This brew's for you: We've rounded up nine of our favorite beer bars for all of your sipping needs, from hoppy local brews to classic pints of Guinness. Here's what's on tap.
① Verdugo Bar, Glassell Park
Ryan Sweeney, the guy behind three beer-centric bars, including this dive-y gem, is the guru of all things brewed and bottled. There are 22 craft choices on tap, ranging from a proper stout (from a nitro tap, bien sûr) to rare cask ales and downright funky sours. Forgo a seat at the dimly lit bar and head to the back outdoor tables, where you might find an occasional beer pong game happening. The alfresco patio also sets the stage for live DJ sets and pig roasts. And for your own backyard barbecue, there are 50-plus bottles on the to-go menu.
② Beer Belly, Koreatown
Amidst the Kpop coffee shops and dingy dive bars, Beer Belly is an oasis of suds and stoner foods (à la deep-fried Oreos and Twinkies, $5, and cracklings-topped duck-fat fries, $7). The beer list is condensed to a dozen on tap, but still impressive with mostly local sours, saisons, stouts and the like. Geek out on the list of barrel-aged beers and get schooled on local suds at monthly One Night Stand nights, where you can sample seven to 12 pours from California breweries.
③ Tony's Darts Away, Burbank
If there's one watering hole where you can feel righteous, this is it. Locavores can feel good about the 38 beers on tap, all California brewed, at this zero-waste bar. The glass program is straight-up enlightening: Each IPA, lager, Tripel or Brandywine gets its proper pint, tulip, goblet or snifter. And pint glasses are scaled to make room for a frothy head and cold spritzed for a clean, cold pour.
④ Golden Road Brewing, Atwater Village
This brewery, bar and biergarten is a beer lover's playground housed on an industrial strip. Inside the lofty warehouse, groups crowd around a cluster of tables on the deck over pints brewed a few feet away. Start with an easy-drinking Hefeweizen ($5) or tequila barrel-aged El Hefe Añejo Hefeweizen ($8), then graduate on to a chocolate-dense Russian Imperial Stout ($6). IPA lovers can get their fix on a hop-heavy rotation of beers and an IPA flight trio. To up the fun: a photo booth, foosball, corn hole and life-size Jenga. There's even a speakeasy, Chloe's—a private hangout for special events and invite-only brewers' suppers.
⑤ Ladyface Alehouse, Agoura Hills
Ladyface may be under the radar—it's far-flung in Agoura Hills—but it's at the top of our list. Make the trek to this bar/tasting room for 16 ales on tap and a monthly-changing cask poured by the glass, pitcher and growler. But we suggest 5-ounce taster servings to sample the standby and seasonal ales. Better yet, go for the eight-beer flight that takes you through refreshing La Blonde to coffee-hearty porter. The alehouse also doubles as a brasserie with a lunch and dinner menu of moules frites ($13), croque monsieurs ($9) and the like.
⑥ Beachwood BBQ and Brewing, Long Beach
This spot puts out a whopping 36 taps of house brews from easy-sipping Kölsch ($6) to malty British dark ale ($5.50) with seasonal drafts in rotation. There are more than 50 bottles on hand. The theme at this Promenade-adjacent spot is beachside casual, so stake out a seat in the sun on the outdoor patio with an order of R-I-B-S ($18).
⑦ Father's Office, Santa Monica and Culver City
Sang Yoon's pioneering gastropub is still a favorite with Westside locals craving a burger and a brew. The bar food is just as elevated as the beer: Old and New World pours forgo the usual hopped-up California brews for taste-forward beers that effortlessly pair with that no substitution, no ketchup burger. The menu keeps it simple, divided into Malty, Hoppy, Yeasty/Spicy, and Fruity/Herbaceous at the Santa Monica original; Helms Bakery's Father's Office 2.0 offers 40 draft and 30 bottled beers.
⑧ Little Bear, Downtown
This Arts District pub tips its hat to Belgian brews. Ryan Sweeney picks 17 drafts and 50 bottled brews for the Downtown crowd looking for nostalgia and hard-to-find saisons, Tripels and dubbels. Don't let the extensive European list intimidate; barkeeps are happy to help and won't shame novices.
⑨ The Pikey, Hollywood
For the times when you just need a good ol' can of Boddingtons or a proper Guinness, the Pikey is our go-to. The British-themed boys' club carries around 50 pub favorites and, with its ex-Spotted Pig chef, grub to match—the thrice-cooked chips ($6) may be the best this side of the pond.
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