A look at Hawthorne’s first brewery and tasting room
When Los Angeles Ale Works opens in mid-January, it will be the first brewery and tasting room in Hawthorne. It won’t be the last.
Bridging the geographical gap between the popular LAX-area craft breweries (Three Weavers, El Segundo Brewing Co.) and the thriving Torrance craft beer scene, Hawthorne could develop into a beer destination in its own right, says Ale Works co-founder Kristofor Barnes. There’s already another brewery-in-planning occupying a nearby building in the light-industrial zone off El Segundo Boulevard.
Los Angeles Ale Works is based around a midsize brew house. Barnes says his goal is to provide an inviting and comfortable space to showcase the wide variety of ales and lagers slated for production at the brewery. The offerings are still in development, and Barnes and his brewing team are excited to start getting feedback from L.A.’s beer fans.
Goldilocks, a light, golden, kolsch-style ale, anchors the initial lineup. Barnes prefers classic German styles and brews featuring interesting fruit or spice additions to hoppy IPAs, but the brewing team is working on a selection of hoppy beers nonetheless. “You can’t escape making IPA; it’s what drinkers demand,” he says. The brewers are also working on a wood- and barrel-aging program, and the tart and funky Blüme Berliner weisse — which utilizes some innovative fermentation techniques to quicken production — will be the first beer born from the barrels.
“From California citrus to Chinese tea, I want to showcase the whole range of flavor that L.A. is known for,” Barnes says, “and the brewery is a great way to work with all the amazing, interesting and creative people I’ve met through the beer industry.”
Apart from the tasting room, with its long, L-shaped bar overlooking the brew house, there’s a separate lounge-slash-conference room with pub games and space to spread out with a laptop (or a board game), or rent for private events, and — a feature all too rare at L.A.-area breweries — a patio adjacent to the parking lot for some welcome beer-sipping in the sunshine.
The brewery will offer many taproom-only variants and one-off brews to supplement the core offerings that will be distributed to bars and restaurants around Los Angeles.
Further down the line, Barnes hopes to offer cold-brew coffee and to continue the development of his naturally flavored sodas that were a hit at L.A.-area beer-festivals.
12918 Cerise Ave, Hawthorne, (424) 456-4191, www.laaleworks.com.
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