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Red Lion Tavern
Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanRed Lion Tavern

The best beer gardens in L.A.

Raise a stein and get your fill of wurst and schnitzel at the best beer gardens in Los Angeles. Prost!

Michael Juliano
Written by
Time Out contributors
&
Michael Juliano
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Sure, L.A. may not have grilled fish on sticks as they famously do in Munich, but the spirit of Oktoberfest is in effect year-round at these beer gardens. We’re not only focusing on German-style taprooms here: Yes, we’ve included some of our favorite Bavarian-inspired beer bars, but also some spots that simply have patios too pretty to pass up. So we’ve assembled the best alfresco places for a pretzel, a wurst or two and some suds (variety is key for beer gardens, so we’ve steered away from single-brand breweries, as much as we love them). From a beer hall in Pasadena to a lively bar in Santa Monica, we’re raising our glasses to the best beer gardens in the city.

Drinks outdoors at these beer gardens in L.A.

  • Bars
  • Gastropubs
  • Silver Lake
  • price 2 of 4

A beer stein-shaped sign greets visitors to the divey street-side bar, but it’s all about the back patio at this Silver Lake institution, a fixture since 1959. Current owner Aidas Mattis and his family still maintain the Bavarian connection with imagery of the Berlin bear and a 3-D mural of old-school, beer-toasting Germans and wall-mounted promotional tins from classic German breweries like Warsteiner and Bitburger, also served on tap. Schnitzel and sausage are series regulars at Red Lion, as are Oktoberfest celebrations.

  • Bars
  • Wineries
  • Koreatown
  • price 2 of 4

So hear us out on this one: Until its distanced parking lot patio opened in 2020, Biergarten didn’t have outdoor seating. But even without that, this Koreatown favorite fits the beer garden mold in every other way. When L.A.-raised Neil Kwon hatched the space in 2010, he crafted a vision of Berlin and Munich’s beer scenes through a Korean prism. Platters of brats are dished up alongside Korean fried chicken, kimchi short rib fried rice and an international assortment of burgers. The beer list combines Old World ales with West Coast IPAs, none of which appear in yard-long glasses served at kitschier neighbors.

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  • Bars
  • Wineries
  • Glassel Park
  • price 2 of 4

Ryan Sweeney, Brandon Bradford, Cherith Spicer and Kyle Bilowitz set L.A. abuzz when they opened Verdugo Bar in Glassell Park, featuring only a sign that reads “Cocktails” to signal their presence—but it’s their craft-beer roster that turned Verdugo Bar into a destination. Here, people seek their booths and curved wooden bar. Over the years, they’ve added a back patio, which features communal seating and a wall of craft-brewery tins. Food trucks often take up residence in the parking lot and game nights, DJ sets, comedy shows and board games are in the weekly lineup. If you’re looking for some stein time, Verdugo almost always holds an annual Oktoberfest party, complete with boot races, stein-holding competitions and prizes.

  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • Mar Vista

One of Long Beach’s best beer halls opened up a second location, and Mar Vista’s Rasselbock is bigger and better than the OG. Complete with a full cocktail program—one that makes use of imported German liquors—this spot also pours dozens of draft beers, not to mention a German-inspired menu of sausages and other perfect-for-drinking bites.

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  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • El Segundo
  • price 2 of 4

There are nearly 20 locations of Rock and Brews around the country, but it all started in El Segundo with the very first rock-centric gastropub opening there in 2012. Diners and drinkers can choose to sit inside or outside—though if you’re here strictly for the beer, embrace the beer garden ambience on the patio (especially if you have a pup—it’s dog-friendly). The beer menu is a who’s-who of California breweries along with stellar international pours. Dishes range from burgers to pizza to creamy mac and cheese: you know, comfort food at its finest.

  • Bars
  • Gastropubs
  • La Brea
  • price 2 of 4

Wear your lederhosen to this beer garden along La Brea, where an extensive selection of German brews are served up alongside traditional German fare like schnitzel, sausages and house-made pretzels. Grab a seat at the bar or at a communal table on the dog-friendly patio and sample your way through the 35 beers and hard ciders. (See also: there’s even a non-alcoholic beer.) If those aren’t your thing, there’s wine on hand, as well as a ping-pong table, a flat-screen TV and trivia. And, of course, Oktoberfest festivities are an annual occurrence, and include live music, giveaways, food and drink specials, and a ceremonial first tap.

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  • Restaurants
  • Hamburgers
  • Old Pasadena
  • price 1 of 4

Though it’s morphed into a full-blown chain in recent years, the Dog Haus’s Biergarten extension started at this Old Pasadena spot. The food menu reads like a drunken cookbook of street dogs and Denny’s breakfasts, with plump, flavorful hot dogs served on soft King’s Hawaiian sweet buns. You’ll find two-dozen beers on tap, more or less evenly split between craft SoCal brews, big-name brands and some creative picks from around the country. It’s all best enjoyed out front on the picnic benches—a charming alternative to the sports-bar-like interior, though both come with delightfully cheesy ’80s tunes.

  • Bars
  • Wineries
  • Downtown Arts District
  • price 2 of 4

Cousins Tyler Wilson and Joseph Pitruzzelli have the uncanny ability to transform a triangular space into a Wurstküche, contemporary “sausage kitchen,” each one outfitted in industrial, geometric furniture—crafted by Pitruzzelli himself—and a DJ booth. The cousins’ crew will gladly grill sausages like Polish-style kielbasa or more adventurous rattlesnake-and-rabbit to pair with a “groot” worth of skin-on frites (in case you didn’t know, that amounts to a lot of fries). Wurstküche primarily pours Belgian and German beers from (surprisingly) brand-free tap handles. Try the notoriously tart Duchesse de Bourgogne or the sweet Aventinus Eisbock, which packs a punch.

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  • Bars
  • Wine bars
  • San Fernando Valley

No longer in the oceanfront city and not exclusively dedicated to vino, this Valley outpost of the ever-popular Malibu Wines doesn’t skimp on its beer list: about three-dozen largely California-based brews on tap, with almost as many bottles at the ready. Whether you’re ordering five-ounce tasting glasses or by the pint, the rustic-chic West Hills courtyard offers a pretty compelling alternative to the Malibu original.

  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • Santa Monica
  • price 2 of 4

Generous pours and unabashed comfort food, all a block from the beach? That’s Ashland Hill, a Santa Monica Cheers in the making, anchoring the old Wildflour Pizza space on Main Street with a sprawling, pet-friendly back patio. At picnic tables blanketed in twinkling lights, patrons graze on giant pretzels and shishito mac and cheese between sips of international vino and serious high-alcohol brews. The local-focused tap lineup at this beer garden/wine-bar hybrid includes eight-percent Belgian strong ales, some Mexican lager and even Central Coast wines—plus another 10-or-so options for red, white and bubbly, and a handful of gin-forward cocktails. Ample space, friendly servers and plenty of heat lamps to go around make Ashland Hill no-fuss, alfresco boozing at its best.

Looking for more places to drink outside?

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