Just like how not every Lakers player is "good at basketball" (*cough*cough*Chris Kaman*cough*we're talking about Chris Kaman... *cough*), not every bar is a beer bar. Instead, we save that sudsy moniker for places that totally earn it, like LA's nine best beer bars listed below.
Oh and heads up, we've purposefully left out breweries (sorry Golden Road) and brew pubs (sorry Golden Road, again), since that's not quite playing fair.
When you moved to LA, you probably dreamed of a place where you could drink local craft beers on the beach while girls in bikinis walked by. Well, this is that place.
What happens when a beer geek takes over a failing cafe next to one of LA's most beloved music venues, and re-jiggers it to become an ode to hops? Blue Palms, that's what -- a small, hi-top-tabled bar with an ever-changing beer list. It's the perfect place to spend your downtime between bands/before shows/even when you're not going to a show at the Fonda in Hollywood.
Sang Yoon's beloved gastropub's internationally famous for their burger, but that wasn't initially what made them notorious. FO has always had a great list, and their Culver City location's also got massive, picnic-style outdoor tables -- perfect for pint drinking and making fun of everyone hovering over them trying to see when you're leaving ("sorry, dude, just running to the bathroom... again...").
Didn't this Santa Monica dive just make our Best Whiskey Bars list? Yes, it did. Is that a reason to keep the long-standing, many-dozens-of-beers-updated-daily bar off this list? No. No it is not.
This Eastside tavern's proprietor's a big-time beer geek, which means he carefully maintains the 50-plus tap list, focusing on local and small-run brews and happily educating brew-hounds on the tasting notes for each.
Before he was The Overlord of Golden Road Brewing's Empire, Tony Yanow was the genius behind this Burbank beer bar, which's dive-like in its charm (the games are a really nice touch), but with a carefully curated brew-list (and extra-delicious sausages).
The dude from Tony's is also behind this Silverlake/Echo Park gastropubstaurant, with a killer beer list, a great vegan-friendly-but-thankfully-they-also-have-meat-phew menu, and an enclosed back patio that could not be better for day drinking. Seriously.
Right by Dodgers stadium, this all-beer convenience store (which sources internationally, so there're hundreds of brews you've probably never tried) was also genius to open a bar next door. They'll pop the bottle on anything they sell at any time, so long as you stick around to drink it, which means you're definitely hanging out for a while.
This dimly lit West Hollywood beer bar has become a suds-lover's paradise, thanks to tap takeovers, rare beers available all the time, and a super-knowledgeable staff that doesn't judge beginners, but does offer brew-dogs that even experts likely haven't tried.
Jeff Miller is the Senior City Editor for Thrillist LA and prefers something in the "-weisen" category. Hit him at @thrillistla on the Tweets and @jeffmillerla on the Instagrams.
1. The Surly Goat7929 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood
2. Tony's Darts Away710 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank
3. Mohawk Bend2141 W Sunset, Los Angeles
4. Blue Palms Brewhouse6124 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles
5. Father's Office3229 Helms Ave, Los Angeles
6. The Daily Pint2310 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica
7. Venice Ale House2 Rose Ave, Venice
8. The Glendale Tap4227 San Fernando Rd, Glendale
9. Sunset Beer Company1498 Sunset, Los Angeles
The Surly Goat's a dark-lit two-tiered, rare-and-unusual-leaning beer bar decorated with all sorts of old brewhouse paraphernalia (everything from WWII-era ads in German to PBR one-sheets).
Because sometimes it’s Friday night, and all you really want is to go somewhere with a to-die-for sausage menu and a beer list that runs deep. If that weren’t enough, Tony’s also serves up some of the best vegan options of any of the restaurants on this list -- including (but not limited to) Becky’s Bad Ass Buffalo Potatoes. Do yourself a favor and order those.
From the guys behind Tony's Darts Away, Mohawk Bend is a "craft everything" brewpub in Echo Park. The space is divided into five areas: a cozy dining cathedral (complete with fireplace), a pub room with a communal concrete table; two separate bars; and a covered patio. Drink options include more than 60 beers and a few wines (all from California) on tap, plus a cocktail program boasting 100 spirits from the Golden State. Menus change seasonally here but the selection of upscale, wood-fired pizzas like the Pig Newton topped with Serrano ham, goat cheese, fig, and rosemary tapenade are always guaranteed to stave off a rumbling stomach.
This space affixed to the Fonda is a glorious beer lounge, boasting 24 craft drafts from Portland's hoppy "Hair Of The Dog" to Belgium's "Duchesse de Bourgogne", plus a comfort food menu including filets and ruben sandwiches.
Chef Sang Yoon is the brains behind this nationally-acclaimed Los Angeles gastropub. Father's Office is especially famous for its Office Burger: a 100% chuck, dry-aged beef patty topped with blue cheese, arugula, and onion jam, and served on a toasted oval bun with garlic butter. Chef Yoon has a strict no modifications allowed policy on his burger, so either you like it or you don't -- but chances are you probably will.
This SM dive has surprisingly impressive whiskey flights, craft beers, and SHUFFLE BOARD!!
Venice Ale House is a wood-heavy, organics-driven neighborhood gastropub, decorated w/ arted-up skate decks and bikes, from a duo composed of the restaurateur behind Bar Hayama and a documentary maker/fishmonger -- so either way, he's working on the doc(k)s.
Sip from 52 taps at The Glendale Tap (everything from the mainstream to small, independent craft beers).
Making its Echo Park strip mall significantly less strip mall-y, this two-room suds-porium features a tasting room with six rotating taps, and is strewn with couches that make it look more like your buddy's living room, plus a giant fridge stocked with over 200 to-go beers (Hair of the Dog Adam; Dupont Avril; etc.), so maybe more like your buddy John Daly's living room.