March 17, 2021

Sipping Beer at DTLA’s Best Craft Breweries

There are so many breweries in Downtown Los Angeles now, you’ll have to do at least two different beer crawls to catch them all. Small and large local beer makers are brewing every style imaginable, from the lightest of blonde ales and pilsners to hazy IPA, funky sours and heady oatmeal stouts. It’s truly something for everyone.

While pandemic mandates are still in flux, most breweries can only serve beer inside (no bar seating) and only with food for now. The good news: If the place doesn’t have a kitchen, there’s at least a food truck on premises to keep you full. We can never really have too many beer gardens, anyway. Even better news: All of these breweries have beer to go, in cans, bottles or growlers. Here’s where to sip and swill the best in DTLA.

Photo courtesy Highland Park Brewery

Highland Park Brewery

On the outskirts of Chinatown, HPB is known for its wide array of beers, from crisp lagers to heady stouts and some funky fermented sips. Having a view of the Los Angeles State Historic Park (some still call it The Cornfields) from the outdoor pet-friendly patio is a nice touch. Plus, there are tater tots on the food menu. What more do you need?

WHAT TO DRINK: Más Chingona, which means “badass,” a seasonal beer that benefits the Pink Boots Society, an organization for women beer professionals. This hazy IPA has a big waft of coconut and tropical flavors.

Photo courtesy Angel City Brewery

Angel City Brewery

The sprawling Arts District brewery has a fantastic outdoor beer garden for all your hop-loving needs. Tacos come via Downtown Taco Company, tables are spaced well apart, and you can always grab a few cans to go. The best part about drinking in person is the larger selection of beers.

WHAT TO DRINK: Brass Monkey, just like its namesake, is a little funky malt-liquor brewed with Mandarin orange peel, leaving this beer boozy, lightly citrusy and way too easy to drink.

Photo courtesy Boomtown Brewery

Boomtown Brewing

Representative of its out-of-the-way Arts District location, Boomtown celebrates the neighborhood, downtown L.A., and everything beer. The full-flavored beers are made with integrity, there’s usually work by local artists around the walls (when you can go inside), and enough outdoor tables and vibe to call it a veritable garden. 

WHAT TO DRINK: Ingenue, a light white Belgian pilsner that’s lightly hopped. It has a nice creamy body yet finishes clean and dry.

Mumford Brewing

This microbrewery and tap room, run by two brothers Peter and Todd Mumford, grew out of a love of home brewing. The space isn’t open for on-site consumption for now, but you can always order online and grab a few crowlers or cans for the road. There are some wildly inventive offerings, from barleywine to an imperial stout scented with hazelnuts and sesame seed.

WHAT TO DRINK: Rolling Blackout, an American stout with coffee and vanilla that’s like a hopped up latte. Sold in cans only.

Photo courtesy Hi-Def Brewing

HiDef Brewing

This South Park microbrewery is overseen by veteran brewers and beer lovers, with just enough variety on tap to warrant a sampler. There’s a beer garden tucked in between buildings, and a few sidewalk tables in front.

WHAT TO DRINK: Resonance, a spicy rye IPA that has just a hint of orange, passion fruit and apricot.

Indie Brewing Company

Just east of the Los Angeles River, this laidback outfit was started by four guys from “normal” jobs who met through their love of home brewing. Indie is the beer lover’s tap room, the kind of place you could show up for trivia night, see a band, or just grab a brew and talk shop with one of the owners. Grab a seat outdoors or order cans to go.

WHAT TO DRINK: Breaking Light, a sour beer that sparkles with tart Meyer lemon and fruity peach flavors.

Photo courtesy Arts District Brewing Co.

Arts District Brewing Company

This 15-barrel brewhouse has an Astroturf-lined, covered beer garden in the adjacent parking lot, complete with numerous picnic tables and heat lamps. The brewers craft a variety of styles from wheat ales to stouts to IPAs, all of which are on offer for sipping there or taking to go. Food includes bar bites like burgers, chicken tenders and quesadillas — just the kind of thing you want to eat with a pint or two.

WHAT TO DRINK: New Rules, a hazy IPA with hints of green melon and pineapple.

Featured photo courtesy Highland Park Brewery