Eagle Rock Brewery's tasting room earns key vote of confidence
It was standing room only today at a Los Angeles City Hall hearing to ensure that Glassell Park’s Eagle Rock Brewery had met all permit conditions and could continue to serve beer in its brewery-adjacent tasting room. No decision was handed down today, or expected for at least two months, said city planner Patricia Diefenderfer, but the office of City Council President Eric Garcetti gave the 18-month-old brewery a vote of confidence.
“We have heard nothing but positive things since they have opened,” said Mitch O'Farrell, Garcetti’s senior advisor of special projects. O’Farrell noted that there had been zero complaints about Eagle Rock Brewery since its opening, then read a letter from Garcetti in which the councilman said he “enthusiastically” supported the renewal of the craft brewery’s conditional-use permit, the license that allows the company to serve beer in the tasting room.
When the brewery was first granted the permit a year ago, a neighborhood landowner protested the decision. Although the brewery won, the appeal resulted in additional conditions being placed on the permit, essentially a return trek one year later to City Hall to ensure all conditions had been met.
No one Tuesday levied any complaints against the brewery.
The company’s president and brewer, Jeremy Raub, told Diefenderfer that initial concerns resulted from “a lack of understanding” of the brewery’s intent. There were fears, he said, that the brewery would be selling “cheap beer” in cans and essentially become a source of drunk and disorderly conduct on its small industrial street.
Though Eagle Rock Brewery does carry a limited selection of bottles and cans of craft beer, Raub noted that the tasting room was quite the opposite of a rowdy bar atmosphere. The brewery doesn’t serve past 10 p.m., and bottles sell from between $9 and $42, Raub said.
“We equate it to single-bottle wine sales,” Raub said.
Diefenderfer said a decision would be given by letter. If favorable to the brewery, the company is expected to be able to operate under its current permits for about four more years before having to apply for renewal.
More than 30 people packed the City Hall chamber, and among those lending support were Brian Lenzo, who owns Hollywood’s Blue Palms, and Tony Yanow, who runs Tony’s Darts Away in Burbank.
“We take it for granted that you can get beer at any corner store,” Yanow said, “but these guys don’t make corner-store beer.”
-- Todd Martens