A new gastropub, whatever the hell that is, seems to open every 15 minutes in the brave new world of a suddenly (meaning ten years late) beer-embracing Los Angeles. So as this phenomenon continues and we watch with bated breath to see which of the 10,000 beer joints survive past the current Congress, we stop to pay homage to an alehouse that has been around since the beginning of time or, in L.A. terms, 1995.

The Library Alehouse in Santa Monica is an intimate public house with an L-shaped bar and an insanely good line-up of 29 of the best craft beers in the world. They host 2-3 beer events per month and on September 7, it will be their “Dogfish Head Study Hall,” featuring 6 ounce flights of each rare Dogfish Head beer. Go to the next page to see the line up.

A fine flight of beer at Library Alehouse; Credit: Amanda S.

A fine flight of beer at Library Alehouse; Credit: Amanda S.

There will be a “Big Ass Beer” flight consisting of 120 Minute IPA, World Wide Stout, and Olde School Barleywine. A “There's Food in my Beer” flight with Punkin, Festina Peche, and Red & White. And finally, an “Ancient Ales” flight of Chateau Jiahu, Theobroma, and Sah'tea. All of these beers are extremely hard to find on draft in Los Angeles.

Library will serve small beer/food pairings as well: Theobroma with Papaya Goat Cheese Quesadilla,120 Minute IPA with Jalapeno Bottle Caps, Habanero Aioli Alehouse Ribs with World Wide Stout, and Sticky Toffee Pudding with Vintage Palo Santo Marron.

There is no drop off from beer one to beer twenty-nine among their 29 taps thanks to GM Tom Kelley, a certified cicerone who is putting all of his bartenders and servers through the training which requires them to know their shit about beer: the styles, the glassware, the pour size, the flavors and elements. As “certified beer servers,” they become qualified to guide and expand the choices that patrons might make in their beer selection just like a sommelier does with wine.

Library Alehouse has been serving craft beer longer than almost every other beer bar in greater L.A. Events like their Dogfish Head Study Hall demonstrate they are still doing it as well or better than almost all the newcomers.

LA Weekly