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Beer Hopping: Four Spots to Drink Beer in Main Street Santa Monica

Your weekend guide to beer hopping to breweries, beer bars, and bottle shops across SoCal's best neighborhoods.

Main Street Santa Monica is sort of a unicorn amongst LA neighborhoods. There’s plenty of parking, but it’s highly walkable. There are a bunch of really fantastic restaurants, but it’s not too touristy – especially outside of summer. And, it’s right by the beach. The problem is that it’s also absolutely packed to the brim with run-of-the-mill bars – two-for-one shot specials, buckets of Bud, and frosted glasses galore. Fortunately, a few places in the neighborhood really hold down the craft beer scene – these are four of our favorites, all within a few convenient blocks of each other.

Heavy Handed

2912 Main St, , CA | Santa Monica

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New to the neighborhood – but already making a name for themselves – is Heavy Handed. This fast food-style burger spot began as a food truck, popping up at excellent craft bars like Spoke Cafe and The Glendale Tap. But they just opened on Main Street, and they’ve got a tremendous beer list of their own. Their four taps change frequently, but you’ll find the likes of Cellarmaker (San Francisco), Enegren (Moorpark), Highland Park Brewery (Chinatown), and Radiant (Anaheim) on the list, plus a bunch of very fresh cans. Their short rib burgers and beef grease fries are also some of the best in the city, so be sure to order some food, too.

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Library Alehouse

2911 Main Street | Santa Monica

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Recently revamped by a new ownership team, the nearly 30-year-old Library Alehouse has 27 draft lines filled with California classics. The super-knowledgeable staff will help you find something to your tastes, and fill you in on whatever’s new to the draft boards. From LA County classics like Common Space, The Bruery, and El Segundo Brewing Company, to newbies like Skyduster and Paperback, to three different Russian River taps, whatever you order here, you’ll be in for an education in local beer.

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Ashland Hill

2807 Main St | Santa Monica

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In addition to being a great restaurant, Ashland Hill, a half block up the street from the Library, has a wonderful beer list. That means eating steak frites or mango salsa-covered swordfish paired with one of the many local beers amongst their 16 taps. Their beer list covers all sorts of SoCal favorites, like Societe (San Diego), Lucky Luke (Lancaster), and Tortugo (Inglewood). As the weather heats up, having Ashland Hill’s patio in your back pocket makes your Westside dinner plans this weekend a no-brainer.

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Chez Jay

1657 Ocean Ave | Santa Monica

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End your night at Chez Jay, a classic dive in Santa Monica that’s featured in countless movies and TV shows, and is genuinely one of the best places to drink in town. It’s an essential place to check off your bucket list, especially because they feature a small but stacked tap list of local Santa Monica Brew Works beers. They’ve got a great enclosed patio with fire pits, but for the full experience, you’ve got to sit inside, where they decided on an inexplicable circus theme back in 1959, and haven’t looked back since; peanut shells still stick to your shoes when you walk through the dining room.

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Keep Hopping

Keep your beer hop going with recommendations from our Beer Finder. Discover all the best breweries, beer bars, and bottle shops in neighborhoods all across Los Angeles, Orange County, and Ventura!

Got a suggestion to add to a future Beer Hopping list? Drop a comment below or send us a DM on Instagram!

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