The rejuvenated Arts District is quickly becoming an L.A. hub for craft brewing. And Arts District Brewing, the neighborhood's next major brewery project, is about to open its doors.
Backed by a L.A. hospitality dream team — Cedd Moses (213 Nightlife Group), Brian Lenzo (founder of Hollywood's Blue Palms Brewhouse craft beer bar) and Eric Needleman of Spited Group — Arts District Brewing is a restaurant and brewery offering a varied lineup of house beers, a full cocktail program, and a kitchen headed by Neal Fraser (Redbird, Top Chef Masters).
The multilevel, 17,000-square-foot facility mixes polished concrete and exposed metalwork with stainless-steel fermentation tanks and a few hundred feet of bar clad in dark wood. There are skeeball lanes, dart boards, and ping pong tables for entertainment, a smaller tasting room dedicated to growler fills and retail sales (pending final permits), and a patio running alongside the Traction Ave. building.
Running the brewhouse is Devon Randall, formerly of San Diego's Pizza Port brewpub in Solana Beach. Randall is the second woman at the helm of a Los Angeles brewery (after Alexandra Nowell at Three Weavers Brewing Co. in Inglewood), and the brewmaster has been developing recipes for Arts District over the last few months. Her initial offerings cover ground from a light and drinkable golden ale (Mateo) to a dark and luxurious imperial porter (Porter Rico), and of course, a few hop-driven options. Randall says there are not currently plans for a single "flagship" Arts District brew, but rather a rotating selection of styles and variations to create a balanced taplist for the brewpub.
Unsurprisingly, two standouts from the preview tap list were a pair of IPAs: the tropical and earthy West Coast-style Traction IPA and a rich and citrusy Kablamo IPA. The latter ale uses rye grain for added complexity and a fuller mouthfeel, and rye also found its way into the two collaboration beers that Randall made with Three Weavers Brewing Co. over the summer (Return of Sassy IPA and the double IPA Even Sassier).
Arts District Brewery's beers will be draft-only offerings with a limited distribution (mainly only to the other 213 Nightlife bars such as Cole's and 4100 Bar and Lenzo's Blue Palms Brewhouse).
Details on Fraser's food menu have yet to be released.
The brewpub is waiting on final permits and approvals from the city before announcing a soft-opening date, but Brian Lenzo plans on opening within the next two weeks. Follow Arts District Brewing on Facebook for updates.
830 Traction Ave., Los Angeles, www.artsdistrictbrewing.com.