Where to Find LA's Award-Winning Brews From the Great American Beer Festival
The 2017 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) held yet another successful event in Denver in early October. Since 1982, the showcase has put the country’s top breweries at center stage, giving out honors for best-in-class beers for every style.
While it hasn’t always been a haven for beer, the Greater Los Angeles area has come into its own in recent years, and has reaped the rewards at GABF. This year’s edition was no different, with 11 different breweries from Los Angeles County and Orange County taking home awards. So where can you find LA’s top suds? Here is a neighborhood-by-neighborhood breakdown of each award-winning brewery:
Brewery: Ohana Brewing Co.
Beer: Spa Water Saison
Ohana’s brewery is in Los Angeles, but its tasting room can be found in a doctor’s office-looking shop right around the corner from 38 Degrees Alehouse & Grill. Swing in for a flight of their staple beers, or take a peek at some of their more daring endeavors like this cucumber-flavored brew.
Brewery: Bruery Terreux
Beer: Train to Beersel
Bruery Terreux, the brewer’s second label, is dedicated only to farmhouse style and sour ales. But you’ll still find some of your favorites from the original brewery on tap at the spacious tasting room. Train to Beersel is a traditional lambic, but aged in a couple different wine barrels.
Brewery: Three Weavers Brewing Co.
Just two miles from the Forum is Three Weavers, who have been cranking out quality beers at a rapid pace in recent years. Seafarer is their highly drinkable German Kolsch, and they have a pretty steady collection of hoppier selections as well.
Brewery: Beachwood BBQ & Brewing
Beer: Hoppa Emeritus
Brewery: Beachwood Blendery
Beer: Dia de los Mangos
Beachwood BBQ and Beachwood Blendery are located just steps away from one another in Downtown Long Beach. Your best bet is to head to the former for food and drinks, then cap off the trip with some sours at the latter. Both locations sell bottles of some of their regular selections, and you’ll find the atmosphere different enough from location to location that each deserves its own individual praise.
Brewery: Stereo Brewing Co.
Beer: Wall of Sound
Stereo hasn’t been around that long, though the beer comes with quite the pedigree. With both the Bruery (main tasting room) and Stereo in Placentia, along with top-notch bottle shop Mr. K’s Liquor, the town’s quickly becoming a beer hotspot. You’ll find Stereo four miles from the Bruery -- a not-too-far jaunt from the California State 91 freeway.
Brewery: Sanctum Brewing Co.
Before you get to Ontario on the 10, you’ll arrive in Pomona. Sanctum’s location may look inconspicuous as it’s in an industrial area, but it’s home to some of the best beer in that part of LA. You won’t find many of the basics on draft there. Instead, Sanctum prefers to be a bit more daring with its selections. More adventurous drinkers will love their selection of fruit-infused ales and chai-spiced blondes.
Brewery: Artifex Brewing Co.
Brewery: Oggi’s Sports Brewhouse Pizza
Beer: McGarveys Scottish Ale
Beach living almost demands great beer to accompany the view, and at Oggi’s you can add pizza to that equation. Swing by either brewery (or both) while taking in San Clemente’s ocean breezes. Artifex utilizes an indoor/outdoor space with a patio, and food trucks are consistently found outside.
Brewery: HopSaint Brewing Co.
Beer: Pure Intention Pale Ale
Next to an unassuming strip mall (and nearly in Redondo Beach) is HopSaint and its array of well-executed beer styles, creative comfort food, and a bar filled with televisions. Pure Intention is on tap fairly consistently and has quickly become a local favorite. Their hoppy ales get the headlines, but you’ll find excellent dark beers as well. HopSaint also cultivates an impressive guest tap list, featuring some of the region’s top selections as well.