Food & Drink

Los Angeles Is Having an Incredible Craft Beer Boom. Celebrate at LA's Best New Breweries of 2016.

Published On 10/26/2016 Published On 10/26/2016
Arts District Brewing Co.
Arts District Brewing Co. | Timothy Norris/Thrillist
Timothy Norris/Thrillist

Arts District Brewing Co.

Arts District

Arts District Brewing is the new triple threat in #LAbeer. They not only have a long list of expertly made brews (including some killer hop-bombs like Traction IPA thanks to former Pizza Port Solana Beach brewmaster Devon Randall), they also have an on-site restaurant that’s destination-worthy in its own right (Fritzi, run by Chef Neal Fraser) and a massive multi-level tasting room with a full spread of vintage Skee-Ball machines, heavy duty dart boards, and enough cornhole games to fill it up even on weeknights.

Courtesy of Brouwerij West

Brouwerij West

San Pedro

Technically Brouwerij West was one of LA’s earliest craft beer brands, which only this year got a permanent home. Brian Mercer started gypsy brewing his Belgian-style blonde, tripel and quadruple in 2010. Now with a 70-year-old decommissioned Port of LA warehouse to call his own -- complete with a huge outdoor area and tasting room -- the San Pedro native is experimenting way beyond the beer basics. His custom brewing rig allows him to use oddball grains from small, family-owned farms, and his large, open-air brewhouse lets him make everything from bitter table beers to funky sours to fruited saisons in a way no LA brewer has before.

Sarah Bennett/Thrillist

Transplants Brewing Company

Palmdale

The husband and wife team of Matt and Sarah Luker started turning their culinary creativity into “unrooted” homebrews a few years ago and never looked back. After winning awards for both their straightforward IPAs and adjunct-infused masterpieces (think: coffee chicory stout), they teamed up with brewer Brian Youngblood and opened Transplants in Palmdale in January. In their first year, they’ve already released dozens of experiments that make surprisingly drinkable beers out of uncommon beer ingredients. Ever had a beet saison, a cucumber wheat, or a chocolate stout infused with marshmallow Peeps? You have if you’ve been to Transplants.

Sarah Bennett/Thrillist

Indie Brewing Company

Boyle Heights

Originally launched with the idea of being LA’s session beer experts (aka beers that are under 5% ABV), Indie Brewing has expanded its reach to become so much more. As one of two new breweries who make their beer in an odd plot of warehouses between Downtown LA and Boyle Heights (Dry River Brewing is the other, but they don’t have a tasting room yet), they are now distributing cans of the 6.5% ABV Del Rey IPA and the light and dry 7th Street Saison. They’re also now pouring other creations -- like a 7% ABV peppercorn-and-kefir-lime-leaf rye saison called Cache is King and the sessionable porter and XPA -- from their pop-up tasting room most Fridays. They hope to open a full-time tasting room in the coming months.

Sarah Bennett/Thrillist

Homage Brewing

Pomona

Music and beer are obvious friends, but Homage makes the connection personal. In addition to having its nanobrewery (read: really tiny) and tasting room situated between the Fox Theater and The Glasshouse in the heart of Downtown Pomona, owner, brewmaster, and the person most likely pouring your beer, Matt Garcia, is a former touring musician with mad love for punk, hardcore, and everything in between (thus, “Homage”). The beers oscillate between stellar IPAs and tart, stinky-cheese saisons made with a nicely aged Cantillon-ish strain. And like you would with your favorite band, you can show your support by buying merch, which includes enamel pins and riffs on classic band tees that say the brewery’s name instead.