This year's rendition of LA Beer Week comes with a heightened sense of regional awareness. It's hardly by chance, with the newly-formed LA County Brewers Guild taking charge of the festivities for the first time. In turn, some of the best bars and brewpubs around town are offering up specials between now and Sunday, showcasing the rise of Los Angeles craft beer. Don't let their inadequate website discourage you: There's never been a more economical time to experience just how far the scene has evolved over the past half-decade. Below are ten great Beer Week deals, running through the weekend.
As if 88 taps on the beach wasn't enticing enough, Naja's discounts dozens of renowned craft offerings during LA Beer Week. An initial $10 purchase is good for a beer with a take home 12-oz. glass. Hold on to that hardware and refills on select brews are $4 for the rest of the week, including fan favorites like Port Brewing and Firestone Walker out of Paso Robles. 154 International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach; (310) 376-9951.
Boasting seasonal creations built around organic, grass-fed beef, this Hawaiian-themed burger joint is worth visiting any time of year. But during Beer Week they've stepped up their suds game with Expression IPA on tap. The crisp, dry-hopped session ale comes from Torrance-based Strand Brewing. When paired alongside their Paniolo burger, topped with onion rings, bacon and Kona coffee-bourbon BBQ sauce, they'll throw in a basket of sweet potato fries on the house. Just say "beer week" when placing the order. 829 Broadway, Santa Monica; (310) 584-7005.
Locally-sourced specialities play prominently amongst Verdugo Bar's two dozen taps, accompanied by a flawless bottle list. This Thursday they welcome the chefs from Salt's Cure to their outdoor patio, where hot link sausage, pulled pork and grilled ham and cheese sandwiches will partner with pint specials from Dogfish Head Brewery. But to keep it local, stick with the Red Velvet Amber Ale out of Eagle Rock Brewery, just down the street. It's slightly caramelized, tobacco-glazed finish is primed for BBQ. The event runs from 6-9 p.m., with beers and food ranging from $5-8, but the drink specials last until Sunday. 3408 Verdugo Road, Glassell Park; (323) 257-3408.
Bow and Truss
To satisfy the sweet tooth, Bow & Truss in the heart of the NoHo Arts District has compiled a dessert and beer pairing with the folks at Ballast Point Brewing. Twenty bucks covers five small plates, each lined up against their own 2-oz. taster. The showstopper promises to be their sweet coconut mini cake matched with the highly-coveted and relatively-rare Grapefruit Sculpin IPA. The special runs until the kegs are tapped, and these are all limited batch beers. Don't expect them to last long. 11122 Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood; (818) 985-8787.
Venice Ale House
What's better than enjoying a cold pint of craft beer while people watching on Venice boardwalk? Paying only $5 for the experience. Select L.A. microbrews are discounted, with the list changing every day. The South Bay's own Monkish brewing will be pouring this weekend. Try a pint of their delicately complex Lumen — a 7.2% Belgian pale brewed with jasmine flowers. 2 Rose Ave, Venice; (310) 314-8253.
With 72 taps focusing almost exclusively on Golden State ales and lagers, it should come as little surprise that Echo Park's most expansive craft destination has figured out the perfect way to highlight L.A.'s blossoming beer scene. Their LA Brewers Guild Flight incorporates four 5-ounce pours from a rotating assortment of local libations for $12, including the zesty, slightly-peppered California Saison from Redondo Beach newcomer, King Harbor Brewing. 2141 Sunset Blvd, Echo Park; (213) 483-2337.
Recently celebrating 18 years strong, this Pasadena craft mecca is set to tap a keg of Triple Crown IPA, brewed specifically for them by the folks at Mother Earth Brewing, down in Vista. Go in anytime during Beer Week to enjoy the Lucky Special; the first round includes a commemorative Lucky Baldwin's glass for $12. Every subsequent beer ordered throughout the evening is $2 off the listed price, with dozens of cult classics to choose from. 1770 E. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena; (626) 795-0652.
Barlo Kitchen and Cocktails
Head to the beach this week for a limited time offer from Barlo Kitchen in the Hotel Erwin. Their signature burger, topped with chevre, tomato marmalade and bacon caramel (yes, that's a real thing) arrives at the table next to Brewery Ommegang’s autumn-oriented Scythe and Sickle harvest ale. Not exactly local, but at $15 for the combo, it's difficult to complain. 1697 Pacific Avenue, Venice; (310) 452-1111.
All this week, this eclectic cafe — which specializes in small plates — is slinging Mary's Farms salt and pepper wings (served with buttermilk jalapeño sauce) or pate crostini with choice of a canned craft selection for $8 total. The cans are priced at $4 a pop, thereafter. 8422 W 3rd St, Beverly Grove; (323) 677-2470.
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Get your brunch on this weekend at Lucky Duck as they host their Pick Your Draft Beer and Benedict pairing. There's a number of combinations to choose from, all priced at $20, but their Cuban pork confit Benedict is sure to be the crowd pleaser. Designed specifically to counter Cismontane's boldly bitter Coulter IPA, it forms an exceptional 1-2 punch of mouth-watering flavor. Additionally, the bar will run their draft beers at $5 all night throughout the week. 2630 Hyperion Ave, Silverlake; (323) 686-6304.