Downtown L.A., already home to two craft breweries, is about to get a whole lot more. In addition to existing Angel City Brewery, which opened at Rose and Traction in 2013, and brand-new Mumford Brewing Co., which opened two weeks ago with a tasting room, there are five other breweries under construction or in planning, all within a mile of one another.
Boomtown Brewery breaches Little Tokyo to the north while Indie Brewing Co. and Dry River Brewing Co. cross the Los Angeles River into Boyle Heights. Filling out the Traction Avenue contingent will be Arts District Brewing Co., while Iron Triangle Brewing Co. will anchor the southern end of the neighborhood with a property that spans an entire city block.
Once all seven breweries open — at least three more should be operating by the end of the year — it will make the Arts District area home to the highest concentration of craft breweries in L.A. County. And with public transportation delivering people from farther away, downtown could easily become a walkable, accessible craft beer destination.
Because there is a great deal of variation and experience between the breweries, the mix could offer something for every kind of beer drinker. Cedd Moses and Eric Needleman's Arts District Brewing Co. has a built-in audience from their 213Hospitality family, including Seven Grand, Las Perlas and Caña Rum Bar. They’ve also recruited esteemed brewer Devon Randall from Pizza Port Solana Beach.
Dry River Brewing Co. is pushing the sustainable angle (it hopes to be the greenest brewery in the state) and is embracing its hometown of Boyle Heights, though it is not planning to have a tasting room. Boomtown (which is already brewing and on tap at several local bars) has the branding success of the Stout Burger pub chain from the Kaglew partners. Startup Indie Brewing Co. is slated to have bottles and kegs released this summer.
The largest and most ambitious of them all is Iron Triangle, whose 30-barrel brewhouse and proposed initial capacity will be enough to saturate the Southland. According to owner Nathan Pacetti, his brewery will rival the output of Golden Road by 2016. All he needs now is a brewer.
It may seem as though these breweries are popping up overnight, but the reality is most have taken years to get off the ground. Pacetti has been paying rent on his 40,000-square-foot space since 2012. Dry River Brewing has been a name to watch in L.A. beer since it successfully funded a Kickstarter campaign back in 2013. And according to Todd and Peter Mumford, they signed the lease on their namesake brewery's space in September 2013.
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Along with the South Bay cities of Torrance and Redondo Beach, downtown's new breweries will give Angelenos another craft beer hub, bringing L.A. closer to competing with more established beer regions such as San Diego and the Bay Area.
“Downtown was our first love,” says Tien Tran, Todd Mumford's wife and brewery co-founder (Peter Mumford is the brewmaster). The couple lived in the area 15 years ago before moving to Mid-City. Although they flirted with the idea of opening their brewery in Culver City, they were set on returning to the neighborhood they'd left. Despite the potential challengers around them, the Mumford crew is eager to see the downtown beer scene grow. “We’re so excited,” Todd Mumford says. “There aren’t enough breweries in L.A.”