The South Bay is our favorite part of Los Angeles. The South Bay in Los Angeles is home to several cute little beach towns, such as Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Redondo Beach, as well as the beautiful high bluffs of Palos Verdes. It’s where we always stay when we’re in Los Angeles. It’s conveniently close to LAX, and removed from the crazy Los Angeles traffic hell. What’s more, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Redondo Beach are all connected by a wonderful bike and walking path along the beach known as The Strand. Walking along The Strand, you’ll find everything you’ve ever wanted out of your Los Angeles beach experience: tan, fit people playing volleyball; long haired dudes surfing sick waves; chill bros whizzing by on rollerblades carrying Starbucks. It’s classic Los Angeles. Not only are these towns home to great beaches, good surf, plenty of sunshine, and delicious food, they also have a variety of local craft breweries and tap houses! So we figured, what’s the best way to visit beach towns? By bike, of course! And thus, The South Bay Craft Beer & Bikes Bar Crawl was born.
The self-guided tour we’ve laid out below makes a great day long date for two (or like, your entire group of friends). It takes you to 8 bars and breweries in 3 towns: Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Manhattan Beach. And the best part? The South Bay Craft Beer & Bikes Bar Crawl can be done for as low as $100, including bike rental and so much beer! Oh and did I mention you’ll sample at least 29 beers? You might want to split a couple of those growlers.
By the way, we’ve created a super handy FREE downloadable Google Map & PDF for the South Bay Craft Beer & Bikes Bar Crawl. It’ll make this whole drinking beer and biking thing a lot easier, trust us.
Without further ado, we present to you our The South Bay Craft Beer & Bikes Bar Crawl.
Redondo Beach, California
The South Bay Craft Beer & Bikes Bar Crawl – SBCB&BBC for short (okay maybe the name doesn’t work as an acronym) – starts in one of the larger South Bay beach towns, Redondo Beach, located just north of Palos Verdes.
Here are some random facts about Redondo Beach that I found on Wikipedia just now:
- Lia’s Dad grew up in Redondo Beach. Which isn’t really that interesting, but it does give us sort of half local’s cred, because Lia’s been coming here for her entire life to visit family. Also, her dad still knows the location of every Starbucks and surf shop in town. Yes, my father-in-law grew up surfing, too. We’re all California stereotypes here.
- Redondo Beach was home to the filming of the classic television series, Baywatch.
- Fox’s The O.C. (which everyone knows is way better than Baywatch) was seen filming at Redondo Union High School, Redondo Beach Pier, and local parks.
- The area of Redondo Beach that starts in Palos Verdes is known as “RAT” (Right After Torrance) Beach. Cute.
- Redondo Beach was described “The Gem Of The Continent” in the Los Angeles Daily Herald in 1887. Aww, that’s sweet.
Chill vibes. Anyway, all you really need to know is that there’s a sweet pier, some docks, and a bunch of great places to drink craft beer.
Where to Start the South Bay Craft Beer & Bikes Bar Crawl
Before we can start the South Bay Craft Beer & Bikes Bar Crawl, you’ll need to park your car and rent a bike – both in Redondo Beach. We recommend starting early, like around lunchtime.
Look for parking in Redondo Beach near the bike rental spot that we recommend, Perry’s Cafe and Beach Rentals*. Conveniently, you can also get a delicious brunch at Perry’s before you rent your bikes! Check out the breakfast menu and the bike rental prices. (If you’re rad and have your own bike, just skip to step 2 and park nearby.) After a hearty brunch (the better to help you soak up all the craft beer you’re about to drink), rent your bike (better make it an all-day or 24 hour rental, just in case) and begin the half-mile jaunt to the first stop on The South Bay Craft Beer & Bikes Bar Crawl.
*Important Note: Perry’s is only open during the high season, which starts in May. If you’re visiting South Bay in the off-season, we recommend renting at Marina Bike Rentals instead, and skipping the first stop – it’s a bit too far. Instead, your first stop will be at King Harbor Brewing, below.*
The Redondo Beach Brewing Company
Your first stop for beer is the Redondo Beach Brewing Company. While the name might be a slight misnomer (they don’t actually brew their own beer here), the Redondo Beach Brewing Company has an impressive beer list with about 40 taps, most of which are from Los Angeles or nearby. The vast selection ranges from sours, to Belgians, to porters and stouts. A flight of 4 beers at the Redondo Beach Brewing Company costs $11.
Our favorite Los Angeles area (and nearby) craft beers at the Redondo Beach Brewing Company were:
- Anderson Valley Bourbon Barrel Pumpkin Ale from Boonville, CA
- Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Milk Stout from Vista, CA
- Modern Times Black House Nitro Coffee Stout from San Diego, CA
Once you’ve finished your first flight, hop on your bikes and head to the next spot. As The Strand becomes the harbor, you’ll be met with dozens of boats to the left and a parking garage on your right. Lock your bike up in the rack and head down a set of well marked stairs to the docks, where you’ll find your next two stops.
King Harbor Brewing in Redondo Beach
Your second stop on the South Bay Craft Beer & Bikes Bar Crawl is King Harbor Brewing, whose in-house brewed list of craft beers is packed with hits. Your first thought might be “This place is small. They brew here!?” Well, not here, exactly. This is the tasting room. The actual brewery is located about two miles away. But don’t worry about the specifics. Just focus on the beer. There are 16 locally brewed craft beers available on tap. The flights here are “Choose Your Own Adventure” and the price is scaled depending on the beer. You can pull off a flight here for $12 and up.
One of the most popular craft brews from King Harbor Brewing is the Coconut IPA. I think I should confess something: I’m not that into IPAs. I know. I can already feel my friends in the Bay Area disowning me. Look, they’re usually too floral, too bitter, and lack real complexity outside of the hops of choice. Bearing that in mind, I LOVED the Coconut IPA from King. It has a toasted coconut taste, with the floral quality of IPA, and a lighter body. It’s the perfect beach beer.
Our other favorite locally brewed craft beers from King Harbor Brewing were:
- Darkness Before Dawn: A very dark, full-bodied creamy stout.
- Blackberry Before Dawn: A very dark, full-bodied creamy stout made with blackberries, which add a slight tartness.
Naja’s Place in Redondo Beach
A grueling 1 minute walk down the Redondo Beach boardwalk puts you at Naja’s Place, where you’ll see the most beer in one place on The South Bay Craft Beer & Bikes Bar Crawl. They have a stunning 88 beers on tap here, and all of them are from California! Given the decor (or lack of), intimidatingly long menu, and super knowledgeable bartenders, it’s clear this place is all about the beer. Fair warning: this place gets packed on the weekends and evenings.
Naja’s Place does not have flights. Beer prices range from $7 to $9 a pint for most beers, and $8-$10 for specialties. After much discussion with the helpful bartender, I decided on the Stoutella from Knee Deep Brewing. The name says it all: a Nutella Stout! If you ordered the Peanut Butter Stout at Redondo Beach Brewing Company, expect something similar, but with a chocolate and hazelnut finish. My mouth is watering just remembering it.
When you’ve finished your beer, hop back on your back and continue down the strand towards Hermosa Beach.
Hermosa Beach, California
Hermosa Beach is an adorable little beach town. The Hermosa Beach Pier is the main spot in town, and nearby you’ll find loads of excellent places to eat, drink, and shop. One weird quirk that I’ve never understood is that all of the street signs are in a sort of Lord of the Rings font, which is super adorable.
Here are some other sweet truth bombs about Hermosa Beach:
- A very long time ago, Hermosa Beach was a lot of farmland and barley, with herds of sheep and the occasional horse roaming about. Picture a sheep on the beach. How cute is that?
- The very first Hermosa Beach pier was built in 1904 out of, presumably, driftwood and dental floss. It quickly washed away and was replaced in 1913 with a much more robust version.
- Hermosa Beach has an average of 325 days of sunshine a year, and the rest of them are all misty, gray, and foggy. We can attest that it’s still really pretty, even in the fog.
- There is a Surf Hostel on the Hermosa Beach Pier! Check it out!
Gnarly facts, bro. Your first stop in Hermosa Beach is a little bit before the pier and just off the Strand.
Hot’s Kitchen in Hermosa Beach
It might be a little off the pier, but even locals agree: Hot’s Kitchen has the biggest beer selection in Hermosa Beach. Taps range from local selections to ubiquitous domestic beers and even some imports. You’ll find beer flights available, plus daily $4 craft beer “Dank Deals” (that’s what they’re actually called. You’re in Los Angeles, remember?).
Here are a couple locally brewed South Bay craft beer recommendations:
- Hot’s Orange Wheat from The Strand Brewing Company in Torrance, CA
- Purgatory Hefeweizen from Absolution Brewing Company in Torrance, CA
After Hot’s Kitchen, ride your bike to the Hermosa Beach pier and lock it. You’re hoofing it for a little while.
Abigaile’s in Hermosa Beach
A block or two up from the Hermosa Beach Pier is Abigaile’s. Part craft brewery, part fine dining, part… punk rock? Totally, dude. It might sound like an identity crisis, but this place owns it. They serve up craft beers brewed in house (you’ll see the actual brewery equipment behind the bar!), locally brewed beer selections from around Los Angeles and California, and incredible food like bone marrow, chicken and waffles, and goat cheese brussel sprouts. You know, the kind of stuff that make our foodie, hipster ears perk up.
On weekends the place is packed with brunch goers, but by the time you arrive, they should have died down. Grab a seat at the bar to make it easier, and order a beer flight. This is a good place to grab some snacks as well (but save dinner for the next spot). Lia really likes the sausage stuffed fried olives. I, on the other hand, think olives are best served in the trash, so it’s your call.
Hook & Plow in Hermosa Beach
Located a couple blocks up Pier Avenue, this place seems to have been made for us. The decor is all wood, succulents, and Mason jars (we’re stereotypes, and I’m not even mad about it). Another pointless reason we love this place? Their flights are served on California shaped wood boards. We have the same one at home, because everyone in California is obsessed with California. You can buy your very ownCalifornia wood board on Amazon too! Anyway, their flights are $12, and you’ll find some excellent selections. These were our faves:
- Blood Orange Amber Ale from The Dudes in Torrance, CA. Tastes like an orange creamsicle.
- The Patsy Coconut Rye Stout from Barley Forge Brewing Company in Costa Mesa, CA. A light bodied stout that tasted like coconut cream.
If you’re getting hungry for dinner, this is the spot. The food is on the pricier side, but it’s worth every penny. If you can, arrive around happy hour (3-6PM on weekdays). Our food recommendations (I’m not going to lie. We ate here like 8 times):
- Seafood Chowder: It has bacon in it and it’s amazing.
- Furikake House Fries: Truffle oil, seaweed flakes, parmesan, and incredible house made ketchup and mustard.
- 30H pulled pork sandwich: braised with craft beer, of course.
- Flat iron steak: with fingerling potatoes and smoky grilled piquillo peppers
- Pear and burrata salad: with truffle oil and hazelnuts. Add scallops, too.
Save dessert for another spot. Chill, bro – we totes gotcha covered. Fersh.
Now is a good time to take a little breather and walk down the pier (and look for the resident dolphins). If it’s around sundown, definitely find a spot on the beach to relax and watch the sun set. Hermosa Beach’s sunsets are breathtaking, and no trip to California is complete without watching an ocean sunset. If you’re lucky, some mad chill surfer dude with a ukelele will be serving up chill vibes nearby. (That’s not like, a joke. That’s realistic. One time I went surfing in Hermosa and as I walked back across the beach, a surfer bro with a guitar gave me the hang 10 and asked if it was “crunchy” out there. It was totes crunchy that day, actually.)
After your romantic moment of California happiness (peace and love, brother!), hop back on those bikes and continue up the Strand towards Manhattan Beach.
Manhattan Beach, California
Redondo Beach has its docks and marina charm; Hermosa Beach has chill, grungy surfer vibes; Manhattan Beach is, by comparison, posh. It shares the same love of beach volleyball and surfing as its neighbor beach towns along the Strand, but it’s decidedly more upper crust. Its hilly downtown can be explored from the starting point of the gorgeous Manhattan Beach Pier.
Here are some useless facts about Manhattan Beach that probably won’t be relevant to you at all:
- Their school districts are REALLY good. There’s like 8 different school rankings on their Wikipedia page.
- Speaking of their schools, Hannah Montana’s school was actually on location here in Manhattan Beach. You’ll catch views of the Manhattan Beach Pier in the show’s intro, too.
- Some other notable TV shows and movies filmed in Manhattan Beach: Starsky & Hutch, Tequila Sunrise, Veronica Mars, Jerry Maguire, Point Break, Against All Odds, and the video for White Walls by Macklemore. And a bunch more.
- The Beach Boys used to hang out and surf in Manhattan Beach, and they mention it in Surfin’ USA.
Totes chill, dudes. Chyea! Anyway, park your bike at the pier and hike up the hill to the next stop.
Brewco in Manattan Beach
The penultimate stop on the tour is a tap house and sports bar with a rotating So-Cal craft beer menu. When we visited, they offered 2 pre-set beer flights. If you’ve had your fill of California craft beers (bummer, dude) Brewco has a great selection of Belgian beers. But in the spirit of keeping it local, these were our fave craft brewed California beers:
- The Nothing Imperial Stout from Smog City Brewing in Torrance, CA. Aged on raw cacao nibs. Dark and bitter. Just like my heart. What? I’m totes JK, dudes.
- Cali Creamin’ Nitro Cream Ale from Mother Earth Brew Co. in Vista, CA. This delicious vanilla cream ale has a frothy, creamy vanilla head that reminded me of Butterbeer (like, at Harry Potter world in Universal Studios. You know. The good stuff.) It was definitely one of our absolute favorites of the day.
Down your beers and hit the street one last time for the very last stop on our craft beer bar crawl!
Simmzy’s in Manhattan Beach
Our very last stop on The South Bay Craft Beer & Bikes Bar Crawl is Simmzy’s, which is a totally chill sports bar with, of course, a fantastic selection of locally brewed craft beers. There are 24 drafts on tap. These were our faves:
- Mocha Machine Porter by Beachwood BBQ from Long Beach, CA. Smells like coffee, tastes like coffee.
- Gypsy Tart Brown Sour by Bruery Terreux from Anaheim, CA. Flanders-style brown ale; tart, sour, dark and syrupy.
You did it, bro! Celebrate your success by drunkenly inhaling a stuffed Apple Caramel Doughnut from Simmzy’s. Or, if you need a pick-me-up, stop by Manhattan Beach Creamery for a cupcake and a Cold Brew Nitro Float (that’s coffee with an ice cream float, not beer).
The South Bay Craft Beer & Bikes Bar Crawl: Locations
Here’s a handy list of all the places along the Strand that you’ll be visiting on this self-guided craft beer bar crawl. But to make it even easier, we’ve compiled the entire post into a handy dandy FREE printable map with directions (and a Google Map, in case you’re more of a digital dude). I know, we’re the best, right? Sign up to get your FREE printable map & Google Map!
- Perry’s Cafe and Beach Rentals: 387 Paseo De La Playa, Redondo Beach, CA | Closed during the Offseason
- Redondo Beach Brewing Company: 1814 S Catalina Ave, Redondo Beach, CA | Opens at 11:30 AM daily | Yelp
- Marina Bike Rentals: 505 N Harbor Dr, Redondo Beach, CA | 10AM – 6PM daily | Yelp
- King Harbor Brewing Company: 132 International Boardwalk Redondo Beach, CA | View tasting room hours
- Naja’s Place: 154 International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA | View hours on the Website
- Hot’s Kitchen: 844 Hermosa Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA | 11-9 on weekdays, 11-10 on weekends
- Abigaile’s: 1301 Manhattan Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA | M-F Opens at 5, Weekends opens at 11
- Hook & Plow: 425 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach CA | Open 11 AM-10 PM daily
- Brewco: 124 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA | Closes at 11pm
- Simmzy’s: 229 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA | Closes at 11pm
- Manhattan Beach Creamery: 1120 Manhattan Beach Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA | Closes at 10, 11 on weekends
Looking for even more amazing South Bay craft beer breweries? Local expert Craft Beer Guy has a comprehensive list of South Bay breweries!
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