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.
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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.
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 Groundwork Coffee Porter.