The newest craft brewery is now open in downtown L.A.'s arts district, and Mumford Brewing Co.'s bright and airy tasting room offers a handful of hoppy styles in pints and taster-flights, growlers to go and the promise of more.
Started by brothers Todd and Peter Mumford, the brewery opened after nearly two years of construction and preparation in a former retail space on Boyd Street, just a few doors down from the Escondite restaurant and just a few blocks from Angel City Brewery's facility.
Four beers were poured on opening day: a pair of IPAs, a light and drinkable cream ale, and the brewery's flagship — an "American black ale" called Black Mamba. The latter brew balanced deep roasted malt flavors with an assertive hop character, and the layers of coffee, fruit, pine and even a touch of umami.
It's a promising idea that could develop into a signature style for the young brewery. Boyd St. is a well executed classic West Coast IPA that's built around piney resin and citrus flavors, however, the higher-alcohol Experimental Hop Batch #1 IPA was a little rough around the edges. Prices ranged from $5-$7 for pints and $2 tasters (or a $7 4-beer flight), and growler fills were offered for $14-$16 (plus $10 for the jug).
Currently, Mumford is filling growlers only with their logos, but the tasting room is also equipped with a "crowler" filler — a machine that seals 32 oz. aluminum cans for off-premises consumption.
Todd Mumford was relieved to finally open the brewery's doors after months of setbacks, permitting issues and the bureaucratic obstacles that are well known to many of the hopeful proprietors opening breweries in Los Angeles. The native of Southern California says he loves the feel of that arts district neighborhood and that he always wanted to open Mumford Brewery downtown.
It's a neighborhood that's quickly becoming a new nexus of craft brewing in Los Angeles.
Nearby Boomtown Brewery hasn't yet opened its taproom, but the brewhouse is running and kegs of Boomtown brews are popping up around town, while the 213 Nightlife's (Cole's, Seven Grand, The Varnish) Arts District Brewing hopes to fire up its brewhouse next month in advance of a late-summer opening. Add in Dry River Brewing in Boyle Heights and the ambitious Iron Triangle brewery also in the arts district, and soon downtown will rival the South Bay as the center of craft brewing in the county.
The brothers say that they're excited to fine-tune the Black Mamba, and they're looking forward to expanding their portfolio by drawing from their catalog of homebrew recipes. Belgian styles, a hoppy wheat beer and more IPAs are planned in the months to come.
Mumford Brewing is open on Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 8 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively, with hours expanding later in the summer. No food beyond pretzel bites is offered, but you're welcome to bring in outside food, and the tasting room is kid-friendly, with highchairs and changing tables.