10 Top Craft Beer Destinations in Downtown Los Angeles

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Government Building Los Angeles

Los Angeles City Hall casts a historic shadow over DTLA, home to a craft beer boom.

When you think of drinking in downtown L.A., you may not think beer at first. However, thanks to help from efforts like the Beer Chicks and their annual Downtown Beer Crawl, along with the return of Angel City Brewery, craft beer is on the menu alongside cocktails and wine from the Music Center to the Arts District and Staples Center.

View Craft Beer Downtown Los Angeles in a larger map

Numbered establishments on the map correspond to information below for easy reference. Establishments also appear in alphabetical order instead of in order of preference. The list breaks down into two camps: one for nights when you just want beer and the other for when you would like to practice the art of pairing food and beer.

Beer Only

10. Angel City Brewery

Alan Newman and team have revived this large space in the Arts District into an Art Deco beer palace. The beer list is growing in addition to the initial Eureka Wit and Angeleno IPA. If you can find the pilsner, I recommend you try it.

9. Buzz Wine and Beer

This shop has an impressive collection of bottles and cans in the cooler to the left as you enter. But if you head back to the bar, you will also find some taps where you can order a flight.

8. Golden Gopher

Part of the Cedd Moses’ 213 Nightlife empire and the only one with what looks like a coat check, turned into a bottle shop! You can peruse the bottles and then head to the bar to try some local brews.

7. Casey’s Irish Bar

Another 213’ified bar where you can get a perfect pour of Guinness as well as Kilkenny, Smithwick’s and Bass, plus 5 rotating taps. You can also get some old school beer “concoctions” like the Black and Tan and Snakebite.

6. Melody Lounge

This is a new entrant to the downtown / Chinatown scene. So new that I have yet to visit! But every neighborhood needs its own spot, and this had the possibility to spread the reach of craft beer north of the 101 freeway. Especially if they keep tapping beers like Great Divide Oatmeal Yeti or Smog City Brewing Groundwork Coffee Porter.



Sean Inman

Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.

Blog Comments

I believe The Spice Table closed as of January 1st, 2014. The building it was located in is being demolished to make way for the Metro Subway. 🙁

Mallory, sadly, you’re correct. The Spice Table was one of my favorite restaurants. Thankfully, the owners are opening another Southeast Asian restaurant in Santa Monica this summer. I’ll mark The Spice Table as closed on this story.

[…] for Craft Beer” series returns with a survey of the South Bay.  Previously, I took a look at Downtown LA and at the Hollywood area.  As a travel guide for those who either are new to Los Angeles or […]

My only addition/suggestion would be Buzz Wine Beer; admittedly, more of a beer/wine shop with a tasting room in the back — but their drafts (and occasional bottles) always got some interesting & curiosity-inducing selections. Most recently I found myself enjoying Abita’s Mayhawk there.

H.C., Buzz actually grabbed the 9 slot, though they apparently didn’t appreciate being included.

ha, my fault – I guess I glazed over the spot between Golden Gopher & Angel City (both of which I don’t really care for beer-wise, though I haven’t returned to the latter since they had the makeover.)


I did indeed use Google to find the website links for the above list. And no, I do not consider myself a journalist. I hold too much esteem for those who practice that art.

But I have been to every spot on the list except for Spice Table. (I have been inside and looked around and I have had Bryant’s food at festival’s.)

I happen to like Smithwick’s and Guinness and I like the atmosphere inside Casey’s which is why it earned a spot for me.

As with all lists, I heartily welcome other suggestions.

Casey’s Irish Bar?? Since when is Guinness, Kilkenny, Smithwick’s and Bass considered “craft beer” – maybe I’m missing something?

Google-Journalism at its best.

Sean writes great stuff. Great job Sean! Keep them coming.

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