1st Visit – Los Angeles Ale Works at Ivy Station

When I was in Portland, I visited a coffee shop that was next door to a bottle shop which was part of an apartment complex. It made me wonder what it would be like to have that availibility so close.

If you live at the Ivy Station in Culver City you now have an outpost of Los Angeles Ale Works an elevator ride away.

Yesterday, I was able to step inside for the first time. The color scheme is great, warm blues with wooden slats plus blue speckled countertops. The space is rectangular and a bit smaller than I expected with a corridor of outside seating facing the Metro.

I liked the little touches on the chairs….

…and the beer list was full. No lack of choices…

…this a great addition to what is becoming a Metro beer crawl with Santa Monica Brew Works to the west and Party Beer to the east. Dodger and Angel City FC fans will have a great place to pre-game as well.

Ale in the Ivy

Los Angeles Ale Works is getting a 2nd tap room location and it is in the “in the works” Ivy Station development that will be the new home of HBO amongst other shoppes and eateries. The location will have 24 taps, a patio to enjoy your beer on, and takeaway sales if you do not like patios. Expect last half of 2020 for this to open.

The Hi-Lo Counter

The wonderfully fun little specialty shop, Hi-Lo in Culver City has added a tasting counter with draft beer as well as wine to make your time near the Expo Line more fun before you grab some take home cans and bottles.

Harajuku + Baird Beer

There has been a noticeable decline in foreign beer but maybe that tide is turning.

Harajuku Taproom opened their first U.S. location in Culver City. The five strong chain from Japan does izakaya fare with craft beer.

The oddly Germanic named Adam Guttentag longtime friend of Bryan Baird, founder and owner of Baird Beer, and the original Harajuku Taproom in Tokyo is behind the new Southland venture.

There will be traditional yakitori, skewers and house-made gyoza but most importantly, Baird Beer will be in abundance, see below, and that is a good thing.

1st Visit – A Duo in Culver City

Metro is a great way to get to certain beer locales across Los Angeles. Caveats being that the Blue Line ranges between uncomfortable to scary and the 90/91 bus back to Glendale runs every other day it seems.

A more pleasant ride is the Expo Line which I took for the first time on a recent Sunday. The goal was to stop in Culver City at two new spots for beer. Hi-Lo Liquor and The Cannibal L.A.

The latter is part of the Platform concept that is right across the street from the Culver City station. There is a little butcher shop / bottle shop in the corner of the wood dominated restaurant. Damn they have high prices. No beer from the wood plank tap handles was under $8. $15 for Bretta Rose. $10 for Power Plant. It was a good sign to see the Beachwood style beer regulator on the wall.

There were a wide variety of bottles to buy but I am concerned that they face the big windows that are great for watching the trains roll in but are letting in light too. The bottle and can prices rise with the rarity to a crazy (for me) $30 for a de Garde beer from Oregon. Would be cheaper to fly to the Oregon coast and buy it there.

I ordered a Modern Times Ice Pilsner along with a biscuit and bacon. It was a nice small brunch and fueled me for the short walk to my next stop, Hi-Lo Liquor.

This is a small square space with loads of artisanal treats. If I had a gift card, I could go nuts. Up on the back wall is a cooler of curated beer choices. (With unfortunately some macros on the far right taking up space). If this was in my neighborhood, I would be dropping in to check the new stuff all the time. They carry spirits and wine too.

I consider it a spot to pack a Hollywood Bowl picnic. Now if they would add some taps, I would stay even longer.

Hi and Lo

There is a plethora of liquor stores in the Southland. Some nowadays even posterize their windows with the well-funded craft brands in an attempt to lure unsuspecting craft beer fans.

But a new store coming to Culver City with the old fashioned name of Hi-Lo wants to reinvent that model.

“Hi-Lo offers a spectrum of modest as well as boutique liquors, from affordable, quality Kentucky whiskeys, to small-batch wines and seasonal cult beers. Plus, a revolving selection of uniquely curated, heritage sundries.”

Their initial beer list includes locals like Dogtown, Homage and Eagle Rock with out of town favorites like 21st amendment and Founders. You can build your own 6-pack or peruse the cocktail accessories and stock your bar at home. Then pick up some bites to go along with your beverages.

Enjoying Beer and Food at City Tavern

City Tavern will be hosting a “Beer Enjoyment Dinner with Monkish Brewing Co.” event on Sunday, February 10 (6 PM pre-meal drinks/6:30 PM dinner). Our family-style menu is carefully planned out by chef Wesley Pumphrey to compliment Monkish Brewing Co’s Belgian-styles. The event will feature four-courses plus five delicious brews. In attendance will be owner/brewer Henry Nguyen, he’ll be introducing and talking to patrons about his beers.

Course One blanquette de veau aux chicons
» veal cheek, belgian endive, celery root paired with rosa’s hips » belgian-style brown ale spiced with rose hips 7.3% abv

Course Two bagna cauda
» warm baguette, winter crudité paired with red table » belgianized red/amber ale spiced with pink peppercorns 5.6% abv

Course Three braised lamb shoulder
» root vegetables and braising jus paired with anomaly » belgian-style strong ale 8.5% abv

baked mushrooms &roasted beets with smoked cheddar paired with crux
» belgian-style single ale spiced with elderflowers 5.4% abv

Course Four
» chocolate hazelnut fondue, warm caramel paired with magnificat » belgian-style christmas ale with spices 10.1% abv

Tickets are $48 per person (tax and gratuity not included). Call 310-838-9739 to reserve your seats.

Public School 310

We return to Culver City for another gastropub that recently opened just in December and it is the second in the Public School chain, PS310
Here is the beer rundown, “”Resident beer expert, Tate Kline, has curated an impressive bar featuring 24 craft beers on tap. Of these beers, 14 will rotate continuously.

Kline’s credentials include tenure under beer sommeliers and authors, Hallie Beaune and Christina Perozzi, of beerchicks.com at the 8th Street Bottle Shop in Downtown Los Angeles. And recently, he was Assistant General Manager at Wurstküche in Venice.

In addition to developing Public School 310’s original craft beer list, Kline’s responsibilities include selecting the rotating taps, working with the culinary team on pairing those with special menu items.

The bar will soon announce the 2013 schedule for “Night School” classes with subjects such as beer and food pairings, spirits and seasonal cocktail tastings. Public School 310 also plans to participate in Downtown Culver City’s monthly “Third Wednesdays” events, where guests can sample specials and “recess” menu items.”

With City Tavern, Waterloo and City and PS310 not to mention Father’s Office, you are not hurting for great craft beer choices in Culver City.