Meanwhile, Shawn Henson, who works in construction, is the "beer designer" for a group of home brewers and is hoping to launch Henson Brewing in Glendale by September with compatriot George Olivos. "It's kind of a tough time to be starting a new business," says Henson, "but in my mind, the L.A. market is lacking in the number or quality of brewers." They currently have four beers in the hopper, including a saison and Scotch ale.
For Culver City resident Kingsley Toby, making beer is no pipe dream, though that's the name of the brewery he's starting with fellow postproduction pros Brian Holter and Al Rundle. They're currently shopping for a contract brewer ("they brew our recipe and take a cut") while raising funds to open a Pipe Dream facility. "We would love to be the premiere brewery on the Westside," says Toby, "but ultimately it comes down to the cost of operating a business there, which can be substantial."
They got off to a bit of a rocky start in 2005, when their pale ale turned out to be a porter, "but it still tasted pretty darned good," says Toby. They persisted and now have 10 styles in their repertoire, including TAHOBA — Tangerine Honey Basil Ale. "We aren't in this to get rich," says Toby. "We are in this to make a living doing something we are passionate about and giving back to our community."
"I'd love to see more small breweries and good beer come to L.A.," says Eagle Rock Brewery's Raub. "If we're the only brewery in L.A., it wouldn't do us any good. For us, it's better if there's more diversity. Mainly because people like variety, especially craft beer drinkers."
Track brewery progress
Beachwood BBQ & Brewing 210 E. 3rd St., Long Beach, http://www.beachwoodbbq.com
El Segundo Brewing Co. 140 Main St., El Segundo, on Facebook.
Henson Brewing on Facebook.
Kinetic Brewing Co. 735 W. Lancaster Blvd., Lancaster, http://www.kineticbrewing.com
Ohana Brewing Co. 1756 E. 23rd St., Los Angeles, http://ohanabrew.wordpress.com
Pilot Brewhouse Stay tuned.
Pipe Dream Brewing http://www.lonelightstudios.com/brewerypromo.html