With new breweries opening in L.A. County at the same rate as taco trucks, it's hard not to get jaded by the onslaught of above-average pale ales and West Coast IPAs. But when a local, Belgian-loving contract brewery that's had bottles on shelves since before #LAbeer was even a thing finally gets a 72-year-old decommissioned Port of Los Angeles warehouse to call its own, it's enough to perk up even the weariest of palates. Enter San Pedro's Brouwerij West, which, in addition to having a breathtaking space to park its brewhouse and tasting room (think: exposed wood beams in an airplane hangar), also makes some of the most exciting mixed-fermentation Belgian-style beers around. The Brilliant but Lazy, Get Back and My First Rodeo are made by mixing multiple microorganisms — usually the ever-evolving house yeast and some tart-making bacteria — into an otherwise “clean” brew. The end results are sour, funky, fruity and highly nuanced creations, many of them made with specialty grains from small farms, that pair well with the three things Brouwerij West offers every weekend: food, punk shows and fresh ocean air.
Opening-day lineup; Credit: Sarah Bennett