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Great beer in Pasadena: Six places for microbrews

Bars and ClubsDining and DrinkingLifestyle and LeisureRestaurantsWinesWhole Foods Market

Pasadena has long been at the forefront of craft brewing in Los Angeles, and while there are not many operating breweries in the city, there are some great bars and restaurants that make Pasadena a destination for craft beer fans.

Here are some suggestions to get you started on exploring the beery side of Pasadena, and they are (nearly) all accessible via the Metro Gold Line.

Stone Company Store: Pasadena is home to Craftsman Brewing Co., one of the first and most respected craft breweries in Los Angeles, but Craftsman doesn't offer a public taproom. You'll have to find their excellent ales, lagers, and sour beers out in the wild. Thankfully, the famed Stone Brewing Co. chose Pasadena for its first retail location outside of its native San Diego County, and thirsty  Angelenos have happily flocked to the Raymond Avenue location since it opened in October.

The small space features two dozen taps of Stone's year-round and specialty releases that you can sample at the bar or fill a growler with. Bottles, kegs, and a wide array of Stone branded merchandise is also available, and the store has special tappings on Tuesdays and Fridays.

220 S. Raymond Ave #103, Pasadena, (626) 440-7243.

Haven Gastropub: There is no shortage of restaurants with deep craft beer lists in Pasadena, and the gastropub concept is particularly well represented. The Haven Gastropub just off Colorado Boulevard has been brewing beer to pair with chef Greg Daniels' elevated pub-grub for a nearly two years, and they've just brought on an acclaimed new brewmaster. Brian Thorson previously brewed at Drakes Brewing in the Bay Area, and -- after months of improvements to the brewing system in Pasadena -- the first of his new beers are now available.

Haven also boasts an impressive tap list of brews from across California, and a lengthy bottle list, so you're sure to find the perfect brew to pair with your mood or your poutine.

42 S. De Lacey Ave., Pasadena, (626) 768-9555.

Lucky Baldwins: There are two Lucky Baldwins locations in Pasadena, and a third in nearby Sierra Madre, and they are all can't-miss beer destinations in the 626. The original, largest location is Lucky Baldwins Pub on Raymond Avenue; it features a full menu and over 60 taps with a focus on exotic Belgian treats. Imported brews from the U.K. and Germany join craft beers from local favorite breweries, and it is a great spot to sample some of the beers made just down the street at Craftsman Brewing.

Lucky Baldwins Pub, 17 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena (626) 795-0652; Lucky Baldwins Trappiste, 1770 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, (626) 844-0447; Lucky Baldwins Delirium Cafe, 21 Kersting Court, Sierra Madre, (626) 355-1140.

Mission Wine and Spirits: Choices for spots to pick up a coveted bottle of craft beer are relatively scarce in Pasadena, but apart from the excellent beer selection at the local Whole Foods on Arroyo Parkway, your best bet is Mission Wine and Spirits on East Washington Boulevard. The shop carries an extensive selection of craft beers and imported options, and it's nearly all kept refrigerated.

1785 E.Washington Blvd., Pasadena, (626) 794-7026.

There are many other great spots for craft beer in Pasadena. Spots like Congregation Ale House, Kings Road Gastropub, and the early craft beer institution The Stuffed Sandwich shouldn't be overlooked when exploring craft beer in Pasadena.

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