While Carmageddon failed to live up to the hype, the Downey Brewing Company was a delightful surprise along the way to the land of Mickey. Planning to make the vertical trip down Interstate 5 to Disneyland, I knew we would hit Los Angeles close to dinner time. As a Giants fan, Dodger Dogs were out of the question, so I did a quick Yelp! search for a brewpub. The West Coast craft brewing scene is slowly making it’s way north from San Diego into the land of the Angelinos, but unfortunately most of the breweries in Los Angeles are not serving food in their taprooms. My Internet search turned up the Downey Brewing Company not far off our intended route, after about a 5 minute drive down Paramount from Interstate 5, we arrived at the Downey Brewing Company.
Upon arrival I was pleasantly surprised to find 40 beers on tap and another 43 bottled beers on the menu. Most of the drafts are available in 16oz, 20oz, and 28oz “boots” for $5, $6, $7.5 respectively. Downey serves 5 house beers on tap, three German style lagers, an American Blonde ale and an IPA. Because of an ordering mistake, I ended up sampling the Munich before getting my hands on the IPA. As a hop-head, the Munich would normally be the last type of beer I would order, so I was annoyed when it arrived, but pleasantly surprised when I sampled the beer. It was light and crisp, but had lots of flavor from the malt and hops. Your big brewery drinking friends, if they can forgo ordering a long neck, will not be turned off by the appearance of this beer, but may realize how much taste they are missing when they try the Munich. The house IPA arrived next, and as promised, is dry hopped with Cascade and Centennial hops. The malt was well balanced and not completely overshadowed by the big hop flavors. This was an excellent example of a West Coast style IPA, the brewing does not appear to be done on-site but the Brewmaster obviously knows how to make beer. I was disappointed that they do not offer a beer sampler, but the servers are willing to let you sample any of the draft beers before ordering. The beer menu as a whole is an eclectic mix of craft brews, Belgian specialties, and Big Brewery favorites, both domestic and imported. The beer menu rotates every couple of months and with this wide of a selection, even the most picky of taste buds will find a brew they can love.
The food is typical pub-grub. Burgers and sandwiches are served with hearty steak fries, they serve pizza and have a kids menu. I ordered an appetizer sampler; onion rings, fried cheese, chicken strips, fries and hot wings. This was a sampling of your typical fried pub food with the exception of the hot wings. The wings were a standout, served with a crushed red pepper glaze that was a refreshing change of pace.
The building is an A-Frame with a bar area in the middle and an outside dining/smoking area. Both walls are lined from front to back with TV’s tuned to sports. This was a perfect place for us to stop after 5 hours in the car and unwind and I would also highly recommend it for a sporting event get together or post-sporting event meal and beer.
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