The best breweries in Los Angeles 2019

Are you looking for the best of what Los Angeles has to offer in terms of craft beer destinations? Then look no further! We’ve rounded up a list of the best breweries in LA - reviewing each on a variety of factors such as brewery space, bar staff, and of course, the quality of their craft beer. Whatever your beer and brewery preference, something in our 2019 roundup will quench your thirst and certainly appeal to your tastes.

Highland Park Brewing

Why you should visit:

Many would argue that Highland Park Brewing is the best local brewery in Los Angeles, and with good reason. Their reputation for brewing consistently high-caliber beers across a variety of different styles doesn’t disappoint. It’s further embellished by super fun artwork and a killer company culture. They’ve won multiple well-deserved medals for their beers, mainly in the IPA category, and have proven time and time again they know what L.A. likes to drink, and they know how to make it well.


Starting out as a small award-winning brewery at the back of the Hermosillo pub in Highland Park (an LA neighborhood that has already firmly established its cool factor), Highland Park Brewing recently renovated a beautiful warehouse in downtown Chinatown to hold their stunning - and much larger - brewery and taproom. Huge bay windows let cascades of light shine over rustic tables and hardwood decor, making this the ideal daytime drinking spot. Make sure not to miss their quick eats: impressively well-prepared and ridiculously tasty. Tacos and Queso are the moves here. Whether it is at the Hermosillo or their Chinatown brewery, a visit to Los Angeles needs to include a visit to Highland Park Brewery for any true beer fan.

Neighborhood:

Highland Park (brewpub) and/or Chinatown (brewery)

Atmosphere:

Relaxed. Perfect place to hang and talk with friends over light bites (or queue for that rare can release).

Beers to try:

  • Any of their epic Hazy IPA’s
  • Pleasant Pils
  • Hello, LA - West Coast IPA


Imperial Western Beer Company

Imperial Western Brewing

Why you should visit:

Nestled above L.A.s Union Station, Imperial Western Brewing is your *ahem* golden ticket to great beer and food. It’s the perfect spot to convince even your most beer-reluctant friends to tag along, as the brewery’s building itself is, quite frankly, beautiful. Imperial Western is housed inside a recently renovated 1920’s art-deco Harvey House - originally built as a gigantic kitchen/restaurant where food was prepared and enjoyed before long cross-country voyages. A visit here is like stepping back in time, with nearly all the original booths, floors, ceilings, and art decor still intact.

The clever owners (213 Group) restored the building to its original splendor, adding a brewery in the now-unused prep kitchens. Pair this unbelievable space with their incredible selection of amazing beers, fried chicken and seafood menu (fresh oysters, anyone?), and this place is suddenly a slice of craft beer heaven.

If you’re looking to enjoy your beer somewhere a little different with a lot of history, this is the brewery for you! And being housed at Union Station means when you’re ready your next beer, the next brewery is just a short metro ride away…

Neighborhood:

DTLA, Union Station

Atmosphere:

The roaring 20’s if all the dapper dans and flappers were drinking pints. But don’t worry, no Gatsby costumes required for this brewery’s relaxed, laid back atmosphere.

Beers to try:

  • “Fred Harvey” - Weissbier
  • “Calliope” - Unfiltered IPA
  • “Postcard” - Fruited Sour

 

Arts District Brewing

Arts District Brewing

Why you should visit:

If you’re looking for a beer spot with a lively atmosphere, a slew of specialty bar games in their mini arcade (featuring skeeball, darts, and cornhole), and live viewing of all major sports games on a big screen, then Arts District is the place to go. One of the earlier brewpubs to open in L.A., they’ve perfected the adult playground atmosphere that just can’t be beaten on a Friday night. It’s the perfect bar to host a beer-themed birthday - giving enough of a party vibe while retaining the ability to hear each other talk. On top of that, Arts District boasts a long sun-kissed patio - usually chock full of furry friends and/or small groups of trendy folks playing crowdfunded board games.


The main bar of Arts District Brewing sits smack-bang in the middle of the huge lofty space, and offers a giant list of original rotating beers, proving their dedication to experimentation and exploration. That said, their core list (including their Traction IPA) is always a sure thing when you’re searching next delicious beer. Finally, next door’s chicken shop serves directly into the brewpub through an adjoining hole in the wall, so your beer food needs are also taken care of. Winner.

Neighborhood:

The Arts District

Atmosphere:

Chill during the day, lively during the evening


Beers to try:

  • Traction IPA to start, then go wild!
  • Their award-winning smoked porter is wonderful if they have it on.


Frogtown Brewery

Frogtown Brewery

Why you should visit:

When I think brewery/taproom, Frogtown is what I picture. Housed in a warehouse in a soon-to-be-up-and-coming neighborhood of Elysian Valley (now monikered Frogtown due to the plague of amphibians that burst the banks of the L.A. River back in the ’60s and hit the streets. Seriously, google it.), this dual-family owned brewery has that perfect neighborhood vibe. When the brewers/owners aren’t brewing the beer, they’re serving it - alongside their wives, partners and friends.

In terms of ‘good old neighborhood brewery,’ you can’t beat a pint at Frogtown and a good chat with their friendly, passionate staff. Although a large and airy space, the actual brewery takes up roughly a third of the space, so you feel like you’re amongst a proper working brewery. Make no mistake - this simply adds to its already bucket loads of charm. One of the brewers loves IPA’s while the other loves stouts, so expect to see excellent versions of both on their tap list.

Neighborhood:

Frogtown (Elysian Valley)

Atmosphere:

If you’re looking for that L.A. neighborhood vibe, you’ve found it here. Family friendly, dog-friendly and all round staff-friendly.

Beers to try:

  • Prince George - Imperial Porter
  • Feather It In - Session IPA
  • Hazy River - New England IPA


Boomtown Brewery

Boomtown Brewery

Why you should visit:

Boomtown Brewery makes the most of their huge Arts District warehouse, filling it with long communal beer hall tables, a super cozy lounge area, every bar game you could ever want, DJ’s on busier nights and - in my opinion - some of the best food trucks around. The interior and exterior walls are decorated with murals and art from some of the best local artists - many of whom design their merch, cans, and glassware. It has an artsy vibe while still being incredibly inviting, and is surprisingly warm and comfortable for a space so large. The space caters for all types, and you wouldn’t be shocked to see a family enjoying a day out several seats down from some L.A. scene kids. Boomtown’s atmosphere is fun, with something to appeal to everyone.


From day-one Boomtown has delivered delicious full-flavored beers, and their year-round list remains consistently delicious. Whether it is your first or last stop, make Boomtown Brewery part of your Arts District exploration.


Neighborhood:

Arts District

Atmosphere:

Whatever you need it to be, Boomtown caters for all types of the occasion! There are cozy areas, game areas, DJ areas, and long communal tables. Whether you want to relax or rage, at Boomtown you can decide your own evening.

Beers to try:

  • Nose Job - West Coast IPA
  • Zzyzx - American Porter
  • Mic Czech - Pils

  

Dry River Brewing

Dry River Brewing

Why you should visit:

Dry River is an exceptional brewery with a one-of-a-kind taproom and brew space well worth visiting. I say that confidently, as pretty much everything in the taproom - including all tables, walls, stools, decor and even the tap handles - were custom built from reclaimed wood sourced by founder and brewmaster Naga Reshi and his team. The effect is truly wonderful, making for a truly unique space bursting with character. It is clear that the team thought out every aspect of the design and, using expert craftsmanship, took their time putting it together.

This commitment to expertise, time, and effortful methodology can also be seen in their beers. Dry River Brewing’s motto is ‘slow beer’ due to their speciality of crafting beautifully complex sour beers, some taking 3+ years before making it to the bar taps. They use wild yeasts, foraged botanicals and age most of their beers. Trust us on this - your first sip will help you understand the meaning of ‘good things come to those who wait’.

Neighborhood:

Boyle Heights

Atmosphere:

A hub for the L.A. artistic community and just an all-around welcoming place. Friendly, inviting and fun. You’ll quickly feel like part of the family.

Beers to try:

  • Lady Roja - Botanical Saison
  • Bruxella - Barrel-aged Flemish Red
  • Bridges - IPA (because they do the regular styles great, too)

Conclusion:

There you have it. Six of the best breweries in Los Angeles right now, as voted by us! We have thoroughly tested each on the same criteria and are proud to show our picks for 2019. With so many incredible breweries opening up on what feels like a daily basis, we are already super excited to see how this list develops for next year!


Any breweries you feel should be included? Leave them in the comments! We have given our reasons for including our favorite breweries, so please - comment with your reasoning. We love hearing about how great the craft beer industry is and how awesome L.A. has been in propelling it forward.

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