Lawless Brewing – Take 2

I have checked out NoHo’s Lawless Brewing on opening weekend and now was the tine to give a second visit.

This was on the tab of GoTab which is an online ordering system that Lawless as well as Firestone Walker in Venice uses for contactless orders.

(I promise to talk about the two beers I sampled as well)

You simply point your phones camera at the QR code and you are whisked to the website to order. For Lawless, it also included the food vendor. You choose your beers, enter your credit card and phone number for texts and wait for your beers to arrive.

That is the optimum outcome. I played a bit dumb (not that hard for me) and had one of the GoTab people help me order. That order never came. A good fifteen minutes went by before another GoTab rep ordered on her phone and then my beers came. I noticed that food orders were taking quite some time too.

It comes down to people in the end. This is supposed to supplant going up to the bar yourself or having waitstaff but having to explain the system repeatedly or having people going to the bar to find their order doesn’t really save time for the people. I think it would be more advantageous to have a person walking the order line talking about the beers and being general host help.

I do think this technology is probably coming but for now, it is not going to be a reason for me to go to a brewery or return to one.


Dirk Kirkin Barrel-Aged Scotch Ale – nice spice character to this. Good balance of barrel notes to base beer

Bonjour Saison – a good first effort at a Saison. I think it could use a bit more ester quality to it.

1st Visit – Lawless Brewing in North Hollywood

The end of April saw the opening of Lawless Brewing and I quickly hopped over to check it out for a first visit.

The warehouse space outside doesn’t hint at the silver, metallic two floor space inside. There is the usual bar and indoor seating but because of the height it doesn’t seem constrained. Personally, I hope the mezzanine seating is opened because you can get a nice view of the brewing area and have some people watching.

The beer list was split in thirds by pilsner/lager, hoppy and stout. Between myself and beer buddy Richard, we tasted at least one from each category and found the light beers the best of the group. I voted the Mexican Lager winner with the Bohemian pilsner second over the West Coast IPA.

The time we visited issues arose for both their QR code menu and ordering system as well as their credit card system but the staff was friendly and gave updates and were flexible which made all the difference. That is key to return visits which is also helped by a new Single Hop Strata pils that is in the pipeline.

Without Law

Well, I must have been asleep at the switch. I totally missed the Indie Go Go campaign for Lawless Brewing Co. which will be taking over a movie equipment rental house in North Hollywood. The brewery will open, sometime in this eventful year and mark the first brewery in this part of Los Angeles.

Review – NoHo Hop Merchants

Last week, I gave you the heads-up about Hop Merchants, well here are some photos and a quick review….

Just past the big street-wide NoHo banner on Lankershim is the rectangular space that Hop merchants calls home. With a brick wall on one side and nicely framed beer art / beer education posters on the walls, it is a nice space to drink in. There is an L shaped bar with a medium amount of seating and table seating closer to the sunshiney front window.

There are 16 taps and on opening day it was straight up LA beer only, the cooler and the “dry” storage were only partially full but even if stocked up would not be as much beer to-go as Craft Beer Cellar in Eagle Rock or Sunset Beer Co. The stocking is still “in progress” and my guess is that more coolers will need to be added at the expense of some seating.

The beer pricing is good and the selection was wide-ranging without being too IPA tilted. You can even order up 10oz pours which I appreciate. I had the Trustworthy IPA and a Vienna lager from Pocock Brewing which were served up well.

Next time I am in the neighborhood, I will check them out.

Dine L.A. @ Federal Bar

I usually take a pass on press/media dinners that aren’t billed as beer-centric but I hadn’t been to the Federal Bar in NoHo for too long and felt it was time to see if I could covertly add some craft beer to my Dine L.A. menu.
dine L.A. is the excuse you need to check out different restaurants that you have been meaning to eat at but just haven’t done it. And for the craft beer fan, it is a great way to see how different beers pair with a set course of dishes.

You get two courses at lunch and three at dinner so you can get a couple of beers of different styles and then see which one works the best with your appetizer, main course or dessert.

The Federal Bar offered up a wide array of options that you can get with dinner such as the MCO Burger (moo-cluck-oink), short ribs, fish, mac and cheese and a pair of desserts.

Beer fans will note that they have some of the Fat Tire collabs on tap as well as new to LA, Laurelwood Brewing. If you wanted to get super pricey, there were some Garage Project ales too.

Restaurant Week takes place over July 18-31, 2016, including weekends and the prices are as follows:
Lunch (2+ Courses): $15, $20, $25
Dinner (3+ Courses): $29, $39, $49, $95+ (dineL.A. Exclusive Series)