Despite what you told yourself two months ago, you’re nowhere near figuring out how to use that homebrew set you got for your birthday. Fortunately, there are a ton of fantastic bottle shops and breweries offering to-go beer for your next Zoom Happy Hour, bottle share, or really, anytime you want to get drunk on IPAs while sitting on your balcony. Here are some places to safely pick up six-packs, crowlers, and growlers of tremendous local brews.
Long Beach spot Beachwood Brewing makes an impressive amount of quality beers during normal times, and that hasn’t changed during quarantine. In addition to tentpole IPAs like Amalgamator and Citraholic, they’ve also got some other great options, like Greenshift (a classic double IPA) and 28 Haze Later (a New England IPA). Also note that they’ve got a “cellar” section of their online store, with heavily discounted rare beers from other breweries. Available for pick-up, local next-day delivery, or shipping via their website.
Brewyard Brewing Company
Brewyard is a tiny craft brewery in Glendale that focuses on Belgian-style beers. Our favorites include the yeast-forward Apricot Drop, a golden ale with apricots, and El Miradero, a Belgian pale ale that’s malty, light, and ideal for summertime drinking. They’ve also got plenty of hoppier options. Order via their website for curbside pick-up and delivery (within ten miles), or call (818) 409-9448 and pay in-store for $5 off your order.
Brouwerij West, a San Pedro brewery, has got great IPAs and Belgian-style beers. Their single-hopped beers (like the 8 ½ with 100% El Dorado hops) are great, and we also love their blackberry saison, Picnic Lightning. In-store pick-up and local delivery available via their website, along with shipping within California
Though Casa Agria is all the way in Oxnard, you don’t even have to leave your couch to drink their excellent sours and hazy IPAs - they’re offering free shipping on all orders over $45. They usually sell out within a day or two of new releases, but recent favorites have been the Can’t Beat The Biz hazy TIPA, and the Oro Del Sol - a blend of oak-aged wild ales that was then aged over California golden plums. It’s sour, funky, and extremely weird in the best way. In-store pick-up, or delivery via their website.
Cellador is unique amongst LA breweries, because they oak-age all their beer. They also rarely brew the same beer twice, but trust us when we say that you can’t go wrong no matter what your order. Pick-up and delivery via their website - free delivery within 20 miles on orders over $75.
Common Space Brewery
Hawthorne’s Common Space Brewery only opened in 2018, but they’ve already earned a well-deserved reputation for serving excellent, interesting craft beer. Their super-crispy Fresh Pils Of LA and Pink & Proud session IPA are ideal for drinking on unseasonably hot spring days, and any of their excellent hazies might immediately become your new favorite local beer. Order on their website for pick-up or delivery to greater Los Angeles and The Valley, or shipping also available to all of California.
A convenience store in Virgil Village, Corner Shop has a surprisingly great selection of craft beer considering their size (it’s tiny) . In addition to all the tremendous local beer you’d expect to find at bigger shops - Brouwerij West, Beachwood, etc. - they often have some truly shocking finds, like Oklahoma’s Prairie Artisan Ales, North Carolina’s Fonta Flora, and Vermont’s The Alchemist. Pick-up in-store only.
Eagle Rock Brewery
A comparative OG on this list, Eagle Rock Brewery has been in Northeast LA since 2009. They’ve got a great selection of IPAs, sours, and saisons, but our favorite (especially when it’s hot out) is the Amwolf - a super sessionable German-style pils. The To The Moon (a West Coast IPA) is also good. Open Wednesday-Sunday for to-go orders, or order ahead via their website.
South Bay spot El Segundo Brewing Company has closed their taproom, but you can still order beer from Slice & Pint, their pizza shop around the block. Their Clear AF is a good West Coast IPA - piney, resin-y, and crisp - and the Casa Azul is a very drinkable, deep amber Mexican-style lager. Pre-order via their website for in-store pick-up, Wednesday-Sunday.
You can get Firestone Walker’s core beers at pretty much any grocery store, but you’ll have to go to their Venice location to see the full scope of what they produce. They’ve got tons of different options, from their Double Jack (one of the best double IPAs around, period), to all kinds of Barrelworks sours, saisons, and wild ales, all of which are perfect for this time of year. Order pick-up via their website, or delivery available via apps.
Another dependable Eastside brewery, Frogtown Brewery serves solid beers out of their small space by the LA River. We highly recommend the huge, boozy War On Sobriety, a 10% TIPA that’s going to knock you over after approximately one can. On the opposite end, their Feather It In is a great session we’ll happily drink all afternoon. They’ve also been making hand sanitizer to provide to local healthcare facilities. Order via their website for daily pick-up, or $5 delivery within 10 miles.
One of the best breweries in LA County, Highland Park has kept the quality going during quarantine, releasing new brews like Timbo Pils, an excellent, hoppy pilsner, Hello LA, a Mosaic-hop heavy, bitter West Coast IPA, and No Stress, a mellow and sweet hazy double IPA. Order on their website for curbside pick-up, or delivery throughout much of LA County.
Culver City’s best spot for hard-to-find beer, wine, and liquor, Hi-Lo Liquor has a constantly rotating selection of local (and less-local) brews, everything from Beachwood, Cellador, and Three Weavers to Chicago’s Half Acre and Brooklyn’s Stillwater Artisanal. Order contact-free pick-up, or $5 local delivery via their website. There’s a Hi-Lo doing the same thing in Long Beach, too.
If you haven’t heard of Homage yet, that won’t be the case for long. This Pomona-based spot has one of the most-interesting and well-brewed beer lists anywhere. Our favorites so far are The Beach Samba, a sour IPA with pineapple and coconut, the Starburst Peel (a hazy IPA so sweet we’d have it for dessert), and the Sundialing, a barrel-aged saison with apple juice and grape must. They don’t usually can beers, but during quarantine, they’ve got a ton of new releases each week - check their Instagram for updates, and stock up on whatever looks good. They also have a space on the way in Chinatown, so it won’t be long before they’re much closer to LA proper.
Indie Brewing is offering daily pick-up from their space in Boyle Heights. The Connecticut Casual is a great hazy IPA, and the Para Mi Gente is a Mexican lager that’s up there with the best. You should also add on a crowler of the Current Mood, a pale ale they make with a rotating selection of hops, that is always worth your time regardless of the ingredients. Order from their website for pick-up.
LA Draught is a brand-new beer bar in Santa Monica that opened shortly before shelter-in-place started. But they pivoted quickly, and have a great selection of craft beer available by the can - like Indie, Placentia, CA’s Offshoot Beer Co., and the excellent Bissell Brothers Brewing from Maine. They’ve also got bar food, if you’re feeling like you need some chicken tenders or a cheesesteak to go with your brew. Order online for pick-up.
Los Angeles Aleworks
LA Aleworks might have a relatively small selection of cans to-go, but this Hawthorne brewery makes a wide range of really great beer. From light options, like a beautiful, crispy red lager called Dead Cowboy, to IPAs like the Star Kitten (a very bitter West Coast-style), to excellent heavy and barrel-aged stuff - including Jazz Forever, a blend of barleywine, stout, and bock aged in bourbon barrels. Order online for in-store pick-up.
Just because you can get Modern Times in Walmart, doesn’t mean it’s not one of the best local breweries in LA. Their Downtown location has weekly pick-up and delivery of their excellent flagship beers like Orderville, Blazing World, and Fruitlands, as well as their limited-release specials. Keep an eye out whenever they have crowlers of their dessert stouts, like Modem Tones or Pharaoh Ascendant. Also, any of their hazy IPAs are highly worth your time. Weekly pick-up, delivery, and shipping within California - check their website for more information.
Monkish might be the most consistently crowded craft brewery in LA. And without those lines, we like this Torrance spot even more. They’ve got new beer releases every week, like the triple dry-hopped Juice Lee, or the LA Glove, a classic West Coast IPA. We recommend you follow them on Instagram to see when releases happen - they usually sell out within a few minutes.
Mumford Brewing in Downtown LA makes some of the most consistent beer in town. You won’t go wrong here, with options like the Box Logo (a rotating series of excellent hazy double IPAs), Fruit So Heavy (an imperial Berliner weisse with guava and passionfruit), and Bier Beer (an unfiltered lager that will change the way you think about lagers). Open daily for pick-up only - order on their website.
All three of Smog City’s locations are open for pick-up right now, offering both traditional brews - their hoppy amber Sabre-Toothed Squirrel is an LA classic - and some funkier stuff, like the 1+1=3, an extremely out-there mixed culture saison aged in foudres. Keep an eye out for their crowler deals, too - like three 32-ouncers for $25. Order for pick-up or delivery within 20 miles on their website (delivery is free on orders over $50). They’re also shipping within California.
Your parents in Maine can probably buy Stone beer at their local package store. But just because it’s a nationwide operation, doesn’t mean you’re not still getting excellent quality beer from Stone’s outpost in Pasadena. And because of their size, this brewery can experiment a little bit, with one-off barrels of some truly funky stuff - like oak-smoked barleywine aged in bourbon barrels, or a Berliner weisse with peanut butter and strawberry. If you’re not looking to get weird, get the dependable Go-To or Delicious IPAs for something more traditional. Order online for pick-up or delivery.
Echo Park’s Sunset Beer Company isn’t a brewery, but it’s still one of the best places to get fresh-brewed beer in LA. You’ll find all the best bottles and cans from LA breweries (Highland Park, Monkish, Mumford, and more), and plenty of great beer from outside Southern California, too. It’s also one of the only places where you’ll find hard-to-get beers from places like Northern California’s Russian River and Vermont’s The Alchemist. Order on their website for daily pick-up - you can specify what you want, or else give them a budget, and let them curate options for you.
You probably know Surly Goat as one of the best - and occasionally, sloppiest - beer bars in the city. But during quarantine, they’re operating Goat-2-Go, a Friday-only sale featuring crowlers, growlers, and beers from their cellar. The options change weekly, but recent on-tap options have included Russian River, Cellador, Brouwerij West, and other great California breweries.
Inglewood’s Three Weavers is another large-scale brewery that still turns out great beer. We love their West Coast IPAs, like the aggressively-hopped Light Trails and the Hops Need Friends. Order on their website for $10 local delivery or in-store pick-up. Shipping available to all of California.
Valley Beverage Co.
Don’t be fooled by Valley Beverage Company calling itself a wine shop - it might be the best place in LA to get impossible-to-find beer. This Sherman Oaks spot has everything from $100 bottles of barrel-aged stouts from The Bruery, to aged Belgian lambics, to beers from Vermont’s iconic Hill-Farmstead Brewery. Order via their website for pick-up.
Wades Wines is a bottle shop in Westlake Village which, in addition to wine and liquor, has a massive bottle and draft selection. The selection changes daily, but it usually includes local spots like Beachwood Blendery, Institution Ales, and Kern River Brewing, in addition to great out-of-town stuff like Russian River, Great Divide, and Fifty Fifty. Call ahead to order at (818) 597-9463.