As we roll into August and the inevitable end of yet another summer, it's important to stay focused. Jobs, friends, money ... it all comes and goes. What's here to stay is summertime drinking. All alone or with a group of buddies, there are few things more enjoyable than a pint of cold beer on an outdoor patio, with the sun or the stars floating their image in the amber of your glass.
Not sure where to go for a drink amongst the elements? Let us guide you. There are plenty of great places in Los Angeles to sit back with some suds. Here are five of the best outdoor beer drinking spots on the Eastside.
Don't be fooled by the thin walkway that leads to Far Bar's patio; there's plenty of space to sit and have a drink. Tucked in between two red brick buildings in Little Tokyo, the patio seats a few dozen thirsty patrons eager for a beer. The craft selection changes regularly, and new additions can be found on a handwritten chalkboard inside the small rectangular bar. The list generally skews towards the higher end, but it's nothing most people can't handle, especially when ultra-tasty pours like Hitachino White and Allagash Curieux make frequent appearances on the bottle list. If the string of golden lights and the open sky seem to sink you into your chair, don't worry about getting up. A server will be around shortly with a tap list and a warm smile.
347 E 1st St.
Little Tokyo, CA 90012
Tucked along Ave 34 in Glassel Park, Verdugo Bar is an unassuming spot that boasts one of the best beer lists in town. Run by Ryan Sweeney (who also has a hand in craft beer mecca The Surly Goat and downtown's Little Bear), Verdugo Bar lets their beers and their patio do the talking. In the summer time, the dimly lit front room is nothing more than a staging area for beers being passed to the long communal tables out back. You'll also find a food truck parked in the back lot most nights, serving all manner of grub to chatty drinkers, long into the night.
3408 Verdugo Rd.
Glassel Park, CA 90065
Golden Road Brew Pub
As a natural extension of the flagship Golden Road Brewing operation, the Golden Road brew pub sits in an industrial cut of buildings at the northern tip of Atwater Village. Eschewing old wooden benches and waves of ivy for a decidedly more urban look, the patio is open to the air (and the occasional passing train) on one full side, giving summertime drinkers a nice breeze and plenty of shade. The beers you're looking for are inside the warehouse, along with a selection of finely-tuned bar food. This being Tony Yanow's place and all, the beers are mostly from the brewing operation next door, but a few California competitors are usually snuck up on the chalkboard as well. It's also a great summertime spot for a Midnight Snack.
Golden Road Brew Pub
5410 West San Fernando Rd.
Atwater Village, CA 90039
Red Lion Tavern
The Red Lion could have been the sort of Silver Lake space that jumped the shark once troves of hipsters started arriving years ago. That is, if it weren't so hell-bent on staying exactly the same as when it opened in 1959. The downstairs bar area is a blitz of vinyl seating and bad carpets, just like granddad would have wanted. The upstairs patio is big and rustic, with just enough dust in the corners to remind you of its age. But don't be fooled by the rustling branches, metal chairs or kitschy glass boots to drink from, Red Lion continues to sport an impressive resume of German bocks, weizens and pilsners. They're no slouch in the schnitzel and sausage departments, either.
Red Lion Tavern
2366 Glendale Blvd.
Silver Lake, CA 90039
Biergarten at The Standard Hotel
Whatever you may think of the clientele that flocks to downtown's The Standard hotel in the summer time, there's no denying that they've got a pretty great rooftop set up going on. There's the pool, perpetually clogged with hardbodies and young out-of-towners. Then there's the biergarten, a small but sufficient ode to Austrian and German fare. They've got all the basics covered, in some approximation: the turf that stands in for real grass, the long wooden tables, the rising shrubbery. Nothing can take away from the sweeping views of downtown Los Angeles though. On warm summer nights, as the heat begins to lift away and the lights from some poor schmuck's office window illuminates the distance, there are few better places to be caught with a stein in your hand.
Biergarten at The Standard
550 South Flower St.
Downtown LA, CA 90071
Bonus: The Cat & Fiddle
Sure, it's a Hollywood bar (and basically a drinking institution, at that), but we'd be remiss to not discuss the phenomenal outdoor space at The Cat & Fiddle on Sunset Blvd. With plenty of tables, a trickling fountain and tons of visual real estate, there's certainly a lot to love about the outdoor patio here. While the beer list could use a bit of beefing up, practically any old draft will do when you're out front on a warm summer night.
The Cat & Fiddle
6530 Sunset Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
Next week we'll take a look at five great outdoor drinking spots on the Westside. In the meantime, get out while you still can, before summer starts to elude us all.