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Beer Tourism: Los Angeles Style
Tasting one of the great beers of the world.

Pliny the Elder

I’ve mentioned in this column before that when I travel my trips include plenty of beer-centric stops. My excursion to Los Angeles, more specifically Echo Park, last week included plenty of options. 

Here are the highlights:



Golden Road Brewery is in a warehouse district of Glendale. Plenty of open air seating and more than a dozen Golden Road brews on the menu are a fine combination. The Better Weather IPA was a standout among the many options.

Mohawk Bend is in the heart of Echo Park, a funky hipster ’hood with plenty of good bars and restaurants. The converted theater sits on Sunset Boulevard and has a tap list of more than 70 beers. The wide selection is nice, but the standout is definitely Pliny the Elder (see below).

El Prado is a dark, narrow and cozy bar that has earned a spot on Draft Magazine’s top 100 beer bars list. The spot only has eight taps, but each one is well thought out and delicious. The best was easily the El Segundo Hop Tanker IIPA, a slightly malty and citrusy treat.



Coronado 17th Anniversary IIPA. A delicious balance of citrusy hops and malt.

Golden Road Better Weather IIPA. Slightly sweet but with a nice dose of fruity hop bitterness. Simply delicious. 

Kinetic Brewing Citrafuge APA. A sessionable pale ale with mild hop bitterness and low ABV, which is perfect for a warm sunny California day.

Russian River Pliny the Elder. See below.

Smog City Groundwork Coffee Porter. A rich coffee and dark chocolate sipper. 

Smog City L.A. Saison. A nice crisp and dry farmhouse ale.


Barley Pop of the Week

I tried Pliny the Elder in a bottle once, and finally got a chance to try it on tap at Mohawk Bend. The double IPA lives up to its billing as one of the best beers in world. It’s bitter but balanced and blends big pine and citrus flavors. The delicious brew was made better by the fact that I enjoyed it sitting outside on a sunny 80-degree day.


Quick Taps

Sunset Beer Company, a beer store in Echo Park, has a great beer selection, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that its shelves included Lakefront Fuel Cafe and Bridge Burner. 

There’s a great selection of brews on the West Coast, but my trip made me realize that we’ve got it pretty good in the Midwest. We’re just a day’s drive to top-notch breweries like Founders, Bell’s, New Glarus, Three Floyds, Central Waters and many more. 


Events Brewing

Thursday, Nov. 7: The women beer aficionados in Barley’s Angels meet up at the Miller Caves (4251 W. State St.) to sample Big Eddy beers. The fun starts at 6 p.m. and costs $5. Space is limited, so make a reservation.

Thursday, Nov. 7: Head to the Rumpus Room (1030 N. Water St.) for beer dinner featuring deliciousness from Founders Brewing. The tasting starts at 7 p.m. and costs a mere $55. Call 414-292-0100 to make a reservation. 

Friday, Nov. 8: Grays Brewing is handing out samples from 4 to 7 p.m. at Discount Liquor Milwaukee (5031 W. Oklahoma Ave.)

Friday, Nov. 8: Romans’ Pub (3475 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.) taps an unfiltered, unpasteurized Pilsner Urquell keg. It’s fresh and straight from the brewery. The libations start at 5 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 9: IPAs are the samples du jour at Three Cellars (7133 S. 76th St.) from 1 to 4 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 9: Grays brings its brews to Discount Liquor Waukesha (919 N. Barstow Ave.) from 4 to 7 p.m.

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