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Opening Saturday: Sunset Beer Company in Echo Park

September 16, 2011 |  6:06 pm

On Thursday night Sunset Beer Company, the new all-bottle retail beer shop co-owned by Jennifer Morgan and John Nugent of Eagle Rock's Colorado Wine Co., held a pre-opening party. The official opening will take place at noon on Saturday, when thirsty Angelenos can descend upon the modest storefront to scoop up an eclectic mix of fine craft beers.

Beer2 Located in a bleak Echo Park strip mall within stumbling distance of Little Joy Cocktail Lounge and the Short Stop, Sunset Beer Company, which also counts local beer aficionados Drew Von Ah and Jenna Miller-Von Ah among its owners, currently stocks about 200 beers, but manager Alex Macy hopes to raise that number to 1,000 over the coming months, a number that would make the store among the largest of its kind in the city.

It's a goal very much in lock step with L.A.'s current craft beer obsession. With Mohawk Bend's fine selection of beers just down the street, the neighborhood stands poised to become a destination for beer lovers.

Beer1 From the outside it's impossible to anticipate what's inside Sunset Beer Company. Designed by Rick Crane (who also designed Colorado Wine Co.), the 2,000-square-foot shop is sleek and spartan with polished concrete floors and large lighted coolers filled with beer lining the walls.

The best part, however, is the low-key tasting room just off the main shop. There you'll find a small bar with six rotating taps and about half a dozen mismatched tables and wooden benches. 

On Thursday the room hummed with pleasant conversation as guests sipped beer from Eagle Rock Brewery and nibbled on pungent blue cheese and thick slices of dark bread. The comfortable room has the potential to become a great neighborhood gathering place -- somewhere to grab a classy pre-date or pre-game glass of beer and check in with friends.

Sunset Beer Company won't sell food but welcomes you to bring your own in. May we suggest a sandwich from Stories, a banh mi from Xoia or tacos from Tacos Arizas? 

Sunset Beer Company, 1498 Sunset Blvd., #3, L.A. (213) 481-2337. www.facebook.com/sunsetbeerco


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--Jessica Gelt

Photos: Jessica Gelt