Eagle Rock Brewery finally ready to start brewing beer
"Three months of construction and 15 months of red tape." That's how Eagle Rock Brewery co-founder Jeremy Raub describes the labyrinthine process of securing the necessary inspections, approvals and permits demanded by city, state and federal laws. Yesterday, he received the final permit that allows him to start brewing beer, which he hopes to begin doing by the end of the week.
Brewing in 15-barrel batches, the first batch will be an English-style mild black ale with a low alcohol content and a dark color caused by plenty of dark-roasted malts in the mix. Following that, he'll make a crisp Belgian-style beer but with less coriander and orange than you typically find in witbiers. The third batch looks to be a hoppy, floral extra pale ale.
Raub hopes to taste the fruits of his labors by late November. After that, you might see Eagle Rock's brews in local establishments like Verdugo, Colorado Wine Company, Oinkster, Blue Palms Brewhouse and BottleRock in downtown L.A. If all goes according to plan, Raub will also have secured a permit for the brewery's tasting room by then.
Located in a mostly industrial area near the intersection of the 2 and 5 freeways, the Eagle Rock Brewery is the only dedicated commercial brewery located within Los Angeles city limits (as opposed to restaurant/breweries like Weiland's, Bonaventure Brewing Co., BJ's, etc.). But the greater L.A. area is home to a burgeoning craft brewing scene that includes Angel City Brewing (Torrance), Craftsman (Pasadena), Skyscraper Brewing (El Monte), the Bruery (Placentia) and Hangar 24 (Redlands).
If Los Angeles, known more for its cocktail culture than its beer culture, is ever to become a beer town on par with Denver, Portland or San Diego, Raub thinks it's essential the city has more breweries. "We want to start small and keep it local," he says, "and help make Los Angeles a better beer town."
Photo: Jeremy Raub stands next to a bottling machine at the Eagle Rock Brewery. Credit: Elina Shatkin / Los Angeles Times