First Look – Little Bear LA

When you bring together the talent behind the Oinkster and Maximillianos with the beer savvy behind The Verdugo and the Surly Goat, what do you get?

Little Bear in downtown-ish Los Angeles. Here are some photos and my reaction on my first visit.

You drive by darkened warehouses on the eastern edge of downtown Los Angeles. Very noir. Then on Industrial Street there is an oasis and life going on. Strollers out and about. Dogs being walked and two restaurants across a skinny street from each other and one is the new (since Friday) Little Bear.
I scan the beer list and pick # 1 on the list, Duvel Single. Solid list with a good variety of choices. The industrial space is bright and warm. Nice mix of tables and a bar to choose from too. I really like the artwork including the Little Bear badge outside and the iconic Belgian beer logos on one wall.
My beer arrives as does my grilled cheese (which could use a lighter hand on the onion marmalade) and then my second beer (Ommegang Three Philosophers) which goes amazingly well with the Chocolate and Cheese plate provided by Ryan Sweeney.
It is an value for the price. You have to try the cheese and chocolate together. I was wary at first but it works quite well. Especially the stilton with a bit of dark chocolate.

photo courtesy of Richard Rosen
As of now, they are open only at night but lunch will be coming soon and you can expect a rotating list of Belgians and Belgian inspired beers on tap and in bottles. I highly suggest checking out the latest addition to the L.A. craft beer scene.

LA Beer Week – Oktoberfest @ the Verdugo

A blazing hot October day in the valley, but that didn’t stop beer lovers from coming out to sample some authentic German beer and to try some Firestone-Walker, Skyscraper and Shmalz Brewing as well.


Here is what I had….
Julius Echter Hefeweizen – a new entry to the SoCal market. This Hefe has the clove part down but could use some banana flavor upgrading. Very filling for a Hefe.

Firestone Oaktoberfest
– Orange brown in color. Had a little of everything. Malty, sparkly, alcoholic and sweet. Awesome for a colder day.

Skyscraper Backhoe Brown
– A very nice brown ale. At 6% alcohol it is not wimpy. Nicely balanced beer. Some browns are too sweet but this is not. I really like the seasonals from these guys.

Schneider Hopfen-Weiss – Second time trying this beer and I still can’t get it. Medicinal to me. The hops are weird, the weiss is strong. Not my favorite.

Kostritzer Pilsner – Pretty tasty pils. I liked it. Did not have the tinny taste of some that I have had. Perfect college football beer. Crisp and clean.

There was German music blaring and drinking contests and coaster building. Everyone seemed to be having a good time.

P.S. I made a point to ask people what their favorite beer was and all gave me a different answer. That must mean a good selection across the board.

Great beer bar

If you are in Los Angeles and you venture to the east side, then you must visit the Verdugo Bar. Great, concentrated beer list. Exactly what I would have in a bar. The owner, Ryan knows beer, you can’t go wrong with his list. Corsendonk Apple. Pliny the Elder.