The craft beer-focused Draft Magazine just published the 2013 edition of its “America’s 100 best beer bars” list, and half a dozen Los Angeles establishments make the list this year, although there are some curious omissions.
Father’s Office and the Daily Pint in Santa Monica, the Surly Goat in West Hollywood and Tony’s Darts Away in Burbank have appeared on the list since the 2011 edition. Hollywood’s Blue Palms Brewhouse was added in 2012 but fell off the list this year.
The six L.A. spots make up nearly 20% of the bars highlighted in the Western region, surpassing even Portland, Ore., and San Diego for the most-represented metropolis on the list.
It’s no surprise that Los Angeles did so well. Unlike other craft beer destinations where the beer culture was developed by thriving craft breweries, the craft culture in L.A. was developed in craft beer bars before the new wave of local breweries began making beer for the thirsty populace.
While El Prado’s inclusion this year seems odd at first glance -- there are only six beers on tap -- the Echo Park lounge makes each of those taps count and backs them with a fantastic staff. It shows that Draft is looking at more than star power and tap lists when assembling the list. And we certainly can’t argue with the nod to Little Bear; the Arts District Belgian-themed cafe backs up a unique tap list and stellar rotating bottle list with some of the best beer cuisine in the city.
Even with the omissions, there is no denying that Los Angeles is -- at long last -- developing into a respectable craft beer destination and getting recognition for it.