In my unrelentless search for more interesting beer bars in the Santa Monica area I decided to stop at Library Alehouse. I have ran across it in my research and a friend of mine who used to live in Los Angeles recommended it. I didn’t realize that I had passed it a few times without seeing it. Library Ale House reminds me of Fathers Office in Santa Monica, Dain’s Place in Durham and Charlie’s in Copenhagen. None of them are much more than a hole in the wall. Like Fathers Office the walls at the Library are dresses with light wood panel and nice wood details in the ceiling. I kind of like these hole-in-the-wall places. There always seem to be a good atmosphere and a group of regulars that makes the place interesting. I was at Library mid afternoon and there were a few people there, having an afternoon beer. The beer menu is really interesting, not a Tyler’s Taproom or Flying Saucer but still quite adequate with 30 or so beer on tap and 25+ bottles. Featured brewery was Allagash with Four, Victoria, Black and of course the White. The menu also included Stone 14th Anniversary, Green Flash West Coast IPA, Anchor Liberty Ale, Delirium Tremens and Fransiskaner Hefe Weissen Bier. Allagash’s Victoria is a beer I have never sampled before so it was my choice as my first beer. This is a 9% Belgian Style Ale with Chardonnay grapes crushed on site and added directly to the mash. The Victoria is lite and refreshing despite it’s high alcohol content. The flavors from the grapes does not overtake the malt and hops flavors. It compliments the overall flavors. The finish is slightly fruity, which is maybe not a surprise. I have tried a few beers with grapes added and I think it compliments the beer and is really interesting in most cases. My favorite in this category is the 21st Anniversary Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company.
On my way to Library I walk along Venice Beach. I didn’t expect to find any good beer bars there. I was surprised when I ran across a seemingly new place called Venice Ale House. I sat down at the out-door serving area and had a look at the beer menu, which included Deschutes Black Butte Porter and Green Lake Organic Ale on tap, New Belgium Ranger, Green Flash West Coast IPA and Napa Smith Organic IPA. A pretty decent list of beers. After 15 minutes without any staff present willing to take my order I decided to leave. I hope this was just a start-up problem and that it will improve as time goes.
The beer selection is good and it would be a shame on Venice Beach only good beer bar was not doing well. As I left I passed On the Waterfront Café, just a few houses form Venice Ale House. I had a quick look at their beer menu and they have almost only European beers from a big European breweries and a few interesting German weizenbieren (wheat beers). I really enjoy a south German wheat beer on a hot summer day and it look really appealing when I passes the cafe with people drinking Erdinger Weise in the original large glasses. If you don’t like wheat beer they also have Köstrizer Swartz Bier (black beer) and Anchor Steam Beer on tap. This could actually be a place where I have a wheat beer pit stop when riding on my bike along the beaches in Santa Monica Bay.