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Brew at the Zoo: You can drink with the animals

Annual beer bash at the L.A. Zoo will feature three bands and lots of great breweries

Friday night beer and beasts come together again at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Garden’s annual summertime Brew at the Zoo festival featuring 35 breweries, three local bands, and snacks served among the elephants, gorillas and reptiles.

The party begins at 7 p.m., and a mix of local and regional craft breweries will be pouring. Some highlights include local favorites Beachwood Brewing, Eagle Rock Brewery and Golden Road Brewing; San Diego-based favorites such as Coronado Brewing, Stone Brewing Co. and Port Brewing/Lost Abbey; and impressive regional operations like Firestone Walker, Sierra Nevada, and Goose Island. See the full list here.

Tickets are $45 ($40 for GLAZA members), and include entrance and an unspecified number of drink-tickets for 4-ounce pours (visitors have been given 10 tickets at past events). Participating bands include indie rock outfit Indian School, the dancy Spazzmatics, and “traditional blues-based jug band” Jug or Nots. DJ Johnny Hawks will spin tunes near the updated carousel as well.

The L.A. Zoo has been expanding and improving at an impressive rate over the last few years, and in addition to the Campo Gorilla Reserve (opened 2007), Elephants of Asia (2010) and the L.A.I.R. (the fancy reptile house that opened in 2012) the brand-new Rainforest of the Americas exhibit will be at least partially open during the festival.

The Brew at the L.A. Zoo has been one of the more popular beer festivals in recent years, and the sprawling zoo and gardens have seen the impressive crowd grow each year. The organizers are expecting another sell-out crowd this year, so score your tickets in advance (and beware that Caltrans is closing the Zoo Drive exit from the northbound 5 at 8 that night -- so get there early or make plans for an alternate route).

The Los Angeles Zoo, 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, (323) 644-4200, lazoo.org


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