Los Angeles is home to many things such as fashion, entertainment, culture and of course the one thing that continuously haunts every commuters waking moment, traffic. Not only does Los Angeles house all of the aforementioned but they ultimately reign supreme. Los Angeles has a floorplan unlike any other city in the country which can be aggravating at times-especially when public transit is god awful- but can also create a world of endless possibilities, like making Paris Hilton a household name. For a region so large and with such rich history, it’s hard to imagine that there is still room for growth. A shining example is the untapped region of Downtown Los Angeles that has felt a resurgence since the acquisition of L.A. Live in 2007. The past few years, Downtown has seen an influx of pubs, restaurants, hotels and cafes. Now with craft beer on the rise, there seems to be one more area in which Los Angeles has left to conquer.
When it comes to craft beer in California, the craft beer scene in San Diego has always been in the forefront. There are over 25 breweries in San Diego with most having national recognition and Stone Brewing being the most distinguished. Stone is in a $26 million dollar process of creating a beer drinker’s Disneyland for crying out loud. It almost seems as if craft beer just came natural in San Diego with a laid back atmosphere that pushed people to create something for love rather than profit. This same commitment to brewing great beer can be seen in Portland, Denver, and multiple locations back east. The world of craft beer is growing at an astonishing rate-it’s kicking ass and taking names.
So, you’re asking, where is Los Angeles in this liquid form of Manifest Destiny? Well, it’s here already, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Beer festivals and events are at an all time high here in Los Angeles with something happening almost every day. LA Beer Week which is held every September for 11 days has seen more than 25 events on each day. It almost seems sacrilege to open up a restaurant in Los Angeles now without having craft beer on tap. With all of that being said, there is still much more room to grow and one brewery looking to make its mark in the Los Angeles craft beer scene is L.A. River Brewing Company.
L.A. River Brewing Company is comprised of Tanner Worth, Constance Marshall, Ryan Truax and Jessica Marshall. Brewing beer is rather easy but brewing great beer is not and with an impressive list of home brews that have won multiple awards at several festivals and competitions, the future seems very bright. We had the pleasure of meeting two members of the team over a few pints at City Tavern in Culver City. The two ladies of this project weren’t available because of something called “day jobs” but we won’t hold that against them.
Building a brewery from the ground up isn’t an easy task and Tanner and Ryan would be the first ones to tell you that. One of their goals is to achieve the $75K mark they set for themselves through a kickstarter campaign and with your help, they can see their dreams become a reality. Tanner and Ryan both grew up within 45 minutes of each other in Washington State but didn’t meet until they were co-workers at a local L.A. bar. After realizing they both shared the same desire for craft beer, the mission to start a local brewery here in Los Angeles was born. Both Tanner and Ryan speak about this project with an immense amount of passion and the chemistry they have together is undeniable. If you didn’t ask beforehand, you wouldn’t be able to tell they are transplants because they speak of Los Angeles with raw emotion.
Looking to eventually land in Culver City, I asked why they chose this location. Without hesitation, Tanner responded “Eagle Rock and Golden Road have created a great scene within that section of L.A. and Torrance has something great going on as well but there seems to be a void in the central part of Los Angeles. With so many great places throughout Culver City and surrounding areas to grab craft beer, there isn’t a particular beer being made here.” This is a statement that was echoed by Ryan and almost seems to be the L.A. River Brewing’s mantra for success. It’s not hard to tell that they know exactly what they want but they each expressed the notion of not taking themselves too serious. It’s difficult to start a business of this size and not be extremely overwhelmed with the pressure of finances but their fun-loving approach is refreshing and makes it easy to jump on board. When speaking about beer, they do it with a smile and that is all you can ask for someone brewing beer. A brewery with a tap room is the main agenda for the L.A. River team because they want a place for locals to enjoy a great beer after work or just a place they can finally call “home”.
The L.A. craft beer scene may never achieve the status of other “beer cities” but only time will tell. There are plenty of great breweries here that are creating a great environment for beer drinkers and the L.A. River Brewing Company wants to be a major piece of the puzzle. The possibilities in Los Angeles are never ending and it’s fun to sit back and watch it happen.
As mentioned , L.A. River Brewing Company seems to be destined for success but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t use a little help. Jump on the kickstarter campaign, donate some cash and spread the word so we can start drinking great beer, sooner than later. The goal was set for February 3rd and they are almost halfway there. Even if you are not a beer drinker(then I guess you wouldn’t be reading this article) donate something just because they have great music taste. Choosing The Decemberist’s “Los Angeles, I’m Yours” for their video campaign is not only clever but insanely awesome!
- L.A. Beer Hop Brings Brewery Tours Back to the City (kcet.org)
- Angel City Brewery Is Finally About to Take Off (kcet.org)