When it comes to taps, the South Bay has an ever growing, and constantly evolving brew culture with new breweries popping up all the time. I was lucky enough to check out some amazing brews that the South Bay has to offer at some amazing locations, each with their own distinct vibe. Whether you’re seeking a towny feel, something right by the water, or some upscale dining, I’ve got some hot tips for you on where to go.
Nestled in the Riviera Village, the Select Beer Store is the place brewers come to drink after a long day of work.
Feel free to find a bottle to crack open and drink there (minimal corking fee), or go straight for the taps for a pint, or order a couple of 4 ounce taster flights. Just don’t expect to drink your beer while watching a sports game. Select Beer Store purposefully doesn’t have a television, that way patrons can focus on beer and conversation. It was obvious it was a friendly place as high fives, hand shakes and fist bumps were with each customer.
I asked bartender Ryan to serve me up with some local suds, and he expertly put together a great tasting of some interesting local brews as well as some of Boulevard Brewery’s beers. Anaheim’s Noble Aleworks IPA was amazingly smooth for an IPA, and the Long Finn Lager from Ballast Point in San Diego was the perfect crisp beer for a hot day. If you’re interested in some unique flavors I’d suggest the chocolate ale on tap, which was as aromatic as a cup of hot cocoa.
Only a stone’s throw away from the water, this is the perfect spot to grab a beer right off the harbor. With their brewery located in North Redondo Beach, founder Will Daines said that their goal was always to put up a location on King Harbor, their namesake, and it has now come to fruition.
The tasting room on the pier is all about the simple concept of enjoying a beer on the pier. On my visit they were featuring one of their exclusive cask beers, a vanilla brown ale. They regularly brew casks for the tasting room, which are beers made in limited quantities and fermented in the cask, giving them a distinct texture and bubble quality.
Their IPA was the smoothest I’ve ever had, despite the high alcohol content.
On the other side of the spectrum was their Swirly, a popular dessert beer served two ways: The regular swirly, and the nitro swirly. The niro swirly uses nitrogen instead of CO2 to add carbonation, leading to a beer smooth as butter. Usually a process for darker beers (popularly, Guinness uses the nitrogen tactic), King Harbor Brewing Co. regularly gives different beers the nitro treatment to see what they come up with.
For non-drinkers, they make their own lemon soda which can be ordered on its own, or mixed with a light lager to make a Radler, a mix of soda and beer made for cyclists who want to enjoy a beer without being weighed down.
This is a great spot to enjoy the beach and speak with a knowledgeable staff who simply want to share their love for beer. If you find a beer you like, you can have it bottles on site to go, or get one of their signature Crowlers, an onsite canning process they’ll do right in front of you. To their knowledge, they are one of the only breweries in Los Angeles to offer them.
Their knowledgeable staff walked me through the beers, serving them in a nice line of light to dark gradient, and served up some of their favorite, best pairing dishes. The El Segundo Blue House Citra Pale Ale was an amazingly sweet IPA, unlike any other that I’ve had. It paired exceptionally well with the rich duck carnitas with blueberry chipotle sauce.
Their selection from King Harbor Brewing Co., the Abel Brown brown ale, was a welcome treat since I didn’t get to try it at their tasting room, and I’d suggest you grab a pint with an order of the soft shell crab. I couldn’t get enough of both! The taste was warm and dark, and fit perfectly with the airy, saltwater taste of the deep fried soft shell crab.
This is definitely the place to go to when you’re looking for a place to grab a cold brew and a bite to eat, whether it's a shared appetizer or a full dinner.