Road trip! My son and I recently flew to Los Angeles for business, and then drove a vehicle back to Tucson. Of course, we planned to hit some local breweries. The LA area is a bit behind Tucson on a per capita basis in terms of the number of breweries, but there are enough to keep a visitor occupied.

We started with lunch at Red Car Brewery in Torrance (south of LAX). Red Car is as much a restaurant as a brewery. In an old building downtown, they’ve got a big patio. I ordered an IPA, but at 9 percent that was a little too strong for me in the afternoon so I had a red beer instead with a lower ABV (alcohol by volume). Next, we drove a bit south to Strand Brewing, also in Torrance. Strand is in an industrial area. It’s a production brewery with an industrial style tasting room. Good beers and a fun place to hang out. Their Atticus IPA is excellent.

Then up to Eagle Rock Brewing in the Eagle Rock area north of downtown LA between Glendale and Pasadena. This place is a real hole in the wall joint. It’s in an old industrial area at the end of a dead end street. They say to look for the orange door and that’s how we found the place. The small tasting room is full of friendly locals. They have a nice range of beers. My favorite was a seasonal ginger Saison.

Dinner was at Golden Road Brewing in LA near Interstate 5 and SR 134. This is a very big place. They brew a lot of beer and have a large restaurant area. Good food, pretty good beer. Very lively with live music some nights.

Yes, we hit four breweries in one day. But it was over six hours and we had two full meals. And, I never drank a full beer at the breweries we visited. When you undertake an excursion such as ours, you’ve really got to plan to consume responsibly if you’re driving.

The next evening we visited the Angel City Brewery just south of downtown LA. This is a great place. It’s in an old cable factory with a lot of square feet and several loading dock openings into the parking lot. They brew a number of good beers. I had the IPA which was very good and my son had their LoLo, a wheat beer with loquats. Very unique and tasty. For dining, there is a rotating food cart in the parking lot. And, there are a handful of restaurants half a block away that offer takeout to carry back to the brewery. This was our favorite LA area brewery and we will go back.

Finally, on our way out of LA the next day we stopped to meet a friend at Hangar 24 Craft Brewery in Redland (San Bernardino County). A happenin’ place. It is appropriately across the street from the Redlands airport. The day we were there, employees and volunteers were pitting apricots on the large patio in preparation of their upcoming apricot ale. My son had tasty chocolate porter. Hangar 24 brews a great IPA and orange wheat, both recently available in Tucson.

We had a great time. We drank some good beer, saw some cool breweries and chatted with LA area beer geeks. Now I’m starting to think about Northern California.