We’ve all been there before — waiting to finalize plans for New Year’s Eve until the last minute, and then realizing that nothing sounds all that compelling. This year, forget the fancy clubs and expensive parties, and celebrate the end of 2014 at one of L.A.’s craft breweries.
More laid back than the velvet rope and bottle service scene, but more festive than wishing Dick Clark was still in charge of seeing the ball drop in your PJs, there are a handful of New Year’s celebrations happening at local craft breweries and brewpubs this year.
Angel City Brewery — Arts District Downtown
The downtown brewery will be showing off their new events space adjacent to the brewhouse with a handful of live bands, a selection of food trucks and plenty of fresh beer. There’s no cover for the party, and the brewery is just a couple of blocks away from the Little Tokyo Gold Line station; the party begins at 9 p.m. 216 S. Alameda Street, Los Angeles, (213) 622-1261, angelcitybrewery.com.
Ladyface Ale Companie — Agoura Hills
Reserve a table at the brewpub and settle in for a night of music, great food, and plenty of libations in Agoura Hills. There’s a special beer (Midnight Special: a Scotch ale) and Chef specials (prime rib, Yorkshire pudding, raw oysters), and there’s no cover for the bar if you don't want to commit to a table (call for reservations). 29281 Agoura Road, Agoura Hills, (818) 477-4566, ladyfaceale.com.
Golden Road Brewing — Atwater Village
In what’s sure to be a packed house, the Pub at Golden Road has two options for NYE merriment. You can RSVP (email firstname.lastname@example.org) for the three-course dinner (vegan options available, of course) that includes a glass of a special barrel-aged brew for $40, or you can just drop by for the regular pub menu (first come, first served). 5400 West San Fernando Road, Los Angeles, (818) 477-4566, goldenroad.la.
Highland Park Brewery, The Hermosillo — Highland Park
The hip York Avenue bar that houses Highland Park Brewery, The Hermosillo, is throwing a no-cover NYE party with $5 beer and $5 bubbly specials and a champagne toast at midnight. A great option if you’re with a group of mixed beer-drinker and wine-drinker friends, The Hermosillo is always pouring some great wines alongside some of L.A.’s best local brews. 5125 York Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 739-6459, thehermosillo.com.
Planning to stay home instead but still want some fresh, local brews to toast with? Check the holiday hours of your local brewery -- many including Smog City Brewery, MacLeod’s Ale Co., and King Harbor Brewing are open earlier in the day to fill your growlers.