Technically, Hand-Brewed Beer debuted over two years ago. While co-founders Brian Hand, Anthony Castaneda, and Will Caplenor distributed kegs to San Fernando Valley bars, it took until this September to debut a tasting room in their Chatsworth industrial park locale. Now, you can find 12 taps behind a cinder block facade and bar with corrugated metal front.
I drank 5-ounce tasters ($3 each) of Chatsworth Chai Stout and Deez Nuts brown ale, which name checks a Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg song from “The Chronic.” Encino IPA was the beer that impressed me most, brewed with orange peel and white oak. As Hand explained, “Encino translates to oak. White Oak is a street that passes through Encino. It’s one of those no brainers of making a beer name.” Thankfully, the fun story didn’t stop with the name, as the hop-backed IPA balanced bright acidity with earth tones.