Arts District LA
The area in and around LA’s Arts District has experienced a surge in the number of craft breweries in recent months. Initially, there was the lone Angel City Brewery, housed in the historic John A. Roebling Building where a triangle of streets forms at the intersections of S Alameda and Traction and E 3rd Streets. The building and many of its appointments exude history of the past, when Roebling AKA the world’s greatest suspension bridge engineer was manufacturing wire rope onsite for many of this country’s suspension bridges i.e. The Brooklyn Bridge. Take a look at the circular staircase in the front foyer. Its handrail is made of some of the same wire rope. Also, still prominently displayed within the tasting room is the industrial iron slide utilized in moving the heavy product from upper floors.
During the past 12 months Angel City has been joined by Mumford Brewing, Arts District Brewing and Iron Triangle Brewing Company. Like Angel City, at least two of these newcomers are accessible by public rail transport coupled with a short walk. If coming from outside of LA proper, begin by taking the Metrolink to Union Station. Your Metrolink fare allows fare-free transfer to LA’s Metro Rail system. At Union Station transfer to the southbound Gold Line. The first stop will be the Little Tokyo/Arts District Station, your exit. From this station Angel City is a short .3 mi. walk south on Alameda. Mumford is a 10 minute stroll SW of the station or about 6 minutes west from Angel City. Note that Mumford is located just north of Skid Row, so you may see some campers walking alone is not recommended. Arts District Brewing is .3 miles 5 min SE from Angel City on Traction. Iron Triangle is another 20 min. walk south from Angel City, so is more easily accessible by car.
Mumford was the first of these newcomers to open. Its small 4139 square foot facility includes the 1600 sq. ft. tasting room, but welcoming location lies at 416 Boyd St., just west of S San Pedro St. It opened last June and has tap room hours Thursday through Sunday. Founded by homebrewing brothers Todd & Peter Mumford and Todd’s wife Tien, their well-appointed beers cover the spectrum of tastes and styles. Beers have included cream ale, Bavarian-style hefeweizen, black ale, stout, pales, IPA’s and double IPA’s. Peter is putting his degree in microbiology to good use as Brewmaster.
Arts District Brewing opened in mid-December. Iron Triangle followed in the early days of 2016. Visits to these two breweries are on this reporter’s future agenda, so stay tuned for a future update. Arts District’s ownership team includes Brian Lenzo of Hollywood’s Blue Palms, Cedd Moses of 213 Nightlife and Eric Needleman The Spirited Group. The team recruited Devon Randall to head up brewing duties. She was formerly head brewer at Pizza Port Solana Beach. I’m pumped that a Pizza Port brewer has made it to LA! At 17,000 square feet this brewpub also serves food, overseen by local LA Chef Neal Fraser. The space features outdoor patio and a game section of the pub with over 20 Skee-ball lanes.
With 30 barrel brewhouse and over 40,000 square feet of space to eventually build out, Nathan Cole Pacetti’s Iron Triangle Brewing Company has the potential to dwarf the aforementioned breweries. Daren Moser, formerly of Maui Brewing Company and Trumer, has taken the reigns as Brewmaster, so I think we can expect some good things in the way of beer. Initially, about one quarter of the compound has been put to work for brewery and tasting room.
Goleta, just north of Santa Barbara, has been home to Hollister Brewing Company since May of 2007. As Hollister gets ready to celebrate its ninth anniversary, you can still expect to find a wide selection of beers brewed by decorated Co-owner/Brewer Eric Rose. Typically, at least 14 taps are flowing with blondes, lagers, wits, sessions, saisons, pales, reds, IPA’s and porters. Happy hour provides a great opportunity to taste through the tap list, when 10 ounce glasses are offered for $2.25.
AleSmith Brewing Company becomes old enough to drink this year. Since 1995, owner Peter Zien and his team strived to create craft beers that have assisted San Diego in becoming the Capital of Craft. A marked expansion in late 2015 to a much larger facility nearby has brought AleSmith into a new era of history. The new 80-barrel brewhouse in the 105,000 square foot compound also includes a huge 25,000 square foot tasting room and beer garden. Buildout of an onsite museum is currently in process to honor Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwen, of the San Diego Padres.