New Breweries of 2017

Just like that, the class of 2017 starts lining up for roll call. It’s going to be another good year for beer in LA. There are murmurings across the county of various breweries opening including the LA Aleworks taproom and brewery in Hawthorne, an additional unnamed project is opening in Hawthorne, the Modern Times DTLA Project will open this year, controversial beer guru Tony Yanow is set to open two locations, and I can smell some West Side and Valley projects coming along as well.

But, before all that happens, let’s take a dip into what has already opened in 2017. For a full list of all 66 breweries in the LA area click here.

The New Breweries of 2017 (January Edition)

Verdugo West Brewing

Verdugo West Brewing (photo: Verdugo West Brewing)
Verdugo West Brewing (photo: Verdugo West Brewing)

Topping the list of the best brewery & burrito combo in LA, this newcomer to the Burbank scene is already making a splash. Brewmaster Chris Walowski is making solid IPAs, an Oatmeal Stout (with vanilla and coffee variants), and a super crisp blonde ale. We recommend pairing the Quarterly IPA with the shishito peppers and the Wax Wing with the shrimp burrito. Taproom open Wed-Sun.

156 W Verdugo Ave, Burbank, CA 91502
verdugowestbrewing.com

Lincoln Beer Company

Lincoln Beer Company (photo: John Verive http://www.beeroftomorrow.com)
Lincoln Beer Company (photo: John Verive beeroftomorrow.com)

Young bearded guys open craft brewery in Los Angeles inside castle-style building and dedicate business philosophy to Abraham Lincoln. This is the story of modern beer. Ryan Lipson and Patrick Dunn got together and turned their homebrew hobby into full-blown business making a range of styles from Cream Ale, to IPA to Imperial Cream Stout. No taproom yet, but you’ll find their Candy Fields IPA scattered around various beer halls in LA.

3083 N Lima St, Burbank, CA
lincolnbeercompany.com

Two Coast Brewing

Two Coast Altbier

What do you do if you like really like a beer but can never get your hands on it? Open your own brewery and make that beer yourself. That’s the philosophy behind Two Coast Brewing. They love German beers, but could never get fresh, well-made German beer in LA, so they’re just making their own. Kölsch, Altbier, and other German staples are all brewed with the spirit of the Reinheitsgebot . No taproom yet, but they are headquartered in Gardena with bottles rolling out in Los Angeles and you can find their beer on tap at the Tam O’Shanter in Los Feliz.

1866 West 169th Street, Unit H, Gardena
twocoastbrewing.com

Cellador Ales*

Cellador Ales (photo: Hal Mooney)
Cellador Ales (photo: Hal Mooney)

Only a few breweries in the US are fermenting 100% of their beer in oak barrels, and Cellador Ales in North Hills (behind the Van Nuys airport) is one of them. They started putting beer in bottles in 2016, but their taproom just opened in 2017, so we’ll count them in. Their focus is on mixed culture fermentation – think tart, funky, complex – but all of them are extremely drinkable. Go now while you can grab some of their AKIMBO, which has Masumoto Peaches in it. Taproom open every other weekend.

16745 Schoenborn St, North Hills, CA 91343
celladorales.com

New Los Angeles Breweries in 2016

Have you fulfilled your New Years’ Resolution to drink more beer this year? If not, there’s still enough time to cram it in at one of the many Los Angeles breweries before the end of the year. And if you didn’t make that resolution… then what’s wrong with you? There is an insane amount of good beer in Los Angeles right now and you should be drinking it. With friends. At the breweries where they make it.

Here’s a list of all of the new Los Angeles breweries. If you want a full list of all of the LA breweries, please check out our page here: labeerhop.com/breweries.

Los Angeles Breweries – Class of 2016

Indie*

Located in Boyle Heights, this shabby industrial taproom serves finely-tuned beers on the weekends and in 16oz cans. If you want to visit, they’re hosting a cheese and beer event with Vagabond cheese this Saturday (12/17) at their taproom.

Boomtown*

Equal parts brewery and warehouse party, this Arts District brewery is now open every weekend serving around 10 or more different crafts.

Frogtown

A homebrew shop turned tasting room and brewery. They’re not officially “open-open” yet, but they’re open enough to count them in the class of 2016.

Cosmic*

They were contract brewing for quite a while before opening their brewery in Torrance a stones throw from Monkish, Smog City and The Dudes (I think you could literally hit Monkish with a stone from Cosmic if you were really good at throwing stones). Also, you pour your own beer here, no bartenders.

Santa Monica Brew Works*

They’ve been brewing for a while, but their rather large Santa Monica taproom officially opened this year making them the only taproom in Santa Monica out of all of the Los Angeles Breweries. Go to check out a wide range of beers brewed onsite and grab some food from their rotating schedule of foodtrucks.

Brouwerij West*

Formerly part of the contract brewing club, Brouwerij West had a much-anticipated opening this year at an enormous location in the Ports’o’Call in San Pedro. They make a bunch of experimental (and good) Belgian and French-style beers in a taproom that could fit a fleet of elephants.

Homage Brewing

Alright, it’s out in Pomona, but it’s worth the trip. It’s the first brewery to really adopt the white walled, green plants, clean atmosphere of a coffee shop (I’m looking at you Dinosaur coffee). You might say that this brewery is “on trend”. And boy are they doing things right. Innovative beers, trendy styles done well, well adorned taproom, good music, and incredibly warm people. Do yourself a favor and head out to Pomona.

Rob Rubens Distilling and Brewing

The only combination brewery and distillery in LA (although we definitely smell more coming), Rob Rubens opened his speakeasy-style tasting room and brewery/distillery in El Segundo this year. So far, they’ve made some pretty tasty beers and a small collection of spirits: vodka, gin and a white whiskey.

Cellador Ales

Maybe one of the most anticipated breweries, certainly one of the quietest, this small brewery is operating all the way up in North Hills slowly turning out some really innovative oak aged beers. They don’t have a tasting room yet, but you can find their liquid in small format bottles around LA (they’ll be in large bottles soon). Look out for Firegold – A funky farmhouse ale brewed with Mosaic and El Dorado aged with oranges & orange peel in a French Oak Puncheon.

State

They just put beer out in the marketplace but their taproom isn’t open yet, so they JUST made the cut to be part of the class of 2017. This Gardena brewery also just got Robert Sanchez from Kinetic Brewing to come and serve as their Brewmaster. Be on the look out for lots of fun beers in 2017.

Scholb

Started by Patrick Schulz and Jason Kolb (blend their two last names together and you get…. “Scholb”… Ta-da!) this two-family brewery opened up about 50 yards away from Absolution in Torrance and instantly became a fan favorite. It’s a one of the friendliest taprooms you’ll find anywhere, filled with well made beers, smiling bartenders and locals.

Zymurgy

Does this mean the LA Beer scene has come full circle? Zymurgy Brew Works, located in Torrance (of course) is a DIY Brewery and taproom. You can now brew your very own beer alongside professional brewers who assist you in every aspect of production.

*Breweries with a “*” have brewed before this year, but they opened their taprooms full time in 2016.

New Brewery Alert – Indie Brewing Company

You may have seen their beer on shelves, you may have even tasted it, but when you visit their taproom, that’s when you really get to know Indie Brewing Company. Because to know Indie is to know the four guys who run the place: Kevin, James, Morgan and Connor. They’re the brewers, taproom attendants, salesmen, interior designers, tap-handle fabricators, and janitors for this new brewery in DTLA.

It’s technically Boyle Heights, but you could easily say that their taproom is in Downtown LA or even The Arts District. The building, which they share with a handful of apparel companies, is located just off E. 7th Street conveniently close to Iron Triangle Brewing. In fact, while we may not recommend doing it alone, a brisk walk from one brewery to the next wouldn’t be the worst idea.

The interior of the space feels like it was curated by four guys who work in beer for a living. Hand-made picnic tables, jockey boxes, beer cans, corn hole and a couple of futons. Imagine the cleanest version of a frat house with the best beer selection.

Your beer will be poured for you by one of the four owners who are more than eager to chat about what’s in their Superfood Saison (blackberries, goji berries, acai & pitaya) or what hops are in their IPA Del Rey (Citra and Equinox).

So after chatting with the owners, sitting in one of their futons, sipping their beer and hanging out in their space you’ll begin to fully understand Indie Brewing Company and all that goes into craft beer.

Your only chance to visit their taproom is on Friday evenings from 5-10pm, but that will change to more regular brewery hours once they get a few details ironed out. Keep watch on our website for Indie to start being featured on our East & Central LA brewery tour or on any of our private tours.

Indie Brewing Company the new brewery in LA
IPA Del Rey at Indie Brewing Company

New Brewery Alert – Brewyard Brewing

We’ve had two breweries in Glendale for a while now: Golden Road and Eagle Rock Brewery… or so we thought. In reality, Golden Road is in Los Angeles and Eagle Rock Brewery is in Glassel Park, they’ve only been in the Glendale of our minds. However, the barley gods have given us a new brewery that is in both the Glendale of our minds and our maps. Brewyard Beer Company – 906 Western Ave, Glendale, CA 91201.

The homebrew duo Sherwin Antonio and Kirk Nishikawa just opened a 4,500 square foot facility in Glendale and will start seving beer to the public this month. They’re slated to start serving up four flagship beers: California Common Lager (Steam Beer), Passion Fruit Saison, Schwarzbier & an IPL (India Pale Lager). Which all sound like great additions to the growing roster of flagship beers available in Los Angeles.

With hours similar to that of the Eagle Rock Brewery taproom, they’ll be open Wednesday to Sunday with opening and closing varying each day.

And within a short time they’ll be a welcome addition to our East & Central tour, along with other (soon-to-be) newcomers like Arts District Brewing, Iron Triangle Brewing and Boomtown Brewery. We’ll keep you posted on the development of that.

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

New Brewery Alert – Progress Brewing

Looking for handmade beer in LA? There’s a new player in South El Monte that not only hand makes delicious craft beer, but hand makes the equipment too: Progress Brewing.

As a quick side note, Progress opened their brewery a few months ago under the name “Federal Brewing” but because of its shared name with “The Federal Bar” of North Hollywood and Long Beach, they were forced to change it to “Progress”. I’m a fan of the new name. It has a nice ring to it and there isn’t any more explanation that “it’s not that bar in downtown Long Beach”.

Started by Diego Benitez and Kevin Ogilby, Progress Brewing is South El Monte’s first brewery and currently its only brewery and the greeting on the wall outside this industrial space is just as friendly and welcome as the beers and people inside of it. 

Cindy and I made our way over to their taproom last week (after a quick pitstop at the newly opened Jimmy John’s in Pasadena, which, if you’re a Midwesterner like I am, is big news). The Progress taproom sits proudly on a corner space in a heavy industrial area sandwiched between the 10 and the 60 Freeways just West of the 605.

A quick trip around the block confirms that the signless building on the corner is in fact a brewery. Parking is ample and the entrance into the taproom is located on the other side the building from the “Cerveza / Craft Beer” painting (seen above).

Once inside, you’ll find that the guys at Progress have been busy. At the time we went, they had 7 beers on tap, had just blown through the last of another beer, and were preparing to tap a new red ale.

They’ve also been busy slanging beers. We were there at 3:30pm on a Monday afternoon (cause that’s what you do when you drive a beer bus all weekend). The entire bar was full and there was a constant stream of people coming in to fill their growlers. It seems like the people of South El Monte have found a home in this brewery. 

The beers were solid with a lot of promise for the future. The Bronco, a belgian pale, has been one of their best sellers and I can easily see why because of it’s incredible drinkability with a distinctive belgian flare. It will be exciting to see their beer list grow and even more exciting to see how they will grow their brewery given that all of their equipment is handmade.

New Brewery Alert!

Get used to it because it’s going to keep happening. And it’s going to be wonderful. A new brewery has opened and you should check it out. It’s called Timeless Pints and it’s in Lakewood (basically Long Beach) and Cindy and I can assure you, the pints they are serving will make you lose time.

Tucked away in an industrial strip, no surprise there, Timeless Pints would be hard to find if it weren’t for the great logos they have adorning their windows and at the front of the parking lot. Parking is ample and if you’re arriving in style the Long Beach is across the street giving it a distinctly “Hangar 24-Feel”. In fact, if you search for Timeless Pints on Google Maps, the marker appears to be inside of the airport.

The interior has an industrial brewery meets Edward Gorey vibe. It’s large, spacious, has an L-shaped bar, about 10 table tops and plenty of room to mill about. A good too because from what I hear, the place has been filled every weekend because, let’s be honest, Long Beach knows how to drink craft beer.

The owners, Merri and Chris Sparacio, were both present when we stopped by and they couldn’t have been more pleasant. Welcoming, chatty, excited about their beer and to be a part of the local beer scene. 

Now, the beers. Wonderful. An 8% IPA with 92 IBU’s, a dry Wit, an Oatmeal Stout with Huckleberry. All fun, delicious and a few of them were slightly ambitious. Chris comes from a homebrewing background, so I expect some of that ingenuity and “brewing for fun” mentality to come through to this brewery.

We will be bringing tours there as often as we can and I will certainly be going there myself as often as I can.

Next up… FEDERAL BREWING.

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

Pizza & Beer – Just Not in the Same Place

Pizza and beer.

They’re as good a pair as peanut butter and jelly. Fish and chips. Gorgonzola and frosted flakes.

Now, there’s one more option in Echo Park to experience that heavenly pairing. The Los Angeles Pizza Company location in Echo Park is now open to the public and offering one half of that immortal combo. Serving up Vegan pies as well as fancy options the LA Pizza Co. has something for everyone such as a pizza called the Buenos Aires, which consists of Chimmichurri sauce, Mozzarella, Argentinean Sausage, Mushroom, and Fresh Basil.

With all of those pizza options, and no liquor license, what do you do for beer?

Well, the good news is you can bring that pizza next door to the conveniently placed Sunset Beer Company, which has an incredible amount of craft brews in bottles and 12 on rotating taps. The Sunset Beer Co. has a freewheeling policy of BYO-Food, so grab a sizzling slice, roll on over next door and enjoy one more way Echo Park does pizza & beer.

Los Angeles Pizza Company - Echo Park
Los Angeles Pizza Company – Echo Park
Echo Park
Echo Park