Food & Drink

Your Essential Guide to Every LA County Brewery

Published On 03/15/2016 Published On 03/15/2016

The Brewery at Abigaile

Hermosa Beach (brewpub)

Best beers: Illuminati pils, Vienna lager -- it’s a new brewer, so get ‘em while you can in case he discontinues them.
The Abigaile is a restaurant, a brewery, and a punk rock landmark with an ocean view. Built on the site of the infamous church where LA punk bands like Black Flag used to live and play, you can now stop by graffiti-walled Abigaile for globally inspired fancy bites (like Moroccan lamb kibbeh and Chinese-style prawns) from acclaimed Chef Tin Vuong and beers made on the in-house copper brewery. 

Flickr/Mark Dienger

Absolution Brewing Company

Torrance (tasting room)

Best beers: Revelation rye, Sinner stout, root beer

From the fiery depths of San Diego’s homebrew scene to the industrial parks of LA’s original beer city comes Absolution Brewing Company, a religious-themed brewery from two members of SD’s biggest homebrew club. An easy stop on a tour of Torrance’s many breweries, ABC (as it’s sometimes called) makes old-world beers (plus two sodas!) out of a shiny new brewhouse and offers a mug club that’ll net you discounts on pints of it all.

Alosta Brewing

Covina (tasting room)

Best beers: Elias ESB, Mrs. Adams Oatmeal stout, any sour

The sleepy bedroom community of Covina isn’t exactly on most Angelenos’ radars, but maybe it should be: Alosta’s two seasoned homebrewers (one of whom even hosted a public access show on the subject) have been putting out some of the San Gabriel Valley’s best beers. Hop heads steer clear: this is the kind of place that makes barrel-aged stouts, experimental sours, and Belgian-style suds, served alongside weekly trivia nights and epic, themed release parties.

Sarah Bennett/Thrillist

Angel City Brewery

Downtown (tasting room)

Best beers: Social IPA, White Nite

Angel City Brewery has been around since the late ‘90s, but the one that’s been making beer in the Arts District since 2012 is not your father’s brewery. Now owned by Alchemy & Science (a subsidiary of Boston Beer Company aka Sam Adams), Angel City is bigger than ever with a new look, new beers and a snazzy tasting room in a historic old factory that hosts art shows plus only-in-LA community events like weekly yoga classes and their annual Avocado Festival.

Arts District Brewing Co.

Arts District Brewing

Downtown (tasting room)

Best beers: Kablamo Rye IPA, Traction IPA

Arts District Brewing is the supergroup of LA beer: owners include the people behind some of the city’s top craft cocktail and craft beer bars, plus brewing is at the hands of Devon Randall, who previously won medals galore as brewmaster at Pizza Port in Solana Beach. Couple Randall’s hop-forward, San diego-style beers with a dozen vintage skeeball machines and a new food concept from Chef Neal Fraser and you have one of LA’s most exciting new breweries, no question.

Sarah Bennett/Thrillist

Beachwood BBQ and Brewing

Long Beach (brewpub)

Best Beers: All of them. Seriously.

Twice named one of the best brewpubs in the country by the Brewers Association, Beachwood BBQ and Brewing is the most award-winning brewery in LA -- and for good reason. Brewmaster Julian Shrago is a legitimate rocket scientist who quit a job in aerospace to help launch a brewing offshoot of the famous Seal Beach craft beer-focused barbecue restaurant in 2011, and has since made (no joke) hundreds of different beers, many of which never leave the downtown Long Beach brewpub but all of which are, sorry to say, light years better than anything you’ll ever homebrew in your life. 

Beachwood Blendery

Long Beach (tasting room)

Best beers: Each release is a one-off experiment that will never be made again. Try everything while you can.

The experimental barrel-room that Beachwood BBQ and Brewing opened last year is the dorkiest ode to Belgian-style sours we’ve ever seen. Housed in a 100-year-old, exposed-brick building behind the original brewpub, The Blendery is being pumped full of authentic sour yeast strains and has a temperature and humidifier gauge rigged to mimic the exact environment of a barrel room in Belgium. For now, they are only open on days when they release their limited, one-off beers (so call before stopping by) and weekends, though eventually, the room will produce a product that’s as close to a Cantillon (or Oud Beersel or Drie Fontaine, whatevs) gueuze as Americanly possible.

Sarah Bennett/Thrillist

Belmont Brewing Company

Long Beach (brewpub)

Best beers: BBC pale ale, Long Beach Crude, the beer of the month

The oldest-operating brewpub in Southern California still flies the craft flag high, despite its five year-round beers remaining relatively unchanged since the ‘90s. Mononymous brewmaster Blackwell is an award-winning beer maker whose drinkable but flavorful house recipes for basic styles stand up to anything coming out of newer breweries today (the beachfront view ain’t so bad either). Proving he’s not asleep at the wheel, Blackwell’s rotating Beer of the Month always showcases a more modern invention, from Black IPAs to a Centennial SMaSH (single malt and single hop beer).

Bonaventure Brewing Company

Downtown (brewpub)

Best beers: BBC pale ale, Long Beach Crude, the beer of the month

If you’d prefer to drink Blackwell’s time-tested beers surrounded by breathtaking views of the Downtown LA skyline, then hit up Bonaventure Brewing Company, the sister brewpub to Long Beach’s waterfront Belmont Brewing Company. At this BBC, you can chill on the 4th floor deck of the funky architectural marvel that is the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and sip the same award-winning core beers as you’ll find at the other BBC.

Boomtown Brewery

Bravery Brewing

Lancaster (tasting room)

Best beers: Buster’s Brown, Bartto DIPA, Köbi

One of the first breweries to water the desert cities of the Antelope Valley with craft beer, Bravery Brewing has a solid lineup of American and Euro-style beers and a tasting room that pays homage to Lancaster’s military roots. It’s also the only brewery in the north part of LA County that bottles -- and they bottle a lot of different beers -- making it even easier to take home a taste of the high desert.

Sarah Bennett/Thrillist

Brewyard Beer

Glendale (tasting room)

Best beers: Tropico saison, Split Shift IPL, Black Sunrise black lager

Glendale’s first brewery was born out of a love of homebrewing and the happenstance purchase of a vintage delivery truck, which now sits as a centerpiece of Brewyard’s homey tasting room. With daily food trucks stopping by, dozens of board games to play and beers that are anything but basic, Brewyard is a welcome addition to what is being called the San Fernando Road Craft Beer Corridor. 

Brouwerij West

San Pedro (tasting room)

Best beers: Anything made at the new facility

In a historic old warehouse in the Port of Los Angeles, Brouwerij West is making Belgian-style beers that are sour, funky and filled with grains no one else would think to brew with. The facility opened in February 2016 after owner Brian Mercer spent six years contract brewing flagships, like his triple and quadruple, everywhere from Irvine to the Bay Area. Now, Mercer has a place to experiment outside of tradition -- which he does with gusto on his water-efficient brewhouse, which is powered by solar panels mounted on the roof. 

Claremont Craft Ales

Claremont (tasting room)

Best beers: Jacaranda Rye IPA, Coffee Del Coffee IPA

Hiding in the far-out city of Claremont is Claremont Craft Ales, a not-so-average neighborhood brewery started by the husband and wife team Simon Brown and Emily Moultrie. Over the years, the brewery has expanded its offerings from straight West Coast-style hoppy beers to more nuanced and balanced selections, like barrel-aged beers, cream ale, and stouts. Of course you can still get your bitterness fix with specials like The Dudes, a series of single, double and triple IPAs spiked with everything from fresh hops to grapefruit. Mark it.

Congregation Ale House Chapters

Congregation Ale House

Azuza (brewpub)

Best beers: Praise On Saison, Dark of the Covenant

The brewery arm of the Congregation Ale House mini-chain of gastropubs keeps with the same church theme that brought you the Rapture Dog, “Chosen One” beer specials and, bless, bartenders in Catholic schoolgirl outfits. Installed inside the Azusa chapter, the brewery churns out all of those religiously named ales made by seasoned pro brewer Caleb McLaughlin (currently with the help of guest brewer Tyler King), which get distributed to the other two Congregation locations plus some local draft accounts. Pray at the altar of beer.

Johnny Lee

The Dudes' Brewing Company

Toorrance (tasting room)

Best beer: Kolschtal Eddy

Sixteen-ounce cans of The Dudes’ flagships like the Double Trunk IPA and Grandma’s Pecan English Brown can be found all over town, but their tasting room is part of the ultimate Torrance beer crawl. There, you can taste beers that don’t make it into cans plus special-releases, like the ones the dudes at Dudes' (yes, the whole thing is a long, drawn-out Big Lebowski reference) made in partnership with local classic rock radio station KLOS and the Surfrider Association.

Eagle Rock Brewing

Eagle Rock (tasting room)

Best beers: Solidarity Black Mild, Ginger saison, Stimulus

Eagle Rock Brewery was one of the three breweries that started pouring in January 2010, ending a decades-long dry spell for new breweries in the region and starting LA down the accelerated path to craft beerdom. Their centrally located tasting room continues to be a destination for newcomers to LA beer, where people can take it easy with well-made wits and IPAs or get freaky with seasonal sours, coffee beers, and special occasion session ales. 

El Segundo Brewing Co.

El Segundo Brewing

El Segundo (tasting room)

Best beers: Broken Skull IPA, Hammerland DIPA, Power Plant TIPA -- hell, all of their IPAs.

The guys and gals at El Segundo Brewing are LA’s hoppy beer gurus, with a seemingly endless stream of single, double, and triple IPAs that are good enough to make San Diego jealous. They’ve even started releasing one IPA per month on the first day it’s bottled, resulting in dankness at your door in 12 hours or less. Oh yeah, they also made a knockout collaboration beer last year with a little wrestler you may have heard of named Steve Austin. As expected, it’s best downed “stone cold.”

Figueroa Mountain

Westlake Village (brewpub)

Best beers: 101 California Kolsch, Lizards Mouth IPA

The Central Coast is home to several award-winning breweries (Firestone Walker, anyone?), but none have launched quite the expansion plan as Fig Mountain, which has pushed out of its original Buellton digs with a half-dozen tasting rooms and brewpubs from Arroyo Grande to Santa Barbara. After much anticipation, Fig Mountain opened its sourthernmost location, just inside L.A. County lines in Westlake Village where they tap award-winning beers like Danish Red Lager and Davy Brown Ale and brew some locals-only originals on the in-house system.

Five Threads Brewing Company

Westlake Village (taproom)

Best beers: Aria Red Rye and Bliss IPA 

Five Threads gets its name from its beer's main ingredients: water, malt, yeast, hops and -- wait for it -- you. That's right, you're considered one of the most important parts of this Westlake Village brewery's beers, which include hop-forward favorites and several nitro porters and stouts. Their community-driven tasting room was funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign and their beers can be found on draft at bars across the Conejo Valley. Make this a stop on your 101 freeway brewery crawl. 

Golden Road Brewing

Near Glendale (brewpub)

Best beers: Heal the Bay IPA, 329 lager

Craft beer in LA took a major blow last year when Golden Road got bought by Anheuser-Busch, but just because the city’s biggest brewery is now on the bankroll of the big guys doesn’t mean that the place is all Bud Light and bald eagles. Co-founder Meg Gill is still around to ensure their hop-forward beers remain brewed on site and the train-track-adjacent restaurant still has some of the best vegan food (and burgers!) a beer-lover could ask for. 

Highland Park Brewing

Highland Park (brewpub)

Best beers: Wake Up Session Coffee Beer on Nitro, Hello LA IPA, anything with Brett in it

It might tempting to lump Highland Park’s only craft brewery in with some of the negative gentrification that’s taken over York Blvd in the last few years, but the small-batch beer experiments coming out of the former “back room” of a one-time Mexican escort club (!!) are far more than hipster fodder. At Highland Park Brewery (under the same roof as The Hermosillo), brewmaster Bob Kunz makes clean, dry IPAs, and funky Brett-aged saisons with the same aplomb, constantly trying new yeasts, new hops, and new flavors in beers that will never leave the bar.

HopSaint Brewing Company

HopSaint Brewing

Torrance (brewpub)

Best beers: Cacophony IPA, Eleven-Eight strong mild

Brian Brewer was born with a name that destined him for beer greatness. After helping put The Brewery at Abigaile on the map with hoppy wonders like Cacophony IPA, he left to start HopSaint, which opened in December 2015 with Cacophony and a handful of other beers on draft. Built into a vintage Mid-Century building that once housed a Jewish deli, Hop Saint proves that the brewpub just might be the modern diner, where families can go to eat farm-to-table grub while mom and dad get tipsy on well-made beer. 

Innovation Brew Works

Pomona (brewpub)

Best beers: Reign On Black IPA, Green and Gold 

How does anyone Cal Poly Pomona even go to class anymore with Innovation Brew Works just a block away from campus? Operated by the school’s foundation, Innovation is more than a brewpub where anyone can grab a cheap pint and a pizza, though. It’s more like a living, drinkable laboratory for students studying brewing science through the school’s extension program (which, yeah, totally sounds like the best college course ever). As a bonus, Cal Poly Pomona is a legendary agricultural school too, so if you sign up for the classes that are conducted in the brewhouse, you’ll be making beer from locally sourced grains in no time. 

Iron Triangle Brewing DTLA

Iron Triangle Brewing

Downtown (tasting room)

Best beers: Iron Triangle IPA, Iron Triangle Dark ale

With Golden Road technically no longer considered craft, Iron Triangle swoops in to take the title of LA’s Largest Craft Brewery, with 10,000sqft of brewery space in the Arts District filled with an ocean of shiny new stainless steel. Founder Nathan Cole had dreams of an IPA-focused brewery for years and opened his doors in early 2016 with solid showings from brewer Darren Moser (formerly of Maui Brewing). 

Kinetic Brewing

Lancaster (brewpub)

Best beers: Potential Blonde, Rusted Gear Amber

Kinetic was the Antelope Valley’s first brewery, and it’s still one of the best. A prime location in Downtown Lancaster and a theme that pays homage to the surrounding aerospace history helped the early spread of craft beer in a part of the county sort-of isolated from the rest of LA. Being the oldest, it seems only fair that they’re also the first to expand. Land has already been purchased for Kinetic’s massive new duds, which will be a sprawling beer Disneyland not unlike Stone’s World Bistro and Gardens in Escondido. 

King Harbor Brewing

Redondo Beach (brewery and tasting room)

Best beers: The Quest (single-hop series), The Swirly, 70 & Sunny saison

King Harbor’s two tasting rooms could not be more different. One is inside of the brewery itself, a strip mall storefront with grand views of the towering silver tanks that make all the beer possible. The other is a waterfront bar on Redondo Beach’s International Boardwalk, filled with surfers and day drinkers, overlooking the boats and seafood restaurants of the vintage pier development. You can get the same beers at both, but we recommend the waterfront taproom, not only because it’s better for soaking up the sun, but because it’s one of the few places in LA to get fills of the 32oz part-can, part-growler known as a crowler.

La Verne Brewing Co.

La Verne Brewing

La Verne (tasting room)

Best beers: "B" Street Pineapple Blonde, Hacienda cream ale

Owned by a pair of homebrewing, hot-rod loving family men, La Verne Brewing takes full advantage of its location across the street from the Pomona Raceway by keeping their personal car collection on display and hosting race-day events. They also have the benefit of pulling their brew team from the pool of recent science grads at nearby University of La Verne, making their tasting room more a community hub than a brewery. 

The Lab Brewing Co

Agoura Hills (brewpub)

Best beers: Vanilla Coffee porter, Take Her Home Triple

Hanging out mid-way on Agoura Rd between Ladyface Ale Companie and Sundowner Brewing is The Lab Brewing Company, which used to operate out of a namesake brewpub until a revamp last year turned it into the Twisted Oak Tavern. Beers, thankfully, remain the same, with large copper fermenting vessels providing the focal point of the restaurant and the elusive “Dr. Hops” at the reigns.

Ladyface Ale Companie

Agoura Hills (brewpub)

Best beers: Dérailleur Biere de Garde, La Grisette Belgian Wheat, Russian Lullaby Imperial stout

In the shadows of Ladyface Mountain sits no ordinary brewpub. Plopped into the far corner of a freeway adjacent shopping center, Ladyface Ale Companie is the beer-loving bistro in the South of France (er, uh, Hills of Agoura) you never knew existed. With delicate Art Nouveau aesthetics and a menu that includes French onion soups and croque monsieurs, it actually seems more like a place to kick back with some wine. And yet, their Belgian-style beers, eclectic ales and barrel-aged specialties all pair perfectly with the chef-driven, Euro-inspired food. 

Lucky Luke Brewing Co

Lucky Luke Brewing

Palmdale (tasting room)

Best beers: The Tillman Tart saison, The Millwright oatmeal stout

Brian Schmitz is a longtime member of the Brewing Enthusiasts of the Antelope Valley Region homebrew club, known for being able to brew anything he puts his mind to. Open since November 2015, the family-owned Palmdale production brewery (with a sleek, wood-covered tasting room) has tapped delicious results from Schmitz’s well-oiled experiments with hops, Belgian styles, and, more recently, sours.

MacLeod Ale Brewing Co.

MacLeod Ale Brewing Company

Van Nuys (tasting room)

Best beers: The Session Gap, The Little Spree, Jackie Tar

In England, a beer is only called “real” when it’s made the traditional way -- naturally fermented and served out of casks not a regular ol’ CO2-using draft system. And when MacLeod Ales opened in Van Nuys in summer of 2014, they became not only the first tasting room in the San Fernando Valley, but also the first brewery in all of LA to specialize in “real” British-style beers. Though they’ve recently loosened their restrictions and started making some American-style beers (a cream ale, a hoppy amber, an IPA), the spirit of traditional beers from across the pond lives on. 

Monkish Brewing Co

Torrance (tasting room)

Best beers: Try everything, but especially anything bottle conditioned.

LA’s original Belgian-only brewery leads the charge with old-school techniques and new-world thinking. Traditional styles, like triples and blondes, get a tea-like infusion from adjuncts as varied as chamomile and pistachios while typical table beers get the American-esque single-hop treatment. To make things even more interesting, the brewhouse has in the last few years become an oaky wonderland (think: barrels and foeders galore), meaning their output is now even more varied, with brewmaster (aka “The Barrel Whisperer”) Henry Nguyen adding bacterias and yeasts to experimental beers, coaxing his babies into some of the funkiest saisons since gym socks. 

Mumford Brewing

Downtown (tasting room)

Best beers: Black Mamba, Bleacher Beer

A pretty tasting room on the fringes of the Arts District is what draws many to Mumford Brewing. But once inside the clean, white space (where you can play board games and listen to hip-hop), the beers are what keeps bringing people back. As part of the crop of new breweries that opened in downtown LA in 2015, Mumford’s expertly made house beers (which range from a cream ale to LA’s only year-round black IPA) are available to savor on site or in 32oz crowlers to go. 

Ohana Brewing Company

Ohana Brewing Company

Alhambra (tasting room)

Best beers: Saison Noir, #Hashtag Hops IPA

Ohana’s actual brewery is buried somewhere in the tangle of industrial buildings south of downtown LA -- not a place you’d want to go visit a tasting room even if they had one. But they schlep their finished product all the way up to Main St in Alhambra, where their branded storefront serves as a tasting room, merch store, and growler fill depot. With a World Beer Cup win under its belt and a history of hiring young brewers who use the Hawaiian-themed brewery as a place to build their skills, Ohana is a training ground for LA’s next great beer.

Pacific Plate Brewing

Monrovia (tasting room)

Best beers: Horchata stout

Horchata stouts are all the rage in Southern California, where the sweet Mexican drink dominates palates. But for them, Pacific Plate’s Horchata stout isn’t a novelty, it’s a necessity -- two of the three brewers are Hispanic, and the brewery’s vision as a whole is to bring flavors from Latin-America into craft beer. The result is the cinnamon-spiked horchata milk stout, an agave wheat beer, a mango IPA, and the house Belgian ale, Copa de Oro.

Phantom Carriage Brewing Company

Carson (tasting room)

Best beers: Start with Muis and work your way down the draft list

As LA’s resident creepy, sour brewery, Phantom Carriage gypsy brewed for a few years before opening the gloomy, barrel-filled digs that reflect its true personality. In their case, gloomy is a good thing -- the brewery is named after a Swedish horror film and co-owner Martin Svab is pretty obsessed with scary European movies. That’s why the Carson tasting room has the lighting of a 16th-century church, experimental sour beers with ominous-sounding German names and an on-site movie theatre where Svab’s favorite movies are projected during special events. 

Wild World of Beer

Pocock Brewing

Santa Clarita (tasting room)

Best beers: Letter of Marque DIPA, Hopped Up Ol’ Red

You might think -- judging by its logo of a beefy looking male chicken flexing and ready to fight -- that Pocock is just another fancy word for rooster. But in fact, the name of this latest addition to the Santa Clarita Valley brewery scene is actually a reference to one of its brewmasters, Geoff Pocock, who along with his brother-in-law Todd Tisdell opened Pocock Brewing in late 2015.

Progress Brewing

S El Monte (tasting room)

Best beers: Bronco Pale Ale, Hemingway IPA, barrel-aged one-offs

A few months after opening with a hand-welded brewhouse in the working class Latino suburb of South El Monte, the chemists behind Federal Brewing were ordered to change its name (we won’t bust the meanie who made them do it but it rhymes with “Schmederal Far”). It’s all good, though, because now they are Progress, a far more appropriate name for the only brewery and tasting room in this part of the county. On any given day, local politicians and industrial workers can be found mingling in the tasting room, taproom workers talk craft beer in Spanish and people stop by on their way home to pick up some of the cheapest growlers, grumblers, and crowlers in LA.

Red Car Brewing

Torrance (brewpub)

Best beers: South Bay IPA, South Loop porter

One of LA’s original brewpubs still makes beer the old English way (which is decidedly NOT the Olde English way), with barley and hops from the motherland across the pond. Yes, this even includes their IPA. Located in an old telegraph office in Downtown Torrance, the name “Red Car” pays homage to the public transit line that used to run through the city and helped make it a destination way before craft beer did.

Rev Brewing Company

Covina (tasting room)

Best beer: Chocomil porter

It’s a brewery. It’s a winery. It’s all organic. And it’s in... Covina? Rev Brewing is an anomaly in LA, and it’s trying to make the “urban winery experience” a reality. Of course this is isn’t the vineyard itself, but Rev’s tasting room is adjacent to its fermenting vessels, where they’ve also installed a small production brewery, which started as a way to appease beer drinkers who accompanied people coming to taste their wine. There now seem to be more beers than wines on the menu, including interesting experiments like a fermented-pineapple tepache ale and stouts aged in Jack Daniels barrels.

Sarah Bennett/Thrillist

San Fernando Brewing

San Fernando (tasting room)

Best beers: Sonora Wheat, Wolfskill IPA

Holding it down at the top of the newly christened “San Fernando Road Craft Beer Corridor” is the city and street’s namesake brewery, San Fernando Brewing Company. A massive tasting room filled with board games is where you’ll drink beers named after local landmarks made by two old homebrewing friends. Their wheat beer is also made with a variety of the grain that used to grow on the very land on which the brewery sits. History never tasted so good.

San Pedro Brewing Company

San Pedro (brewpub)

Best beers: James Brown ale, Port Town pilsner

As one of LA County’s oldest brewpubs, San Pedro Brewing Company has an old-world feel. All wood and brass like a British pub, the place is always full of locals to this working-class port city, especially UCLA fans and especially on game day. A solid menu of pub food coupled with reliable, well-made beers makes it the ultimate low-key hangout when you’re in the Harbor Area. Look out for a production-brewery offshoot, Port Town Brewing, which is opening in a nearby historic building within the next year.  

Sanctum Brewing Co.

Sanctum Brewing

Pomona (tasting room)

Best beers: OMNI Hop DIPA, Up All Night stout

Sanctum, Pomona’s only brewery, was started by a couple of homebrewing friends and built with the help of a successful Kickstarter campaign. Thankfully, Pomona’s only brewery is also a great one, with beers brewed in every style (and even some that aren’t to any style) plus a beautiful, Downtown Pomona tasting room that has high ceilings, copper bar tops, and reclaimed wood on the walls and tables.

Smog City Brewing

Torrance (tasting room)

Best beers: Amarilla Gorilla, Kumquat saison, The Nothing, Cuddlebug, Little Bo Pils

One of the best breweries in LA, Smog City is doing it all right: a tasting room that has become a comfy neighborhood bar; beers as varied as IPAs, imperial stouts and sours; and a friendly staff more than happy to walk you through it all. Though their bread and butter rests on brewmaster Jonathan Porter’s expert hoppy beers and pilsners, Smog City has garnered somewhat of a cult following for their special barrel-aged releases, which draw crowds to their Torrance space in the hopes of nabbing a coveted hand-numbered bottle. 

Flickr/Four Brewers

Strand Brewing Company

Torrance (tasting room)

Best beers: 24th Street Pale, Musashi Black IPA

After five years of being one of the leaders in LA’s latest craft beer revival, Torrance’s first production brewery finally outgrew its first home. In 2015, the home of South Bay’s go-to session beer -- 24th Street Pale -- moved into a new facility up the road. The new place is 40 times bigger than its original spot (and has a bigger tasting room to match), ensuring that no matter how high the demand gets for its year-round favorites, there will be plenty of room to grow.

Sundowner Brewery

Westlake VIllage (tasting room)

Best beers: It’s always rotating, but anything hoppy.

The brewing arm of the Malibu Sundowner Winery is a tiny little thing tucked into the back of Wades Wines in an office park between Agoura Rd and the 101 Freeway. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but open the front door and you’ll first discover one of the most extensive selections of craft beer (OK, and wine, too) in this end of town. Walk deeper into the space and you’ll find a low-slung taproom, where house beers brewed in experimental small batches are available for sipping on site or growler fills to go. 

Three Weavers Brewing Company

Inglewood (tasting room)

Best beers: Stateside Session IPA, Deep Roots ESB, Kill the Lights black lager

Los Angeles is lucky to have brewer Alexandra Nowell. After working at powerhouses Sierra Nevada and Drake's in Northern California, Nowell took a chance on the then-nascent LA beer scene and landed at Kinetic, where she won two GABF medals her first year in town. Now, she co-owns Three Weavers Brewing Company which is not only an outlet for her precision-brewed, award-winning (and soon-to-be award-winning) beers, but it’s also contributing to the revival of Inglewood, a city that (thanks to the incoming NFL stadium) is primed to become LA’s next unlikely dining, drinking, and entertainment destination.

Timeless Pints Brewing Company

Timeless Pints Brewing

Lakewood (tasting room)

Best beers: Mike & Doug’s Infamous Duo (Huckleberry Oatmeal Stout, IPA Blend), The Timeless Tale

Driving to Timeless Pints gets you so close to the Long Beach Airport, you’d think the brewery was on the landing strip. But this neighborhood production brewery and tasting room is technically in Lakewood, which made permitting a lot easier and also drew in customers from the surrounding suburbs. A lot of brewers say their beers tell a story, but with whimsical names like A Precarious Proposal and The Good Mannered Belgian, Timeless Pints' beers actually do. Well, kinda.

Transplants Brewing

Palmdale (tasting room)

Best beers: Cumber Some, Palmdale Poppies, Trance Plants IPA

“Ales for the Unrooted” is Transplants Brewing’s slogan, and after a grand opening in January 2016 that featured a dozen off-style beers, it’s not hard to see why. Beers that could easily devolve into novelty infusions -- like a cucumber ale, a saison with peppercorns, a coffee chicory stout -- are actually balanced and drinkable. And their standard IPAs, with nothing but hops added to the mix, are even better. The husband-wife team behind the brewery’s core beers were well-known in homebrew circles for racking up medals at local, regional and national competitions. Now they’ve built their hobby into a business in their hometown of Palmdale.

Wolf Creek Brewing

Valencia (brewery, brewpub, and tasting room)

Best beers: Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing Session IPA, Little Red Ryeding Hood

Wolf Creek opened in 1997 as the Santa Clarita Valley’s only brewery. That it also had great food and a community-driven atmosphere was a bonus. Until only a year ago, they remained the only brewery in the suburban area just north of LA proper, but they never rested on their singularity, continually pushing themselves to stay up with trends and make better beers than ever. Feeling like that industrial-park-tasting-room experience? Head to their production facility, just down the street from the brewpub where it all began.