L.A. offers an incredible number of excellent destinations for craft beer, featuring increasingly local brews and delicious craft options from across the country and around the world. From special releases and tap takeovers to seasonal and rare pours, these are our favorite bars for beer around town.
Enjoying Delirium Tremens on the patio at Verdugo Bar (via Facebook)
This Glassell Park outpost offers an extensive selection of quality brews from home and abroad and a spacious beer garden-like patio to soak up the sun and suds. They offer 22 regularly rotating taps, as well as a nicely stocked fridge with an excellent bottle selection to stay or go. They also frequently host special release parties (Pliny the Younger!) and glassware giveaways on Monday nights (one per customer, while they last), and a great happy hour with $2 off draft beer, well drinks and wine (Monday through Friday, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.). Settle into a cozy booth with a pint or tulip glass and enjoy some jams from the DJ booth or head to the patio where there’s often a food truck set up at their convenient service window. You can also buy your drinking buddy a gift card. Or sign yourself up for their beer passport, which entitles you to beer discounts and release party invites once you collect all of the stamps for over 70 breweries at Verdugo, or its sister bars, Surly Goat, Little Bear and Blind Donkey—all of which are also great places to go for beer.
Verdugo Bar is located at 3408 Verdugo Road, Glassel Park, (323) 257-3408.
Delicious imports at Sunset Beer Company (via Facebook)
SUNSET BEER COMPANY
Not only does this Echo Park beer mecca offer an amazing, often-changing selection of craft beers on tap, but their fridges and shelves are stocked with hundreds of bottles and cans, featuring special releases and hard-to-find breweries. Whether you’re in search of an obscure release or are in need of a bit of guidance, the staff is really helpful without being snobby. Order a pour from their taps or select any of the beers from the fridge and pay the $2 corkage fee to enjoy on one of the comfy chairs or play a board game with friends. You can also bring in food to chow while you drink. They frequently host tap takeovers and special releases—sometimes with live music or brewers. And if you wish to take something to go, you can mix-and-and match your own selections from the fridges. You also might want to sign up for their newsletteror follow them on Facebook to find out about upcoming releases.
Sunset Beer Company is located at 1498 Sunset Boulevard, Echo Park. (213) 481-2337.
Taps on taps at Uncle Henry’s Deli (via Facebook)
UNCLE HENRY’S DELI
For dedicated beer lovers and locals alike, this decades-old, family-run deli is a hidden gem. The tiny Uncle Henry’s Deli blows most bigger establishments away with a whopping 105 craft beers on tap and over 300 rare and specialty bottles and 6-packs available to go. They also regularly host tap takeovers featuring craft breweries and “Steal the Pint” nights where you can take home the glass when you buy a select beer. And let’s not forget about the deli component of Uncle Henry’s. From cold cut sandwiches to French dips, to the hot dogs and deli salads, you really can’t go wrong. And if you’re really hungry, upgrade your sandwich to the massive, double-decker Baby Bomber option.
Uncle Henry’s Deli is located at 7400 Florence Avenue, Downey, (562) 927-0114.
Beers at Barrel Down (via Facebook)
You can hit up Seven Grand for whiskey, but if beer’s what you’re in the mood for, try Barrel Down. This relatively new spot offers 40 taps, flowing with a wide variety of craft beer, plus bottles. They have several beers that are always on tap, plus a rotating selection of more season and unique brews. They also have a full bar with a selection of craft cocktails, as well as a menu of American comfort food. We like the fried chicken sandwich. During happy hour, which is Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., you can get select beers for $5, select cocktails for $7, carafes of wine for $14 and deals on share plates. —Juliet Bennett Rylah
Barrel Down is located at 525 W 7th Street in downtown L.A., (213) 232-8657.
Special cask releases at Tony’s Darts Away (via Facebook)
TONY’S DARTS AWAY
This Burbank beer bastion delivers sweet hoppy nectar from 38 rotating taps of excellent, California-only craft beer. On Tuesday night’s they host weekly beer-centric events including tap takeovers, mystery flight nights and special beer release parties. You can also order up some delicious bites to pair with your brews, including tons of both vegan and carnivorous options, and great sausages for both. The cozy neighborhood joint also offers a pool table, darts and board games and a nice, little patio for great day drinking. You’ll also want to hit them up on weekends from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for craft beermosas and solid brunch fare.
Tony’s Darts Away is located at 1710 W Magnolia Boulevard, Burbank, (818) 253-1710
With over 42 taps and over 125 craft and reserve bottles, Boneyard Bistro offers an impressively diverse selection of first-rate beers. You can enjoy many of the draught beers as 16 ounce or 14 ounce pours, or 4 ounce samplers—with the exception of some stronger brews—and they feature a rotating choice of flights. Their slow-cooked barbecue is also worth investigating and they frequently host tasting menus paired with craft beers, and happy hour Monday to Friday from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. with 25% off draft and bottled beer.
Boneyard Bistro is located at 13539 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks, (818) 906-7427.
Special releases on the bowling lane bar at The Glendale Tap (via Facebook)
With peanut shells covering the floor, vintage beer signs and old cans lining the wall and a bar made from an old bowling lane from Chicago, there’s plenty of charm at this laid-back neighborhood spot. But don’t be fooled, they’re serious when it comes to craft beer. With 52 taps of thoughtfully-curated, constantly rotating, and often hard-to-find pours, Glendale Tap is a beer nerds haven—and they’re happy to pour you a sample to help you find the right selection for you. And let’s not forget about their extensive bottle list featuring rare and seasonal options, and frequent special release nights. While you won’t find a gourmet burger here, they will heat you up a pretzel for $3 and the peanuts are free, so that should tide you over. And there’s a couple of pool tables to pass the time while you sip all of that great beer.
Glendale Tap is located at 4227 San Fernando Road, Glendale, (818) 241-4227.
Biergarten, at any point in time, has 25 beers on draft, as well as some bottled and canned options. The menu consists of bar food that often skews either German or Korean, such as fusion burgers, sausages, wings, Korean tacos, poutine, German fried rice and crispy pig
knuckle. We suggest going during happy hour, which is Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m, when you can get a pitcher of certain beers for $19 and deals on select menu items. —Juliet Bennett Rylah
Biergarten is located at 206 N. Western Avenue in Koreatown, (323) 466-4869.
Decisions, decisions at Southland (via Facebook)
Southland Beer is one of our favorite local spots. Hidden in the corner of a strip mall in Koreatown, you can find a collection of 20 rotating, unique brews here from both regional companies like Three Weavers, Golden Road and Bottle Logic, as well as beers from across the country (we just spotted a porter from Michigan’s Founders Brewing Co.). This casual neighborhood hangout offers communal seating where you can play board games and find a simple array of snacks including cheese plates, sausages, popcorn and desserts. There’s also a cooler in the back where you can purchase brews to-go, or drink them at the bar with a small corkage fee. Happy hour is from open to 7 p.m. on weekdays and from open until 5 p.m. on weekends, and includes no corkage fees on bottles and cans, plus select deals on snacks. —Juliet Bennett Rylah
Southland Beer is located at 740 S. Western Avenue, #112 in Koreatown, (213) 908-5104.
Named for a California real estate speculator, this British pub in Old Town Pasadena offers fish ‘n chips and other British fare, but also a vast selection of tasty beers. They have 63 beers on tap, plus bottles, and also hold celebrations for European drinking festivals. Happy hour is Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. and features $4 select pints, $6 select goblets and $5 select appetizers. They’re also open for breakfast! —Juliet Bennett Rylah
Lucky Baldwin’s is located at 17 S. Raymond Avenue in Pasadena, (626) 795-0652.
38 Degrees (via Facebook)
With 38 beers on tap and over 200 in bottles and cans, this institution has earned a loyal following of beer nerds. The helpful and beer-versed staff at both the Alhambra and Monrovia locations are always happy to pour samples and if you can’t make up your mind, and you can always go for a flight. They frequently host special beer release events featuring seasonal and rare options, and they recently hosted a bottle share day, where attendees brought their favorite brews to share with other participants. There’s also a great selection of food at 38 Degrees from hearty fare to lighter, healthier options.
38 Degrees is located at 100 W. Main Street, Alhambra, (626) 282-2038; and 110 E. Colorado Boulevard, Monrovia, (626) 408-5544.
This relatively new Santa Monica spot offers a wonderfully spacious patio where you can enjoy their excellent rotating selection of locally brewed craft, as well as top brews from across the country and the globe. Grab a seat in the tree-lined beer garden and consult one of the beer-knowledgeable waitstaff about the latest taps. You’re also going to want to get familiar with their food menu, which includes tasty bites perfect for sipping and sharing, like the loco moco with pork sausage and kimchi rice or the charred shishito mac ‘n cheese. Sit back and enjoy the sunshine for a day drinking session or get cozy under a heat lamp for those cool L.A. nights.
Ashland Hill is located at 2807 Main Street, Santa Monica, (310) 392-3300.
Naja’s Place (via Facebook)
This no-frills South Bay dive has been pleasing hopheads for over 30 years and offers an impressive line-up of 88 taps with excellent beers from near and far. They also often have tap takeovers and host beer festivals throughout the year that focus on a particular variety like sours and IPAs. Naja’s also has a great jukebox, frequent live bands and two pool tables, but a major draw is the great view of the King Harbor Marina. While the fried food is passable for soaking up the alcohol, keep an eye out for the roving taco cart if you’re in need of a bite. And if Naja’s gets too crowded or you’re looking for more great beer selection, we strongly recommend heading over to Select Beer Store, not far down the road.
Naja’s Place is located at 154 International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, (310) 376-9951.
Though you’ll be hard pressed to get a seat if there’s a show about to happen at The Fonda, this beer bar and restaurant offers a great selection of interesting brews and hearty bar food. They have 24 taps, plus canned and bottled beer. The selection is usually quite varied, with plenty of options for those who enjoy things other than IPAs and pale ales. Food-wise, it’s a hearty selection of sandwiches, greasy burgers, wings, salads and both traditional and vegan sausages. On Wednesday, score half-off canned craft beer, and on Tuesdays you can get $4 pints, assuming there isn’t a show next door and it’s not a special event. —Juliet Bennett Rylah
Blue Palms is located at 6124 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, (323) 464-2337.
Though never a shortage of places to drink in Koreatown, Beer Belly is the best spot for anyone dipping their toes into the world of craft beer. They’ve even held “Craft For Crap” nights, where people can bring in “crap” beer and get a craft for a penny. No more than two-dozen craft brews will be on tap or available in bottles, making the selection process a little less intimidating. And even though it’s a limited selection at any given time, it’s always in rotation. Feel free to ask your waiter which beer goes best paired with their famous duck fat fries, or even the duck French dip. —Carman Tse
Beer Belly is located at 532 S. Western Avenue, in Koreatown. (213) 387-2337. A new location is coming soon to Long Beach.
Special beer releases from near and far at Melody Lounge (via Facebook)
Stepping into this space, dimly lit by a number of Chinese lanterns, reveals a comfortable lounge with 24 beers on tap and a few bottles in the cooler. They do not serve hard liquor. It’s a perfectly pleasant place for a post-work hangout, but can really pick up (and get noisy) if they have a DJ—typically spinning vinyl—or music event at night. They don’t serve food here, but feel free to pick up something to much on at any of the nearby eateries. Happy hour is Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and includes $1 off drafts. —Juliet Bennett Rylah
Melody Lounge is located at 939 N Hill Street in Chinatown, (213) 625-2823.
When you’re in the mood for a quality burger-and-a-beer, Stout is the obvious choice. With outposts in Hollywood, Studio City and Santa Monica, each location offers a wide variety of craft brews and wine, on top of a hearty bar food menu. They’ve got hefty burgers for the hungry, made with either medium rare beef, organic ground chicken or quinoa veggie patties. They also offer suggestions as to which beer would best pair with each sandwich or burger. —Juliet Bennett Rylah
Stout is located at 1544 N. Cahuenga Boulevard in Hollywood, (323) 469-3801; 11262 Ventura Boulevard in Studio City, (818) 505-0076; and 111 Santa Monica Boulevard in Santa Monica, (310) 260-8679.
Public School beer education (Photo courtesy of Public School)
Offering two dozen taps—16 of which rotate regularly—and an extensive offering of bottles and cans, Public School is a great place to go to study up on your favorite beers. Each location has in-house beer experts who are always ready with recommendations and who curate the offerings with special releases from local brewers as well as those further afield. You can also share large bottles of limited edition brews with their “Study Group” selection. Each location also offers great happy hour deals. And whether you need a small bite or a tasty burger to tide you over, their food selection is really solid.
Public School has multiple locations.
Some call the burger overrated and others laud it as the one that launched a million ‘gourmet’ burgers across Los Angeles. Whatever your feelings, there are fewer pleasures as satisfying as a good time at Father’s Office with good company. Chef Sang Yoon’s decadent gastropub fare is always a delight, and there are dozens upon dozens of international and rare beers to go with whatever you’re having, whether it’s the roasted bone marrow, beet salad or, heck, even that burger.
Father’s Office is located at 1018 Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, and 3229 Helms Avenue near Culver City, (310) 736-2224.