My coworker and I had gotten this far so we couldn’t turn back now. Navigating through the maze that is Los Angeles had brought us to an industrial area of the Atwater Village neighborhood, but finding our destination was proving a little difficult. We finally spotted a warehouse with a warm yellow glow and once we parked we breathed a collective sigh of relief. The Pub at Golden Road was now our reality.
We were in Los Angeles for a conference and after a full day of sessions followed by a cocktail hour packed to the gills we determined that checking out a brewery was superior to getting knocked into a pool by some errant waitstaff. I’d done a bit of looking before our trip but hadn’t really decided on anything. I had heard of Golden Road Brewing from watching the sitcom Workaholics. They also had the reputation as being one of the most sought after places in Los Angeles for craft beer. It sounded like a match made in heaven.
Approaching the taproom from our on street parking I noticed what appeared to be their production brewery behind our destination. We rounded the corner into the parking lot and were greeted with a nice outdoor seating area. As it was early May, and the weather back home was less than desirable, we were quite content to grab a seat outside. Before long, our waitress arrived and dropped off menus.
This sort of experience is always a little jarring to me. I’m so used to ordering beers at the bar to bring back to my table that it’s a little outside my usual taproom experience to have a laminated full color menu dropped into my hands. After picking out a handful of beers to taste I was informed that they had “run out of flights.” I was willing to wait, but I got the distinct impression that having a flight of beers wasn’t in the cards for me that night. So we settled and ordered our pints. Before I had a chance to look around, the beers had arrived. The service all night was quick and fast.
I got up to browse the taproom. The main area was packed with tables, chairs, and people. One thing I’d heard was that the food here was excellent. If we hadn’t eaten back at the hotel I would’ve definitely liked to indulge and try first hand. Flanking the main taproom was a covered area where there was live music playing. The crowd was younger and the vibe was more that of a bar than a hipster brewpub.
While drinking our beers we were occasionally bombarded by a wall of sound and steel. The taproom is adjacent to some train tracks, and every so often one rumbled past us with a blare of their horn and blast of displaced air. This was the most memorable and my absolute favorite part of my visit. Bauhaus Brew Labs creates this experience back home, but this one was far more frequent and you’re much closer to the action.
I was able to try five beers between myself and my coworker. Tart Mango Cart, El Nitro, Get Up Offa That Brown, Point the Way, and Wolf Among Weeds. The latter was my favorite. It was understandably a West Coast Style IPA, with tropical fruit flavor and aroma from the bevy of hops used in the brew. Straw gold in color, it was perfect for our trip to the Golden State.
Nothing blew me away from my visit at The Pub at Golden Road, but I think I just had set a really high expectation in my mind. I like my taprooms a little less polished where I can move at my own pace. However, I would definitely return. I can picture myself bellied up at the rail of the southeast corner of their patio, looking for the next train to pass.