With over a dozen independent breweries, the South Bay is indisputably one of L.A.'s best destinations for beer. And now, there's another reason to visit. Common Space Brewery in Hawthorne is now pouring. It's located just a block away from L.A. Ale Works, which opened in Hawthorne a year ago, and is not too far away from State Brewing Co., which opened in Gardena at the end of 2017.
Like the neighboring breweries, Common Space offers a variety of styles — both classic and cutting-edge — in their on-site taproom, and the early brews show a lot of promise. Standouts so far are the 008 Jasmine Rice Saison, which manages to be both light and complex; and the 002 Dry Stout With Coffee, which merges deep malt flavor with freshly roasted beans from Long Beach-based specialty roasters 2nd Craft Coffee.
The numerical designations are hints at Common Space head brewer Kushal Hall's plan to keep the lineup ever-changing throughout the first year. The goal is to introduce a new beer every week and to not brew the same beer more than once a year. Hall says it's a way to both feel out the customer's palates and push themselves creatively before locking into some standard offerings.
An L.A. native, Hall brewed at San Francisco's Speakeasy Brewery for years before returning to Los Angeles to help open Common Space. And he says he's focusing on experimentation and technical perfection.,
His milquetoast Light Beer 007 probably won't excite drinkers chasing trendy IPAs, but the ale showcases the broad-strokes flavors of pale malt and bright hops in an approachable way. It's the sort of gateway offering that can bring the circumspect beer drinker around to bigger craft-beer flavors, and at under 4% alcohol it might be the best patio-pounder on the roster. And Common Space offers a big, sunny patio for al fresco pints.
Besides the tasting room bar and adjoining patio, there's a lounge area tucked into a corner of the building, and nearly all of the seating offers a good view of the brewhouse and stainless-steel tanks. There are actually two complete brewing systems at Common Space; a full-sized production system that makes nearly 800 gallons of beer at a time, and a small-scale pilot batch system that makes just a few keg's worth, which the team can use for ingredient tests or to develop recipes. The brewery is set up to grow, and the plan is to begin packaging beer by the end of the year.
The Common Space taproom is open Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday through Sunday beginning at noon. Brewery tours are offered daily, and you can check the website or Instagram for a schedule of food trucks that visit the brewery.
3411 W. El Segundo Blvd., Hawthorne, (424) 456-4355, www.commonspace.la.