At the start of each year, I like to feature L.A. breweries that could/should open in the near future as well as those breweries that opened recently and started their brewing journey. This year we start and finish in Whittier with a brewery in each of those two categories.
At the end of December, Poet Gardens soft opened in Nixon Plaza with partial food offerings but importantly Whittier Brewing Co. was online and pouring beer. This food hall with brewery concept from Ricardo Diaz, John Kennedy and Edgar Hernandez will be pouring beers to pair with the surrounding food.
All Season Brewing Company is brewery #3 behind siblings Arts District Brewing and Imperial Western Beer and like the latter, this new brewery will have an iconic L.A. piece of architecture to call home. Chicas Tacos will join them in the Firestone Tire Building on La Brea. Devon Randall will oversee the beers at this renovated space.
The Brews Hall in Torrance houses both George Lopez and Colin Cowherd and contains two beer brands in one location. Comedy to sportscasting with George Lopez Brewing and Buzzrock Brewing. The former will put a Mexican spin on craft with beers like the Ta Loco IPA or the Paloma IPA while the latter will cover the gamut with plenty of IPAs on tap.
The second location for Scholb Premium Ales also opened recently, branching out from their main site in Torrance to a spot on 4th Street in Long Beach neighborhood called Retro Row where they have their own beer plus guest taps and wine in a gastropub environment.
La Bodega Brewing Company received city planning approval late in 2019 and is planning a 2020 opening to add to the craft beer in Whittier. The Tapia Brothers, Erik and Raul, who will be turning a former optometrist’s office into a brewery headed by brewer Abraham Mercado.
The final brewery on this year’s list will not just be a brewery; it will also have cider in an atmosphere that will try to re-create a backyard Los Angeles barbecue. Benny Boy Brewing will be planted on the Eastside and will eventually be bringing solid Belgian beers as well as the cider. This one is an ambitious project, but I hope they are able to open up this year.
The Non-IPA Beer of the Week has been 40 years in the making. Sierra Nevada has led the hop way starting with the iconic Pale Ale all the way through the current fan favorite Hazy Little Thing. For the 40th Anniversary the brewery is highlighting “the bold flavors and aromas of a classic West Coast IPA: intense pine and citrus with a deep gold color and slight caramel sweetness.” This year’s Celebration Fresh Hop IPA was really good and I expect this beer to match or exceed that one.
For the first 2020 event, I am reaching into next month so that you can plan ahead for a trip to Oceanside and Bagby Beer Co. for the 11th version of the beer fest known as Brewbies. 100% of the net profits from this festival benefits the Keep A Breast Foundation, “an organization dedicated to empowering young people around the world with breast health education and support.”
Beer flows on Saturday, February 8, and “for the third consecutive year, Brewbies will host more than 50 breweries for its famous Pink Beer Competition, in which favorite brewers such as Pizza Port, Sierra Nevada and Eagle Rock Brewing compete to create the best pink beer, made specifically for Brewbies.” Advance sale tickets for Brewbies are $49, but since this is for a good cause, an even a higher price is worth it.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.