The Beer Buzz: A Beer Lover’s Guide to Pasadena
In the spirit of Oktoberfest, we're shining a spotlight on Pasadena's leading purveyors of beer.
From California craft breweries and tap rooms to brewpubs, bottle shops and festivals, this guide will help you hone in on the top hop spots in our Crown City and surroundings. Whether you simply seek a place to pop into to sample premium local suds, or you're looking to embark upon a full-fledged ale trail, here's eight refreshing places to get your cheers on.
A beloved Pasadena institution with two locations, Lucky Baldwin's exemplifies the quintessential British-style pub. Lucky Baldwin's Trappiste on Colorado and Lucky Baldwin's Pub & Café on Raymond offer more than 100 brews from around the globe on tap and by the bottle. Both establishments have full kitchens with daily lunch and dinner menus and weekend breakfast service. Ever festive, Lucky Baldwin's hosts one of the city's best Oktoberfest celebrations. 1770 E. Colorado Blvd. & 17 S. Raymond Ave.; luckybaldwins.pub
San Diego-headquartered Stone Brewing Company now has a tasting room and shop in the Del Mar Metro Station complex on the Gold Line. Established in 1996 as a small microbrewery, Stone has earned every medal and accolade imaginable, including being named "All-Time Top Brewery on Planet Earth" by BeerAdvocate magazine. Open until 10:00 p.m. daily, the Pasadena tap room features a rotating line-up of Stone classics, plus seasonal specialties and even archived vintages. Every Friday, they host new release events when you can preview the brews before they get released nationally. If you become a fan, plenty of Stone-branded merch is available in the gift shop. 220 S. Raymond Ave.; stonebrewing.com
The Pasadena Chapter of Congregation Ale House features their own beers along with more than 20 beers by nearby California breweries and international labels. The vast, cathedral-like space is home to a full-service restaurant specializing in American cuisine. Expect burgers, tacos, pizzas, salads and all sorts of pub snacks. Attend one of the happy hour "masses" to maximize your beer budget—the discounts are extended Sundays 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and during "Midnight Mass" Tuesday through Thursdays. 300 S. Raymond Ave.; congregationalehouse.com
Kings Row Gastropub is set in a historic landmark building in Old Pasadena, complete with exposed floor to ceiling brick walls inside. Outside, a beer garden and patio present inviting al fresco options for sipping and supping. Kings Row spotlights 24 Californian craft beers on draught paired with a beer-friendly menu of elevated pub grub prepared with local ingredients. The beer selections lean towards small and up-and-coming brewers. Live music is also on tap Thursday through Sunday evenings. 20 E. Colorado Blvd.; kingsrowpub.com
Der Wolf is Pasadena's go-to Bavarian-style bierhaus with more than 20 beers on tap. The classic German cuisine covers all the bases from schnitzel, spaetzle and sausages to brats, burgers and pretzels. The chef is also happy to accommodate vegans and vegetarians. There's always something entertaining going on—check their events calendar for the schedule of karaoke, trivia and "kabarett" nights and more. Note Der Wolf opens at 5:00 p.m. on weekdays and 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays; the kitchen closes at 9:00 p.m. nightly but drinks continue to flow into the wee hours. 72 N. Fair Oaks Ave.; derwolfskops.wixsite.com
The Old Pasadena Dog Haus location serves the Pasadena-born chain's gourmet hot dogs, sausages and burgers in a lively German beer garden setting boasting one of Old Pasadena's largest outdoor patios. Their beer program emphasizes California brews with 24 taps in rotation. Generous happy hours run weekdays from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., plus 10:00 p.m. until midnight Monday through Thursday and Sunday 3:00 p.m. to midnight. 93 E. Green St.; oldpasadena.doghaus.com
If you want to stock up on Los Angeles craft beers to bring home with you—or to enjoy in the comfort of your hotel room—head to Everson Royce in Old Pasadena. The bottle shop is known for sourcing interesting and up-and-coming small producers. Talk to the knowledgeable staff for guidance. Or look for labels like Eagle Rock Brewing, Solarc and Monkish. 155 N. Raymond Ave.; eversonroyce.com