When you have exhausted all the celebrity hotspots in LA, worn out your shoes on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and left your fingerprints all over the windows of the shops on Rodeo Drive, you might need to kick back and relax in one of the 10 best breweries in Los Angeles just to take the California edge off.
10. Beachwood BBQ & Brewing
Beachwood BBQ and Brewing is a tad more sophisticated than it sounds with no detail of its menu or brewing technique going un scrutinized.
With 22 rotating taps, it’s possible to not drink the same beer twice for quite a while, making this one of the best breweries in Los Angeles. Menu items are carefully selected, prepared from scratch by order, and designed to pair well with all their beer.
This one-time World Beer Cup winner for best Large Brewpub, is famous for its killer atmosphere, seasoned slow cooked meats and incredibly well crafted housemade beer. They like to say they ‘teeter between tradition and innovation’. Join trivia night, peruse the beer list try a Chaos Is A Friend of Mine – Belgian style sour ale, and be sure to sample their famous ribs or pulled pork.
Mikkel Borg Bjergso, a one time physics teacher turned brewmaster from Copenhagen, has created an international empire of craft brew pubs with more than 40 worldwide with one of his largest being Mikellar in Los Angeles.
The stripped down simple interior has a European sensibility and allows patrons to focus on the exceptional tastings and food on offer. The reputation of these internationally acclaimed beers attracts aficionados as well as the casual beer drinker looking for an experience so it’s no wonder this is one of the best craft breweries in Los Angeles.
Don’t miss trying some of the mouth watering smoked meat or, for the true Californian, there’s a Garden of Vegan plate of grilled and smoked seasonal veggies. Beers to note, a Mikkeller SD or the unusual Passion Pool , a sour ale with passion fruit and sea salt.
8. Highland Park (Chinatown)
The eclectic vibe in this trendy Los Angeles brew pub is heightened by the adventurous brewing techniques.
Using local ingredients and unusual brew system, like mixed culture fermentation, the selection at Highland Park brewery is unique and full of exciting flavors. There is a fabulous patio in their Chinatown location with a view of the park and one more reason it’s one of the best craft beer bars in Los Angeles.
There is a large off-site brew-only facility on the other side of town to keep up with demand. The kitchen eats are a great selection of everything from Crispy Cauliflower Tacos to Bub & Grandma’s Bread and Butter focaccia. Wash it all down with a Fluff Jackson, a smoked coffee porter with lactose cedar and a hint of vanilla.
Celladoor is a truly unique stop on any craft brewery tour which is part of why it is known as one of the best breweries in Los Angeles.
Using a technique thousands of years old, Celladoor ONLY does oak barrel fermented beers, which are very rare in North America and a real treat. For the environmentally conscious, this brew pub ticks all the boxes by using only locally sourced, organic ingredients. The relationships with local growers are a key part of this fresh community minded brewery.
You’ll have an intense sensory experience drinking beer here with flavors like fennel, black sage, yucca flowers and a variety of mountain berries finding their way into the barrels the same day they are harvested. Celladoor specializes in sour ales and high ABV (Alcohol By Volume) ales.
6. The Stalking Horse
If you are looking for a good old English brunch with bangers and mash, a cod fish sandwich or a lamb pot pie, not to mention amazing craft beer, no need to hop the pond to London.
The Stalking Horse is a hip British-style brew pub in West Los Angeles and they are causing a stir in the beer industry with their old world attention to detail. Don’t let the dim lighting and dark tones fool you, this is an impressive, contemporary place to grab something fun from the rotating tap list. Brandon Edwards, the internationally acclaimed brewer is involved in every recipe here relying on age old techniques with a few twists of his own for good measure.
His personal fave – a Sierra Nevada Pale. Beyond a doubt, one of the best craft breweries in Los Angeles.
5. Brouweirj West
Situated on the San Pedro Harbour in an impressive WWll-era warehouse, Brouwerij West has dug their heels into this real estate and committed to providing a destination brew pub.
Don’t let the party atmosphere here fool you, there is some serious brewing happening with Brouwerij West being touted as having some of the best Hazy IPA’s in LA. There’s always a new Hazy IPA to try, always made with quality oats and wheat to create that distinct ‘cloudy’ or hazy beer. As one of the best brew pubs in Los Angeles, they have an incredible outdoor beer garden and on weekends, food trucks line up to feed the hungry beer drinkers. Live music (not every night), events and tastings round out the Brouwerij West experience.
The warehouse style bar makes it a great space for large groups or to meet like minded people – those who enjoy a good beer!
4. Modern Times
Once the San Diego location had perfected the selection of beer and the customer experience, the next natural step was to open this Modern Times Brewery in Los Angeles too. Perfectly situated in downtown LA, famed South Park area, the vibe is very laid back and artsy with neon light installations and colourful tiled walls.
The in-house food is fabulous with a California style vegan type menu in the eatery and cafe attached to the brewery. They offer flights off the menu or you can design your own for the same price. There are more than 30 taps offering seasonal beers and house favorites. There is a great retail space where you can pick up cans to take home as well.
Try a Bedrock , a combination nitro brown ale and coffee roast.
3. Sunset Beer Company
If you are looking to try something new or rediscover a long lost favourite, this gem of a bottle shop will entertain you with a taste selection and an endless colorful array of artwork branded bottles. There are literally hundreds of beer brands available here with fridge-lined walls. Whether you purchase to take home or pay the nominal corkage fee to drink on site, you will surely find something that excites you.
There is a limited, often seasonal selection on tap but you won’t mind when you see what else is available. Everything from rum barrel aged imperial stouts, to chai-spiced ciders. After walking around Echo Park, look for this non-descript strip mall and tucked in the corner is this surprising beer haven, know as Sunset Beer Company.
The lounge attached to the bottle shop has board games and a Beertender who will open your beer for you. As one of the best beer bars in LA – the prices are amazing. While this isn’t an on-site brewery, it is worth a visit.
2. Mumford Brewing
LA’s Arts District keeps getting better with every new innovative entrepreneur that adds to the business landscape and Mumford Brewery is no exception. They have taken full advantage of the vibrant scene downtown to open up this spacious gallery-feel on-site brewery and lounge.
Great light and a roomy interior make it a nice spot for a ‘day drink’, closing daily at 9pm daily and 3pm on Sundays. Be sure to grab lunch before you go or be prepared to head out for dinner after as only snacks available inside. These new brewmasters hit the ground running here in 2015 and have been making first class beer ever since.
Try a rye or rum barrel aged stout, a Bier Beer unfiltered lager, or a Tripping In The Desert, made with mosaic and cashmere hops and a special house yeast blend – as long as it’s still available.
1. Arts District Brewing
Another hot spot downtown is the Arts District Brewing Company with a sprawling 17,000 square foot space meant for food, fun and froth. With a 15 barrel brew house, they can produce upwards of 3000 barrels of fresh and innovative beer a year! Now with over 30 beers on tap brewed on site, customers can choose from a variety of beer from golden ales to IPA’s.
The decor is a mix of dim lights, neon signs, and a dark wood rec room/warehouse style. The adjacent tap room is a grown-up playground with old school skee-ball, ping pong, darts, and giant Jenga. The fun, noise and exceptional beer make this place one of the best brew pubs in Los Angeles and a popular haunt on weekends so get there early to get a spot!
Inside the brewhouse is a take out food window – Fritzi Dog where you can sample some loaded beef dogs or some healthier fare like a vegan carrot dog.