The Consummate Connoisseur: The New Gold Rush

The complex balance of hops, malted barley, yeast, and assorted flavorings is a simple science, but local artisans are raising the bar on beer craftsmanship

The Consummate Connoisseur: The New Gold Rush
August 7, 2015

A few dozen microbreweries based in Los Angeles are boldly pushing the craft beer movement forward in inspiring ways. They’ve helped boost the local economy with the launch of ancillary businesses that run the gamut from gastropubs to drinking clubs, tasting events and specialized brewery tours aimed at locals and visitors. With that in mind, here’s a taste of seven craft brewers whose approaches to beer making and consumer outreach has helped shape homegrown beer culture.

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The Dudes’ Brewing Company

From 2009 forward, Toby Humes and wife Maegen were regulars in the LA-area craft beer tasting and dinner circuit. However, the inspiration to take the passion further in early 2011 led to a conversation with a representative from Stone Brewing. This launched a search for investors and a meeting with a craft brewer Jeff Parker, who shared his vision for creating the ultimate expression of craft beers, a brewing environment and tasting room with an unquestionable Southern California feel and flavor.

Established 2011
Leadership Toby Humes, Founder, and Jeff Parker, Head Brewer
Signature Suds Uncle Toby’s Pale Ale, Double Trunk DIPA, Grandma’s Pecan Brown, South Bay Session IPA, Grinning Face Coconut Porter, Blood Orange Nitro
Tap Room Hours & Info Th & F: 3-10pm; Sa & Su: 12-10pm; Beers are poured from one of 13 tap handles fueled by their 3.5-barrel pilot system. Food can be brought in or purchased from nearby food trucks.
Location 1840 W. 208th St., Torrance, CA 90501
Contact 424/271.2915
/ thedudesbrew.com

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Founders Jeremy Raub (far left), Ting su (second from eft), Steven (second from right)

Eagle Rock Brewing Company

Eagle Rock has the distinction of being the first microbrewery to open in the city of Los Angeles in more than 60 years. The family-owned outfit has paved the way for other craft breweries to follow through their public campaigns to hold on to their city licenses and keep their firm moving forward. In late 2014, they opened up their new Public House in Pasadena, with menu by Ting’s chef brother Jerry Su.

Established 2009
Leadership Founders Jeremy Raub, wife Ting Su, and Steven Raub.
Tap Room Hours & Info In their “Beer for the People” spirit, brew house tours are offered free of charge Saturdays and Sundays at 3 pm, with no reservations needed. The tasting room is open W–F, 4-10pm; Sa, 12-10pm; Su, 12-8pm. Food trucks are available nearby, and food brought from home is also welcome.
Signature Suds Solidarity Black Mild Ale, Manifesto Wit Bier, Revolution Extra Pale Ale, Populist IPA
Location 3056 Roswell St., Los Angeles, CA 90065
Contact 323/257.7866
/ eaglerockbrewery.com; eaglerockpublichouse.com

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Fireman’s Brew

Veteran Los Angeles-based firefighter Rob Nowaczyk had a spark of inspiration after extinguishing a brush fire in the local mountains: A vision for a premium line of ales and lagers designed to quench a beer-lover’s thirst after an exhausting day of “putting out fires,” figuratively or literally. The company is also “hot” because of its philanthropic efforts for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

Established  2012
Leadership Rob Nowaczyk, founder, and Roger Baer, CEO
Signature Suds Fireman’s Brew Blonde (pilsner-style lager); Fireman’s Brew Brunette (German-style double bock); Fireman’s Brew Redhead (amber ale)
Location 20954 Osborne St., Canoga Park, CA 91304
/ firemansbrew.com

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Golden Road

Inspired by San Francisco’s craft beer explosion, Meg Gill and Tony Yanow decided to make their mark in LA with a core collection of craft beers as well as rotating seasonal and limited-edition beers using eco-friendly production methods and practices. In 2014, they produced 30,000 barrels and have grown triple digits each year in existence. Philanthropic partnerships include Heal the Bay IPA, benefiting Heal the Bay, and 2020 IPA, benefiting LA River Revitalization Corporation and its Greenway 2020 project.

Established 2011
Leadership Meg Gill and Tony Yanow
Tap Room Hours & Info Free tours are available F–Su at 1:30, 2:30 and 4:30pm, and guests can spring another $10 for a guided tasting. By late 2015, a second brewery and pub in Anaheim will open, along with a presence in Downtown LA by the end of 2015. Tap room/restaurant hours are M–Tu, 11am–midnight; W–F, 11am-2pm; Sa 10am-2pm; Su, 10am-midnight.
Signature Suds Point the Way IPA, Golden Road Hefeweizen, Get Up Offa That Brown, 329 Lager, Wolf Among Weeds IPA
Location 5410 W. San Fernando Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90039
Contact 213/373.4677
/ goldenroad.la

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Ladyface Ale Companie

During her time as a stay-at-home mom, Cyrena Nouzille cultivated her brewing skills and knowledge of different beer styles. With Griffiths and a hand-curated team, Ladyface is now known for their award-winning Belgian, French, and American style ales. Ladyface is also noteworthy for supporting local charities and schools, including the Foundation for Las Virgenes Schools, Casa Pacifica Center for Children and Families, the Child Development Institute, and Reyes Adobe Historical Site and Park.

Established 2009
Leadership Cyrena Nouzille, co-founder; David Griffiths, brewmaster
Tap Room Hours & Info  Free brewery tours are staged quarterly (refer to ladyfaceale.com for dates), and private tours for groups of 4 or more at $5/person can be arranged in advance.
Signature Suds Year-round: La Blonde, La Grisette, Blind Ambition Abbey Ale, Trois Filles Tripel, Seasonal: La Trappistine®, Belgian Dark Strong Ale, Blue-Belly Barleywine and Dérailleur® Bière-de-Garde
Location 29281 Agoura Rd., Agoura Hills, CA 91301
Contact 818/477.4566
/ ladyfaceale.com

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