Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Beer Guide
The attention that Downtown LA has drawn recently has almost been a tad overwhelming, albeit welcoming. With the influx of new mixed-use high-rise communities comes an increase in neighborhood hangouts, which have been featuring a lot of craft beer. From new bars to breweries, DTLA has become quite the destination for good beer and the best part is that a lot of it can be accessed by walking or public transportation.
216 S Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 – Arts District
Angel City was the OG in the Arts District, and their space is great for large parties and events. The historic nature of the building lends to the appeal and the beers tend to be starters for most in the LA beer community. Most weekends involve food trucks and plenty of photos in front of their “angel wing” mural, so make sure you’re looking Instagram-ready.
828 Traction Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90013 – Arts District
Arts District Brewing has a more mass appeal with the inclusion of a full liquor bar and plenty of games, such as skeeball, darts, ping pong, and cornhole. Let’s not forget about the namesake brewery. Decorated brewmaster Devon Randall delivers a variety of quality brews that adorn the inside taps as well as the outside bar that opens up on busy weekends. Fritzi has a permanent spot inside serving up food, making this a place to hole up for a little while.
700 Jackson St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 – Arts District
Boomtown Brewery has been brewing and inviting patrons into their event space for a while, but their newly opened tasting room and regular hours have given people more reason to head over to the brewery. They brew a variety of styles from their Nose Job IPA to their After Hours Session Oatmeal Stout while mixing in some experimental brews and one-offs. A visit to the beautiful, warm space shows off its vast size and its ability to accommodate drinking in comfort, even if you’re in a large party. Keep that in mind when you’re planning your next LA brewery tour.
671 S Anderson St, Los Angeles, CA 90023 – Boyle Heights
Dry River Brewing is all about the “slow beer”, and if that’s not a hint as to what their focus is then we’ll keep it straight forward. Dry River ferments & conditions exclusively in used wine barrels in which the beer can sit for quite a while to the desired profiles that the brewers want. They currently do not have a production brewery on-site, so they use the equipment from Indie Brewing Co which is just a 100 feet down the road. As soon as permits are approved, they will be opening up their space for tastings and bottles to-go in 2017. For now, their beer can be enjoyed at local bottles shops and bars nearby.
2301 E 7th St c100, Los Angeles, CA 90023 – Boyle Heights
Located on the other side of the river from DTLA, Indie Brewing Co. is kegging and canning some delicious beer. Beer that you can also enjoy in the tasting room. So, while you’re trekking around the Eastside, stop into Indie for some 7th Street Saison, Eastside XPA, or Worth The Squeeze IPA.
1581 Industrial St, Los Angeles, CA 90021 – Arts District
Before Iron Triangle Brewing opened, it had a very ambitious plan to house a huge brewing facility and eventually add on a restaurant. The brewery and tasting room are housed in a historic warehouse and opened with brewing operations led by Darren Moser, formerly of Maui Brewing. Although he has since departed, he left the brewery with a strong foundation that is poised for further interpretation.
Wilshire Blvd #100, Los Angeles, CA 90017 – Downtown LA
Armed with a seven-barrel brewhouse, a full restaurant, and beer to-go, Karl Strauss’ new location shakes up the way people drink beer in the heart of DTLA. Expect all of your Karl favorites on tap in addition to the specialty brews coming straight from the on-site brewery. From our experience working with the Karl Strauss team on our LA Beer Week collab, the company is committed to serving the LA beer community from a local standpoint, and not to mention, the beers are really good.
416 Boyd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013 – Arts District
Mumford Brewing came out of the gates with solid initial core beers that solidified their reputation as a good brewery, but it was their one-offs, new and small batch beers that elevated them to be great. Clearly experts at the hazy NE-style IPA, their canning releases garner wide-spread attention in LA and often sell out fast.
620 Moulton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90031 – Lincoln Heights
Barbaras at the Brewery is perhaps one of the most low-key places to get some amazing beer. It’s a tad off the beaten path (or maybe the path that’s been too beaten over the years) at the historic Brewery campus that is now most notably an artist live/work space. Wander in there long enough and you’ll discover Barbaras’ unassuming exterior that houses beers from Noble, Beachwood, Russian River, and much more. Speaking of Russian River, they are an account that receives Pliny the Elder often and taps Pliny The Younger every year. No need to bring food, as this place also has a kitchen pumping out BBQ, pizzas, sandwiches, and more pub fare.
361 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013 – Downtown LA
Bernadette’s may have dubbed themselves “the dumbest bar in LA”, but the beer on tap is anything but. You’ll be treated to local favorites gracing the taps, such as Beachwood and Craftsman, while sitting back in a casual atmosphere with funky decor lining the walls. It’s a great, local spot to grab a brew before dinner at Grand Central Market or perhaps a nightcap after partying at Clifton’s.
525 W 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014 – Downtown LA
Formerly Barrel Down, Brack Shop Tavern reimagines the former bar with a new paint job, new menu, and a strong focus on cocktails. There are still a whole lot of taps in there, however, we wouldn’t put it high on the ranking list for the more discerned LA beer drinker. The amount of taps means you’re bound to find something good to drink, but whoever is buying the beer is clearly keeping it safe with brands most people will recognize.
317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013 – Downtown LA
Cruising the Grand Central Market has never been cooler these days with the influx of new vendors and classic ones alike serving up everything from breakfast sandwiches from Eggslut, sandwiches from Belcampo, fresh produce, and more international fare. You can also enjoy these places with a beer in hand, and no matter how you feel about Golden Road at this point, there’s no arguing that things are better with beer.
324 South Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013 – Downtown LA
Make no mistake, it’s all about the BBQ at Horse Thief, but it doesn’t hurt that they also have a craft beer & wine bar to wash it all down.The selections range from local breweries to some international, and it’s all curated to accompany the BBQ experience. They also occassionally hold special events like tap takeovers that feature beers from LA favorites.
1855 Industrial St, Los Angeles, CA 90021 – Arts District
This one is for the fans of Belgian beer, as this bar serves exclusively that. Look for the red doors and be transported to an upscale, yet traditional, pub that not only brings in imports, but a number of locally brewed Belgian beers from nearby breweries such as Eagle Rock Brewery. It also has an extensive bottle list and full bar just in case you’re in the mood for a cocktail.
1001 S Broadway c, Los Angeles, CA 90015 – South Park
Coffee in the morning, beer in the evening. That’s how things go at Mega Bodega, where they can whip you up a fantastic latte and prepare some of their savory avocado toast, or pour you a pint of a locally brewed beer. The owner, Scott, and his crew are huge coffee & beer loving fans that cater to knowledgeable patrons and those still getting their feet wet. Mega Bodega served as one of our outposts when working in Downtown, so from a first-hand experience, this place is awesome.
939 N Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 – Chinatown
Melody Lounge’s unassuming store front in Chinatown is so nondescript you would probably drive right by it if you didn’t know that it was there. However, Melody is pouring some really good beer on draft and from bottles, so pull up a chair at the red-hued, dimly lit bar. Just make sure you prepare your eyes for readjustment if you’re exiting during the day.
330 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015 – South Park
Mikkeller just opened their largest location yet with the freshly minted DTLA bar that once housed the Discount Tire Center. Clad in Scandinavian aesthetic and art work by Keith Shore, Mikkeller DTLA features dozens of taps that pour exclusive Mikkeller beers that are brewed just down the 5 in San Diego in addition to many other local or hard-to-find beers. This one is sure to change the game in South Park.
612 S. Flower St. Los Angeles, Ca 90017 – Downtown LA
One of a few Public School locations in LA, PS213 takes up a favorable corner with a fresh look after absorbing the neighboring Daily Grill. Happy Hour AKA “Recess” is a solid deal here for the neighboring offices, but the dinner menu is pretty good too. Back when the place reopened as 213, we had received great insight into the beer buying for this location and it’s good to see that they keep the taps pretty local.
Inside the cozy Downtown LA bar, fresh cocktails are whipped up and great beer is getting poured. They offer a variety of styles, but each one is from a reputable brewery even from a regional standpoint. The bar was recently included in a huge purchase by Artisanal Brewers Collective (membered by Golden Road Co-Founder Tony Yanow), so we’re expecting the focus on beer to get even better.
Spring Street Bar seems to highlight their sandwiches first and foremost, and that’s for good reason. Like many places on this list, it’s a good place for a food pit stop. They also have 26 taps of frothy, delicious beer that range from SoCal locals to Oregon staples and it’s another bar included in the Artisanal Brewers Collective purchase from ACME Hospitatlity. So, you know what that means.
347 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 – Little Tokyo
Behind this neon sign lies a long front bar with a bunch of taps, but there’s also a bar tucked away in the back that leads out to their bistro-lit back patio. Far Bar is known to host great events including tap takeovers with breweries from across the world.
788 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90017 – Downtown Los Angeles
This Whole Foods Market in DTLA brought their A-game with a bar that really feels separate from the rest of the grocery store. Nice and bright during the day, yet dark and comforting at night, the Eight Bar at Whole Foods Market DTLA does a nice job with their 36 taps, wine list, and a full bar with food in this neck of the woods. Their retail side is great, too.
460 S. Spring St. Ste. C Los Angeles, Ca 90013 – Downtown LA
Buzz is a specialty wine and bottle shop in DTLA that just happens to have a tap room towards the back. They hold numerous wine and beer tastings throughout the week, so it’s a great place to talk shop and sip the good stuff. Then, you can take a few bottles home to cap off the night.
2927 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90031– Lincoln Heights
The Heights Deli melds two amazing things: a casual deli with great food and about 300 craft beers for takeaway. The sandwiches are highly rated and take inspiration from the surrounding neighborhood and the beer selection is on point. For the neighborhood, it’s a gem for the people who had to travel quite a bit just to get access to great beer to-go.
213 W 7th St. Los Angeles, CA 90014 – Downtown
Weird Beers is probably the smallest bottle shop we’ve seen in terms of square footage, but they are providing city dwellers with craft beer in a part of DTLA that is in need. The selection continues to expand and get better, giving Weird Beers a spot on our guide to craft beer in Downtown LA.
Have you been to any of these places mentioned above? Did I miss a good beer spot along the way here? Whatever the case, join the convo in the comments below or on Twitter at @HoppedLA. Thanks for reading.