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Your Guide to the Best Craft Beer in Downtown LA

Your Guide to the Best Craft Beer in Downtown LA

best craft beer in downtown la

Last Updated: September 4th 2019 By Gary Magnone

The revitalization that Downtown LA has undergone over the last several years has almost been overwhelming, but most definitely welcomed.

With the influx of new mixed-use high-rise communities and corporate headquarters comes an increase in neighborhood hangouts, which have been featuring a lot of craft beer.

From new bars to breweries, DTLA has become one of the premier destinations for craft beer in LA and the best part is that a lot of it can be accessed by walking or public transportation.

Angel City Brewery

Downtown LA
Brewery

216 South Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Angel City is 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.

Arts District Brewing Company in Downtown LA

Arts District Brewing Co

Downtown LA
Brewery

828 Traction Ave, 90013, Los Angeles, CA, US

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. Head Brewer Dave Ziolkowski delivers a variety of quality brews that adorn the inside taps as well as the outside bar that opens up on busy weekends.

They’ve also got a kitchen serving up food, making this a place to hole up for a little while.

Barbara's at the Brewery in Lincoln Heights DTLA

Barbara’s At The Brewery

Downtown LA
Bar

620 Moulton Ave #110, 90031, Los Angeles, CA, US

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 Green Cheek, Craftsman, Mumford, Beachwood, Russian River, and much more.

No need to bring food, as this place also has a kitchen pumping out BBQ, pizzas, sandwiches, and more gastropub fare.

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Bernadette’s

Downtown LA
Bar

361 S. Broadway Los Angeles, California 90013

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.

Boomtown Brewery

Downtown LA
Brewery

700 Jackson St, 90012, Los Angeles, CA, US

Boomtown Brewery is tucked along the edge of the DTLA Arts District and has been serving up their beers in their taproom for the past couple years, and been brewing them in their production facility for even longer.

Their taplist boasts a variety of styles from their Mic Czech Pils, to their After Hours Oatmeal Stout, to their special artist series Hazy IPAs.

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. They’ve also got frequent food trucks, DJs, and a large private event space.

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Buzz Wine Beer Shop

Downtown LA
Bar

460 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90013, United States

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.

Dry River Brewing

Downtown LA
Brewery

671 S Anderson St, 90023, Los Angeles, CA, US

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 focuses on wild ales, fermented and conditioned in one of their several wood fodors or dozens of oak barrels.

Their taproom is located just steps away from Indie Brewing in Boyle Heights and is incredibly unique, adorned with rustic metal and wood everywhere, giving off the feel of a 1800s-era inventor’s lab.

The Eight Bar

Downtown LA
Bar

788 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90017

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.

Far Bar in Little Tokyo

Far Bar

Downtown LA
Bar

347 E 1st St, 90012, Los Angeles, CA, US

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 alleyway back patio.

Far Bar has been known to host great events including tap takeovers with breweries from across the world, but has gone relatively quiet recently with the departure of some of their beer buyers.

Still, they continue to get good beer and it is one of the more unique places to grab beer in LA.

First Draft Taproom & Kitchen

Downtown LA
Bar

1230 S. Olive St., 90015, Los Angeles, CA, US

First Draft is a big pour-it-yourself beer bar concept located on the ground floor of the residential Wren apartment building.

Featuring over 70 taps of great local, regional, and national brews activated by the wave of a loaded card in a two story indoor-outdoor spot surrounded by TVs and accompanied by a great pub food menu, this is a great spot for anyone, anytime.

Free Play

Downtown LA
Bar

3939 S Figueroa St, 90037, Los Angeles, CA, US

Free Play is part beer bar, part vintage arcade room, part industrial gastropub sports bar and 100% awesome.

Located on the 2nd level of The Fields LA outside the Banc of California Stadium in Exposition Park, Free Play has 18 taps filled with great local stuff as well as some really rare national brews brought in by east coast transplant beer buyer, James Mhaoir.

Add to that a ridiculous food menu from Chef Tim Hollingsworth and a rotating lineup of beer events, Free Play is a great stop before and after games and anytime, really.

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The Heights Deli & Bottle Shop

Downtown LA
Bar

2927 N Broadway, 90031, Los Angeles, CA, US

The Heights Deli melds three amazing things: a casual deli with great food, 15 taps of awesome local craft beer, and about 300 bottled and canned beers for takeaway.

The sandwiches are highly rated and take inspiration from the surrounding neighborhood and the beer selection is on point.

For locals, this is a regular weekly stop, and for the rest of us, it’s a must-stop destination whenever we’re in the area.

Highland Park Brewery

Downtown LA
Brewery

1220 N Spring St, 90012, Los Angeles, CA, US

What more can we say about Highland Park Brewery? They’re firmly entrenched on our Best of LA list. They’re sitting atop our DTLA Top 10 rankings as well. Put simply, they can do no wrong.

Started in the back of The Hermosillo in Highland Park, they quickly outgrew the space and opened up a full production facility, taproom, and kitchen in early 2018.

The beer board covers everything from Hazy IPAs to crispy lagers to barrel-aged sours, the kitchen puts out a short list of hipster style pub food, they’ve got a covered patio, close proximity to the Gold Line Chinatown stop and Dodger Stadium. Basically, you want to be there all the time.

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Horse Thief BBQ

Downtown LA
Bar

324 S Hill St Los Angeles, CA 90013

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.

Imperial Western Beer Company in Union Station DTLA

Imperial Western Beer Company

Downtown LA
Brewery

800 N Alameda St, 90120, Los Angeles, CA, US

Inhabiting the historic Harvey House space in LA’s Union Station is Imperial Western Beer Company.

Brought to you by Pouring with Heart (formerly 213 Nightlife, also of Arts District Brewing fame), the space reimagines the old and blends it with the new to create a really cool space with a swanky vintage vibe.

The beers from Devon Randall and Erick Garcia hit across a variety of styles, with a handful of clean, approachable brews as well as some that are more quaffable and complex.

And like any good Cedd Moses bar, it’s got a very cool speakeasy-style cocktail bar in the back. Great stop coming in or out of Union Station or for any reason, really.

Indie Brewing Company

Downtown LA
Brewery

2350 Sunrise Street, C-100, 90023, Los Angeles, CA, US

Located just steps from Dry River in Boyle Heights is Indie Brewing Co. These guys have been putting out great beer for several years now, from their Del Rey IPA, Pacific Kolsch Highway, or any of their special release Hazy IPAs.

The brewery and taproom is housed in a large warehouse space and frequently hosts food vendors, live music, comedy, open mics, yoga, and more.

It’s a must-stop for us when we’re cruising along the east part of LA heading in or out of Downtown.

Karl-Strauss-Brewing-best-beer-spots-downtown-los-angeles

Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Downtown LA
Brewery

600 Wilshire Blvd #100, 90017, Los Angeles, CA, US

Karl Strauss brings their polished and refined brewpub model from San Diego up to the heart of DTLA’s Financial District, providing a great space for business lunches, after-work happy hours, late-night stops off the Metro Red Line 7th St station, and any craft beer enthusiast that wants a solid meal with solid beers.

Expect Karl’s lineup of core beers alongside a bunch of their small-batch releases that you’ve never even heard of before. Plus a gastropub-style food menu that is pretty damn great.

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Little Bear

Downtown LA
Bar

1855 Industrial St, Los Angeles, CA 90021, United States

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.

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Melody Lounge

Downtown LA
Bar

939 N Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

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.

Mikkeller Bar in DTLA

Mikkeller Bar DTLA

Downtown LA
Bar

330 W Olympic Blvd, 90015, Los Angeles, CA, US

Mikkeller continues their run of awesome beer bars with their DTLA location, housed in a former Discount Tire Center and 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.

Their kitchen puts out a great food menu, they do special events with really rare out of town and international breweries, and they have a daytime coffee shop with sandwiches, beer on tap, and beer to go.

Great addition to South Park right near Staples Center.

Modern Times DTLA Dankness Dojo

Downtown LA
Brewery

832 S Olive St Los Angeles, California 90014

Modern Times opened up their first brewpub location, the Dankness Dojo just a block away from Mikkeller, making it a great one-two punch in your DTLA beer travels.

If you already know Modern Times well, this location gives you more of the same. If you don’t, well then expect an all-vegan pub food menu, a lineup of house-roasted coffee, and some of the best Hazy IPAs, fruited sours, and barrel-aged pastry stouts in the game, all housed in a long narrow space with decor reminiscent of an acid trip pop art gallery. Highly recommended.

Mumford Brewing

Downtown LA
Brewery

416 Boyd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Mumford Brewing came out of the gates strong in 2015 and has only gotten better over time.

Their brewery and taproom is located in a somewhat sketchy spot where Little Tokyo, Skid Row, and the Arts District collide and has a clean and minimalist vibe. You can’t go wrong with most anything on the beer list, from clean and crisp lagers, some of the best Hazy and West Coast IPAs in the city, and some boozy and decadent stouts.

Look out for their can releases which occur at least once a month or so, and stay tuned for new locations to open in the Arts District and in Glendale.

Spring Street Bar

Downtown LA
Bar

626 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90014, United States

After a takeover by the Artisanal Brewers Collective in 2018, Spring Street’s beer program has gotten even better, with 26 taps of local, regional, and some national craft beer. They’ve also increased their focus on beer events and are still well-known for their food menu, slinging sandwiches that you just gotta try for yourself.

Located smack dab in the middle of Downtown, this is a convenient stop for locals and a great opportunity to fuel up while traversing the city.

Weird Beers in Downtown Los Angeles

Weird Beers

Downtown LA
Bottle Shop

213 W 7th St, 90014, Los Angeles, CA, US

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.

Wurstküche DTLA

Downtown LA
Bar

800 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Ok not exactly craft beer, but Wurstküche has been holding it down in the Arts District for awhile now. This German style beer hall is know for their diverse taplist of German beers and exotic sausages in their open plan communal seating casual space. It’s worth a look, plus it’s right next to Angel City, so you can get two for the price of one!

House of Xelas in Boyle Heights

Xelas

Downtown LA
Bar

1846 E 1st St, 90033, Los Angeles, CA, US

House of Xelas is an LA & Baja California inspired beer bar and music venue located in Boyle Heights from the owners of Craft Beer Cellar Eagle Rock. They’ve got a number of craft beers on tap with some Mexican and Mexican-inspired options mixed in.

While it is technically a beer bar, it does have a house party dance vibe on the evenings so prepare yourself accordingly.

Have you been to any of these places mentioned above? Did we miss a good beer spot along the way here? Whatever the case, join the convo in the comments below or over on Instagram @HoppedLA.

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