Highland Park Brewery
As the weather warms up, there’s no better time to be drinking outside in LA than right now. Well, OK, correction: LA’s a pretty great place to be drinking outside every month of the year, so that makes it even more critical to know which breweries have outdoor seating for you and your multiple flights of sours. Here are 12 of our favorite breweries open for outdoor drinking right now.
Chinatown spot Highland Park Brewery is one of LA’s most consistently fantastic breweries, from their excellent lighter styles, like the dry-hopped Timbo Pils and the remarkably crushable Baseball Lager, to the mega-hoppy Irresponsible TIPA. Late last year, post-pandemic lockdown, they debuted a hugely expanded new patio, which stretches along Spring Street with a view of the Dodger Stadium lights up the hill in Elysian Park.
Common Space Brewery has a pretty great patio, considering it’s in the center of a Hawthorne parking lot. Edison bulbs are strung over Astroturf and picnic tables, and they’ve got a host of beers you’re going to want to check out. They typically have around 20 beers on tap, which usually includes a bunch of traditional IPAs and lagers, plus more innovative stuff like heavily-fruited milkshake IPAs and oak-aged sours.
If you’re looking for a huge biergarten to spend the day, German-style brewery Enegren Brewing Co. in Moorpark has an incredible outdoor dining space to go with a remarkable program of lagers, helles, and pilsners. In other words, they’ve got the perfect outdoor drinking space for the perfect outdoor drinking beers.
The outdoor dining room at Brouwerij West in San Pedro is impressive for its sheer size. This Belgian(ish) brewery near the port in San Pedro has a wedding tent set up in their parking lot, with a public park’s worth of picnic tables inside.
Beachwood Brewing’s Long Beach location has both a huge, rowdy patio right in the center of downtown Long Beach, and an incredible tap list to go along with it. They have a wide range of house-made beers on tap – 24 in total – from the 28 Haze Later, which is quickly becoming a local classic, to pastry stouts, TIPAs, and some excellent West Coast IPAs. They also have nine beers from their tremendous Beachwood Blendery, which specializes in Belgian-style sours aged over fruit.
Just off Main Street in the tiny South Bay town, El Segundo Brewing Co. has an umbrella-covered patio that’s open seven days a week for outdoor drinking. ESBC hosts an impressive list that specializes in West Coast IPAs, plus a whole bunch of barrel-aged barleywines and stouts to balance out all those hops.
Homage Brewing isn’t going to be Southern California’s best-kept secret for much longer – they’re opening a Chinatown location sometime later this year. But for now, this Pomona brewery is still pretty low-key. Though it gets hot in the biergarten, set up in their parking lot, their hoppy table beers, crispy lagers, and tremendous barrel-aged saisons make it all worth it.
No, Anaheim isn’t in LA County, but Modern Times’ Orange County location is worth a trek. Leisuretown is a multi-building compound in downtown Anaheim, with a brewery, multiple outdoor dining rooms, and even a swimming pool (though there won’t be any actual swimming until the pandemic ends). You won’t go wrong with any of their O.G. beers, like Blazing Worlds, Fortunate Islands, or Fruitlands, but if you see a pastry stout on tap, those are what have given Modern Times its cult-like following. They also have beer slushies for those especially hot days.
Santa Monica Brew Works’ weekend beer garden is run out of their huge parking lot on Colorado Ave. There’s nothing you won’t like about this place, and not just because it’s the only locally-owned brewery on the Westside – it has string lights, high-top tables, and even an IPA brewed with bread from the iconic Bay Cities deli up the street.
All four of Smog City’s locations are open – including their latest location in Glendora Public Market – but the best for outdoor drinking is the Torrance original on Del Amo Blvd. Their sprawling patio has taken over much of their parking lot, and has picnic tables, Edison lights, and heat lamps, along with their excellent brews.
Indie Brewing Co. has a small-but-mighty patio in their industrial parking lot in Boyle Heights, open weekends with string lights, heat lamps, and some great food partners. Flagships like Pilsen, their dry-hopped pilsner, IPA Del Rey, and Pacific Kolsch Highway are never bad options here.
Frogtown Brewery is the only brewery in Central LA, but that’s not the only reason this spot on the LA River is crowded every night. They also have a recently-constructed, huge outdoor dining room, making it an ideal spot to catch up with friends. Their Bock, Paper, Scissors is one of the best bocks around, and their West Coast-style IPAs are consistently good.