The Guide to Craft Breweries in Los Angeles

Photo courtesy of Angel City Brewery, Facebook

In recent years, Los Angeles has become one of the fastest growing and most exciting destinations for craft beer in America. From the Downtown skyline to the quietly lapping waves of the Pacific Ocean, the City of Angels boasts some of the most innovative and interesting brews the nation has to offer. Brewpubs and brasseries alike have opened across L.A. at a rapid pace. From home-style BBQ and beers prepared on-site, to tap rooms boasting barrel-aged sours and gourmet food trucks waiting outside, there is no limit to what the L.A. scene has to offer adventurous beer drinkers here and from around the globe.

Angel City Brewery

Angel City Brewery has been on the forefront of the L.A. craft beer scene since its founding in 1997. Now brewing in the historic John A. Roebling Building in L.A.’s Downtown Arts District, what was once a humble home of craft beers has since grown to become a powerhouse. Boasting its Eureka Wit - with amazing floral overtones of citrus and clove - and the innovative Pomegranate Saison infused with fresh pomegranate juice and pink peppercorns, Angel City lights the way for brewers all across Los Angeles.

Primary image for Beachwood BBQ & Brewing

Beachwood BBQ & Brewing

From the artfully prepared BBQ - both on and off the bone - to a tap list that is 22 beers strong, you’d be hard-pressed to find something at Seal Beach's Beachwood BBQ & Brewing that you’d want to share with anyone but your best friend, and they’d have to ask you nicely. The on-site brewery delves into a wide range of styles to please any palate, from their Mocha Machine - an Imperial Chocolate Coffee Porter with notes of espresso, bittersweet chocolate and toasted caramel - to their Denver Jackhammer Double IPA with overtones of pine, citrus oil, and a rich malt background. In addition to beers made on-site, they offer a wide selection of locally-made drafts and bottles just to give you an inkling of what’s in store just around the way.


Bonaventure Brewing Co. - Westin Bonaventure Hotel

The historic Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Downtown L.A. doesn’t just offer beautiful guest rooms, rooftop views of the L.A. skyline, and house-crafted pints at Bonaventure Brewing Co. - it also offers tours of the facility by the head brewer himself. Signature beers include the Marathon Golden Ale - a session lager with crisp notes of honey and lemon - and the unforgettable Pale Ale, with its mellow malt background and lingering hop finish. Take your beer, step out on the balcony, and raise a toast to the dimming lights and beautiful sunset hues that make the Bonaventure a beer drinkers’ landmark.

Primary image for Eagle Rock Brewery

Eagle Rock Brewery

Established in 2006, Eagle Rock Brewery is relatively new to the L.A. scene, but has made a major impact with its focus on classic styles of American and European craft beers. From the Revolution XPA (Extra Pale Ale) to their recently released Yearling - a sour ale aged in Cabernet barrels - Eagle Rock Brewery is a major contender for the top spot in brewing innovation in Los Angeles. With a tap room as cozy as a fireside parlour, and a bevy of cutting edge fusion food trucks just outside the door, it’s no wonder that locals find their way here as the sun sets across the palms that line the sidewalk. In addition, their tap room boasts a view of their operations next door - beer can’t get much fresher than that.

El Segundo Brewing Co.

El Segundo Brewing Co.

Although El Segundo Brewing Co. only began to establish a presence in the L.A. beer scene a few years ago, it has already attracted fans far and wide with its unique take on classic West Coast and European styles of beer. Nestled only steps from the beautiful Southern California coastline, it’s no surprise that the founders thought this would be the perfect location to highlight all that the Golden State has to offer. Their beer list includes all the basics people have come to expect from any craft brewery. But their more innovative styles stand out - not the least of which is their Hyperion’s Vanilla Stout, which incorporates imported Madagascar vanilla beans into the already luxurious European-style beer. More adventurous offerings include a triple hop-infused Citra Pale ale, or the White Dog IPA, which utilizes hops from both the West Coast and New Zealand. Between the waves of barley and the Pacific Ocean itself, it’s tough to resist camping out and making a day of it.

Golden Road Brewing

The Pub at Golden Road

With one of the prettiest tap rooms in Los Angeles - and a vegetarian-friendly menu to boot - Golden Road Brewing has put itself on the map with its signature blue and white-themed cans all across the L.A. basin. Situated next door to active train tracks and built into a retired railyard, Golden Road has established a presence with a whole new set of beer enthusiasts: the brunch crowd. Their Point the Way IPA has led the movement with its lower alcohol and mildly hoppy “session-able” IPA, so diners can drink a pint or two and still have room for the wide array of roasted meats and freshly-prepared vegetable dishes. Other California brews on tap - and fun brewery-only offerings - are the norm here. The El Hefe Añejo is a signature, an American-style wheat ale with mesquite honey and aged in tequila barrels. It’s a must-try for any enthusiast of either style.

Ladyface Alehouse & Brasserie

Ladyface Alehouse & Brasserie

Located in Agoura Hills - “The Gateway to the Santa Monica Mountains” - Ladyface Ale Companie began as just another great beer bar in Los Angeles County and blossomed into a full blown, traditional Belgian-style ale house and brasserie. Offerings including macaroni and cheese baked with jalapeños in a salt and vinegar potato chip crust, and traditional moules frites - mussels cooked in ale broth and served with Belgian-style fries. Signature beers include the La Grisette, a nearly-extinct style of Belgian ale brewed with slightly tart barley, giving the beer a wonderfully crisp finish to compliment some of the heavier Belgian food offerings. For those seeking a truly local taste of Los Angeles, the Cheeseboro IPA can’t be missed. A celebration of LA surroundings in craft beer and scenery alike, this IPA - named for nearby Cheeseboro Canyon - boasts a ruddy amber hue that exemplifies the canyon and its famous sunsets, accompanied by a grapefruit and pine scent that echoes the citrus groves just beyond.

Monkish Brewing Co.

Monkish Brewing Co.

The rapidly expanding Monkish Brewing Co. in Torrance focuses on what Los Angeles is all about - locally brewed beer with ingredients that can’t be found in your average craft pint. Although the brewery is a little off the beaten path, its beers are paving the way. With offerings such as the Shaolin Fist, a Belgian brown ale brewed with Sichuan peppercorns - or the Obliate, a Belgian-style blonde ale blessed with chamomile, Monkish Brewing should be a stop on any beer drinker’s pilgrimage.

Ohana Brewing Company

Ohana Brewing Company is located in the former site of another craft beer brewery in Downtown Los Angeles. With two of the youngest entrepreneurs in the craft brewing industry at the helm, Ohana Brewing is coming of age quickly and is a prime example of why Los Angeles has become a destination for brewers and beer drinkers alike. A steadily growing list of offerings include the Gams-Bart, a collaboration with up-and-coming Los Angeles Ale Works, a spicy take on a Bavarian-style rye with notes of grapefruit jam and marble rye bread. Limited edition sours include the Das Tart, which is infused with fresh raspberries. In April 2014, Ohana opened a 900-square-foot tasting room in Alhambra, offering their tastes of all things L.A.

Smog City Brewing

Breaking ground in 2011 with their larger-than-life name, logo and beers, Smog City Brewing has set itself apart by producing brews such as their Smog City Saison, a traditional Belgian sour blossoming with lively undertones that are accompanied by a soft and robust mouthfeel. Another notable release is the Sabre-Toothed Squirrel, an American-style amber with biscuit malt and a bite from citrus hops. Smog City Brewing is located in the same district as Monkish Brewing, and the two are revving up to take over taps in Los Angeles and beyond.

Strand Brewing Co.

The South Bay of Los Angeles attracts plenty of visitors with the beautiful Pacific Ocean; warm, sandy beaches; and picturesque landscapes. Strand Brewing Co. in Torrance is a beach beer-drinker's paradise, where locals flock for a pint of their favorite offering from the brewery, the 24th Street Pale Ale. It has an amber hue like the surrounding lighting, with notes of lightly sweet citrus and a crisp, refreshing finish that can only be found in the coastal air around the brewery. While the brewery opened in 2009, and continues to expand its great brews all across L.A., it still has the feel of a great place to hang out, grab a pint and enjoy the sunset.