Where to Enjoy Craft Beer Instead of Champagne This New Year's Eve

Photo: richevenhouse/Flickr/Creative Commons License

New Year's Eve in Los Angeles can be a mixed bag. There are the clubs in Hollywood of course, and you can always slide into 2013 wrapped in some high-backed booth at an old-school Beverly Hills Italian joint. But where is the common man to go? And what to drink when you get there?

Thankfully, Los Angeles has come a long way since the days of black tie hotel parties and champagne-only fetes. There are more craft beer options for New Year's this year than ever before. And to show us all the love, some of the city's best beer bars are opening their doors for all-night parties that focus on the brews instead of the bubble. From the beach to Burbank, there's a craft beer New Year's Eve party going down nearby, and you're certainly invited.


Inside the Tony Yanow Empire

If you're one of Tony Yanow's growing hordes of supporters, you can toss him some of your hard-earned holiday money at one of his three L.A. outposts. At Golden Road Brewing in Atwater Village, $35 will get you an all-you-can-drink pass until 2am, plus you can spring for food at the bustling kitchen. If you're itching for something a bit classier, $50 gets you into Chloe's, the back bar that's usually reserved for parties or beer industry folks. If you don't plan on venturing past Echo Park, Mohawk Bend will set you back $45 for a family-style dinner and a New Year's beer toast, complete with commemorative glass. At Tony's namesake Darts Away in Burbank, the steeper $95 pricetag nets you unlimited drinks at a reserved indoor seat, plus a passing of appetizers and raffles all night long.

The Parish

Downtown's take on an English pub (with significantly upgraded food) manages to pull together one of the city's best local craft beer menus. The bar is currently tapping kegs of Eagle Rock Brewery, Brouwerij West, Ladyface, Cismontane and Strand. On New Year's the taps will be getting heavy use thanks to a 10pm - 2am party. The $30 pre-sale level gets you a drink token and some passed appetizers, or you can chance getting in on the night of for $15 and no drink token.


Verdugo Bar

This no-frills craft beer spot in Glassell Park has been quietly putting together some of the best beer events of the past year, including their back patio Oktoberfest celebrations. Now you can duck the crowds and ring in 2013 with a night of your favorite local pints. There's going to be a DJ inside, but they promise not to play bad music. And the best part? No cover, just good times.


City Tavern

Should you find yourself in Culver City for the night, City Tavern is your best craft beer bet. A $68 ticket gets you unlimited pours from 22 different taps and bottle beers, plus wine and champagne for anyone who wants it. If you're looking to grab dinner, they'll knock $10 off the ticket price.


Blue Palms Brewhouse

People about lost their mind in 2012 when Blue Palms Brewhouse was forced to temporarily shutter. The popular craft beer mega-spot is so beloved with beer fans that a movement was started and the place was saved from sinking under a bad lease. Now that the party is back on, you can ring in the new year with a $75 party package that includes unlimited beers from the tap, any entree and a commemorative glass. It's probably the only thing that will help you remember the night.


The Surly Goat

If you're looking for one of the more comprehensive tap lists in the city, West Hollywood's The Surly Goat has you covered. For New Year's, they'll be pulling out some fancy pours to go along with their $50 pricetag. While the hefty price doesn't get you dinner or any other big perk, you can drink all night without paying another cent (selected booze and champagne as well), and you're guaranteed to enjoy the best beers that Southern California and beyond have to offer.


Library AleHouse

Out in Santa Monica, the Library AleHouse has been spending December with a selection of strong beers. The high-ABV pours have been populating their taps for the past two weeks, and the festival ends when the year does. Thankfully, they're going out in style, with an 8:30pm five-course dinner seating that includes vintage beer pairings and a champagne toast at midnight. If you're just heading over for the Strong Ale Festival, you can expect everything from Lost Abbey, North Coast and Drake's to Kulmbacher, Mikkeller and Heretic.


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About the Author

Farley Elliott is a freelance food writer and comedian. He currently writes for KCET.org, SeriousEats.com, LAist.com, and L.A. Weekly. You can catch Farley doing comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Hollywood.
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