One reason we introduced Blue Room is to share some of the great people, places and things we’ve encountered that seem to have that special something.
One California brand we have grown to love and respect is Golden Road Brewery. First, it’s a brewery, so obviously we were sold right off the bat, but it’s also a local hot spot in Southern California. The Original Pub and Brewery is located in the Atwater Village neighborhood of northeast Los Angeles, and since beer enthusiasts Meg Gill and Tony Yanow opened the location in September 2011, the brand has been focused on keeping the products inspired by its SoCal home (hmm, sound familiar?!).
Earlier this month we decided to head over to the brewery for an afternoon tour – in the name of research, of course. As we arrived at the Original Pub, we were greeted with outdoor seating, blue and white umbrellas and a doggy deck. Inside was an impressively friendly environment with a choice of more than a dozen Golden Road beers on tap and a full menu. The traditional pub fare is clearly inspired by SoCal with a mix of unique burgers, avocado tacos and fries. One of the co-founders, Tony, is vegan, so the menu also includes delicious vegan-friendly options too. Golden Road prides itself on serving vegan-friendly beers as well. Traditionally, fining agents such as gelatin, bone char and isinglass were used in the brewing process to refine beer, but this brewery utilizes centrifuge to spin the beers into clarity… we told you they were #soLA.
Our tour guide, John, took us on an informative trip throughout the brewery location. We checked out the private event space, Chloe’s, which is only accessible via a secret door near the main bar and used for private parties. The intimate space gave off a speakeasy vibe with stained glass windows, dark wooden pillars and floors and high green ceilings with a vintage chandelier giving off flickering light.
The next stop was the brewery itself, where we learned every stage of the process from grain to can. Not many craft beers were canning in 2011, and there was still a preconceived idea that canned beers were cheap, but Golden Road had a different idea. The SoCal lifestyle was the main inspiration for the brewery to use cans versus glass bottles. When you think of all the outdoor activities people do year round in L.A., most of those include locations where cans are a lot more user-friendly. Beers also stay fresher longer in cans without light oxidation.
While Golden Road has a line of core classic brews, the brewers also experiment with fresh and seasonal ingredients. Like johnnie-O, the brand pays attention to what their customers want. There’s a diverse lineup of options that suits all needs. They even create dog treats out of spent grain. Golden Road not only takes influence from its community, it also gives back. The brewery donates 10 percent of sales from their Heal the Bay IPA.
In case you aren’t sold on this innovative company yet, we should tell you that Golden Road has plans in the future to experiment with aging some of their brews in bourbon barrels… and also tequila ones. Pretty cool!
While we start to plan our next trip, check out photos from our tour on our Facebook page, and if you’re ever in the area, we recommend you check it out yourself. In case you’re looking for other local craft brews, we suggest you give these a try: Three Weavers Brewing Company and Upslope Brewing Company.