In reporting on the Los Angeles beer scene, I have seen that when the first brewery opens in a town/neighborhood, it’s likely that more breweries are waiting in the wings.
When Burnin Daylight Brewery opened in Lomita, I knew that it was a matter of time before brewery #2 opened. Recently, a mere five minute drive away, that happened on Pacific Coast Highway.
Granted, the stretch of PCH that Project Barley opened on is neither Coast nor Highway, but that should not stop you from visiting this newcomer to the Los Angeles brewing scene.
Walk inside and find Project Barley’s smallish brewing set-up past the bar. The next thing you may notice are the seats that (when the windows are open) give you both the sights and sounds of the city before you. Or you may notice the corner where a small stage is set for local music.
This space has a Central Perk type vibe (substituting picnic tables for couches) and a nice mix of beer styles in their initial run. IPA is available in traditional West Coast style with the Neverland IPA, which was my favorite of my extended taster tray. Or you can go hazy with their Marine Layer IPA. Guests can try a kettle sour, milk stout or witbier as well. They also have a cream ale and Mexican Lager. Even with a small number of taps, they manage to cover quite a few styles.
Los Angeles may be insanely large, but when you drill down to the local level, it’s possible to find good local beer practically anywhere.
IPAs and barrel-aged beers get the most press for Russian River Brewing, but fans have increased for their STS Pils and I believe another lighter beer will start getting more press. Velvet Glow is a Helles lager “an homage to an old Grace Brother’s Brewing beer brewed right here in Santa Rosa!” according to the brewery. This is the second Grace Brother’s beer revival, the first being Happy Hops.
If you did not put last week’s Brew & You event on your calendar, consider yourself lucky. Another Long Beach event featuring California breweries is ready to attend. Long Beach Beer Lab will be hosting a series of CA Unity Regional Tap Takeovers. Each night from September 12-14, they plan to feature a different a California region. NorCal, Central and SoCal will get their nights along with special collaborations on draft.
If you need further evidence to attend, then check out who is coming down:
- NorCal: Rare Barrel, Moksa, Moonraker, Claimstake, Flatland Brewing and Fieldwork
- Central Cal: Alvarado Street, Central Coast Brewing, Topa Topa, Dionysus, Casa Agria and Yeast of Eden
- SoCal: Pure Project, Coachella Valley Brewing, Good Beer, Highland Park Brewing, Cellador, RIIP, Societe, Wild Barrel and Bottle Logic
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.