Although this post was prompted by a brewery visit last weekend, its genesis was actually a few weeks back, when Mom was in town. Looking for a lunch spot on a wet, windy Sunday, I remembered that I had wanted to check out Golden Road Brewing , one of the latest additions to the growing Southern California craft brewing scene. I became familiar with Golden Road when talking to its owner, Tony Yanow. Tony is also the owner of Mohawk Bend, and is creating quite a mini-empire around local craft brews.
Golden Road’s pub is located by the busy train tracks in an industrial section of Atwater Village. It has a great feel to it- lofty and open, but also comfortable and friendly. We were all packed inside because of the weather, but the former loading dock has a nice outdoor seating area. The food and beer were equally good – I enjoyed the Point The Way IPA and the kale chips – and I was sorry to have learned too late about an upcoming dinner in which they were pairing their beers with a great sounding menu. So I’ve now liked them on Facebook and hope to pay a return visit real soon.
Last weekend’s trip was a spur-of-the-moment detour on the return from Thousand Palms. Although much of the local craft brewing is concentrated in the San Gabriel Valley, Orange County also has some great producers, mostly in the Fullerton area. Of these, the Bruery produces unique brews that I’ve seen in all sorts of local restaurants, from Short Order in LA to Red Table in Huntington Beach. Their tasting room is only open on weekends, so what better way to take a break on a Sunday afternoon?
The Bruery has a tasting deal that can’t be beat – 5 2-oz pours for $8. And you get to keep the glass. Better yet, I visited with L, and so we each got a different style each round. Our tour took us past a kunquat-infused Nottenroth, a more traditional “Humulus” and even a very funky sour beer, appropriately named “Mother Funker”. The tasting room was again open, kind of reminiscent of an industrial winery, with casks stacked up along the wall. They do not sell food, but wisely have a food truck parked outside the door.
I’ve never thought of LA as being a center for brewing. But now I may need to reconsider. And unlike the more well-known places to the South, like Stone and Karl Strauss, these places have not yet reached mega-commercial status, with restaurants and gardens. After all, if I want Disney, I’ll go to Disneyland. But if I want beer, I’ve got some great options right here at home.