Craft ~ brews and reviews
By Greg Richardson
I had a craft beer adventure to culminate of
Beer Week in Los Angeles. It included a train trip, visiting new
places and meeting new people, and exploring new craft brew
The Gold Line Pub Crawl included stops at
eight craft breweries and beer bars, all within easy walking
distance of the Los Angeles Metro Gold Line. My total cost for
transportation, without any risk of driving while under the
influence, was a day pass for $ 7.
People began their crawls at different
points along the route. Some people chose specific locations to
visit, while others set time limits. My approach was to visit as
many of the eight locations as possible, enjoying as much quality
beer as I could.
I began my crawl in the Arts District at Angel
City Brewing. I had been there
before, and wrote about my conversation with Dieter, their head
As we got off the train in the Arts
District, a man with one of the pub crawl maps walked up and asked
if we knew where Angel City was. It turned out he had arrived from
New Zealand less than an hour before meeting us. We went to Angel
City together, where we shared our stories and a Social IPA.
Angel City’s Social IPA was a great way to
start. I hoped to move toward darker beer as the pub crawl
continued, and hoppy IPA was an excellent beginning.
From Angel City we walked to Far Bar, which
was featuring beers from El Segundo Brewing. Jet lag and exhaustion
was starting to affect our new friend from New Zealand, and he
decided to go back to his hotel. We met more people on their pub
crawls, and I tried an El Segundo Passionate Dog.
Passionate Dog is a White Dog IPA brewed
with passion fruit. It was hoppy and fresh, an excellent second step
on an eight part pub crawl.
We took the Gold Line two stops, through
Union Station, to Chinatown. There we walked a couple of blocks
to Melody Lounge, which was the first stop I had not visited before.
Melody Lounge is more of what I was raised
to understand as a “bar.” It is fairly small, dark, and filled with
people. They featured beers from Three Weavers Brewing in Inglewood,
and I did not resist the temptation to jump several notches on the
darkness range. I enjoyed a Midnight Flight Imperial Stout. I look
forward to tasting more from Three Weavers.
We went back to the Gold Line and continued
to the Lincoln/Cypress station. A few blocks, including crossing
over the 110 Freeway, took us to Footsie’s, the fourth stop on the
Footsie’s is a larger space than Melody
Lounge and has a real “bar” feel, as well as a great juke box.
Footsie’s featured Eagle Rock Brewing beers, and I continued my
trend with a Solidarity. I am looking forward to my return visit to
After four beers in four different
locations, my pub crawl was at least half over. We returned to the
Gold Line and rode to the Highland Park station. The next stop was
the Greyhound Bar & Grill. I was looking forward to tasting beer
from the Highland Park Brewery, and eating something. The
unfortunate thing was that the Greyhound was completely full. There
was not even a place to sit at the bar. I am eager to go back and
sample what they offer, but it was the first place I did not have a
beer on my crawl.
We walked back to the Gold Line for the
final rail leg of the crawl to Memorial Park station in Pasadena.
Our first stop in Pasadena was the Dog Haus
Biergarten, which was featuring beers from Ritual Brewing in
Redlands. I asked for the darkest beer they had from Ritual, and had
an Extra Red Ale along with a Kung Pao Cajun dog and tater tots.
Ritual’s Extra Red has notes of caramel and toffee, along with
plenty of hoppy goodness. Though not particularly dark, it was
delicious with my meal.
From Dog Haus we walked to Kings Row
Gastropub which was featuring beer from Wolf Creek Brewing. I have
been to Wolf Creek’s tasting room in Valencia, and was looking
forward to renewing my acquaintance. I am not sure whether it was
the cumulative effect of five beers, or I was just in a particularly
picky mood, but nothing really grabbed my attention. I was looking
for something dark and did not see it. I decided to come back to
Kings Row another day.
From Kings Row we walked down an alley
to Lucky Baldwin’s. Lucky’s was featuring beer from two breweries,
Craftsman Brewing in Pasadena and Macleod Ale Brewing in Van Nuys. I
know and love Craftsman, so opted for a Yankee Mick’s American Brown
Ale with apple pie for desert.
As the sixth beer of the day, Macleod’s
brown ale was a great way to complete my pub crawl. I am a fan of
English beer, and looking forward to tasting more of Macleod’s menu.
My Gold Line Pub Crawl was a great way to
spend an afternoon. If you are interested, let me know. I would be
glad to go with you . . .
Greg Richardson is a spiritual mentor,
and leadership and organizational coach, in Pasadena. Greg writes
about Leadership, Pilgrimage & Revelry on his website at StrategicMonk.com and
he is on Twitter @StrategicMonk. Greg hosts a Craft Brewery
Pilgrimage which visits a new craft brewery each month.