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Flight of beers at Wirtshaus
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman Flight of beers at Wirtshaus

The best beer bars in Los Angeles

Here are the best beer bars in town for local and international craft beer, including biergartens to brewpubs

By Time Out contributors, Jonathan Cristaldi and Stephanie Breijo
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L.A.’s cocktail game is still on the up and up, but with new breweries pouring into town, craft beer is having a serious moment. Beer-centric gastropubs, breweries and gartens are popping up left and right, putting micro-beer in the spotlight. Whether you’re seeking an in-your-face local IPA or international sudsifaction, L.A.’s microbrew gems are in it for the long haul. From dive bars to biergartens, here are the city’s best beer bars to check out now.

RECOMMENDED: Best bars in Los Angeles

L.A.’s best beer bars

Father’s Office

Restaurants Hamburgers Culver City

Chef Sang Yoon, the “father” of Father’s Office, has been serving gourmet grub and craft brews long before gastropubs began popping up on every city block. Since then, his Culver City outpost has expanded to include 37 draft beers, of primarily domestic brews with a smattering from Belgium. There’s a full dinner menu but a must is the cult-favorite Office Burger—there are no substituitions, period—made of rare beef topped with caramelized onion, applewood bacon compote, gruyere, Maytag blue cheese and arugula. Pair with a full bar’s selection of wines, a fine list of classic cocktails and, of course, a not-to-miss selection of beer that keeps the diehard beer drinkers coming back.

Sunset Beer Company

Bars Beer bars Echo Park

Sunset Beer is part beer store and part bar, offering a huge selection of brewskies from West Coast microbrews to rare Belgian ales and small production specialty bottles. (There’s also wine, and a pretty good little selection at that—but we rarely see anyone drinking it here.) Refrigerated cases hold bottles to go, or get one opened at the bar (for a small corkage fee) and hang out with a plethora of Eastside beer nerds. There are always local brews on tap, and the cozy space hosts special events including a beer and cheese tastings and special bottle releases. Join the “mug club” and corkage fees are waived for a year, with $1 off beer, and each pour you buy going into your very own mug (well, more like a stein) that’s kept behind the bar.

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Mohawk Bend
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Mohawk Bend

Restaurants Californian Echo Park

This Echo Park gastropub is a favorite among locals, certainly for its vegan-friendly menu, but also for its impressive fleet of 70 beers on tap, all from California brewers (save for one monthly featured out-of-state brewery) and a stand-alone seasonal cocktail list. Set in an old Vaudeville theater, vaulted ceilings make for an airy feel as Eastsiders spread out in booths and an array of tables and high-top communal bar tops. Snack on Buffalo-style cauliflower with vegan “blue cheese” dressing while sipping brews in their appropriate glassware. The best part? The friendly and very knowledgeable staff.

Der Wolfskopf
Photograph: Anthony Pagliassotto

Der Wolfskopf

Bars Beer bars Old Pasadena

Of all the things Americans associate with Germany—great beer, good sausage, the consumption of large quantities of both while wearing lederhosen—easy pronunciation is not one (see also: lederhosen). Der Wolfskopf doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but conversational German is not required for entry here. The Pasadena beer hall has 20 German and German-inspired beers on tap bearing enough syllables and umlauts to twist your tongue well into the night. Overwhelmed? The friendly bar staff actually know their stuff and will guide you in the right direction. Add a food menu with sausages, pretzels and schnitzel and an outdoor beer garden, and this place ticks all the necessary boxes.

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The Glendale Tap

Bars Beer bars Glendale

This vintage motor-themed bar is replete with a seasonal, rotating list of 52 beers on tap/cask, with nitro handles and to-go brews by the bottle and can, to boot. Go for local or international brews by the pint and half pint, and opt for  creamier choices from the nitro tap. Join the weekend crowd at the bar—conversation steers toward vintage motor sports as Mystery Science Theater 3000 plays over the TVs—or wait your turn for the pool tables (no charge) as the jukebox plays a mix of owner Steve Skorupa’s favorites from the Deftones and Phantogram to John Coltrane and Cat Stevens.

Photograph: Courtesy Highland Park Brewery

Highland Park Brewery Chinatown

Bars Breweries Chinatown

With loads of natural light and an industrial-chic feel, Highland Park Brewery’s Chinatown warehouse offers a larger and more airy space than that of its Hermosillo taproom in Highland Park (though we love that one, too). Picnic-bench-style seating provides a great place to perch while enjoying HLP Brewery’s newest beers—thanks to the extended barrel program of the newer location—plus snacky bites from the full kitchen.

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Photograph: Courtesy Select Beer Store

Select Beer Store

Shopping Redondo Beach

Tucked away on a idyllic stretch of Redondo Beach, Select Beer Store is the perfect place to spend an afternoon shopping for, talking about and drinking delicious beer. With coolers on one side of the shop and shelves on the other, the middle is a wide-open area where friendly and knowledgeable clerks fill glasses from the shop’s 18 taps. The store’s wood-accented concrete interior maintains a hip, beachy vibe, complementing the wide selection of West Coast and international brews. Select Beer Store runs a number of beer- and community-focused events, so check their calendar to see what’s happening.

Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood
Photograph: Courtesy Blue Palms Brewhouse

Blue Palms Brewhouse

Bars Beer bars Hollywood

A phenomenal beer bar smack dab in the middle of Hollywood? It sounds like some kind of tourist scam, but we assure you it’s not. Blue Palms Brewhouse sits right next to the Fonda Theatre and down the street from the Pantages, making it an ideal spot to grab a drink before heading to a show. But it’s also a haven for beer fans, sporting a rotating tap list of 20-or-so specialty craft beers, like Bell’s Third Coast Old Ale, Eagle Rock Manifesto and Ballast Point Yellowtail. If you can’t settle on just one, flights are available for four 50-ounce pours. Stick around for the food, too, like the lobster mac and cheese or a plate of beer-battered fish and chips.

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Tony's Darts Away
Photo courtesy Tony's Darts Away

Tony’s Darts Away

Bars Pubs Burbank

This laidback spot—one of the few late-night hangs and even fewer vegan-friendly options in Burbank—has gained a loyal following since its opening in 2010. Find a large selection of sausages (both vegan and meat varieties) and sides like disco fries with gravy and cheddar. But the star of the show here is the beer; the eco-friendly, bottle-free bar has 30-plus taps and serves only California brews—yup, they’re keeping it local. You’ll find Bagby Beer Co., Pizza Port, Three Weavers and more. Drink and relax with friends by playing pool or darts inside; or sip your brew on the outside patio. Tony’s also hosts events like trivia nights and tap takeovers.

The Daily Pint
Photograph:

The Daily Pint

Bars Beer bars Santa Monica

At first glance, the Daily Pint might look like your standard dive, but take a closer look and you’ll find hundreds of bottles of whiskey cluttering the shelves and, more importantly, an impressive lineup of 30-plus brews on tap and cask. Craft beer spangs the gamut, with brews hailing from California all the way to Ireland, Belgium and the United Kingdom. Think you’ll become a regular? Join the Daily Pint’s Craft Beer Club (you can sign up online), which gets you early notice of specialty beer arrivals, discount specials and a subscription to their monthly newsletter.

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