Southern California has a huge beer scene that differs depending on where you are. From Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean to the Long Beach and Angeles National Forest, you will find the best breweries in Southern California.
There are hundreds of breweries in the area, including the Ballast Point and the Bruery, producing thousands of unique beers that will have craft beer lovers excited. Do get a designated driver that will be happy to drive you around so that you can try all the amazing blends and beverages.
Best Breweries in Southern California
Let’s take a closer look at the best breweries in Southern California where you can try out different brews.
Ballast Point Brewery offers a variety of beer flavors; there is something new to try every time you are there. They have beers made with ghost chili peppers that will surely get your adrenaline kicking. There is also a beer that is infused with ginger and chai. A fan favorite is the Sculpin IPA, so make sure to try that.
The brewery offers a tour around the taproom, and they have plenty of space for you and your friends to chill and hang out.
Yes, the Bruery is spelled this way, and yes, everyone knows how well this small Orange County does when it comes to brews. It offers a small collection of beer that you will definitely have a great time exploring. The place is always jam-packed, and some days, it may even have a line, so make sure to make a reservation. We recommend trying sour and heavy beers.
The atmosphere and ambiance are definitely fun, with a massive tasting area and plenty of chairs and tables to relax. The all-wood interior looks absolutely vintage and comfy with steel vats and oak barrels.
AleSmith is a great place to try amazing craft beers. They have an exceptional selection of beer, making them a great up-and-coming bar. They have established a great market with their unique craft stouts. While it is small, it can accommodate every customer well with its authentic and vintage vibe of keg tables made with old barrels and rustic wood furniture. We recommend the Wee Heavy Scotch Ale and Speedway Stout.
Alpine Brewery has been offering killer beers for years now. It is known to offer the best IPA in the city, which is no small task considering how many craft beers there are. We recommend trying their Pale Ale or Pure Hoppiness, which are great beers with unique blends. However, it does have early closing times, so make sure to head there early.
Highland Park Brewery
The Highland Park Brewery is in Chinatown, and this is where you want to go when you want to drink while watching the Dodgers but don’t want to spend $18 at the stadium. It’s within walking distance to the Dodger Stadium, which makes it perfect for a pre-game before the actual game.
It was launched in 2018 by Bob Kunz. There is a friendly and spacious atmosphere with a great bar menu that makes it the perfect bar all year. They are known for their IPAs, hazy styles called DDH More, and the West Coast called Hello, LA. We also recommend the farmhouse ales and experimental Saisons as well as their amazing pilsner.
Monkish Brewing Co.
The Monkish have developed a cult-like following for a good reason. They have many popular releases; new beers are announced on their social media page. There can be long lines before their new releases, so do check the page before heading down there.
The bartenders are highly knowledgeable about their brews, cans, and tap items. They have renowned stouts as well as delicious pale ales and IPAs. We recommend trying the Glamoro, DDH IPA with Citra, all-Citra dry-hopped double DIPA, Galaxy, Nelson Sauvin, and Or Life Is Foggier.
They often have a food truck outside, wooden barrels for tables, and amazing sweet monk murals.
Brouweij West Brewery is known for its Popfuji black and white Keith Haring figure on the mural. It is shaped like a galaxy for an out-of-this-world bar experience. It offers one of the best craft lagers in the world.
It is built in a Los Angeles port in an old US Navy warehouse from World War II. The space is stunning and cavernous, with seating for 300 people on long tables under beautiful string lights. You can also sit outside on the port while enjoying your beer with a view of the gorgeous beers.
As a family-friendly brewery, they also offer live music by local artists.
Pomona is in the far east region of Los Angeles County without leaving the county. Homage is quite popular with some of the region’s most innovative beers.
The microbrewery is located in the middle of Pomona’s charming downtown and began as a Kickstarter project. It has developed into a prominent leader in the beer scene in Los Angeles.
Homage concentrates on creative, blended variations on barrel-aged types, saisons, and lagers, with its distinctive mixes and DIY mentality that totally match the music-and-fashion origins of its proprietors, Lauren, and Matthew Garcia. Adjunct-laced stouts and Dank hops are also favorites at the brewery. Oh, and we nearly forgot to highlight Matt’s new venture into natural winemaking!
Best Breweries in Southern California with Food
Here are a few of our favorite breweries with great food in Southern California:
Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens
Stone Brewing Company is a name you have heard if you were looking for the best breweries in Southern California. It is almost ubiquitous in the beer scene in Southern California. You will have an amazing experience there with their gorgeous gardens where you can enjoy their stellar beer and food.
If you like heavy beers, you will find a great selection. But even if you prefer light beers, you can enjoy yourself sitting next to the huge stone fireplace with a soda. Try their Levitation Ale and Stone IPA.
Anacapa is named after a delightful island and has a pretty sweet location in Ventura. They offer seven brews with a delicious food menu. It might be a small location with a great atmosphere. They have commissioned artists to do murals on their walls. They have rustic brick exposed walls with behind-the-counter vats. It is the perfect place to enjoy beers with your friends like their Two Trees Double IPAs and Farmer Flannel Maple Brown.