Fly into most major cities in America and you'll quickly find a restaurant or pub branded with the name of a local brewery. San Diego has a Stone Brewing outpost, Honolulu has a spot for Kona beer, San Francisco has an Anchor Brewing bar, and even Salt Lake City has a Squatters Airport Pub, where its Off Duty IPA and Bumper Crop honey help pass the time while awaiting your flight.
For years, Los Angeles International Airport had only Terminal 6's Redondo Beach Brewing Company, an offshoot of the one-time South Bay brewpub, which long ago sold off its brewing equipment and replaced taps at its airport bar with beers from Blue Moon and Gordon Biersch. (A kiosk that looks like an Angel City Brewing trade-show pop-up is also in Terminal 4.)
Next year, however, Golden Road Brewing will give LAX a much-needed serious beer destination in the form of Point the Way Cafe, which is being built in Terminal 6 as part of LAX's multi-billion-dollar overhaul. The restaurant and bar will have 20 taps of mostly Golden Road beers along with a kitchen that will serve some of the vegan and non-vegan favorites from the Pub at Golden Road, plus a selection of new entrees.
"The concept LAX was looking for was a higher-end gastropub feel," Golden Road co-founder Meg Gill says.
Golden Road Brewing, which is the largest by-volume beer producer in L.A., already has a massive presence at LAX. Flagship beers Point the Way IPA and Get Up Offa That Brown are available at multiple spots throughout the airport's terminals, and they have also set up several kiosks where seasonals are poured on draft.
Since last summer, the brewery has also produced Carry On Citrus Ale, the first beer exclusively made to be served in airports. HMSHost — the hospitality company curating concession management at 110 airports around the world, including LAX — distributes cans of Carry On to more than 30 airports.
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According to Gill, Point the Way Cafe (which will open in 2016) is intended to tell the brewery's story while being distinct in vibe from both Pub at Golden Road and also the forthcoming tasting room at Grand Central Market.
"People will get a feel that's very different from our Pub at Golden Road," Gill says. "It's more elevated, a little less funky and a little more grown-up than our pub in Atwater. Our goal was to elevate the status of craft beer in the airport."