Beercation: Drinking in L.A.

On Saturday, October 22, I learned that seven breweries in an afternoon is too many. Drinking in LAI don't think I have ever cried Uncle before on my beerventures, but it happened. I was relatively well behaved (it's still me) and did samples and flights wherever they were available, but even so by #7 I was walking crooked. I had to look up the name of the last brewery I stopped at when I woke up the next morning. Scholb, it was Scholb. Don't ask me what I thought of their beer. The guys at Absolution treated me well and so Scholb didn't have a chance.

Los Angels has some serious sprawl. The main problem with a beer tour here is definitely the distance. I walked a lot. A lot. A lot. Using Uber, or signing on for a brew tour would be my recommendation, but the walking gave me some much-needed breathing time between pours. This write up is focused on Torrance. I didn't get a chance to head downtown (again with the sprawling distance) and before I even arrived I had decided Smog City was my main destination. There are over 50 breweries in the area, so I think I did pretty well for a long weekend.

TORRANCE HIGHLIGHTS

Absolution Brewing3. Absolution Brewing Co: solid beers, solid staff and I got to play with a puppy while drinking in their sweet looking hangar. They made the standard industrial space their own, and I liked their style. Plus, puppy. 

2. Smog City Brewing Co: I couldn’t say a bad thing about this place if I wanted to They offer a wide array of beer styles, all of which are done well. Great staff who are  knowledgeable about their products.

1. Monkish Brewing Co: Can't be missing if you like funk and tartness. Lot's of barrels and Foeders. This was definitely my favourite stop on the trip, with excellent beer and a great vibe. They also get the #1 spot because I spotted their homebrew gear in the corner on the walk in fridge. In addition to the sours, their hoppy stuff was phenomenal.

BEST BEER OF THE TRIP

Bretta Weiss from Firestone Walker (more on them below), or everything from Monkish.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

I am also a big fan Three Weavers Brewing Co. (in Inglewood) and El Segundo Brewing El SegundoCo. (in El Segundo). I stopped by both places on Sunday (after a much-needed sleep in), as they were fairly close to our hotel. Everything from 3 Weavers is super clean and well done. I met the three Weavers - hilarious little girls - along with Lynn Weaver, who was so friendly she could have been Canadian. If you're a hop head, be sure to hit El Segundo. Absolutely. Their full line up is solid, and (I'm seeing a pattern here) they've got great staff.

SKIP

I don't wanna be a jerk, but if you only have so much time...
The Dudes' Brewing Co: I bought a crowler from them because it was still early and I like the crowler idea. Honestly, I wish I hadn't. Double Trunk DIPA was not good; the Dudes put extracts in a lot of their beers and, compared to what's going on in the breweries around them, it's pretty unpleasant.  Staff were... OK. If I hadn't gone to six other breweries maybe I wouldn't have noticed, but on comparison their were neither super friendly nor very knowledgeable.

Red Car Brewery: I give this place a skip on beer. Their lineup isn't bad, but it's only noteworthy for the fact that it's... not bad, but not good. That said, they've got great staff and it's a brewpub so ... FOOD. It may be worth if for that alone. Sit down. Take a breather. In terms of vibe, it was also a good change up from the industrial hangar bays that everyone else is in.

FINAL NOTES

Sour GoodnessDEFINITELY go to the Firestone Walker location in Venice Beach. We stopped in for dinner and had some truly excellent beer in a beautiful space. It was nice to be able to walk across the parking lot and grab a pack of Pivo Pils to take back to the hotel. I am excited to see what beers will come out of this new Propagator location, which is starting production any day now.

For other beer bars/restaurants, be sure to hit the Library Alehouse in Santa Monica. Good food, good beer selection, and a designated Russian River tap make it well worth a stop. Brewco in Manhattan Beach had a great selection of taps as well.
 

Our quick trip to LA was a ton of fun and full of great beer. Thanks to Kat, Jordan and Nigel who were in town for a teaching conference and let me dictate where they ate and drank all weekend.


Rob Hern
Rob Hern

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