New Brewery Alert – Phantom Carriage

Carson. It’s a city in Los Angeles. You know it, even though you may not think you do. Cal State Dominguez Hills is here. They’ve got the Stubhub Center. The Goodyear Blimp sleeps here. And now, they have the first sour beer brewery in Los Angeles – Phantom Carriage.

Phantom Carriage Brewery is focused on crafting small-batch sour beers, which is basically done by a process that makes beer taste better by letting it go bad for an extended amount of time (sometimes up to three years). Other breweries like Smog City, Eagle Rock Brewery and Highland Park Brewing have dabbled in the Tart Arts, but Phantom Carriage is the first one in LA to dedicate themselves to it. Beachwood Blendery will be opening up soon and joining the sour conversation, but until then, Phantom is what we’ve got and we’re incredibly happy about it.

The taproom has only been open since Mid-December and in that time they’ve already become the talk of the beer community. But, even though their taproom is still in its infancy, their beers are anything but. They’ve been quietly souring their beers for quite some time now, so their offerings are fully mature and ready to drink. And it’s worth mentioning that half their beers are currently well over 10% in alcohol, so plan on ubering and explaining to your driver why you’re headed down some dark, desolate industrial road in Carson.

It’s located on Main Street in Carson, about spitting distance from the Goodyear Blimp, and while the exterior is nothing to write home about, the interior of the brewery & taproom is on a level that matches the complexity and deliciousness of the beer. It’s really good looking. And big. So feel free to bring some friends and you’ll have ample to room to stretch out and even possibly catch a screening of a classic horror movie (they have a small screening room that showcases owner Martin Svab’s love of all things spooky).

But fear not if you are someone who hasn’t found their fancy in the funky side of beer yet. They have a handful of guests taps as well that will feature a well curated list of other beers from other wonderful breweries. And coffee and cider. And food. They have a full menu there that slings farm-to-table items like pulled pork sandwiches, meat and cheese plates and (gasp) salads.

Phantom Carriage

18525 Main St. Carson, CA

www.phantomcarriage.com

Cheers to all GABF Winners!

Los Angeles and the surrounding area (basically anything that isn’t San Diego) is really coming into its own in terms of delicious craft beer. We’re making good beer, creating great drinking environments, and fostering a culture that will be built to last. All of this was evidenced at the preeminent beer competition in all of America held in Denver, CO last week – the Great American Beer Fest. Here’s a list of winners from the competition this year. It includes Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, who won the award for “Best Midsize Brewpub and Brewer in America”. They have two locations, one in Long Beach and the other, smaller (original) outpost in Seal Beach. If you can’t make it out there, look alive for their bottled beer in your local shop.

Beachwood BBQ & Brewing – Long Beach, CA
Gold: Kilgore Stout – American-Style Stout
Gold: Foam Top – Golden or Blonde Ale
Silver: Udder Love – Sweet Stout or Cream Stout
Bronze: System of a Stout – Coffee Beer
Bronze: Barrel-Aged Full Malted Jacket – Wood and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer

TAPs Fish House & Brewery – Brea, CA
Bronze: Helles – Munich-Style Helles
Bronze: Schwarzbier – German-Style Schwarzbier

Kinetic Brewing – Lancaster, CA
Bronze: Potential Blonde – German-Style Kölsch
Bronze: Torque – Session Beer

Hangar 24 – Redlands, CA
Gold: Warmer – Specialty Beer

Other notable winners in our general area were Figueroa Mountain who took five medals with their two locations in Santa Barbara and Buellton, Firestone Brewery up in Paso Robles took home 4 medals and the award for “Best Midsize Brewery and Brewer in America” (different from Beachwood’s “Brewpub” award), and Telegraph Brewing Co. in Santa Barbara nabbed one bronze medal.

$5 Wed Night Bar Hop

For the best beer tour deal in LA, you should check out our $5 Wednesday Night Bar Hop. Here’s how it works:

On the first Wednesday of every month, we run our 15-passenger beer bus around to Mohawk Bend (Echo Park), Tony’s Darts Away (Burbank), and The Pub at Golden Road Brewing (Atwater Village) then back to Mohawk Bend. You get picked up by our beer bus at MOHAWK BEND at 8:00pm, then dropped off at the next bar where you will hang out and drink beer for an hour, then taken to the next bar, and so on until you arrive back at the bar you started at.  It’s like beer public transit.

For only $5, you get to go on a Los Angeles beer adventure and check out three of the greatest craft beer destinations in Los Angeles and you get $4 Golden Road Beer specials at each location.

You can drink on the bus if you like. Feel free to buy cans of delicious Golden Road Beer at the brewery, or you can bring your own beer and store it in our onboard cooler. You just can’t bring beers into the bars. With beers on board, that bus ride from Echo Park to Burbank doesn’t seem so far…

The bus starts running at 8:00pm with pickup at Mohawk Bend. From there, the bus will go to Tony’s Darts Away where guests will hang out for an hour, then Golden Road, then back to Mohawk Bend. You can follow us on twitter @labeerhop for info.

Space is limited to the first 15 people who reserve a spot. 

Email Contact@labeerhop.com for reservations. We can accomodate any size group.

Los Angeles Mug Clubs

Normally, in the words of Groucho Marx, I don’t want to be a member of any club that would admit me, but in this case, I will gladly make an exception. Here is a short, but noble list of the mug clubs of Los Angeles.

“What is a mug club?” you scream at your computer. Well, I’ll tell you.

You pay a fee to drink beer.

“But that seems silly!” you scream into the darkness. Well, allow me to explain.

In exchange for this fee, you have ownership of a special mug that stays at the bar. This chalice is only yours and will only grace your lips. You’ll also receive discounts on beer, access to special beers, and get the ultimate “this is my bar” title, which totally trumps that guy who keeps holding up an iPhone saying “I’m the mayor, I’m the mayor.” That guy sucks, and you’re awesome.

Here is a list of the mug clubs that I know of. If you know of any others, post below.

Sunset Beer Co.

This wonderful craft beer store and taproom not only has a solid beer of the month program, but they have recently adopted a Mug Club as well.

  • No corkage on bottles….ever
  • $1 OFF on all tap beers
  • Get a custom, hand-carved (<– not true) Sunset Beer Co. 17oz mug
  • Membership is limited to 60 people in the first year
  • Hear about limited release beers before everyone else does
  • Cost: $70/person – $50 to renew

Franklin & Co. Tavern

Nestled into the small but powerful Franklin Village, the relative newcomer Franklin & Company has a quickly rotating taplist that supports local brews. In addition to their beer sharing wall, which is awesome, they have a mug club, which is awesome.

The details of the club are too numerous to share on this blog (it’s like The Skulls) so here is a link –> Franklin & Co. Mug Club

Eagle Rock Brewery

Yes, the Eagle Rock Brewery. They’ve got fresh beer, interesting beer, good beer, and they give tours of their facility. And I think their logo is really great. And they always have the best food trucks outside. And we go there on our tours. Is that enough? Well they have a mug club.

  • Exclusive access to release events and access to Member areas at special events.
  • A personalized Eagle Rock Brewery stein at the brewery!
  • Use of the stein when you come to the tasting room for refills at 15% off the cost of a pint. That’s more beer for less money!
  • Your membership will also get you 15% off bottled beers, growlers, and Eagle Rock Brewery merchandise.
  • Access to exclusive Mug Club Member events such as seasonal beer release parties and private tastings.
  • Priority invitations to special beer dinners.

Rockbottom Brewery

With locations all over this country, this mug club may give you the biggest beer for your buck. The LA branch is in Downtown Long Beach, walking distance from the ocean and to the metro Blue Line. I recommend taking one of those home after having a couple of mugs, here’s a hint – it’s blue.

  • Earn rewards every time you visit us.
  • Get invitations to exclusive parties like Brewer’s Dinners, special beer tappings and other great brewery events.
  • Receive an electronic birthday card and special gift from us every year.
  • Drink from our special Mug Club mug, always waiting for you behind the bar.
  • Appreciate great beer in the company of fellow beer lovers.

Wolfcreek Brewing Company

These wonderful beer-slingers have locations in Calabasas and Santa Clarita and they have a mug club at both places. But Hal, I can’t drink in two places at once. Then try harder. Currently there is a 1 year wait at their Santa Clarita location, but the one in Calabasas is new, so the wait list is a lot shorter.

  • Initial fee is a $65.00 – Includes your mug, a “Painting Party” and the assistance of the lovely Linda Janzen to create the masterpiece.  Of course, some great appetizers and a couple of beers are included.
  • Mugs are 21 oz. and members get them filled for the pint price.
  • Members get discounts and pre-sale invitations to special events.
  • Annual “Mug Club Appreciation Month” gives weekly specials just to Mug Club Members
  • Mug Club Members look way cooler than everyone else since they are drinking out of their own personalized mug.
  • Mugs must be used at least once every three weeks to remain active.

So check out your local mug club and look for a follow up post about drinking programs. Not like AA. More like if you drink 100 Guiness in 100 days. 

Next Stop… The Brewery at Abigaile!

We’re adding a new brewery to our roster of stops in the South Bay. It’s called Abigaile and they’ve got a former Stone brewer working for them. Thirsty yet?

As we gather our bearings in these first few weeks of doing public tours, we’ve gotten a lot of good press and also a lot of “what exactly do you do?”, either way, our name is getting out there and businesses are starting to notice.

One such business, Abigaile has opened their doors to us. The owner, Jed Sanford, has created a hip hop-haven in Hermosa Beach that serves a list of deliciously handcrafted beers as well as equally delicious handcrafted foods. They’ll be added as a potential stop on our “Beach Cities” tour and as an option for all Private Tours. We’ll set up a tasting of all of their beers (listed below) and have an option for food as well. We’re looking forward to it and we hope you are too.

  • american white ale (orange peel, coriander, wheat, rice) abv 4.7
  • full nelson xpa (dry-hopped w/ new zealand nelson sauvin hops ) abv 6.5
  • rye ipa (amarillo, galaxy, 7C’s, cascade dry hop) abv 7.7
  • red ale (german and belgian specialty malts) abv 7
  • bourbon vanilla porter (brown sugar, vanilla beans, charred oak) abv 8

Spitz – Street Food & Beer in Los Feliz

Great, just what Los Feliz needs. Another hip foodie joint with a craft beer list. Seriously, it’s just what Los Feliz needs, wants and will adore.

Spitz, a street food restaurant with locations in Eagle Rock and Downtown, just opened a new location in Los Feliz on Hillhurst just south of Franklin. It offers the same eats as its other locations, and while the Eagle Rock location is yet to own a beer list, the Los Feliz follows in the drunken footsteps of its Downtown brother offering a deep, excellent beer list. At the time I visited I was presented with a well organized and varied brew menu with many local options.

What are you going to get when you go to Spitz? Well, you’re in for a full menu of street food specialties that you would typically only order when you are already drunk. But at Spitz, you eat the gut busting greek options first, then proceed to get drunk. The menu presents you with 3 options: a selection of meats – meat/lamb, chicken, falafel or veggie; Sandwich or Wrap; and a wide variety of topping options from “street food style” to “Zesty”.

Finish off your evening with their great beer (draft, canned and speciality bottles) and wine list while sitting at the open window-wall or playing at their shuffleboard table.

1725 Hillhurst BlvdLos Angeles, CA 90027Neighborhood: Griffith Park/Los Feliz

(323) 522-3309

http://eatatspitz.com

What’s On Tap – Week of 6/18

Monday – June 18

Taps Fish House & Brewery @ Far Bar LA

Downtown LA’s best alley-way beer bar is hosting Taps Fish House for a night of five taps including Remy w/Balinese Coffee (Espresso infused Bourbon-Barrel Aged Stout), Taps Double IPA, Obscura (Euro Dark Lager), Crystal Pils and Cream Ale.

Click here for [map]

Tuesday – June 19

Surf Brewery @ Tony’s Darts Away

The Ventura County, CA institution is making an appearance at Tony’s DA on Tuesday serving up Mondo’s Cream Ale, Surf Black IPA, County Line Rye Pale Ale, Shaka XPA, Anniversary Imperial Brown, and their Strawberry Wheat.

Click here for [map]

Wednesday – June 20

Get Canned Night at Blue Palms Brewhouse

Every Wednesday night is half off of all canned craft beer, so go join them at this Hollywood haven and drink, drink and be merry.

Click here for [map]

Thursday – June 21

Firestone Anniversary Vertical Flight at Sunset Beer Co.

The Echo Park beer store/tasting room/bar is hosting two flights of Firestone brews as well as serving their 2012 Parabola on tap. Check out the Facebook page for details about what the flights are.

Click here for [map]

Friday – June 22

Brouwerij West Takeover @ Buzz Wine Beer Shop

Not many details have emerged for this Downtown LA beer event, but stay tuned.

Click here for [map]

Saturday – June 23

Currywurst is Having a Sausage-Fest

From 11am-9pm on Saturday, the mid-city sausage slinger, Currywurst is throwing a Sommer-fest of sausages. The first 100 people who show up and follow them on twitter will receive free sausages.

Click here for [map]

Sunday – June 24

BBQ and Hangar 24 Party at Golden Gopher

From 1-4pm on Saturday Downtown LA is having a summer party at the Golden Gopher and it’s hosted by Hangar 24! What’s so special about it? There’s free BBQ. It’s like attending a family reunion, but with better beer and fewer explanations about why you’re still living at home.

Click here for [map]

Wanna see your event up here? Send an email to info@labeerhop.com

Best Beer Patios in LA

Want to soak up some rays along with your local craft suds? In honor of the arrival of summer, here’s a short list of the best beer drinking patios in Los Angeles.

The Pub at Golden Road

Besides having a lengthy list of beers brewed onsite, The Pub at Golden Road has a large, and very dog friendly, patio. Located in Glendale, right in the South-East corner of where the 134 and the 5 meet, the entire Golden Road Complex takes up three brightly colored warehouses, one of which is The Pub. Inside, you’ll find a delicious rotating lunch menu (keep your eyes peeled for the Tuna Melt) as well as a rotating guest tap, both of which are curated perfectly. They’ve got a Berliner Weisse on tap right now that pairs perfectly with sunshine.

Click here for map

Verdugo

Nestled in a residential neighborhood in Glassel Park, Verdugo is a beer bar held to the highest standards. The beer list is expertly crafted with options for every taste and a constant list of kegs on deck that will keep you coming back. Pass through the dark booth-lined interior and you’ll enter a spacious patio lined with benches, tables, and merriment. Verdugo is constantly hosting events, food trucks, and live music, for instance “Glassware Mondays” where you get a beer and you keep the glass it comes in. Check their event page for more info.

Click here for map

Red Lion Tavern

The Eastside is full of chic patios to nibble and sip at while watching a parade of pretty people discuss the merits of Animal Collective, for something of a completely different pace, check out the biergarten at the Red Lion Tavern. Here you’ll find sausages, cheeses, big beers and waitresses in lederhosen. Beer selection is entirely German, as is the food, but it’s all good and plentiful. There are two dim interior levels suited for more intimate discussions, but head to the patio to talk advantage of the revelry and the beer garden menu.

Click here for map

Cat and Fiddle

Hollywood is filled with crowds or short skirts, camera toting tourists, “free personality & stress tests”, and other things that are generally necessary to avoid. However, in the middle of all this madness sits the Cat and Fiddle, a british pub with a patio that serves as a welcome respite from the throngs of the entertainment capital of the world. Their beer selection is meager, but they have recently adopted a rotating local tap. Other than that, they have standard pub fare, including Shepherd’s Pie and a surprisingly dynamite Mac and Cheese. Their patio is laden with charm-inducing bistro lights making it an almost date-friendly evening spot.

Click here for map

Beachwood BBQ & Brewing 

Long Beach, understanding the value of a table in the sun, is filled with patios and outdoor seating options (including boats), but for fun in the sun on land you should head down to Beachwood BBQ & Brewing. Not to be confused with their location in Seal Beach, the Long Beach extension of Beachwood has ample patio space and is Metro Blue Line adjacent (a perk that is taken advantage of few, let’s be honest). Beachwood has their own, delicious list of beers as well as a curated beer list with items on tap, on cask, and ultimately on point. Want to do the shortest patio beer hop of all time? Walk down to Congregation Ale House after chowing down on some delicious BBQ at Beachwood. It’s worth the 30 second walk.

Click Here for Map

Renee’s

For one thing, this Westside institution has 2 for 1 drink deals on Tuesday’s, combine that with a patio and it makes Renee’s a sweet deal. The interior? Odd, to say the least. Maze-like with aspects of haunted doll-house, is one way to describe it. Dive bar is another way. Renne’s is a great place to people watch and generally hang out. Beer options aren’t great, but the atmosphere are food make up for it.

Click Here for Map

Father’s Office Culver City

They don’t take reservations, it’s often a fight to the teeth for seating, and it gets crowded early, but damn it if Father’s Office in Culver City isn’t one of the best pub’s in the city. This decades old establishment has two locations (the original is in Santa Monica) but only the Culver spot has a long corridor of benches and tables that lets you enjoy your burger, beer and sweet potato fries in the sun. If you happen to arrive during a rush hour (which you likely will) go to the bar, get a beer, and stake out a table. And when one opens up, hold your ground cause open seats get swooped up faster than a miniskirt at a frat party.

Click Here for Map

Prince of Whales / The Shack

Am I a sucker for these divey Playa Del Rey beachside bars? Absolutely. Prince of Whales and The Shack have greasy bar food, cheery bartenders, dedicated locals, college kids, karaoke (POWs: Tue, Thur, & Sun – The Shack: Wed & Fri), trivia, and are walking distance to the beach, and I saw George Wendt from Cheers there. They’re both all-around great places with patios and beers for everyone. While they aren’t heavy on craft beer, you can get your fix at The Tripel, which is conveniently located between the two seaside establishments.

Click Here for general map

Rock & Brews

Most things in El Segundo are a stone’s throw from the beach, but none have a patio and taplist equal to that of Rock and Brews. Tons of space and community style seating makes this watering hole a perfect place for groups looking for burgers and beers. The atmosphere is… rockin’ with loud music and people laughing away the fact that they’re all the way in El Segundo.

Click here for Map

What’s On Tap – Week of 6/4

All week – The Oinkster’s Second Annual Burger Week!

Oinkster's Burger Week

Oinkster’s Burger Week

This week, Eagle Rock’s favorite, The Oinkster, is hosting a tribute to classic American burgers by serving their take on important burgers from around the country. For instance, today they are slanging Red Castle Sliders, which is their slant on how to serve a timeless White Castle Burger. Here’s the menu for the rest of the week:

Tuesday – 2 x 4 Piggy Style Optional (In’n’Out’s Double-Double)

Wednesday – Northeast Bacon Cheeseburger (Carl’s Jr. Western Bacon Cheeseburger)

Thursday – Grill ‘Em All Takeover

Friday – Sourdough Josh (Jack in the Box’s Sourdough Jack)

Saturday – Pork Adobo Burger

Sunday – Big Max (McDonald’s Big Mac)

Now, eating just one of these burgers is already a cholesterol cram-session, but if you’re truly inspired, and you make it out every day this week, they’ll give you a special, commemorative t-shirt. A shirt that looks so good, you’ll wanna be buried in it.

Here’s The Oinkster’s current Beer List:

On Tap: North Coast Pranqster – Blue Market Hefe – Craftsman 1903 – Taps Schwarzbier – Blue House IPA – Flying Dog Pale Ale

Bottles & Cans: Deschutes Black Butte Porter – Avery Ellie’s Brown Ale – Lagunitas IPA – Avery Joe’s Pilsner – Oskar Blues Dales Pale Ale

Monday – 5:00pm LA KINGS!

Go anywhere to watch the Kings play game 3 of the Stanley Cup live. They’re up against the New Jersey Devils for their second shot at the Cup in 50 years. So go join one of LA’s oldest institution’s: The Bandwagon. Going to your local watering hole and cheering the King’s on is a good way to show support for LA, just remember to pay proper homage to the fans who have stuck around for years in order to get this far.

Wednesday – Chouffe Night at Little Bear

Like Belgian beers? If you do, then you already know The Little Bear, a delicious spot in the industrial quarter of Downtown LA (across the St. from the endlessly cool Church & State Bistro). They’re hosting a Chouffe beer night on Wednesday starting at 7pm. So go check out the Kings game at 5:00pm then head over for a hopefully congratulatory pint of delicious Belgian drink at The Little Bear.

La Chouffe

La Chouffe

Saturday – Orange County BBQ and Music Festival

Festival The OC has gotten a bad rap in popular culture. Mostly due to many harmful icons: Bro-culture. Stuffy old republicans. Peter Gallagher.

This weekend, there’s a wonderful opportunity to swallow all of that hateful OC imagery and wash it down with delicious BBQ and craft beer. The Orange County BBQ and Music Festival. Operating on the OC Fairgrounds on Saturday and Sunday, they’ve got beer tastings, car shows, rib-eating contest, musical acts (Sugar Ray??), Mr. BBQ contest, Butterfly Celebrations (??) and of course, BBQ.

OC BBQ & Music Festival

OC BBQ & Music Festival

Sunday – Taste of the Nation Los Angeles

Want a different festival, to celebrate all things delicious? Check out the Taste of the Nation – LA on Sunday. It’s happening at The Lot in West Hollywood. Tickets are on the pricey end, but have not too much fear, the proceeds are going to a worthy cause and you get a wonderful assortment of food and craft beer, so you will walk away feeling happy and possibly a bit altruistic.

Highland Park Gets it’s Own Bar Covell

For those of you that know Bar Covell in Los Feliz, conveniently located next door to the always entertaining Cheetah’s, you’ll know that they are as dedicated to craft beer and good times as Cheetah’s is dedicated to the “style over substance” approach to their dancing girls.

After Dustin Lancaster’s success of Covell and his follow up L& E Oyster Bar in Silverlake, he has launched another bar in Highland Park.

Hermasillo, so named based on the bar that occupied the space up until a few months ago, soft-opened last night to raucous approval from fans across the East Side. Hermasillo is currently serving a craft beer list comparable to that of Bar Covell, and while they don’t serve food yet, hopefully they will soon cause the Croque Monsieur that they serve at Covell is a real treat.

Hermasillo - Highland Park

Hermasillo – Highland Park