Where to Drink Beer in LA This Fall

From breweries to bottle shops to bars that do it all.

Though we might not have the same craft beer reputation as nearby San Diego (home to 150 breweries alone), we’re here to assert that Los Angeles is still a beer town. From the outskirts of Lancaster and Pomona to Long Beach and all the way up through Pasadena, you can pick just about any neighborhood and bet that you’ll be able to find a small craft brewer plying their trade, with fans sitting and sipping on everything from pastry stouts to sours to Hazy IPAs. Now that the fall season has arrived, we can’t think of anything cozier than nursing a brew in one of the many craft breweries at our disposal. Below you’ll find a roundup of 20 of the best breweries and bottle shops across LA, encompassing a wide range of styles to aid you on your next beer adventure.

Smog City Brewing Company

Various locations

Smog City is one of LA’s bedrock breweries and one that is just as comfortable producing hoppy IPAs, barrel-aged imperial stouts, interesting spur concoctions, or throwing out lagers for their annual Smogtoberfest.
Best of all, they have four locations so you’re never far from their wide array of beers. All locations offer on-site dining through a rotating lineup of food trucks including Smokey Jones BBQ, Olly’s Pretzels, and Philly Jay’s Steaks. The brewery is also kid- and dog-friendly.

ESBC recently celebrated their 10th anniversary and features some of the hoppiest beers you’ll find in LA, plus a wide selection of IPAs. Their mastery is demonstrated with a Triple IPA that’s simultaneously strong and aggressive, while still being extra drinkable. Or opt for their 2020 Old Jetty bourbon-barrel-aged barley wine that clocks in at over 14% ABV, for something heartier. They also run a pizza joint called Slice and Pint that offers a menu of (surprise, surprise) pizza, plus popular Italian-American dishes like fried calamari strips and meatballs marinara, with many dishes featuring ingredients sourced from local farms.

Every beer town worth its salt should have a pilsner and lager brewery to call their own. For Angelenos that place is Enegren Brewing, which features a communal beer hall with views of the brewery and 12 beers on tap. Located just outside of LA proper, sipping on their excellent single-hop pilsners is worth the drive. If you are feeling bold, their Big Meat Rauchbier brings the smoke.

The place to go to indulge your sour side is out near the Van Nuys Airport where you’ll find Cellador Ales—one of only a few oak barrel-fermented craft breweries in the United States. Owner and head brewer Kevin Osborne and his team are wizards with peaches and nectarines, which you can sample in brews like Mas, a farmhouse ale with late-harvest nectarines, and Le Con, a Belgian-inspired wild ale w/ Blenheim apricots. They also make a wine-beer hybrid with Moon Water, a wild ale with Pinot Noir grape skins for an easily drinkable concoction with low tannin and notes of plum and spice.

Homage Brewing

Pomona and Chinatown

On the opposite corner from Highland Park Brewery in Chinatown is where you’ll find the second location of Homage Brewing. As one of the most anticipated brewery openings of the year, Homage draws crowds for its saisons and sours that you’ll see carried off by the caseload by happy fans. A good place to start is with their Saison Spritz line of Belgian Saison-fruited beers with pineapple, mango, wine grapes or guava. And if you like to pair music with their beer, the outdoor biergarten at their second location has a small dance floor that stays packed thanks to their own resident DJ.

Ambitious Ales

Long Beach

At one end of the Bixby Knolls beer corridor stands Ambitious Ales, which took over the space of an old camera shop. Their Central Perk Coffee beer just won the gold at the 2021 California Craft Brewers Cup. You can take that beer or maybe their New Zealand Style Pilsner, Gandalf the Crisp filled with 100% Motueka Hops, into their Backlot Beer Garden and order up a pie, wings, or garlic knots from nearby Thunderbolt Pizza.

Most brewery taprooms are utilitarian in design, but one of L.A.’s newest breweries that just opened in September, makes you feel like you are falling into a beery forested wonderland, with 2,600-square-feet of indoor and outdoor space, including a grove, greenhouse, and a cast of characters inspired by the beers. Not only does the brewery sport an inviting decor, they also have a beer list that diverges from your usual IPAs to feature brown ale, Heweizen, and lagers.

It is not easy to medal in the ultra-competitive IPA category at the Great American Beer Festival, which makes brewer Erick Garcia’s recent bronze medal all the more impressive. Taking over the former Firestone Tire outlet, much of the original architecture and design has been preserved, with the addition of a glass-encased 15-barrel brewhouse, plus indoor-outdoor seating. All Season positions itself as a bar first, with well drinks and craft cocktails available alongside a lengthy beer list that includes crushable American- and Italian-style pilsners, hoppy IPAs, malt-centric lagers, and rustic saisons. Start with an $8 pint of the citrus and floral Bullitt IPA, then play a few rounds of Skee-Ball and stop by on-site Chica’s Tacos to get your taco and nacho fix.

Ogopogo Brewing

San Gabriel

Ogopogo Brewing, named after a Loch Ness cousin from Canada, represents the first brewery in the city of San Gabriel. Brewers and owners Jason De La Torre and Ryan Edell are stalwarts in the Southern California brewing scene (Mason Aleworks, Saint Archer, Golden Road), and have infused their obsession with folklore, mythology, and palindromes into their beer names, like the Boeman Belgian White Ale that’s named after the Dutch boogeyman, or Arachne, a fresh hop ale featuring Strata hops, that comes courtesy of a recent collaboration with Three Weavers. You can also order up ciders as well as wines because these multi-talented folks do all three.

This NoHo beer store and bar made a great transition to the online space last year but nothing beats browsing the coolers and checking out the draft list in person. Hop Merchants is our go-to for Enegren beers in the summer and they also carry Long Beach Beer Lab brews so you can skip the long drive across the 405.

This gem is tucked into the back corner of a strip mall near the Wiltern Theater and fills a niche by stocking a wide range of beer styles. Want a Cold IPA from Portland Oregon’s Wayfinder Brewing? They probably have it. Craving a foreboding can of Black IPA from There Does Not Exist Brewing from San Luis Obispo? They’ve got that too. A kimchi sour from Dokkabier? You bet. You also have the option to take your selections to go or grab a seat inside or on the outdoor parklet to enjoy on-site.

As a fan of Tony’s Chocolates, it’s great to know that Hi-Lo has that fix for us as well as high-end snacks and liquor. But what gets us most excited is their beer selection. Like any good bottle shop, they almost always have a special beer to buy, including hard-to-find brews hailing from New York, Colorado, and Oregon. Both locations have cute little bar sections where you can sit down and enjoy—plus they sell ice cream too!

With a new location situated across the street from Los Angeles State Historic Park, Highland Park Brewery is a lovely spot to sit on a patio with a craft beer in hand. Bob Kunz and brewing team are multi-threat, style wise, but increasingly known for their pilsners such as the crisp Timbo, with Citra and Mosaic hops. HPB is also a serial collaborator with the likes of Firestone Walker from Venice and Other Half Brewing from New York. The food menu includes specials with a portion of proceeds donated to rotating charities, like the spicy sesame chicken tots that are fried and topped with orange sauce, toasted sesame seeds, scallions, and chili flakes, which benefits queer nonprofit Project Q.

Mumford Brewing

Arts District

Located in the bonafide craft beer hotspot that is the Arts District, Mumford Brewing is where you’ll want to head if you are looking for collaborations with cool breweries such as Other Half from Brooklyn and MadeWest in Ventura.
Owner and brewer Peter Mumford is known for pushing the boundaries on Hazy IPAs, but has proven equally adept at sticky sweet stouts as demonstrated in their Stick Figures series. The brewery’s latest release is the generously hoppy Always Above, a Northeast-style IPA with Galaxy, Apollo, and Comet hops that’s available by the can or draft pulls.

Eagle Rock Brewery

Glassell Park

As one of LA’s pioneer craft breweries, it would be easy for Eagle Rock Brewery to stick to what has proven successful, like their Solidarity Black Mild Ale and Revolution Pale Ale. But no, husband-and-wife team Jeremy Raub and Ting Su are still experimenting with releases like Loafer, which was done as part of the Zero Waste LA initiative to reduce local food waste and uses leftover bread from local Bub and Grandma’s factory to craft this crushable rustic ale. The pair brings the same creativity to their food truck choices, making it a great place to stop by for brews with a bite.

Brewemaster Alexandra Nowell is a leader in the California brew scene, and her expertise is on display in beers that come out of their Inglewood taproom and will soon arrive at their upcoming SoFi stadium-adjacent outpost. The bright and fruity Expatriate IPA leads the line, with citrus-forward Cloud City Hazy IPA representing another solid choice, but we recommend that newcomers start with the easy-to-drink, malt-driven Deep Roots amber ale. Whatever you decide to order, trust that it’ll pair well with nearby Randy’s Donuts.

English-style beers haven't taken hold here in America yet, but Los Angeles does have this Van Nuys spot that’s tucked in the middle of car repair shops and offers up bitters, pales and ESB's with a sessionability that’s characteristic of Great Britain. Make sure to get a proper pint from the hand pump. It’s also one of the few spots where you can pair Old World-style British ales with fresh pizzas that are made with 48-hour-fermented dough and housemade mozzarella, plus appetizers like spicy housemade meatballs and a Philly pretzel with housemade beer cheese.

Glendale Tap

Glendale

Glendale Tap made the admirable switch from a bar with an excellent rotating tap list to a bottle shop with all of the hip beers that the Instagram generation loves—now they’re both! And they really work the food scene, with local favorites like Burgers Never Say Die popping up at their San Fernando Road location, and Chicago-style Puerto Rican food courtesy of The Puerto Rican Spot. With 52 beers on tap, there’s always something new to try at this Atwater-adjacent alehouse.

Sunset Beer serves as the model for Los Angeles bottle shops, with a well-curated selection of beers available by the can, bottle, and on draft that’s headed by Bennett Ericksen. The affordable pricing, as well as the wide selection of bottles that also includes wine and bubbly options, represent the best in the city and are perfect for enjoying in their small adjoining bar and patio. Sign up for their weekly newsletter to stay updated on events, new items in stock, and their current taplist. If you want to keep your night going after Sunset Beer closes, head next door to Bar Calo for Mexican bites and mezcal-spiked cocktails.

Beachwood BBQ & Brewing

Various locations

It’s a given that whatever you buy with the Beachwood name will be great, but as we turn into autumn, we suggest starting with their milk stout Udder Love or their award-winning Robusta Rhymes Porter. From there, dive into their extensive pool of IPAs. If you choose to visit their Long Beach location, you can also partake in their excellent BBQ fare or saunter over to their nearby Blendery location and sip something magical like Latent Owl, a Belgian-style sour ale that’s fermented and aged in gin barrels.

Sean Inman has been writing about beer since 2009 on his blog, Beer Search Party. He has also written for Food GPS and contributes to Beer Paper LA.