A new brewery is headed to the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, but instead of yet another start-up company it is an established, hometown brand that’s taking the plunge on a sprawling production brewery, tasting room and restaurant.
Across the channel from the Victory Ship-turned-floating museum are a pair of massive warehouses built by the U.S. Navy at the end of World War II. Warehouse No. 10 was converted to the Crafted marketplace and events space in 2012, and now Warehouse No. 9 is being restored and reappropriated as a destination brewery.
The ambitious tenants of the massive property are not new to the craft beer scene in Los Angeles; Brouwerij West has been making Belgian-inspired beers at breweries across the country (and in Belgium) for four years.
Founder and San Pedro native Brian Mercer has operated as a “contract brewer” (an independent brand that creates recipes and rents time in other breweries to actually brew the beer) since he launched the brand, and he’s excited finally to have a facility to call his own.
Brouwerij West beers are already common sights at Southland bottle shops and specialty grocers, and beers like Saison Extra (a dry and delicate saison with the extra addition of wild yeast) and Mor Mor (a rich and fruity Belgian quadrupel ale) are distributed to 30 states. Mercer plans to brew considerably more beer, and he’s excited about expanding Brouwerij West’s offerings.
“I really want to do four packs, [brew] easy drinking beers, and open a lot of new markets,” he said, adding that bringing the beer’s production under one roof -- from ordering ingredients to final packaging -- will allow him to increase quality and consistency of all the beer he brews.
There are also plans for a beer garden, event space, and a 240-seat restaurant helmed by Waterloo and City proprietor Brendan Collins.
While the giant banner draped over one end of Warehouse No. 9 reads “Coming summer 2014”, construction on the facility has not yet begun, and Mercer says that a January 2015 opening date is the new target.
Brouwerij West, 112 E. 22nd St., San Pedro
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