The San Fernando Valley is a sprawling section of L.A., with boundaries that waver from person to person, and a summer that can often seem hotter than Hades. All that land means there's potential for a bourgeoning beer scene, and while there are a ton of breweries in the SFV that don't yet have a taproom, other breweries are welcoming thirsty Valley dwellers to their facilities with open arms. If you're tired of the South Bay or Downtown beer scene and are looking for a friendly place to grab a pint, head to one of these San Fernando Valley breweries and drink up.
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SFV brewery guide
Founded by a team of friends who started out as most enterprising beer fans do—homebrewing—8one8 is now a Valley beer staple fermenting its own blonde and red ales, a porter, a tripel and more, with half their brews landing in high-ABV zones. The microbrewery may have begun in a Sylmar garage, but today it occupies its own Canoga Park nanobrewery that cooks up some solid Valley-proud beer with names paying homage to the SFV: the Valley Girl Blonde and the Matador Red (hey, CSUN), to name a couple. The 8one8 team doesn't have their own tasting room yet—they're working on it, OK?—but you can sign up for updates on it, and while you wait, check our their brews at a number of spots around town.
Putting out oak-aged ales in one of the prettiest tasting rooms in all the Valley, North Hills's Cellador is a brewery that's already establishing itself as one of the best beermakers in L.A. From the funky Firegold farmhouse ale to the tart, brown sour Walden, founders Kevin and Sara Osborne focus on sourcing fruit and fresh herbs from local and organic farms for their "farm-to-barrel" beer.
This Chatsworth brewery serves up flavor-packed ales with a side of humor. Inspired by the Valley—and especially its history and surrounding wildlife—the brewery often takes part in community events and local collaborations. Looking for some heat? Seek out the Chubasco IPA made with serrano and árbol peppers, then cool things down with the Incident Isotope IPA, which mellows out with a hint of brown sugar. Stay tuned to their Instagram page for news on their freshly renovated tap room, set to reopen sometime soon. Until then, find them all over the Valley and beyond.
Planting a flag as Burbank's first independent brewery, Lincoln Beer Co. meticulously crafts well-balanced canned goods from within its custom 15-barrel system. Owners Patrick Dunn and Ryan Lipson are making waves with their unfiltered DIPA, the Dub Chub, but their other ales—be they creams, reds or IPAs—aren't far behind in terms of local favorites. Find them in almost every L.A. neighborhood, and be on the lookout for their Burbank tap room, which is set to open in fall or winter of 2017.
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 that get naturally carbonated, cask conditioned and served at cellar temperature straight from the casks in which they were fermented. 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. 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 few places in L.A. where you can get a proper pint. All are priced at a reasonable $7, with beer flights available for those who fancy a bit of everything. It's even kid- and dog-friendly, and you can almost always find a food truck parked there to soak up those suds. The Little Spree, a Yorkshire Pale Ale, is a good place to start your re-education.
This Agoura Hills microbrewery is nestled into an unsuspecting stripmall at the foot of Conejo Valley's Ladyface Mountain, just off Highway 101. Inside, country-pub charm gives way to French, Irish and German influence: an exposed ceiling, low hanging art nouveau light fixtures illuminate walls adorned with posters, and solid-wood tables and café chairs good for small groups and couples are scattered around a central communal table. Angelenos living in the West Valley can call on this place for a serious craft brew fix and French-country pub fare in a family-friendly environment. Start off with a few tastes of their flagship ales or a flight of eight brews, like the malty Dérailleur, an award-winning bière de garde.
Established in 2013, San Fernando Brewing Co. produces city-inspired names to quench the thirst of Valley dwellers and those willing to make the trek. Sample a Stoney Point Stout, Sonora Wheat, Wolfksill IPA, Royal Road Pale Ale or O'Melveny Red Ale in their spacious taproom (21 and over, guys) while snacking on free popcorn and pretzels. Oh, and if you feel like working while you booze—uh, who doesn't?— the brewery has WiFi. It's closed for half the week, with the staff shutting down public operations Monday through Wednesday to brew the beer you know and love, but if you need a growler fill or an order of bottled beer, the team will open up shop to let you in—just call ahead and ask.
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Looking for some of the best L.A. beer on the market? This pub and brewery is part Atwater, part Glendale, serving up roughly 20 beers on tap—plus canned beer—to both neighborhoods in a European beer hall setting. Be sure to take a tour of the brewery, where you'll see just how this award-winning outfit brews up hop-forward IPAs, custom creations and seasonal beers like the Saison Citron.
What began as a dorm room experiment brewing beer on an apartment stove has sinced morphed into Enegren Brewing Co., a brewery in Moorpark founded by two brothers (Chris and Matt Enegren) and their friend Joe Nascenzi. Now, their year round and seasonal beers are a welcome addition to the growing L.A. beer scene. Stop by during tap room hours for a taste of their Protector Imperial IPA, or a refreshing Captain's Summer Session.
Westlake Village denizens flock to Westlake Brewing Co. for fantastic craft beer, made by brewmasters Donovan Nebreklievski and Alex Samovitz. The industrial atmosphere is made more friendly by the boisterous crowd that gathers here for quality beer, like Cloud Cover, a Belgian Wit, or The Master, a coffee vanilla porter.