Golden Road Brewing gets it done. Not only are they the largest craft brewery in LA and a pioneer in the city’s burgeoning beer scene, it is also one of the fastest-growing start-ups in all of craft beer history. Period.
Since its launch in 2011, founders Meg Gill and Tony Yanow and company have been doing it the right way – bringing the freshest of beers to the local community in the most sustainable manner possible.
Golden Road offers an impeccable roster of core brews, seasonal and limited edition beers that have earned the Brewery a devoutly loyal following.
We recently caught up with Tony to talk how it all got started, the advantage of being LA-built and just why cans are better for beer.
Saucey: How was the idea of Golden Road Brewing hatched?
Tony Yanow: I wanted to open a brewery but wasn’t ready to get started when Meg Gill told me that she was trying to buy the brewery where she worked in the Bay Area. She and I share a passion for excellent beer and had become fast friends. Her enthusiasm is infectious and her skills and business savvy are undeniable so I joined Team Meg in trying to acquire that brewery. While we went through the process, it became very clear that the real opportunity was here at home in LA – not to mention my wife was pregnant with twins and being in SF every week was daunting. I told Meg that I was dying to work with her but that I was completely committed to being in LA and opening something here. I sheepishly backed out of her deal, wished her the best of luck and told her that if she ever wanted to open a brewery in LA that I was in hook, line and sinker. She gave notice that day and the Golden Road journey began.
This is an “LA-built” beer. How has community factored in with your success?
Community is hugely important to all of us here at Golden Road. We love being a part of LA and love that LA is in our DNA. Everyone wants to be part of a community but our actions from the get-go and our ethos really helped us define who we are and what we do. We try to find ways to engrain ourselves with LA’s culture and community in everything we do. We’re deeply involved with organizations like Heal The Bay and the LA River Corp. We brew two beers that benefit each organization – Heal the Bay IPA and 2020 IPA, through our Custom IPA Series . We are [also] commitment to local culture through partnerships with the LA Derby Dolls, the LA Philharmonic/The Hollywood Bowl, Echo Park Rising and more.
Our success is in large part a direct result of the incredible support we have received from the community. When we opened just a couple years ago, we did so because there was a need for high-quality, fresh craft beer in LA. Thanks to local breweries (new and established) and some incredible craft-focused bars, LA has developed a thriving craft community that only continues to grow.
How has the city’s craft beer culture changed in the last few years?
There has been an enormous surge in interest in craft beer and the result has been a plethora of beer bars, breweries and other businesses featuring craft beer. It’s an exciting time to be a beer drinker in LA.
Talk about the magic and might of your brewing team. They are a blend of tradition and freewheeling experimentation.
It takes a lot of people to make this place go. Our brew team gets a lot of well-deserved credit but the truth is they are just a part of the organization. Without our lab staff, packaging team, warehouse crew, office, marketing and sales squads – and that doesn’t even mention our incredible pub and events team – we’d be parts of parts and not the cohesive family that we are.
If you are asking about the flavors of beers specifically, our Brewmaster, Jesse Houck is just a brilliant guy. He makes delicious beers and tends to excel in styles that are among my favorites including, of course, his well renowned IPAs. We recently added another powerhouse brewer with Victor Novak. While he worked in some obscurity to mainstream beer drinkers, he is one of the most respected guys in beer. Having Victor’s wisdom and his breadth of brewing acumen is a huge coup for us. Between Jesse and Victor we feel as though we have two of the top brewers in the world and we couldn’t be happier about that.
What are your flagship brews?
Point the Way IPA, Wolf Among Weeds IPA and 329 Lager.
Explain Golden Road’s happy marriage with can distribution. What are the advantages?
Cans are better for beer – protect from light and oxygen – better for the environment, and better travel buddies for any one of our plentiful outdoor activities here in L.A. When we opened, we were the first to can craft beer in LA County but it’s been great to see more and more craft breweries get on board, here and across the country.
So, go ahead. Scoop yourself up a six-pack or grab a pint at the Brewery’s very own on-site restaurant, The Pub at Golden Road.
Golden Road Brewing
5410 W. Fernando Rd.
Los Angeles, CA