Golden Road Brewing was founded in October 2011 by Tony Yanow and Meg Gill. Tony—a long-time vegan—is also the man behind Tony’s Darts Away pub in Burbank + the wildly popular Mohawk Bend in Echo Park. He’s also the reason the menus for all three of those establishments are so delectably vegan-friendly.
With its outdoor patio, outstanding ever-changing food menu, growler fills, 20 revolving beer taps, specialty on-daught only beer experiments, and game area (including giant versions of Connect Four + Jenga), Golden Road’s pub is one our favorite establishments in LA. Honestly, it’s probably a good thing we don’t live any closer, lest we risk going every day, getting the “NORM!!!” treatment, and completely draining our bank accounts.
Another impressive aspect of the brewery is their ever-evolving line of beers, including their signature Custom IPA Series. In the past, the series has included their Heal the Bay IPA—a bright, citrus-forward, summery IPA thats sales support Heal the Bay‘s work to protect the Southern California watersheds; the Better Weather IPA—a fruity, slightly darker IPA set to match LA’s less-than-harrowing winter weather; and, this writer’s favorite, the Burning Bush IPA—the first-known Rauch IPA (the German word for ‘smoke’; Rauchbier is a traditional German smoked beer), a coppery IPA made with a blend of 3 different smoked malts. It’s like a hoppy campfire in your mouth.
Golden Road returned to its altruistic roots last month, partnering with the LA River Revitalization Corp to create the 2020 IPA. The beer celebrates + supports the Greenway 2020 Project to connect 51 miles of the LA River, “transforming it from a neglected, concrete riverbed to a connected, public green space by the year 2020.” A portion of proceeds from each can sold in stores + pint sold at Golden Road pub go directly to LA River Corp, warming your heart that your benevolent beer-drinking is all for a greater good and warming your toes with a solid 7.4% ABV.
The beer itself has an earthy, piney flavor profile—making it a favorite with gin-lovers like myself—and boasts a beautiful bright red color on a sunny day…which we seem to have no shortage of in LA (sorry, still getting used to the ‘winter’ here). It was described to me at the pub as the “missing link” in the brewery’s IPA line and the taste palette in total. Beer nerds—the 2020 employs 2-Row, Crystal 77 malts and a total of six kinds of hops (Warrior, Palisade, Cascade, Ahtanum, Chinook , and Simcoe, the latter two of which likely contribute the most to the piney taste).
It rivals the Burning Bush on my personal Best EVER IPAs list…but I may require some more testing to give a thoroughly exhaustive opinion on the matter; purely for scientific reasons, of course.
In LA? Get thee to Golden Road. Elsewhere in California? Check your Whole Foods—we’re told they deliver as far north as San Francisco and as far south as San Diego. Pint cans come in cardboard boxes—cans because they’re easier to recycle than bottles and thus easier on the environment AND, we’re told, they actually keep beer fresher.