Where to Enjoy Craft Beer Instead of Champagne This New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles can be a mixed bag. There are the clubs in Hollywood of course, and you can always slide into 2013 wrapped in some high-backed booth at an old-school Beverly Hills Italian joint. But where is the common man to go? And what to drink when you get there?
Thankfully, Los Angeles has come a long way since the days of black tie hotel parties and champagne-only fetes. There are more craft beer options for New Year’s this year than ever before. And to show us all the love, some of the city’s best beer bars are opening their doors for all-night parties that focus on the brews instead of the bubble. From the beach to Burbank, there’s a craft beer New Year’s Eve party going down nearby, and you’re certainly invited.
Inside the Tony Yanow Empire
If you’re one of Tony Yanow’s growing hordes of supporters, you can toss him some of your hard-earned holiday money at one of his three L.A. outposts. At Golden Road Brewing in Atwater Village, $35 will get you an all-you-can-drink pass until 2am, plus you can spring for food at the bustling kitchen. If you’re itching for something a bit classier, $50 gets you into Chloe’s, the back bar that’s usually reserved for parties or beer industry folks. If you don’t plan on venturing past Echo Park, Mohawk Bend will set you back $45 for a family-style dinner and a New Year’s beer toast, complete with commemorative glass. At Tony’s namesake Darts Away in Burbank, the steeper $95 pricetag nets you unlimited drinks at a reserved indoor seat, plus a passing of appetizers and raffles all night long.
Downtown’s take on an English pub (with significantly upgraded food) manages to pull together one of the city’s best local craft beer menus. The bar is currently tapping kegs of Eagle Rock Brewery, Brouwerij West, Ladyface, Cismontane and Strand. On New Year’s the taps will be getting heavy use thanks to a 10pm - 2am party. The $30 pre-sale level gets you a drink token and some passed appetizers, or you can chance getting in on the night of for $15 and no drink token.
This no-frills craft beer spot in Glassell Park has been quietly putting together some of the best beer events of the past year, including their back patio Oktoberfest celebrations. Now you can duck the crowds and ring in 2013 with a night of your favorite local pints. There’s going to be a DJ inside, but they promise not to play bad music. And the best part? No cover, just good times.
Should you find yourself in Culver City for the night, City Tavern is your best craft beer bet. A $68 ticket gets you unlimited pours from 22 different taps and bottle beers, plus wine and champagne for anyone who wants it. If you’re looking to grab dinner, they’ll knock $10 off the ticket price.
Blue Palms Brewhouse
People about lost their mind in 2012 when Blue Palms Brewhouse was forced to temporarily shutter. The popular craft beer mega-spot is so beloved with beer fans that a movement was started and the place was saved from sinking under a bad lease. Now that the party is back on, you can ring in the new year with a $75 party package that includes unlimited beers from the tap, any entree and a commemorative glass. It’s probably the only thing that will help you remember the night.
The Surly Goat
If you’re looking for one of the more comprehensive tap lists in the city, West Hollywood’s The Surly Goat has you covered. For New Year’s, they’ll be pulling out some fancy pours to go along with their $50 price tag. While the hefty price doesn’t get you dinner or any other big perk, you can drink all night without paying another cent (selected booze and champagne as well), and you’re guaranteed to enjoy the best beers that Southern California and beyond have to offer.
Out in Santa Monica, the Library AleHouse has been spending December with a selection of strong beers. The high-ABV pours have been populating their taps for the past two weeks, and the festival ends when the year does. Thankfully, they’re going out in style, with an 8:30pm five-course dinner seating that includes vintage beer pairings and a champagne toast at midnight. If you’re just heading over for the Strong Ale Festival, you can expect everything from Lost Abbey, North Coast and Drake’s to Kulmbacher, Mikkeller and Heretic.
Here’s a thing I wrote about drinking beer tonight!
With summer beer patio sessions winding down and Oktoberfest on the horizon, it’s always nice to be able to slip a full week of drinking into the schedule. Or, rather, eleven full days, but who’s counting? Well, we are. LA Beer Week kicks off on September 20 and runs all throughout the Southland, so we’d like to enjoy every single hour we can.
Don’t think for a moment that there won’t be enough events happening around town to keep you occupied. The event organizers have teamed up with everyone from local craft brewers to Westside beer taverns, the Pasadena arm of the Stone Brewing company store and at least one Mongolian BBQ spot — and that’s just the first day. Weekend events include barrel-aged beers at City Tavern in Culver City, tap takeovers from Whittier to Calabasas, and a sour beer fun run with the folks from Firestone Walker. Basically, they’ll be pulling names out of a hat between Golden Road, Verdugo Bar, 38 Degrees, Far Bar and Blue Palms to determine where to go next on Saturday the 22nd, unloading a single barrel of their special pours at each stop.
Other sure-to-be-popular events cascading into next week include a Dogfish Head Ancient Ales Dinner, happening at Little Bear downtown. KCET already loves Little Bear and the Midas Touch ancient ale from Dogfish Head is one of the best we’ve tasted, so get your tickets now. Tony’s Darts Away in Burbank is using the LA Beer Week as an excuse to host an IPA festival from Sunday the 23rd through Friday the 28th, which overtakes (but doesn’t outshine) Cismontane Brewing’s Night Beer & Bacon happening at The York. Wowzers.
The pièce de résistance, of course, is the Sunday night unlimited tasting event, happening at downtown LA’s Union Station. Your $50 presale ticket gets you unlimited four-ounce pours from more than 70 different beer brewers. The locals are sure to be heavily represented, but fantastic international breweries like Schneider-Weisse, Affligem, Chimay and Birra Moretti will also be on hand for the fete. You can also expect plenty of food trucks and snack stations to be set up around the perimeter, making sure you spend your time — and money — wisely over the course of the four-hour event. And since it’s all happening at Union Station, public transportation is practically a must.
You can check out the full event calendar here, although more great nights of fun and beer are being added all the time. And since these great events are happening all over the land, there’s likely one right in your backyard. Not that you needed an excuse to fill up your week with beer.
For more food and drink events visit kcet.org/events/food.
L.A. BEER WEEK! L.A. BEER WEEK!
I WRITE ABOUT BEER! LET’S BE FRIENDS!
People with a predilection for the vino or bubbly, avert your eyes. Better yet, pull down the shades and stay inside for the next few days, because for the rest of us, it’s American Craft Beer Week! That’s right, a weeklong raising of glasses nationwide to celebrate those small-batch geniuses who keep us on our barstools.
You likely won’t be able to drive more than a mile or two in any direction without stumbling upon some sort of mini-celebration in accordance with American Craft Beer Week. Out east, Golden Road Brewing is turning their taps back over to some of the best beers they’ve come across in the short amount of time they’ve been open. That means rare pours, collaborations, and all sorts of madness behind the bar. Just a few miles away, Tony Yanow will be keeping himself busy at Tony’s Darts Away with a night of Firestone Walker beers. They’re driving down the coast with some out-of-stock selections that you won’t want to miss.
More centrally located, Koreatown’s Beer Belly is putting Wednesday night to good use as they host yet another leg of The Bruery’s fourth anniversary celebration. Like the previous versions from the well-known OC brewers, expect a keg of their rare Fruet to be tapped and quickly depleted. Or, if you’re headed to the beach this weekend, consider stopping off near the airport (ugh, we know) to try the newest double IPA from El Segundo Brewing. They’re celebrating one year in the game with their first ever batch of the hoppy stuff, and have planned a VIP celebration that includes custom growlers and first-in-line fills of their newest creation. $50 gets you in the door early, or hold out until 2pm to get in with everyone else.
There are plenty of craft beer spots around town worth celebrating, so head out to your local hotspot. There’s a better than even chance that they’ll be having some sort of fun for American Craft Beer Week.
For more food and drink events visit kcet.org/events/food.