Adding to the renaissance of craft-beer mania in L.A. (Glendale, to be exact), the Glendale Tap brings, a faux-dive bar replete with a seasonal, rotating list of 52 beers on tap/cask. A couple pool tables commandeer the center of the room flanked by banquettes and anticipatory players wait their turn (no charge). Even though the joint has the markings of a dive—beers, beards, bar games, humidity and a fairly unmarked façade—the newness of the lacquered bar and comfy, leather seating unite with carefully placed wall decor of vintage signs and automotive-inspired wall art (hub caps, vintage sports car photos and the like) to create a dive-defying, neighborhood watering hole with everything but peanut shells on the floor. If craft beer is the latest standard, than the Glendale Tap is the new standby for serious connoisseurs to imbibe mostly California, Colorado and Belgian craft brews from pristine taps served by knowledgable barkeeps.
Good for: Weekend group outings to get in on the pool action, while those flying solo settle at the lengthy bar to talk hops and homebrew with the bartender over a soft, warm salted pretzel served with French's mustard.
The scene: The low-key vibe makes way for billiards, darts and two TVs (one turned to the game, the other to old car races), so pick your poison.
The playlist: The jukebox churns out mellow tunes from Talking Heads to Duke Ellington.
The bartender says: While the GT is his first solo project, owner Steve Skorupa also co-owns SFV’s Irish-themed Timmy Nolan's Tavern
Drink this: Sample the latest beers on tap like Anchor Christmas Ale, dark, spiced, complex—is that pine?—and bitter, hoppy Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin American Stout. There's also a small selection of ciders and old-fashioned soda pops, curiously on display in a deli case.