Planning to fight the holiday bulge by hitting the trails this year? There are few times when a refreshing craft beer tastes better than after a long walk in the woods (or more likely, a long walk in the chaparral). Here are a few brewery tasting rooms and brewpubs near popular trailheads where you can knock the dust off your boots and reward your efforts with a well-earned cold one.
Griffith Park -- The Pub at Golden Road Brewing
Been a while since you've laced-up the hiking boots? The miles of trails in iconic Griffith Park are some of the best places to get back in the hiking habit. The Pub at Golden Road Brewing is just across the freeway from the park, and if you're hiking with a four-legged friend, you can enjoy the dedicated Doggie Deck while you refuel.
Trail Recommendation: Mount Hollywood
Beer Recommendation: It comes in pitchers? Yup, and the hoppy, refreshing Citrus Bend wheat beer is a great choice to fill up with.
The Santa Monica Mountains -- Ladyface Alehouse & Brasserie
Some of Los Angeles' best hiking is in the rocky Santa Monica Mountains that stretch from the coast to the Hollywood Hills, and if you explore the trails along the north side of the range, Ladyface Alehouse & Brasserie (named after the nearby peak) should not be missed. (I've been known to plan hikes out that way just as an excuse to visit the brewpub.) The brewery is celebrating its fourth anniversary beginning this weekend.
Trail Recommendation: Solstice Canyon
Beer Recommendation: La Grisette, a light and slightly tart farmhouse ale
Angeles National Forest -- Haven Brewing
There are a lot of trails that snake through the huge forest on L.A.'s doorstep, and the trailheads in the lower San Gabriels north of Pasadena are some of the most accessible. Oak woodlands, waterfalls and some thigh-busting ascents are all available to explore, and the urban center to the south has plenty of craft beer to reward yourself with. The Haven Brewpub off of Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena has a lengthy list of taps and bottles, and craft fans around L.A. are starting to catch on to the excellent house-brewed beers.
Trail Recommendation: Eaton Canyon
Beer Recommendation: Azacca Malaka, a hoppy American Pale Ale
South Orange County -- Cismontane Brewing Co.
There's no food at this brewery tasting room in Rancho Santa Margarita, but they do make a beer named for a local hiking destination. Holy Jim Falls is a hoppy and light beer that's a perfect treat after completing the namesake hike through Trabuco Canyon. The trail to the falls is about three miles and a nice walk, and you can link-up to a 15-mile trek to summit Santiago Peak if you're looking for a challenge.
Trail Recommendation: Holy Jim Trail
Beer Recommendation: Holy Jim Falls XPA