu on the dessert menu- Sold!)
If you have any suggestions of somewhere I need to go send them my way
I reserve the right to make references like *Beavis and Butthead. I realize this ages me but I have come to the conclusion if you are reading about good microbrew bars you are my age. No one 21 is buying a $8 pint. You could buy a 12pk of something really horrible for that.