So you've gotten into this whole craft beer thing and have enjoyed trying the myriad breweries and styles. But when you run out of new beers to buy at your local mega-mart, it's time to seek out a specialty beer retailer. With the rising popularity of craft beer in recent years, liquor stores have been expanding their craft beer selections, and several beer-centered bottle shops have opened around town.
Before we jump into the recommendations, there are two important things to look for in a specialty bottle shop: a friendly, knowledgeable staff and ample cold-storage space. The best bottle shops have staffers who are happy to answer specific questions about their stock or provide more general recommendations and suggestions, and beer that is stored cold ensures a fresher stock.
Sunset Beer Co.: Not only does this year-old shop in Echo Park have a dozen coolers filled with craft beer, local favorites, and imported treasures, it also has a taproom for pouring pints and having special events. 1498 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles (213) 481-2337.
Valley Beverage: The current management of this venerable neighborhood shop has actively developed their craft beer selection in recent months. Valley Beverage isn't the neatest of bottle shops, but its inventory more than makes up for that, with a variety of hard-to-find bottles and special treats (like the well-loved beers from Mammoth Brewing Co., which store employees regularly drive off the mountain themselves). 14901 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, (818) 981-1566
Bill's Liquor: It would be easy to mistake this corner store for just another neighborhood bodega, but the back coolers of Bill's are packed to the gills with some of the best American craft brews from Stone Brewing, Russian River, the Bruery and many others. 3150 Glendale Blvd., Atwater Village, (323) 663-0684.
Wally's Wines: One of the Westside's most beloved wine shops, Wally's also stocks a well-curated selection of craft beers. From the best in imported Belgian lambics to single bottles of the big names in American craft brewing, you're sure to find a new favorite. 2107 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 475-0606.
Vendome Wine and Spirits: Scattered from Orange Country to Studio City, the fragmented Vendome Liquor empire is run by a group of siblings, and although each store's inventory varies, they are all well-stocked with craft beer. The Toluca Lake and Beverly Hills locations are particularly good for beer, as their beer buyers are passionate and knowledgeable (and happy to help you find that perfect bottle). Multiple Locations.
This just scratches the surface of great beer-focused retailers you can find across Los Angeles. Where is your favorite spot to discover new beers or score old favorites?
A photo farewell to tiki heaven
6,000 gallons of whiskey down the drain
Lock & Key speakeasy opens in Koreatown