When the L.A. Tourism & Convention Board put together a list of the “
” for its Discover Los Angeles website, it didn't just slap together a few of the best-known spots. The list was detailed, well researched and comprehensive.
Compiled by Joshua Lurie, founder of L.A. foodie website Food GPS, the list covers 13 of the best craft beer destinations in Los Angeles, including Beer Belly, Blue Palms Brewhouse, Boneyard Bistro, from an insider's perspective, and you can't fault Lurie for any of his choices.
Nearly all of my personal favorite spots are already on Lurie's list, but the craft beer movement in L.A. has grown so much in recent years that there are still a few additions I'd like to make. Here are five more of L.A.'s best craft beer destinations for you to visit.
Tony's Darts Away
When this Burbank dive bar was taken over by L.A. craft beer impresario Tony Yanow in 2010, he kept the neighborhood joint feel but updated the draught offerings to 40 all-California craft beers on tap (including a deep selection from Yanow's Golden Road Brewery). The wood-paneled room can get jam-packed at prime times, but the tap list -- and tasty treats coming out of the tiny kitchen -- make TDA a must-visit if you're in Burbank.
Tony's Darts Away, 1710 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, (818) 253-1710.
The Surly Goat
The Surly Goat, another Ryan Sweeney (Verdugo Bar, Little Bear) property, caters to both dedicated craft beer lovers and the WeHo party crowd. It might sound like an oil and water mix, but somehow it all works in the oddly shaped bar complete with shuffleboard table, video game cabinet and stuffed goat head. I credit the always-awesome tap list, fantastic bottle list and the best jukebox in L.A.'s craft beer scene.
Surly Goat, 7929 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, (323) 650-4628.
This downtown Culver City gastropub has become a favorite of craft beer lovers looking for plates made with as much attention to detail as the beer in the glass. The special board is always full of interesting, fresh dishes, and the tap list is always finely tuned. Beyond dialed-in menus, City Tavern has built strong ties to many of L.A.'s local brewers and the gastropub through some of the best craft beer events in town.
City Tavern, 9739 Culver Blvd., Culver City, (310) 838-9739.
Select Beer Store
Half craft-beer bottle shop, and half tap room, Select Beer may be the South Bay's best-kept beer secret. The Redondo Beach shop offers a wide selection of bottles to-go or to enjoy on-site along with a dozen taps that always skew toward local brews. Select Beer doesn't offer food, but there is a wide variety of excellent takeout available in the surrounding blocks, making it a great spot to experiment with different food pairings.
Select Beer Store, 1613 S. Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach, (310) 540-1221.
Congregation Ale House
This mini-chain of high-concept beer bars with locations in downtown Long Beach, Pasadena (on the site of the long-defunct Crown City Brewery) and Azusa may look gimmicky at first glance, but founder Travis Ensling knows that success in craft beer is all about attention to detail, and the well-curated tap lists, menu of classic beer cuisines and even the decor all reflect his love and respect for craft beer and the people who brew it. The Azusa "chapter" was recently converted into a brewpub, and the beers the Congregation team are developing are worthy of praise.
Congregation Ale House, 619 N Azusa Ave, Azusa, (626) 334-2337; 201 E. Broadway, Long Beach, (562) 432-2337; and 300 S. Raymond Ave, Pasadena, (626) 578-0166.