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Seeing beer up close at Golden Road Brewery

February 05, 2013|By John Verive
  • Golden Road Brewery
Golden Road Brewery (John Verive )

Situated in a former Southern Pacific Railroad switching station in Atwater Village, the 18-month old Golden Road Brewery has been aggressively expanding both the distribution of its beers in Southern California markets and the capacity of its production facility. Golden Road has finally opened the doors of its brewery for tours, and you can now see what it takes to turn sacks of grain and bags of hops into cans of Point the Way IPA and Get Up Offa That Brown Ale.

Aimed at demystifying the brewing process, the tours at Golden Road are given three times a day Fridays through Sundays, and you can sign up for a time slot in the brewery-adjacent pub. The process of making beer is a fairly simple one, but whether you're a devoted craft beer nerd or just curious about what it takes to get from grain to glass, there is no better way to learn about brewing than by seeing it in person while having the steps explained by an enthusiastic guide.

While Golden Road is the largest craft brewery offering tours in Los Angeles, there are many other breweries where you can get a glimpse behind the curtain. Here are a few other noteworthy brewery tour destinations:

Eagle Rock Brewery offers free tours on Sundays at 1, 2:30 and 4 p.m.

Angel City Brewery is now offering tours of the Arts District brewery during its "soft opening" hours Thursday to Sunday.

El Segundo Brewing Co. offers a monthly tour by its brewmaster. Check its events page for the next date.

Orange County's The Bruery offers tours at its Tasting Room.

The tour at Stone Brewing's Escondido brewery is a great example of engaged tour guides providing insight into the brewing process, and it is a must-visit for any fans of craft beer.

What can you expect to see on these tours? The guides will explain all the steps of making beer, from the milling of the grain to the packaging in bottles, cans or kegs while showing you the equipment responsible for each step. Depending on the specific brewery and time of your tour you may see brewers hard at work, and if you're lucky, you'll get to smell the pungent, Grape Nuts-like aroma of the proto-beer.

Each brewery is making unique beers on custom-built equipment, and each tour will provide a slightly different insight into the brewing process. Even if you're a veteran of brewery tours, you can gain new insights from the tour guides and watching the brewers work. You may even find that the beer tastes better once you've seen all the labor that goes into brewing it.

Have you toured a craft brewery? Which brewery has provided your favorite look at the process?

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