Before Prohibition single-handedly decimated the brewing industry in America, the majority of beer that would find its way into a man's belly was brewed locally. It's truly exciting to be living in a time when the momentum seems to be shifting back to the side of smaller, home-grown operations that can serve their local markets, and Golden Road Brewing is wasting no time quenching us Angelinos' thirst for craft beer.
Golden Road first opened the doors of its big blue building in October of last year. I've been filling my growler regularly with their Hef and IPA since then. January 15th was the official Grand Opening of their brewpub, in the yellow building adjacent to the brewery, and the debut of their line of 16oz canned beer. I had the opportunity to visit the pub yesterday with some buddies for dinner and some suds and see how it's all come together.
The pub itself is very attractive. With a high ceiling and a wide doorway that opens up into the patio area, the space feels comfortable and casual with a touch of class. After years of frequenting either ugly dive bars or crowded, hipster destinations in the heart of the driver's hell that is Hollywood in the quest for craft beer, it's refreshing to have access to a nice, spacious, unpretentious spot. I can see the covered patio being high in demand on warm summer nights. Guests seat themselves and order at the bar, which made for an awkward few minutes of standing around waiting to snipe a table when someone left. Luckily, they seem to have enough space to add a few more tables if they need to in the future.
Their food menu was genuinely impressive. Tony Yanow's establishments are known for their vegan options, but carnivores will be eating better than the average bar food they're used to. We enjoyed a chicken breast plate with spinnach, potato fritters, and a giant pretzel, and all of the food was top notch. The nice thing about coming here on an empty stomach is that you can order a satisfying, gourmet entree featuring duck or short ribs, or an affordable yet filling appetizer for just around five or six bucks, so you have options whether you want to spend some cash on a nice meal or if you're still waiting on your next paycheck.
Of course, the most important factor here is the beer. I've had their flagship hef before and that beer is solid and sessionable, and their Point the Way IPA is a highly drinkable, low ABV brew on the sweeter, grapefruity side that I'd feel comfortable ordering a pitcher for friends who might not enjoy the more intensely hoppy, bitter IPAs that I like myself. I also had a tulip of their American wild ale and Burning Bush IPA, and both beers were pleasant and were good examples of their styles. I wish I had a chance to try their tequila-barrel hef before they were tapped out, as that is the kind of bold beer that I was hoping to sample from this brewery.
The pub is also going to have a rotating list of guest kegs from notable breweries. Just last night they had beers from The Bruery, North Coast, and Dogfish Head, just to name a few. Guest pints were listed at $7, while Golden Road brews ranged from $4 to $6.
There's not a lot of places in the valley where you're sure to get good beer, good food, a hip vibe, and be surrounded by beer-lovers. Want to talk to the brewmaster? He's probably wandering around having a beer. What better way to end my evening than to say hi and talk about yeast strains? It was a great experience, and it's exciting to have a local brewery close to home to be able to support and enjoy. Cheers!