7 New Craft Beer Spots Putting Sherman Oaks on the Map
Sherman Oaks isn’t new to the craft beer scene. For years, we’ve been enjoying the brews flowing out of the taps at places like Blue Dog Tavern, Boneyard Bistro, Local Peasant, and On the Thirty. But something awesome has happened to the bar scene in Sherman Oaks lately, and there’s even more cool stuff on the horizon.
1. Tipsy Cow
Opened in June 2014 by Peter Brill of Big Wang’s fame, Tipsy Cow’s specialty is your typical gourmet gastropub face, with a strong focus on burgers (they have 12 of them!) and beer (32 on tap and 10 in bottles). They’ve also got a full bar and are serving up these really decadent milk shakes, which you can add booze to for only $4 more. The space is pretty small, but looks awesome, featuring a unique diner-style decor and one of the coolest back bars that I’ve seen in the Valley. Order a beer, eat a burger, drink some more beer, and then finish it all off with a vanilla ice cream-banana-peanut butter-marshmallow fluff-vodka shake for desert.
2. Tipple & Brine
Tipple & Brine opened in April 2014 and I have to admit, they’re not exactly a craft beer bar. They’re more of a seafood-focused restaurant that features an elevated bar menu with 12 taps of craft beer, wine, and an awesome sounding craft cocktail selection. Even though it’s only 12 taps, it’s what they do with those taps that matter. Some of the beers that have been gracing their lines lately have been Ballast Point’s Sculpin, Craftsman’s 1903 Lager, Angel City’s Gold Line Pilsner, and Golden Road’s Hef. The decor is awesome, definitely date-night-worthy, and they’ve got a daily rotating oyster bar that is the perfect complement to a pint of a local IPA.
4. Murph’s Service Station
If the previous bar sounded pretty rad, then you’re gonna love this next one. From the same owner as Tipple & Brine comes Murph’s Service Station, a garage-themed bar and restaurant occupying the former Mad Bull’s Tavern spot on Ventura Blvd. The theme is expertly executed, with vintage oil cans interspersed among the liquor bottles behind the bar, industrial lighting, wrenches serving as handles for the 20 beer taps, and a huge roll-up garage door opening out onto the patio. The beer selection is great, recently featuring hoppy offerings such as Golden Road’s Might as Well India Pale Lager, Ballast Point’s Sculpin, Noble Ale Works’ Big Whig, Sierra Nevada’s Flip Side Red IPA, and Stone’s Sublimely Self Righteous. You’ll also find 10 craft cocktails that go along with the garage theme, as well as four wines on tap. The food isn’t an afterthought either, with a great gastropub style menu, but warning, portion sizes tend to be a bit small for the price. Though overall, it’s a great place to eat and drink on Ventura Blvd.
5. The Woodman
Opened by LA beer bar pioneer, Ryan Sweeney & co (Verdugo Bar, Surly Goat, Little Bear, Blind Donkey), The Woodman is located on Ventura Blvd. and, you guessed it, Woodman Ave. The decor continues the concept with a woodsy, vintage lumberjack type of theme, a big bar in the middle, a nice sized patio looking out onto Ventura, and TVs playing local sports all around the space. While they have a great cocktail and wine program, beer is the focal point here, where I’ve enjoyed some of my favorite hoppy beers like Alpine’s Nelson, Stone’s Enjoy By, Deschutes’ Fresh Squeezed, and one of my new favorites from Lagunitas, ScareCity Dry Hopped Imperial Pils. The food is again gastropub style, typical for this type of bar. And I have to note that their Bacon Fused Inside Out Wagyu Burger is one of the best I’ve had in LA. Don’t sleep on this place. Perfect to catch a game, brunch, date night, or Saturday night out with the crew.
6. Sweeney’s Ale House (Coming December 2014)
That Ryan Sweeney guy can’t seem to sit still, can he? After a series of bar openings over the past few years and the launch of The Woodman this year, Sweeney is working on opening a new beer bar concept a little further down Ventura in Encino. Located around the White Oak & Ventura area (I’m still trying to nail down the exact location), from what I hear Sweeney’s Ale House is two-story Irish pub concept with a strong focus on craft beer. Not much else is known except that it is slated to open in the next couple months, hopefully before the end of the year. Keep your eyes peeled on our Facebook and Twitter and we’ll keep you updated as soon as we hear more.
7. Public School 818 (Coming December 2014)
The Public School concept from Daily Grill founder Bob Spivak has been taking off over the past couple years, and now they have their eyes set on Sherman Oaks. The latest outpost is the first Valley edition, hence the 818 area code in the name, and will be taking over the former Sisley Italian Kitchen spot at Sepulveda & Ventura. If you’re not familiar with the growing Public School chain, it’s a really unique bar and restaurant featuring a great gastropub style menu, 20-30 taps of craft beer, and really delicious craft cocktails, all within a vintage schoolhouse theme. The space is still undergoing renovations, but we’ve been told to look for an opening in December 2014. First time I’ve ever been this excited for school to start!