From Eastside Lager to Maier's Select Malt Tonic: A Brief History of L.A. Beer

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From Eastside Lager to Maier's Select Malt Tonic: A Brief History of L.A. Beer

The recent wave of craft breweries opening across Southern California has tapped into a long-dormant tradition of L.A. beer making. L.A. as Subject's latest contribution to KCET's SoCal Focus blog looks at the history of L.A. beer, from Eastisde Lager to Maier's Select Malt Tonic.

Like many American cities in the mid-twentieth century, Los Angeles once hosted its own regional breweries that supplied the city and its environs with light, affordable American pale lager. Before intense competition led to their decline, L.A's own Eastside Lager and Brew 102 battled in local and regional markets with such national brands as Budweiser, Schlitz, and Miller.

In 2009, Eagle Rock Brewery became the first brewery in years to open within L.A. city limits. Since then, two more—Nibble Bit Tabby and Angel City—have begun concocting new mixtures of barley, hops, water, and yeast inside the City of Los Angeles, joining a growing cohort of Southland craft brewers.

Though their focus is different—microbrewers typically hand-craft a wide range of ales and lagers, while the early L.A. brewers concentrated on one style of lager—these new breweries have tapped into long-dormant tradition of Los Angeles beer brewing.

Read the full post on the KCET website.