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Three new craft beer tasting rooms to check out now

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There are nearly 50 craft breweries making beer in Los Angeles County, and by the time you finish reading this sentence, there may be three more. While it can feel overwhelming to try to keep up with all the new brews, the best of the newcomers are quick to carve out their own niche within the city’s overall beer culture. Here are three tasting rooms across L.A. to explore.

Pocock Brewing Co. in Santa Clarita

Pocock Brewing opened just a few miles from the well-established Wolf Creek brewpub back in December 2015, and the newcomers quickly became a popular destination for Santa Clarita locals. The Popcock Brewing beers run the gamut from the hopped-up IPAs (Rooster Pith IPA, Letter of Marque) to more malt-driven brews (Witch Doctor imperial stout, Noble Piper Scotch ale) to the more adventurous (Nuptials mango ale and Wolf in the Coop, a collaboration with neighboring Wolf Creek Brewery featuring mesquite honey). Food trucks are regular visitors to the taproom, and the brewers have been experimenting with a Randall machine in the taproom. This beer-dispensing gizmo, first popularized by craft pioneers at Dogfish Head Brewing in Delaware, is used to infuse ingredients into a beer as it’s being poured from the tap. Some recent brews that have been “Randalled” include the imperial stout infused with habañero chile; an English-style bitter with Earl Grey tea and lime zest; and an IPA pushed through even more hops for a huge aromatic boost. The tasting room is open Wednesday through Sunday, and growlers and crowlers are available to go. 24907 AvenueTibbitts Suite B, Santa Clarita, (661) 775-4899, pocockbrewing.com.

Scholb Premium Ales in Torrance

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This is the newest addition to the South Bay brewery family. Founded by a pair of couples from the South Bay, Mandy and Patrick Schulz and Allison and Jason Kolb (who together form Sch-olb), the small-scale operation differs from many of the other South Bay craft breweries. Scholb’s brewhouse is smaller than the average Los Angeles craft brewery, but the smaller batch size lets the brewers experiment with a wide variety of styles and flavors. The brewery and tasting room opened in March in the same business park as the 2-year-old Absolution Brewing, and Scholb strives to offer a variety of flavor profiles. The session-friendly Columbia Street pale and the Not Lyin’ Rye IPA, dense with resinous bitterness, are well-executed. But the standout of a recent visit was the Cherry Wood Smoked Brown ale. A departure from the typical smoked beers that use beechwood-smoked malts or even the more aggressive oak-smoked malts (which often over-apply the smoke flavors in a recipe), this balanced brown ale gets just enough cherry wood-smoked malts to complement the toffee-like body. It’s a hit even with drinkers who don’t normally enjoy smoky beers. Scholb’s tasting room is open Thursday through Sunday, and the space is proudly kid- and dog-friendly. 2964 Columbia St., Torrance, (424) 731-3470, www.drinkscholb.com.

Homage Brewing in Pomona

Joining Claremont Craft Ales and Sanctum Brewing at the eastern edge of the county is Homage Brewing with its bright and airy tasting room. The brewery is ramping up production with a half-dozen beers on offer that lean toward the Belgian styles. Founder Matthew Garcia is particularly proud of the Reckoner IPA, which is fermented with the wild yeast brettanomyces, for a bright tropical character that he says blends wonderfully with the hop character expected from an IPA. Situated between Pomona music venues the Glass House and the Fox Theater, Homage Brewing is a great pre-show destination. The tasting room is open Wednesday through Sunday, and you can order food from the Rookery Alehouse for delivery in the tasting room. 281 S. Thomas St., Pomona, (626) 377-0930, www.homagebrewing.com.

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