Summer Drinking: Beer Gardens in Los Angeles
Spend a sunny summer afternoon relaxing, eating and drinking brews both Old-Country traditional and SoCal local on one of these LA beer gardens.
On the Waterfront Café: This west side beer garden is located on the ever-eclectic Venice boardwalk, which makes for plum people watching as you throw back a selection from Waterfront Café’s deeply Old Country beer list, which includes German favorites Erdinger, Kostrizer and Bitburger. Order a conservative 14-ounce glass, or go for the Sunday afternoon long haul with a 60-ounce pitcher -- or two. Soak up your selection with a traditional Bavarian pretzel, which Waterfront imports directly from Munich.
205 Ocean Front Walk, at West Washington Boulevard, Venice, (310-392-0322 or waterfrontcafe.com)
Rock & Brews: This El Segundo bar and restaurant features more than 40 beers on tap, including hyper-local selections from Cismontane and Ballast Point Brewery. Post up at the community table in the rock and roll paraphernalia-heavy beer garden and bond with some new friends over a Born to Run Sausage Platter or Margheritaville pizza.
143 Main Street, at East Grand Avenue, El Segundo (310-615-9890 or rockandbrews.com)
Wurstküche: This downtown arts district restaurant features a menu that even the most discerning German fare connoisseurs will find sehr gut. Nearly two dozen German and Belgian tap beers -- including the tangy Duchesse de Bourgogne and the potent Aventinus doppelbock -- compliment Wurstküche’s variety of gourmet grilled sausages, selections of which include rabbit rattlesnake and mango jalapeno. Eat yours on the patio, and don’t forget a side of double dipped Belgian fries.
800 East 3rd Street, at Traction Avenue, (213-687-4444 or wurstkucherestaurant.com)
Red Lion Tavern: The granddaddy of Los Angeles beer gardens has everything that makes for a traditional German, (by way of LA), good time: hearty sausage plates, dirndl-donning waitresses and reasonably priced German beer, served in a boot. The atmosphere is casually comfortable anywhere in the cavernous complex, but Red Lion’s rooftop beer garden is the pinnacle of eastside Old Country style drinking, and you can smoke here too.
2366 Glendale Boulevard, at Brier Avenue, (323-662-5337)
ColLABoration: ColLAboration is a mobile craft beer garden put on by the beer pros behind Verdugo, Tony’s Darts Away, Blue Palms and 38 Degrees. The next day long ColLAboration event will go down on July 9 across the street from The Roxy and feature brews from Firestone Walker, Sierra Nevada, Russian River and many more. Purchasing a $15 custom glass from CoLAboration’s website earns free entry into the pop up garden.