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Photograph: Courtesy Marie BuckBenny Boy Brewing

The best breweries in L.A.

Want killer craft beer straight from the source? Head to these breweries for a taste of what's on tap across Los Angeles.

Edited by
Claire Wang
Contributors
Erin Kuschner
&
Stephanie Breijo
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If it seems like a new brewery pops up in a Torrance warehouse or Highland Park garage every few months, it’s because it does. Despite L.A.’s impressive pre-existing selection of beer bars, we’re also a city full of artisans who like taking matters into our own hands—including brewing beer.

In fact, there’s so much fantastic craft beer in this city that compiling a list of best breweries had to come with restrictions: Here, we’ve focused on the breweries that have a taproom you can actually visit (hence why Craftsman, a veritable Pasadena brewery with a devoted following but no actual public space, is not on here), and those that actually brew in Los Angeles. So put down your crusty old Miller Lite, get out of the house and raise a pint to L.A.’s growing craft beer scene.

RECOMMENDED: Guide to craft beer in L.A.

L.A.’s best breweries

  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Chinatown
  • price 1 of 4

From a tiny outpost in the Hermosillo bar to a massive buildout in a Chinatown warehouse, Highland Park Brewery’s grown from an L.A. underdog to one of the city’s most adventurous, innovative and collaborative breweries. While you can still pull up a seat at the Hermosillo on York for a handful of the brewery's offerings, the kid- and dog-friendly Chinatown location is a stunner, and it's where nearly all of the releases, parties and events take place. (Note: It gets crowded, especially on release days.) The newer, larger digs provide a full kitchen for some of the best drinking snacks in town, plus double the tanks, allowing the team to crank out more experimental, funky and collaborative new beers. The menu board swaps out brews frequently but we're partial to their barrel-aged sour ale, and the rotation of hazy IPAs often packing the brightening punch of pineapple, citrus or mango.

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

Skee-ball, darts, ping pong, great bar food—Arts District Brewing is more than just a brewery, it's a bona fide party spot. The 15-barrel system pumps out some stellar varieties here, including the flagship Traction, an IPA infused with papaya and mango, and the Mateo, an easy golden ale that can effortlessly pair with some of the pub-style comfort food that gets passed from the food-service window and into the taproom. Prime-rib Sloppy Joes, mango habanero wings, chorizo burgers, salads and nachos are all on offer and, let's be real, pair with just about everything. There’s a full cocktail bar if you want to amp things up a bit, but first-timers should opt for a beer flight to sample what Arts District Brewing does best.

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  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Central LA
  • price 2 of 4

Housed in the historic Firestone tire station on La Brea, All Season Brewing is the expansive, all-purpose informal Mid-Wilshire bar that the city has been waiting for. Beer lovers flock here for All Season’s extensive list of brews, which runs heavy on IPAs and lagers, but those who’d rather sip on something fruity will be more than sated by their tropical-leaning cocktails on tap, including a delicious mezcal paloma. A menu of draft wines and classic cocktails, delicious snacks from Chicas Tacos, arcade games and Skee-Ball round out a night at the expansive open-air brewery, which also has an excellent weekday specials.

 

  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Torrance
  • price 1 of 4
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The only place to buy Monkish is from the taproom, so to Torrance (and their outpost out in Anaheim) you shall go. You’ll find the family-operated South Bay brewery just around the corner from Smog City, in fact, and when you get to the Belgian beers, you’ll also be greeted by free pretzels. (Not a bad way to begin.) While the Belgians are fantastic, especially the triple with hibiscus, you should also opt for one of the IPAs or a sampler of four beers.

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  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • Glendale
  • price 2 of 4

The juggernaut of the Southland beer scene, Golden Road is L.A.'s largest brewery. Some of that is due to the company's much-maligned 2015 acquisition by Anheuser-Busch, but it hasn't degraded GRB's hop-forward beer selection—or its Atwater Village location's bustling beer-garden atmosphere. GRB's original space features bright-and-airy interiors and a shaded outdoor area, which both buzz with thirtysomethings, happy toddlers, cornhole and live music. While heavy on IPAs, GRB also serves wine, gluten-free cider and—perhaps most unique—a range of vegan food. If you're not near Atwater, you're still in luck: There's an outpost in Downtown's Grand Central Market, plus an Anaheim location with a killer patio. There's even a GRB in Sacramento and, of course, you can find the beers sold in bars and bottle shops across L.A. It wouldn't be an L.A. summer without a can of Mango Cart wheat ale—good thing they're everywhere.

  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Lincoln Heights
  • price 2 of 4

After a half decade of researching centuries-old fermentation techniques across Europe, Ben Farber and Chelsey Rosetter launched Benny Boy, the city's first combined brewery and cider house, in April 2022. The husband-and-wife duo use whole flower hops instead of the more widely pellet hops, which Farber says provides a smoother, less bitter flavor. Forgoing the IPA-dominant menu of so many rival breweries, Benny Boy offers an eclectic mix of crisp lagers and Belgian strong ales, as well as a Desert Champagne Gose, a tart concoction brewed with fresh prickly pear, sage and desert salt. On the cider side, Benny Boy makes their ciders with in-state apples sourced from Santa Cruz, including the spice-forward Devil's Umbrella, which comes infused with pineapple and habanero. An expansive beer garden connects a 55-foot tank bar to a 1,200-square-foot cider room, providing an urban oasis for outdoor parties with food trucks and DJs.

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  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • Glassell Park
  • price 1 of 4

Though the taproom at Eagle Rock Brewery might be small—with a few tables and chairs where visitors can take advantage of the board games on hand—this Northeast L.A. microbrewery's beers pack big flavors. A handful of brews are offered year-round, along with a selection of seasonal beers that we wish would stick around longer. This team doesn't focus on one or two particular styles, veering instead toward balance across the board. (We highly recommend the Populist, a West Coast IPA and a great summer beer—good thing it almost always feels like summer in L.A.) If you're just getting into craft beer, Eagle Rock Brewery is a perfect place to start: The tours are highly informative, and regular events include the Women's Beer Forum, where ladies who drink can sample and discuss a flight of four beers each month.

  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Downtown Arts District
  • price 1 of 4

A mainstay of Downtown L.A.'s competitive craft beer scene for over half a decade, Boomtown distinguishes itself by brewing "old-world ales with an American twist." The taproom offers a half dozen beers year-round and a broad rotating selection of a dozen seasonal concoctions. The Brett Michaels, a kettle-soured Belgian blonde, is barrel-aged for at least three years and infused with a seasonal fruit. The Just, another crowd favorite, is a hop-forward West Coast Double blended with cannabis terpenes. The staff make use of the enormous industrial warehouse space by hosting boisterous nightly events, including open mic, vegan food pop-and karaoke. The company also supports local artists by commissioning their art on packaging and staging exhibitions in the taproom, and Boomtown's Amber Sawicki has recently stepped up to become one of the few female head brewers in the city. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Soul and southern American
  • Long Beach
  • price 2 of 4

Craving some serious eats with your beers tonight? This Long Beach gem stocks 22 rotating taps of craft brews, many of them made onsite—and for those that aren't, you can trust Beachwood's recommendations on the rare and specialty beers that they source from around the world. Favored by brewers and serious beer drinkers across L.A. and beyond, Beachwood's known for its limited releases and experimentation. In fact, they're so experimental that they launched the Blendery just a block away, where they imbue a variety of Belgian-style sours and imbue them with everything from umeboshi to sea salt. But people come to Beachwood for the food, too: Their menu boasts ribs, pulled pork and brisket, all dry-rubbed and slow-smoked and served with the sauce on the side. Name a more iconic duo than BBQ and beer, we'll wait.

  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Downtown Arts District
  • price 1 of 4

After rising from the ashes of the 2018 fires, this Ventura hard-kombucha brewery has expanded to the Arts District with a huge industrial taproom, on-site brewing facility, and even a variety of soul food classics from Downtown's Comfort LA. Occupying a massive industrial warehouse built in 1904, Flying Embers provides immersive entertainment with food trucks, lawn games and plenty of flat screens for Angels games. So bring your pets and stop by for alcoholic seltzers, craft experimental beers and kombucha-focused "Booch-tails." Not imbibing? They've got you covered with creative nonalcoholic concoctions, too.

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  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Van Nuys
  • price 1 of 4

MacLeod Ale owners Alastair and Jennifer Boase know a thing or two about "real" ale. The small-batch beers at this Van Nuys brewery are made with imported English grains, naturally carbonated, cask conditioned and served at cellar temperature straight from the casks they were fermented in. In addition to serving some of the best cask beers in L.A., the brewery also offers a vast selection of draft and nitro beers, as well as some of the Valley's finest pizza (the spinach artichoke is the staff special). For local beer drinkers, MacLeod provides a taste of something different in a laid-back, friendly atmosphere. For British expats, it's one of the only spots in town to get a proper pint. Little Spree, a Yorkshire-style pale ale, is a good place to start your re-education.

  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Glendale
  • price 1 of 4

In 2015, Sherwin Antonio and Kirk Nishikawa turned a drunk promise from high school into Glendale’s first microbrewery. Since then, they've conceived a host of explosively creative concoctions to pay homage to both 19th century California lager and their respective Filipino and Japanese roots. The Ube Wan IPA is brewed with strong ube and coconut flavors, while the Yoi Yoi, a Japanese rice lager, carries hints of Japanese "Ume" Plums and premium Koshihikari Sushi Rice. And be sure to try the Jewel City Common, a malty amber that won first place in the 2019 California Commercial Beer Competition.  

 

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  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Inglewood
  • price 2 of 4

Inglewood's first craft brewery is also one of LA county's largest independent taprooms—and one of the few headed by a woman. The brain child of Lynne Weaver, a real estate tax expert turned homebrewer, Three Weavers serves an award-winning Kolsch, the Seafarer, a signature imperial stout called the Midnight Flight, and a number of West Coast IPAs infused with English crystal malt and tropical fruits.The brewery also pledges proceeds from its tasting room sales to a different nonprofit organization every month.

  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Alhambra
  • price 1 of 4

Ohana Brewing Co.'s actual brewery may be located in a Downtown warehouse, but its tasting room is far from industrial, and far from the actual brewery. This family-run operation—which first began in a garage in 2014—now slings 10 incredible beers at its Alhambra storefront, on which a "Ohana Brewing Co" sign is inked in Hawaiian-inspired script. The broad offerings include Tiki on the Beach, a tropical blonde ale infused with hibiscus cranberry; No Sleepy Time, a coffee stout; and a Spa Water Saison with cucumber and lemongrass.

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  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Torrance
  • price 1 of 4

You might pass right by the Smog City taproom if you don't pay attention. From the outside, the humble brewery looks just like all the other warehouses on Del Amo Boulevard: white, boxy, industrial. Pull into their parking lot, though, and you'll immediately spot beer-wielding Torrance folk spilling out the door. Laurie and Jonathan Porter started making beer in 2011, and built up enough of a presence to open a brewery in 2013, and four years later, launched a second outpost in Long Beach's SteelCraft food hall. Locals can pick up growlers of Smog City staples (the coffee porter and the West Coast IPA are serious crowd-pleasers) or put their stamp of approval on variations by the glass. 

See the best craft breweries in America

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