1st Visit – Arrow Lodge DTLA

On a recent Saturday, I struck out for the Arts District to visit the new DTLA location of Arrow Lodge Brewing. Arrived a hair late behind a ton of runners who stop at breweries in between running or maybe vice versa.

That long wait time snafu aside, the corner space of the Covina brewery’s DTLA taproom is a bit spare looking and does not have the outdoorsy camp vibe of the original.  Concrete floors and walls with a few L.A. sports murals of Fernando Valenzuela and Kobe Bryant.  Only a small patio space too and quite loud when full.  

Not that I need a big beer list but there were only 8 beers on tap with three being sours / fruited beers. Considering the rain and cold that L.A. rarely gets, a couple heartier beers would have been good.

I liked the name, so I ordered up the Zig Zag Zig IPA which was solid. The beertender did a a tremendous job with the rush crowd and made me feel at home despite the LA Galaxy jersey. (RCTID)

With both Angel City and Arts District within a few minutes slow walk, you can grab one beer at each while avoiding the running crowds.

Oregon Beer Day – Gold Dot

Two Oregon titans are combining on a new project that will land in my college town of McMinnville.

Lisa Allen, head brewer at Heater Allen known for fantastic pilsners, and Kevin Davey, who as brewmaster at Wayfinder— led the Cold IPA trend are combining forces.

The Heater Allen brewery in McMinnville, Oregon, will also launch a new venture and line of beers at the facility to be called Gold Dot

If you are looking for the next hot beer style, it may be born at this new brewery partnership. And Gold Dot is now on the Oregon list the next time I visit.

Back to Takeovers?

Before 2020-2022 happened, I had tired of the festival and tap takeovers but I am surprised that both are in my sights again for 2023.

And one place that has a couple tap takeovers already this year that have been very strong, that would be Hop Merchants in North Hollywood, one of my regular can buying haunts.

So, follow them on the socials to see if the continue the trend started with Other Half and Radiant.

Leisure Villain

Former brewery spaces may be seen as sad but they are also a new opportunity, and when a space is the funky former Modern Times Leisuretown in Anaheim, it can be cool to see how new ownership and a new brewery utilize the space.

You can read about the Craftsman with Villains Brewing HERE.

If this can be pulled off it just might pull people a few block down from Unsung and Monkish Anaheim.


That is right! One week from now is the nine day celebration of beer in San Francisco and surrounding areas that is San Francisco Beer Week.

One place to start (Their calendar is really big) are the chapter events….

▪ East Bay brewers and beer enthusiasts reunite at 21st Amendment Brewery in San Leandro, Friday evening, Feb. 10. 

    ▪    The North Bay beer community gathers at Pond Farm Brewing Co. in San Rafael, Friday evening, Feb. 10. 

    ▪    On Saturday, San Francisco beer enthusiasts celebrate atop Salesforce Park, hosted by Barebottle Brewing, Saturday afternoon, Feb. 11, rain or shine. 

    ▪    Breweries and fans along the Coast convene at Other Brother Beer Co. in Seaside, Saturday evening, Feb. 11.

    ▪    Silicon Valley launches the week at The Guildhouse, in San Jose, Saturday evening, Feb. 11. 

1st Visit – Alma’s Cider and Beer

Finally, I made my way to trendy Virgil Village to Alma’s Cider & Beer.

This is a proper dark bar. Takes time to adjust to the lack of light. Secondly, probably should be called Alma’s Cider and wine and two beers, Granted the two drafts were good (love to seea side pull) but the ciders were way more dramatic an interesting by far.

While waiting fir the mulled cider to warm up, I started with the Winter Mash from Balcom which promised Cranberry and spruce tips. The cranberry made it but the tree did not but it was a tasty and tart and vivid cider.

Beer buddy Rich wowed about the Paloma cider from Stem and also liked the funky Basque Sagardo too. I really like the atmosphere and my only complaint is that they are only open starting at 5pm. Would like to have an afternoon cider and explore the menu further.

Further East

I often chide, sometimes roughly – always rightly, the L.A. Times for a lack of beer coverage. But I will give credit where it is due and they have stepped up with this…..

Follow the link HERE to check out the list and see if you have visited them all.

1st Visit – Docent Brewing

Docent Brewing is in a classic brewery spot in an industrial park in San Juan Capistrano but they have done it up real well.

The space is bright and big with multiple seating areas both inside and out. And if you pick outside you will probably see bikers and runners on the paths outside that stretch all the way into the mission part of town.

I made a mistake or misheard and when I ordered the taster tray , I was asked if a quarter pour or half pour was wanted. I said half. That came out as 8 ounces each and not the 4 or 5 and one of them I picked was the barrel-aged 13% stout.

I went with a pale, Black IPA, Red IPA along with the aforementioned stout. Later I had a second pale and that style seems to be their sweet spot. Both Life Coach and Double Nickels were zippy and bright with citrusy notes. The Momo red was my third place choice.

So a bit of an above average mixed bag. The nearby Inn at the Mission had some more Docent beers on tap so I indulged with the Super Tonic Coffee Stout which was quite good too.

Both places that I drank at had great (different) atmospheres. But Docent worked well in both.