Pasadena Neighborhood Beer Guide
Nestled in the San Gabriel Valley, Pasadena is home to one of the oldest craft breweries in the county. The city’s Old Town is a walkable hub for shopping and dining, however, craft beer gems are scattered throughout creating a destination pocket worth exploring. Here’s our guide to the best beer spots in Pasadena.
1260 Lincoln Ave #100, Pasadena, CA 91103 – North Central
Craftsman Brewing is LA County’s oldest microbrewery opened by Mark Jilg in the late 1990s. Experimenting early with sours and pre-Prohibition style lagers, Mark made a name for himself and his beers, which have started to become more attainable over the last few years. The brewery does not house a tasting room, but through a partnership with Highland Park Italian restaurant Maximiliano, you can find Craftsman’s flagships and rotating seasonal beers on tap regularly including the restaurant’s house beer – an exclusive brew made by Mark.
465 S Arroyo Pkwy, Pasadena, CA 91105 – Downtown Pasadena
110 & Bellevue is located on the second floor of Whole Foods Market on Arroyo Pkwy, and boasts an extremely upscale look compared to other Whole Foods restaurants and bars we’ve seen. Like Shuffle Bar, inside WFM’s other Pasadena location, the options favor our local breweries and larger regional breweries and present styles for whatever mood you are in. Being a restaurant first, the menu has everything from burgers and sandwiches to sushi and flatbreads, making it a place to patronize even if you aren’t shopping for this week’s groceries.
53 E. Union St, Pasadena, CA 91103 – Old Town Pasadena
One of many Goat Group locations in LA, The Blind Donkey’s Pasadena counterpart is pouring ten rotating craft handles that you can probably bank on being fresh and relatively local or regional. However, the focus here is on the craft cocktail program and the incredible lineup of whiskey. So, our suggestion is if you feel like pivoting from beer, then this is one of the best places to do so in the neighborhood.
300 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105 – Downtown Pasadena
Congregation is another multi-location spot, and can serve as a go-to if you just can’t seem to make up your mind. They offer a wide range of beer on tap, including house beers made from their Azusa brew pub that hopefully makes it easier for you to find a style that suits your palate at the moment.
93 E Green St, Pasadena, CA 91105 – Old Town Pasadena
This is where things take a turn for the absolute WURST. The food at Dog Haus is awesome, from their “Haus Dogs” to their bratwurst sausages and burgers, and all of these items pair nicely with the beer on tap. The selections tend to be consistently local, regional, and independent, which are things we like to see coming out of the Old Town location.
72 N Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103 – Old Town Pasadena
Der Wolfskopf is The Goat Group’s classic German beer hall where long, communal tables encourage social interaction and the 20 taps of beer signify that this is a place for drinking…the German way. A variety of German styles are being poured along with a few handles reserved for IPAs, a cider, and good ol’ fashion PBR. The food menu is exactly what you expect: a list of German-style sausages and schnitzels, with a little bit of American thrown in with the Wolf Burger and Kale Salad.
43 E. Union St, Pasadena, CA 91103 – Old Town Pasadena
The name says it all. Harlowe’s serves up mean dip sandwiches, but their menu is inclusive to different types of sandwiches, salads, bar bites, and more. The eight handles pouring craft beer don’t hurt either, but it doesn’t stop there. Harlowe’s keeps a nice bottle selection available including their “reserves” that would appeal to the discerned beer drinker that leans toward barrel-aged sours and wild ales. And frankly, we’re not surprised given that it comes from the same owner as The Bottle Room in Whittier.
20 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91103 – Old Town Pasadena
King’s Row has a pretty cool vibe with communal tables, TVs that are perfect for catching the games, and plenty of handles to go around. King’s Row has continued to focus on bringing a great craft beer selection to Colorado Blvd. and even though they have many beer spots surrounding them, they continue to bring their A-game with fresh, local and regional breweries that hit on every style.
17 S Raymond Ave. Pasadena, CA 91105 – Old Town Pasadena
Lucky Baldwins Pub is a Pasadena staple and while the tap list is populated by mostly British-style and Belgian ales, the sheer number of taps ensures that lovers of IPAs, lagers, pils, and stouts will be well taken care of. Lucky Baldwins is also on the distribution list for Pliny The Younger, so there’s that.
1770 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106 – Mid-Central
Lucky Baldwins Trappiste Pub & Cafe isn’t all that far from the other pub’s location. This one has a cozier vibe than the original, but pretty much delivers on the same type of product with an emphasis on Belgian-style ales. However, the sheer number of handles means they are tapping a wide range of styles including IPAs, pilsners, and stouts, so don’t let the Belgian focus steer you away. This spot pours great beer all the way around.
3751 E Foothill Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107 – East Pasadena
Located inside the Foothill Blvd. Whole Foods Market location is Shuffle Bar, a casual pub-style bar for grabbing a bite, watching some games on the TV, or partaking in games with the regulation size shuffle board in the middle of the venue. Shuffle Bar is pouring some great local options like Indie Brewing as well as beers from well-known, regional-sized breweries such as New Belgium. Although you will find the occasional Sculpin on tap, it’s few and far between.
61 N Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103 – Old Town Pasadena
Chances are that you are no stranger to Slater’s, due to their popular locations in San Diego and Orange County. Just as you might expect, the Old Town Pasadena location serves up everything you love about their burgers and craft beer selection. Each location procures their selection from regional breweries and beyond, which means you’ll likely find a number of brews that’ll suit you.
220 S Raymond Ave #103, Pasadena, CA 91105 – Downtown Pasadena
The Stone Company Store is a welcomed craft beer destination for Stone lovers in Los Angeles. Aside from having your favorite flagships in stock, they’ll also be one of the first locations to offer the specialty and seasonal brews before they hit other retailers. Sample some of the beers that you don’t usually see on the retail shelves while you get that growler filled.
1785 E Washington Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91104 – Pasadena
Mission Wine and Spirits isn’t only a place to stop for beer to-go, they also have an excellent wine and cigar selection as well. For the area though, it’s worth a stop to check out the current selection or to partake in one of their on-site tastings.
Like many Whole Foods Markets across the country, the two Pasadena locations are great places to pick up your beers to-go. The selections are large, with many local, independent options, which puts WFM toward the top of our list of where to pick up bottles and cans for off-site consumption. It also doesn’t hurt that both locations house high-quality restaurants with bars pouring incredible beer, so grab a pint or two before you pick-up for later.
The Guide Doesn’t Have to End
I mean, I’m tapped out of destination places to find craft beer in Pasadena, but you probably know of another one that I may have missed. Additionally, let me know your opinion on the ones that I listed either in the comments below or on Twitter at @HoppedLA.
Thanks for reading!