October 14, 2013

Photo Essay: Angel City Brewery & The Legacy of Bridge-Building

This weekend I took Michelle, who was in town for a brief visit, to Angel City Brewery. As I sipped my White Nite and she her Eureka Wit, I said, "It feels like New York, doesn't it?"

"Yeah, I couldn't put my finger on it," she said, "but yeah."

One reason might be the building itself.

Housed in the former home John A. Roebling's Sons Co. Wire Works, this building bears the initials of a man whose name is more than familiar to Manhattanites and Brooklynites alike (particularly those of us who spent some time both walking the streets of Williamsburg and crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, which Roebling designed and helped build with his spun wire).

Roebling himself remained on the east coast, but his sons set up shop in what is now Downtown LA's Arts District... a warehouse and office space (with stunning Batchelder tiles in the front lobby) recently taken over by one of LA's many craft brewers. Angel City may be surrounded by a history familiar to New Yorkers, but they've established themselves as distinctly LA, with their Egyptian-inspired taps and City Hall-branded logo nodding to our Art Deco legacy.

(Compare this to another local brewer, Smog City, whose name has embraced a very different version of the City of Angels.)

Much of The Roebling Building's industrial past remains in the sprawling tasting room of the brewery...

...including the breathtaking slide, down which spun cable wire used to cascade.

Grab a beer and wander around the huge expanse of the brewery...

...taking in some art, playing some games...

...and take a peek behind the scenes, where Angel City makes their beer onsite.

Like many craft beer startups, it's a small operation...

...and wet...

...but they're already expanding, experimenting with some barrel-aged spirits...

...and always developing new flavors in the lab.

You never know what you might be able to try from the Angel City taps, from a Belgian-style Wit or German Weiss to an IPA, a vanilla porter, a coffee ale or an avocado ale.

Or get a sampler and try them all.

Or just keep going back, like I do.

For photos of the Batchelder tiles and spun wire staircase in the Roebling Building lobby, click here.

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