Take advantage of early summer weather at these top Westside beer patios
By Angela Matano
When you live in Los Angeles, you sometimes forget to be grateful for all the glorious gifts the city has to offer — like radiant sunshine nearly all year round. During the summer, there’s no better way to fill up on gratitude than to pick a venue in the spirit of a German beer garden and order up a libation, en plein air. Whether this place emanates down-home charm or sleek sophistication, take a minute to appreciate what you’ve got.
The cozy patio at Solidarity, strung up with twinkly fairy lights, sports a fire pit and comfortable, lounge-y seating. Come with friends and pretend like you’re at home, only better. German beer halls get all the glory, but Poland’s been in the business for over a thousand years. Choose an authentic Polish brew, like a Zywiec porter malt or an Ockocim lager. While you’re there, share a pierogi sampler.
1414 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica. (310) 393-8831; solidarity.com
The patio area at Ashland Hill is so welcoming, the restaurant even delivers a “Yappy Hour” so pets can do their own socializing on the first Tuesday of each month. The meticulously curated beer menu showcases 16 draft beers, including a rotating cider and sour. Try a “Super Local,” like the Ashland Hill Blonde or the Common Space Pale Ale from Hawthorne. Take a date and soak in the atmosphere, great for people-watching and conversation.
2807 Main St., Santa Monica. (310) 392-3300; ashlandhill.com
Elephante Beach House
If you’re looking to impress or be impressed, Elephante is the swankiest bet in town. Snag a spot on the balcony if you can and gaze at the Pacific. Beer diehards can choose a Strand pale ale or North Coast Scrimshaw Pilsner, but, if you throw yourself into the extremely capable arms of bar director Julien Calella, you might just find yourself falling in love with a cocktail. The attention to detail, from the house-made pineapple syrup in the Better Republic to the freshly grated cinnamon dusted on the wicked Pisolino, brings summer into focus.
1332 2nd St., Santa Monica. (424) 320-2384; elephantela.com
Come for the turtle racing, every first and third Thursday of the month, and stay for the 16 rotating craft beer taps. Recently renovated, the outdoor patio retains the quirky flourishes that have made Brennan’s a local staple since 1972, while sleekifying the bits that were a little rough around the edges. Come with a group of friends or find a new group of companions. This pub bubbles over with friendly types looking for a good time.
4089 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey. (424) 443-5119; brennansla.com
The High Rooftop Lounge at the Hotel Erwin puts it very succinctly when they say, “Not to brag, but we’re the only rooftop bar in Venice.” Spectacularly true, this breathtaking spot gives you views, sunsets and romance all day long and through the night. Sip on a Hatuey Cuban Style Ale, chug a Maui Brewing Bikini Blonde Lager, or slurp on a Rekorderlig Cider from Sweden. There are 12 choices of brew to forget your troubles in; why not start now?
1697 Pacific Ave., Venice. (424) 214-1062; hotelerwin.com
Rasselbock Kitchen & Beer Garden
It’s technically a covered patio, but that does not detract from the feeling that you’re drinking in an authentic German beer hall … though the potted succulents, deconstructed wallpaper and ironic jackalope antler chandelier do provide a Southern California twist. Large groups can gather at long table and bench setups, while parties with kids can park the little ones at a designated kiddie table with four pint-sized chairs. Choose one of the 35 German or Belgian brews on offer.
3817 Grand View Blvd., Mar Vista. (310) 439-2938; rasselbockla.com
The Dudes’ Brewing Co.
Inhale the salty sea air and listen to the caws of the seagulls on the veranda of The Dudes’ Brewing Co. at the top of Santa Monica Place. Once you catch your breath, soak in the dozens of beers on tap and order up a flight. With so many unique and even strange flavors to choose from — an Oompa Loompa Blueberry Sour, a Blood Orange Amber Ale, or a Grandma’s Pecan Brown — you couldn’t possibly pick just one. Play a game of cornhole and give in to the moment.
395 Santa Monica Place, #304, Santa Monica. (310) 893-2151; thedudesbrew.com
The Waterfront Venice
The Waterfront gives people what they want — the immersive Venice experiment. This café was made for influencers, tourists and locals alike. Sit right up to the edge of the Venice Boardwalk’s motley stream of fascinating strangers as they skate, bop and Bird right in front of you. Choose from a menu of about two dozen draft and can beers and bask in the surreal scene.
205 Ocean Front Walk, Venice. (424) 309-5331; thewaterfrontvenice.com
Three Weavers Brewing Company
A trip to the Three Weavers brewery tasting room is sure to give beer lovers a thrill. This local business features a mix of seasonal, core and collaboration beers on tap that rotate throughout the year, offering anywhere from 12 to 18 varieties. The absolutely cool indoor/outdoor deck features a roll up garage door and informal tables and benches. For daily updates on the brewery’s events and flavor releases, follow the joint on Instagram (@threeweavers). Hold the Lime, a “Seafarer” kölsch with lime zest, looks like a standout for summer.
1031 W. Manchester Blvd, Inglewood. (310) 400-5830; threeweavers.la
Sometimes the right dive bar just hits the spot, especially in this city, where keeping up with the Joneses can feel completely futile. The lack of pretension inside and out at Prince O’Whales routinely lands this joint on best of lists. The cheap beer doesn’t cramp its style either. Ping pong, live music, karaoke and an ice cold Bud Light all conspire to get you to relax, and I don’t mean saying, “Ommm.”
335 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey. (310) 823-9826
Tony P’s Dockside Grill
Pick any of 50 domestic, craft or import beers to sip in the tavern or along the harbor-front patio, sails bobbing in the background. On June 26, Tony P hosts one of his special beer dinners featuring five special brews paired with four savory dishes and a desert ($65 including tax and tip, RSVP required). Dig into dry rub pork riblets with Three Weavers’ “earthy and pungent” Expatriate IPA, pair bratwurst sliders with a rich Weinhenstephaner Hefeweissbier from the oldest active brewery in Bavaria, and finish with Belching Beaver Brewery’s Peanut Butter Milk Stout — likened to a dark chocolate Reese’s peanut butter cup in a glass — and a triple chocolate caramel roasted almond Kahlua brownie with
ice cream on top.
4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey. (310) 823-4534; tonyps.com
Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken
Where can you get beer, fried chicken and a donut under the open sky? Two words: Astro Doughnuts. During the summer, Main Street’s newest donut shop hosts pop-up taprooms on its tucked-away back patio the first Saturday of each month. The pop-up on July 20 spotlights local favorite Three Weavers, and Aug. 3 features the South Bay’s Smog City Brewing Company. June’s event featured a fried chicken drummette slathered in a Boomtown Brewery Barrel Aged Imperial Stout mole, a fried chicken slider sandwich braised with Boomtown’s Hazy IPA, and a Boysenberry Sour Doughnut with a Boomtown Brett Michaels Blonde Sour Ale glaze (available in store through the end of June).
2309 Main St., Santa Monica. (424) 280-4414; astrodoughnuts.com
Arts & Events editor Christina Campodonico contributed Rasselbock, Tony P’s and Astro Doughnuts.