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Pour Me a Pint
There’s a slew of local spots that pour good suds these days. Here are nine places to enjoy a banner brew with your main course
Featuring an online “Hopcam” to show the current lineup of draft beers, Beachwood BBQ has attracted a cult following among beer aficionados. Scarf down some dry-rubbed smoked ribs with the Bruery’s Humulus Gold, a mishmash of an IPA and a traditional Belgian strong ale. Or try the Smokehouse Burger alongside Deschutes Abyss, an imperial stout from Oregon that’s aged in oak and smells of coffee and chocolate. » 131 1/2 Main St., Seal Beach, (562) 493-4500.
Blue Palms Brewhouse
Hollywood’s new tavern rotates 24 taps and a hand cask seasonally, but don’t sneer at what’s in the bottle. Unibroue Trois Pistoles is a barrage of chocolate and cherries. Duchesse De Bourgogne, a Flanders red ale, hovers between malty sweetness and vinous acidity. Harviestoun Ola Dubh—aged in barrels that were used to mature Highland Park 30 Year Scotch—pours thick as motor oil and tastes of molasses and tobacco. » 6124 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323-464-2337.
This place has great barbecue and an even greater beer list. Bonus: Every Monday night is Fried Chicken Night with half-priced beers to wash it all down. Try the dark-colored yet light-bodied Moon Lit Sessions Lager from Port Brewing, or the rich, bourbon-barrel aged Allagash Curieux. » 13539 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, 818-906-RIBS.
Coffee Table Lounge
Adjacent to Eagle Rock’s Coffee Table Bistro, the Coffee Table Lounge boasts 16 taps and over 100 bottles. Red Barn Ale from The Lost Abbey in San Marcos is a food-friendly, farmhouse style brew. Skullsplitter, a thick Scottish concoction, is redolent of caramel and brown sugar, and Russian River Damnation, a Belgian-style golden ale, has notes of banana. » 1954 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock, 323-257-2245.
Aside from serving the city’s most infamous burger, the Father’s Office also has a detailed beer menu with tasting notes on every brew to make your decision that much easier. Pliny the Elder from Russian River Brewing is a beast of an Imperial IPA that’s super hoppy but not too bitter. » 1018 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, or 3229 Helms Ave, LA, 310-736-2224.
Lucky Baldwins Pub
While the fish and chips are reason enough to drop in, the rotating 62 taps are the main draw at this Pasadena pub, which features local microbrews and world-class imports. We love Bavik, a crisp, bubbly pilsner, and Delirium Nocturnum, a dark, boozy Belgian ale. » 17 S. Raymond Ave, Pasadena, 626-795-0652.
Boasting 88 taps and a bevy of bottles, this beachside spot is a beer mecca. Vertical tastings of aged beers like Stone Old Guardian and Rogue Old Crustacean showcase the subtle changes between each vintage release. » 154 International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, 310-376-9951.
Lesser known German and Belgian brews dominate at Octavio Becerra’s new restaurant. Reutberger Export Hell is a pale German lager with a balanced blend of lemon, biscuit, and grass flavors. Forêt, an organic saison from Belgium’s Brasserie Dupont, tastes of herbs and yeast—perfect with that cheese plate. Also fromage friendly: Boon Geuze, a sour aged ale with a musky oak aroma. » 933 S. Brand Blvd., Glendale, 818-662-9463.
affectionately known as the “Beer Nazi,” Sam Samaniego—along with his wife Marlene—offer more than 700 bottled beers at this living landmark. Among them are rarities like Austria’s Samichlaus, brewed only one day each year. Make sure you come hungry; their ABC license requires you purchase some food with your drink. » 1145 E Las Tunas Dr, San Gabriel, 626-285-9161.
At this one-year-old brewery, owner Patrick Rue puts a new twist on a classic styles. The Trade Winds Tripel is jazzed up with rice and Thai basil. The Hottenroth Berliner Weisse—an obscure, sour brew traditionally served with a splash of raspberry syrup—is among the experimental beers that are available on-site at the Placentia facility. » 715 Dunn Way, Placentia, (714) 996-MALT.
Craftsman Brewing Company
In the 15 years he’s been brewing in Pasadena, Craftsman owner Mark Jilg has yet to put his beer into bottles—only kegs. Rumors are swirling that bottles are around the corner, but for now, flowing taps of Heavenly Hefe and the grainy Poppyfields Pale Ale can be found citywide. » 1260 Lincoln Ave. #100, Pasadena, (626) 296-2537.
Angel City Brewery
Michael Bowe’s booth has become a mainstay at many local festivals and events. His Torrance-based brand puts out respectable styles like the well-balanced Angel City IPA and the slightly sweet Alpine Village Oktoberfest—so popular, they sell close to 1,500 kegs during the festival season. » 833 W. Torrance Blvd. #105, Torrance, (310) 329-8881.
Deans Brothers Brewing Co.
Focused largely on British and Irish style pints, Upland’s Deans Brothers turns out quality brews in small numbers, some of which are cask-conditioned (unpasteurized, with natural carbonation.) The Black Irish Stout is smooth and toasty while the ESB 6 is refreshing and pleasantly bitter. » 1004 S Hathaway St, Upland, (714) 542-2001.
Skyscraper Brewing Company
Started by Phil Sutton in early 2007, Skyscraper is creeping its way onto the L.A. beer scene. Bulldozer Honeyweizen, sweetened with a touch of honey, is a good cure for the El Monte summer heat, while their seasonal Winter Warmer—brewed with nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves—does just what its name implies. » 3229 Durfee Ave., El Monte, (626) 575-0770.
Photograph courtesy of flickr/bovinity