Local Los Angeles Breweries

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LA Beer1Local LA Breweries! If you like flavorful and distinctive beer, you’re either a craft beer lover, or a craft beer lover in-waiting. And, if you live in Los Angeles, you will soon realize that we live in one of the meccas of all of Craft-Beer-Dom with not only the ready availability of these fine brews, but that many breweries are within distance for a nice weekend drive. After visiting these local breweries, remember your favorites, as Wally’s always carries a full supply of these local gems. Our suggestion is to get a carpool of beer lovers, pay for your designated driver’s meal, put on some indigenous LA Rock n’ Roll (the Doors, Van Halen or Jane’s Addiction will suffice) and “bend an elbow” in true Southern California style.

El Segundo Brewing
Brewed 11.7 miles from Wally’s

El Segundo brewery was created in 2011 and is located on Main Street in El Segundo. Their passion is hop-centric brews, bursting with big aromas and balanced bitterness. Most of the beers are named for local landmarks in the South Bay and can thankfully be found on tap all over town.

Their label icon and mission statement sums up rather succinctly their views on the craft beer industry in general: “The Blue House represents small town America. Main Streets fostering small businesses, and real connections to real people. It represents the true American ideal of being able to support yourself, and forge ahead in to the great unknown. Which to us, is exactly what Craft Beer is. Brash, brazen, bold, and unapologetic for being so.”

Wally’s currently carries:
El Segundo Blue House IPA $6.99, 22oz
El Segundo Citra Pale Ale $6.69, 22oz
El Segundo Grand Hill IPA $6.99, 22oz
El Segundo Two 5 Left Double IPA $8.99, 22oz
El Segundo White Dog IPA $6.69, 22oz

Angel City Brewing
Brewed 13.6 miles from Wally’s

Angel City first burst onto the LA beer scene back in 1997 before the real “brewery boom” caught on. In 2004 they operated from an 8,000 barrel brewery in Alpine Village, and relocated to the Arts District in Downtown LA in 2010. The Brewery and Public House opened in February 2013 and offers a variety of rotating beers, including brewery exclusive brews. It’s a fun area to park and walk to a number of exciting and moderately priced restaurants, and to of course grab a pint at Angel City! Their parking lot also features food trucks on a nightly basis.

LA Weekly recently voted Angel City LA’s “Best Art Deco Brewery”, and wrote: “ If you crave finely crafted ales and lagers in a setting where you can pleasantly spend a day or bring a visitor, look no farther than Angel City Brewing Co. in downtown Los Angeles.”

Wally’s currently carries (call for availability):
Angel City Angeleno IPA $3.99, 22oz
Angel City Eureka! Wit $3.99, 22oz

Golden Road Brewing
Brewed 15.6 miles from Wally’s
Located in Glendale, Golden Road features an on-premises Pub that features over 20 beers on tap as well as a menu full of fresh-ground rib eye burgers, Bahn Mi, pulled pork and veggie burgers.

Wally’s currently carries:
Golden Road Cabrillo Kolsch $2.19, 16oz can
Golden Road Point The Way IPA $2.19, 16oz can
Golden Road Hefeweizen $2.19, 16oz can
Golden Road Wolf Among Weeds $3.29, 16oz can
Golden Road Get Up Offa That Brown $2.19, 16oz can

LA Beer2
Eagle Rock Brewing
Brewed 17.2 miles from Wally’s

“Established in 2009 by Jeremy Raub, wife Ting Su, and father Steven Raub, Eagle Rock Brewery was the first microbrewery to open its operations in the city of Los Angeles in over 60 years. This family-owned microbrewery is dedicated to the production of artisanal beers using the best ingredients, and to the ongoing development of the beer community in Los Angeles.” Eagle Rock features food trucks on weekends, and a tap room to taste their beer – where “byof” is welcomed!

Wally’s currently carries:
Eagle Rock Manifesto $5.69, 22oz
Eagle Rock Populist $5.99, 22oz
Eagle Rock Revolution $5.69, 22oz

The Dudes’ Brewing Co.
Brewed 17.9 miles from Wally’s

Started in 2011 in Torrance, by Strand Brewing Company’s original head brewer Jeff Parker and two friends, this up-and-coming brewery plans opening a tap room soon. Until then, you’ll just have to come and get some of their original brews from us directly!

Wally’s currently carries:
The Dudes’ Double Trunk Double IPA $3.09, 16oz can
The Dudes’ Grandma’s Pecan $2.29, 16oz can

Strand Brewing Co.
Brewed 19.2 miles from Wally’s

Also hailing from Torrance, Strand Brewing welcomes you to taste their original Ales and IPA’s in their taproom and bring your own food as well! Recently featured in LA Weekly, which wrote about the entire South Bay brewing community: “Torrance easily possesses the largest concentration of beer brands in Greater Los Angeles”.

Brewery info:

Wally’s currently carries:
Strand 24th Street Pale Ale $4.99, 500ml
Strand Beach House Amber $4.99, 500ml

Beachwood BBQ & Brewing Co.
Brewed 28.2 miles from Wally’s

With Pubs located in Seal Beach and Long Beach, Beachwood serves a full menu of amazing slow-cooked BBQ which serve as a perfect accompaniment for their wide selection of beers. From double IPA’s to Stout to Hefeweizen, they have all the essentials covered.

Wally’s currently carries:
Beachwood BBQ Still Life Stout $13.69, 22oz
Beachwood BBQ Full Malted Jacket $13.99, 22oz
Beachwood BBQ Melrose IPA $9.39, 22oz

Our Favorite Pumpkin Beers

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Just as the intoxicating aromas and flavors of a baking Pumpkin Pie instantly warm your soul and let you know that Fall is well underway, the sight of newly arrived Pumpkin beer at your favorite retailer can instantly send a thrill of adrenaline into the psyche of Fall beer lovers. The rich colors of maple leaves, and the full bodied sweet and spicy flavors of brown sugar, clove, cinnamon, and pumpkin are like Autumn captured in a bottle. Not only are they great to quaff all by themselves, they are amazing to pair with many of our Fall and Winter food favorites. And, if you buy an extra supply and drink them in Spring or Summer, some might even consider you a genius.

Unbeknownst to many, is the fact that Pumpkin beers and ales are not a modern “flavor of the month” made by American brewers, but have a long, documented, and rich history in the fabric of brewing in America. Mentioned in Samuel Stearns’ “The American herbal” in 1801, and earlier in a 1791 history of Connecticut, the great supply of the indigenous Pumpkin became a substitute for the often inaccessible malt, and thus the Pumpkin beer was born – perhaps the most truly American beer in existence. In fact, a recipe exists in a paper from Ben Franklin’s The American Philosophical Society, which states: “Let the Pompion (Pumpkin) be beaten in a Trough and pressed as Apples. The expressed juice is to be boiled in a copper a considerable time and carefully skimmed that there may be no remains of the fibrous part of the pulp. After that intention is answered let the liquid be hopped culled fermented & casked as malt beer.”

Some of our favorite food pairings for pumpkin beers in general:
– roasted nuts and dried fruits
– Thanksgiving feasts (make sure to make fresh cranberry sauce!)
– Chicken or Turkey Pot pies
– Herb crusted pork tenderloin (on your grill, of course)
– Sweet potatoes with a honey or brown sugar/cinnamon glaze
– Ratatouille
– Pecan pie (try it with a scoop of Vanilla bean or pumpkin ice cream)

Here are a few of our favorites at Wally’s, selected by our beer specialist, Stephanie Jensen.
Epic Fermentation
Epic & DC Brau Fermentation without Representation
RateBeer: 97 points
Tasting notes for the brewery: Our first ever collaborative beer has all the familiar flavors of the season, but done with Epic style. To a base of strong, roasty, and chocolaty porter, we add 200 pounds of real pumpkin per batch, five spice and whole Madagascar vanilla beans. As you pour this deeply ruby brown beer, you’re greeted by the aroma of fresh cut squash, followed by rich chocolate. The flavor starts sweet with marshmallow, vanilla, and some pumpkin pie, then yields to a coffee roast and dark chocolate dryness. This beer is a great introduction for curious drinkers and a special holiday treat for fans of the style.

Almanac Heirloom Pumpkin Barleywine
RateBeer: 96 points
Tasting notes from the brewery: This is a beer made with real pumpkins.
We hand-roasted over 500lbs of heirloom pumpkins from La Tercera Farms in Bodega Bay. The caramelized gourds were then added to our velvety American Barleywine and aged in brandy barrels for a year. Finally, we blended the barrel-aged beer with freshly brewed ale and added a delicate hint of pumpkin pie spices to round out this decadent autumn sipper.

Uinta Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin
RateBeer: 98 points
Tasting notes from brewery: Jacked is brewed with fresh pumpkin and fall spices and has been aging in Oak barrels for 6 months. The oak barrels add subtle nuances of toasted vanilla and bourbon notes. With an ABV of 10.31% (a play on the date of Halloween), Jacked is a big, unique pumpkin ale.
Personal note: This beer inspired me to make bourbon-spiked pumpkin pies. I’ve made them the last couple years and they are incredible, everything made from scratch: crust and pumpkin puree. Usually use Maker’s Mark bourbon, this year will try using Bulleit Rye.

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale RateBeer: 90
Tasting Notes from brewery: Punkin’ Ale is a full-bodied, spiced brown
ale brewed with baked pumpkins, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar.
Dogfish Head Punkin’ Ale is named after the annual Punkin’ Chunkin
Festival held near Lewes, Delaware the weekend after Halloween.
Personal note: This is the fastest selling Pumpkin beer Wally’s has ever
seen! Grab it before it’s all gone.

Get Your Octoberfest Beer at Wally’s

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Get your Octoberfest Beer at Wally’s!

When one hears the word “Octoberfest” (or Oktoberfest), a few immediate thoughts and images come to mind: singing, brass bands, lederhosen, and beer. And. More. Beer. Every year, this traditional celebration (which started in 1810 to honor the marriage of the king and queen of Bavaria) brings up to six million people to Munich during September and October to drink, eat and sing. In fact, it is considered the World’s largest fair. Beer plays a major role in this celebration – and it is only when the mayor of Munich says “It is tapped!” (a keg of beer, that is), that the celebration officially commences.

Traditional Octoberfest beers are brewed for this occasion – and thankfully for all of us, many are bottled for worldwide enjoyment. The traditional style of beer for Octoberfest is a Marzen – which originated in Bavaria. Brewed in the spring (March) before the summer months (which would spoil beer), the beer was cellared during the hot months, and brought out for the fall. An adaptation of the Vienna style lager, Marzen emphasizes a malty and toasty biscuity sweetness, with rich amber to deep copper color, and a dry finish.

But don’t log on to Travelocity just yet – we don’t have to travel to Bavaria to have our own fall celebration – all we need is a nice selection of Octoberfest beer, and some great deli food – sausages and smoked/cured meats and fish, rich cheeses, pickles, red cabbage or potato salad, whole-grain mustards and rye or dark breads. And if you’re too rushed for time to prepare all of that, come on over to Wally’s Cheese Box as we’ve got an incredible selection of cheeses, smoked salmon, cured meats, gourmet mustards, and Bread Lounge breads. And, don’t forget to add a few friends and music to the mix – and if you substitute Zeppelin or Aerosmith for the traditional polka, you probably won’t have too many protests. But, if you insist on listening to German music, some Scorpions or UFO will suffice. And thankfully, lederhosen are not required either.

Here are a few traditional as well as modern choices to get your O-Fest on in proper style.
Paulaner Oktoberfest Weisse
First off, we recommend the Paulaner Oktoberfest Weisse and Marzen, two rich German brews, thankfully made year-round. Here’s what BeerAdvocate had to say about the Weisse:
“Very smooth mouthfeel with a fluffy moderate body and a semi-creamy palate. Lots of malt character right from the get-go, fresh toasted grain with a long maltiness that brings a bit of sweetness. Hops are casual and walk onto the palate with a well-balanced bitterness, along with herbal and floral flavors. Slight alcohol warmth in the semi-sweet finish. Just the sheer balance and cleanliness of this lager is amazing. If we had to come up with a benchmark brand for every style, this would be our pick for O-fest beers.” BeerAdvocate. Paulaner Okt marzen
The Marzen is also a classic brew, with its deep amber color and taste of malt, bread and caramel, with a mild bitterness.

Wally’s Beer specialist, Stephanie Jensen, has a few guidelines for enjoying beers this Fall: “Traditional brews such as Paulaner are always a solid choice, and are essential in so far as respecting the Octoberfest tradition, but don’t think for a second that you can’t experiment with other modern and creative choices. Pumpkin beers are very popular in the Fall, with their clove and nutmeg spiciness, and display the creativity and boldness of our domestic breweries”. Some of Stephanie’s choices include:
Uinta Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin – aged in oak barrels for 6 months and exhibiting a 10.31 abv (the same as Halloween), this bourbon, pumpkin and vanilla spiced elixr shows why Salt Lake City’s Uinta Brewing has been one of the country’s most original brewers since their 1993 inception.
Bootleggers Pumpkin Ale
Bootlegger’s Pumpkin Ale – Brewed in Fullerton, California, and using cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses, brown sugar and real pumpkin, to create a perfect Fall brew. Who says you can’t drink pumpkin pie?
Epic Fermentation
Epic Fermentation without Representation – this Imperial Pumpkin Porter from Epic, another groundbreaking Utah brewery, is a heavyweight champion which utilizes real pumpkin, five spice and whole Madagascar vanilla beans in every batch. Intense flavors of dark chocolate, marshmallow and French Roast coffee will ruffle the feathers in your Bavarian hat.

And if you need more than mere bottles, Wally’s is happy to supply kegs for your celebration. Just call Stephanie, our Beer specialist, to order (310) 475-0606.

Crafty Cans: Our beer expert picks five perfect for summer

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There’s something about popping the cap off a cold one while relaxing in the sun.  But often, the summer locale of choice is a “no glass” zone.  With this in mind, our beloved beer buyer, Stephanie Jensen, picked out five awesome cans of craft beer perfect for picnics, the beach, the pool, the trail, the park and even the Hollywood Bowl Summer Season (for our fellow Los Angeles locals).

Craft Beer in cansDon’t be fooled – this isn’t Uncle Bob’s brand of canned beer. More and more small-batch, artisan brewers are canning these days (beer, not jam).  But Uncle Bob was onto something – beer in a can is better protected than its brother in the bottle.

“Imagine an aluminum can as a suit of armor,” explains Stephanie, “Like a little keg it blocks out light, prevents oxidation, and is durable for when you (oops) drop the six-pack while loading up the car”.  Cans allow for lower oxygen levels – the best way to combat oxidation AKA stale beer.

If you love our planet, then you’ll love cans, too.  Lighter to transport, they require less fuel for distribution and are fully recyclable.  You’ll also have one less thing to pack – you can leave the bottle opener at home.  So grab a can, or a whole six-pack and head to your favorite sunny spot.  We’ll see you there – right where craft beer meets summer fun.

   Golden Road Point the Way IPAGolden Road ‘Point the Way’ IPA

Follow that pint!  Forget the yellow brick road, we’re taking the Golden Road this summer. The Los Angeles local brewing company aims to make the most crafty yet drinkable beers they can (pun intended).  And this one in particular is clean and dry, a great partner for all your warm weather adventures.

The Point the Way IPA is what the brewers call their ultimate “sessionable” beer.  With a light malt body, sip to find citrus zest, tropical and pine notes with of course a focus on hops.


Oskar Blue Dale’s Pale Ale

Oskar Blue Dale's Pale Ale

Direct from Colorado, these Rocky Mountain residents know a thing or two about brewing great craft beer – they can by hand and were the first in the country to do so.  Oskar Blue’s line of craft beers began with this very Pale Ale, concocted in the basement of the restaurant in Lyons.

Needless to say, this one’s a hearty trailblazer in the world of America Pale Ale with balanced flavors of malt and hops.   The New York Times named Dale’s Pale Ale “The Top U.S. Pale Ale”, but they had us at “hand-canned”.


Uinta Brewing Sum’r Ale

Uinta Sum'r Ale

It’s right there on the label – this beer is the ultimate summer drink released in May or June every year by the Salt Lake City brewery. Named for the Ute tribe that once inhabited their locale and the Uinata (yoo-in-tah) mountains, this brewing company started small, found success, and now produces several lines of beer.

Citrusy and fresh, the brewers at Uinta crafted this one with rare Sorachi hops from Japan.  The perfect seasonal sipper for all the seasonal grilled favorites, and even a match for spicy curries or sushi!


Maui Lemongrass Saison

maui-brewing-lemongrass-saisonTraditionally brewed by Belgian farmers through the winter for enjoyment in the summer, saison literally means “season”.  For this special take on a classic, Maui Brewing Co. joined forces with Lost Abbey to craft a spicy, 100% Maui lemongrass-infused saison.

The team of brewers used white wheat, oats, pilsner malt, lemongrass, citra and nelson sauvin hops from New Zealand.  For a little taste of the islands we love this one, and it’s a limited release so get your cans while you can!


Ballast Point Pale Ale

This San Diego brewer knows his beer history and the best ingredients for each brew.  Jack White began exploring the world of beer as a home brewer, then opened a market to be sure he could source the best barley, hops and supplies for his home venture.

Now with the established and distinguished Ballast Point Brewing Company in San Diego, White has a line of beer and spirits.  He created this particular Pale Ale-meets-Pilsner in the style of the Kolsch beers of Cologne, Germany. A lighter brew but one that provides the complexity of the best craft beers around.  Fermented at ale temperatures, the fruit is subtle and the German hops and malts shine in balance.


→Shop More than 20 Craft Beer in Cans