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Craft beer is hopping

August 05, 2011|By Steven Armstrong
  • From the left, Manifesto, Solidarity and Revolution beers from Eagle Rock Brewery, who will be participating in the Craft Beer Festival on September 25, 2010. (Photo by Krista Simmons)
From the left, Manifesto, Solidarity and Revolution…

In many ways, the roughly 16-mile stretch between Burbank and San Gabriel is the cradle of craft beer civilization in L.A. County. It’s where many of the first craft beer bars and bottle shops appeared in our area; it’s home to the county’s oldest craft brewery — Pasadena’s Craftsman Brewing Company; and it continues to be an epicenter for L.A.-area craft beer culture to this day. So to help the residents of the Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena areas better navigate the excellent craft beer options available to them, we’ve compiled a list of just a few of the best bars and bottle shops the area has to offer — all within a short walk, bike or drive.

Craft Beer Bars

Tony’s Darts Away, Burbank

When Tony Yanow opened this namesake bar on Magnolia in 2009, it was just a modest little neighborhood joint specializing in all-California draught beer and vegan bar bites. Now, nearly 16 months later, it’s widely considered to be one of the best craft beer bars in California, if not the United States. But don’t worry — TDA maintains that unassuming neighborhood bar charm.

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1710 W Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, www.tonysda.com/

Verdugo Bar, Glassell Park

Verdugo Bar is the first modern craft beer bar to appear within L.A. city limits, and it’s still one of the best places to go for a wide selection of high-quality craft beers. It tends to attract a younger, hipper crowd, and it doesn’t serve food. Food trucks do park outside quite often, though. If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, we suggest arriving on the early side. The door opens at 3 p.m. on weekends.

3408 Verdugo Road, Los Angeles, www.verdugobar.com/

38 Degrees Ale House & Grill, Alhambra

Easily one the best craft beer bars in the San Gabriel Valley, 38 Degrees boasts a rotating selection of 38 beers on tap and around 60 beers in bottles. They also have full lunch and dinner menus, so don’t be afraid to come hungry. They open every day at 11:30 a.m.

100 W Main St., Alhambra, www.38degreesalhambra.com/

Craft Beer Bottle Shops

Vendome Wine & Spirits, Toluca Lake

This bottle shop has been around for a while, but it wasn’t until 2006 that it really began to expand its craft beer selection. Today, it’s one of the best places to go in the whole L.A. area for bottles of great craft beer. They also host regular tasting events, so make sure to check their website for dates and times.

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