Even in LA, there is something about drinking a beer at a picnic table at the end of May that makes it feel like summer, even when the temps hover in the low ’70s. My formative drinking experiences were all outside in the warming months—on wooden benches, wrapped in jean jackets as the sun went down, the smell of bonfire permeating beach-salted hair. Inseparable from this sense memory is the feeling of a glass bottle on the lips and the taste of beer.
What better way to celebrate the changing seasons than drinking local brew outside? The following spaces are open year-round, with your pick of days to unabashedly wear your sunglasses to the bar.
Three Weavers Brewing Co.
These guys aim to “create a community through beer,” and their Inglewood tasting room has the distinctly homey vibe of a garage opened up for a graduation party. There is local art on the walls, long wooden communal tables, and, yes, even board games. The beers cater well to the cult of hops, offering session, double, and wildcard IPAs but also a nice variety of low-hop and traditional styles such as Kolsch and English style porter. Brewmaster Alexandra Nowell and tasting room lead Molly Butler are typically on hand to answer any questions about the massive stainless equipment behind the bar.
1031 W. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood, CA 90301
Golden Road Brewing
Not only do they make beer in cans (the pub/garden is next to the canning facility), they have a playground’s worth of outdoor space and the family friendly vibe of a Fourth of July picnic. There are worse ways to spend an afternoon than sipping a Point-the-Way IPA and watching kids frolic. Golden Road is also not far from the LA River bike path for outdoor urban adventurers.
5410 W San Fernando Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90039
Angel City Brewery
There are ping pong tables and that bean bag tossing game—trappings more appropriate in a suburban backyard than gallery-like space a few blocks from Little Tokyo. Of course, the beer really ties the room together. The seamless juxtaposition of an art deco/metropolis vibe with a relaxed, food truck-catered pub captures the brewery’s unexpected style, apparent in brews like their White Night, a light yellow beer that tastes like a dark, toasty stout. The space is a little more indoor than outdoor, but the open, industrial feel brings you right back to those illicit teenage warehouse parties.
216 South Alameda St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
Photo courtesy of Helena Lopes