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Photograph: Courtesy Arts District Brewing Co.

A complete guide to LA's Downtown breweries

In the mood for a beer? Create your own bar crawl by exploring LA's Downtown breweries, one sudsy sip at a time.

By Erin Kuschner

As the craft beer scene in LA continues to boom, Downtown Los Angeles—and in particular, the Arts District—is quickly becoming a hotbed for all things beer. But these aren't just your average, sit-and-sip taprooms; they're community spaces, a place to test your trivia skills, take in local art and try your hand at skeeball, all while sipping on some of the best craft beer in the city. The next time you're craving a quality sud, forego your regular beer bar for once and head to one of these Downtown breweries.

LA's Downtown breweries

Arts District Brewing
Photograph: Courtesy Arts District Brewing

1. Arts District Brewing Co.

Bars Breweries Downtown Arts District

Skee-ball, darts, pingpong, great bar food—Arts District Brewing is more than just a brewery, it's a bonafide party spot. Head brewmaster Devon Randall has brewed some stellar varieties here, including Traction, an IPA infused with papaya and mango, and Mateo, an easy golden ale that is effortlessly paired with some comfort food from Fritzi next door (a take-out window opens up into the brewery). 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.

2. Angel City Brewery

Bars Breweries Downtown Arts District
After closing up its Alpine Village storefront in 2010, Angel City Brewery rooted itself in an expansive, century-old John A. Roebling building in Downtown LA, the former production site for suspension cables that made their way to the likes of the Brooklyn and Golden Gate bridges. The industrial space has a bare-bones, beer hall feel, with plenty of room to spread out among picnic tables beneath a renovated mezzanine while you sip on IPAs, pilsners, lagers and limited releases. Tacos & Trivia Tuesdays bring beer nerds together each week, while karaoke, art shows and one-off events make this communal gathering space a place for more than just beer.  
Iron Triangle Brewing
Photograph: Courtesy Iron Triangle Brewing

3. Iron Triangle Brewing

Bars Breweries Downtown Arts District

With a 16-tap bar on one side and a sunken, picnic table-clad drinking area on another, Iron Triangle is one of LA's larger breweries at 10,000 square feet—with plans to grow even further into the warehouse next door. Owner Nathan Cole Pacetti designed a good portion of the space, including the gorgeous black cherrywood bar, while head brewmaster Darren Moser (Maui Brewing Co.) is making the good stuff. To start, try Iron Triangle Ale (the brewery's signature brew), which is slightly sweet and easy to drink at 4.8% ABV. The 1581 Pale Ale uses Jarrylo hops to lend spicy, fruity notes, while the Royal Clayton's ESB is an Extra Special Bitter brewed with English malts and hops. Other beers include Iron Triangle IPA, Iron Triangle Dark Ale, Mulholland's Stash Barleywine and Bindlestiff Stout. On Wednesdays, trivia nights get the brewery filled with tipsy intellectuals (or those who think they are). You get smarter as you drink more, right?

Mumford Brewing
Photograph: Courtesy Mumford Brewing

4. Mumford Brewing

Bars Breweries Little Tokyo

Mumford Brewing is a small microbrewery and tap room serving a curated selection of beers on tap and Rockenwagner pretzels. Founded by Peter and Tom Mumford, and Tom's wife Tien, the brewery, which borders Little Tokyo, offers a selection of cleverly named beers, from Golf Clap (a dry-hopped saison) to a Black Coffee Mamba (made with Stumptown coffee). The large, airy space is furnished with a ton of tables and chairs—there's plenty of room, but once you settle in, we won't blame you for staying a while.

Boomtown Brewery
Photograph: Courtesy Boomtown Brewery

5. Boomtown Brewery

Bars Breweries Downtown Arts District

While Boomtown Brewery's taproom isn't open to the public yet—they're looking at a July 2016 launch—the Arts District brewery moved into their 3,000-square-foot space at the end of 2015, and already has a strong LA following. Year-round picks include the Ingenue Belgian White Ale, brewed with Belgian pilsner malt and Czech Saaz hops; and the Nose Job IPA, a golden IPA with hints of tropical fruit and pine. Stay tuned for their taproom opening, when you'll be able to sip on both beers plus a bevy of rotating brews.


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