Your Guide to the Best Craft Beer Spots in Pasadena
Picture this: you’re a craft beer fiend and it just so happens that you’ve made your way out to Pasadena. It doesn’t matter why you’re out there. You could’ve been dragged out for some shopping or to catch a show at the Pasadena Playhouse, but the fact of matter is you need some fine, delicious craft beer…STAT. Fear not, hop heads, I’ve got your guide to the best beers bars in Pasadena right here.
The Best Beer Bars in 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 fill your growlers up with the specialty brews such as Bourbon Barrel Aged Arrogant Bastard and Go To with Lemon Peel and Vanilla Bean. Sample some of the beers that you don’t usually see on the retail shelves while you get that growler filled and you’ll be good to go.
Chances are that you are no stranger to Slater’s, whether you’ve been to their locations in San Diego or 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 suit your palate. Currently on tap is Alpine’s Hoppy Birthday, El Segundo’s Blue House IPA, and Ohana’s #hashtag Hops IPA.
Congregation is another multi-location spot, and is a perfect go-to if you just can’t seem to make up your mind. They offer a wide range of beer on tap, but let’s just focus on the hoppy ones. Right now, you’ll see the likes of Alpine Nelson, New Belgium’s Hop the Pond, and Epic’s Hopulent on nitro.
Lucky Baldwin’s Pub is a Pasadena staple and it would be absolutely blasphemous for me to leave it off this list. While the tap list is populated by mostly British-style and Belgian ales, the sheer number of taps ensures that hop heads can stroll in and order Stone’s Enjoy By, Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale, and Mother Earth’s Triple Crown IPA.
Next up is Lucky Baldwin’s Trappiste Pub & Cafe, which isn’t all that far from their 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. The one thing I will say for those of you looking for hops, Lucky Baldwin’s Trappiste Pub & Cafe currently has a better beer selection than the original given that Alpine’s Duet and Russian River’s Blind Pig join the party.
Our boy, Ryan Sweeney, is behind this one which means you can bank on this being a good spot. It’s got a decent craft beer selection (currently pouring Firestone’s Easy Jack, Russian River’s Blind Pig, and Deschutes’ Hope Henge), but it’s got an even better cocktail and whiskey lineup. So, if you feel like pivoting from beer, this is your destination.
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. If you’re going anytime soon, perhaps a pint of Pizza Port’s Swami’s IPA or Stone’s Enjoy By will do the trick.
King’s Row has a pretty cool vibe with communal-style tables, TVs that are perfect for catching the games, and a good amount of craft beer on tap. King’s Row has really stepped it up from a year or so ago because now they’re bringing in kegs of Three Weav3rs, an interesting American IPA from Canadian mircro-brewers Fernie Brewing Company, and Sierra Nevada’s Electric Ray IPL.
I have a habit of sticking in a retail shop at the end of these guides, because when it’s time to go home it’s always good to stop for some party favors. Also, if the retail shop conducts spirit, wine, and beer tastings, it scores bonus points. That’s Mission Wine & Spirits for you and it’s worth a look if only to see what’s on the shelves.
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!