Just last week, craft beer giant Firestone Walker announced that they had officially begun brewing operations at their shiny new brewpub space out in Venice. That’s a big deal for fans of craft beer, but also goes to show us all just how far the city and county of Los Angeles have to go in understanding and accepting the craft beer market, and the ability for breweries to exist in the city’s dense urban core.
Firestone Walker is calling their new satellite brew system Propagator, and running it as an offshoot R&D program for the company to lean on for innovation. Brewer Ben Maushardt, who has been with the company for some time, will run things at the the company’s newest location in the loose Venice/Marina del Rey area.
it took until last week them to start actually brewing on site
The plan for the $1 million brewhouse is to "operate as a pilot brewhouse for experimental beers" says a release, similar to Firestone Walker’s Buellton location called Barrelworks, where sour beers reign supreme. Likely Maushardt’s beer from Propagator will be much more mainstream — seeing as how the company has a vested interest in growth following their multimillion dollar sale to Duvel in 2015 — but local imbibers should still expect to be able to tap into some wild stuff in the coming months.
Both the Venice taproom and brewhouse were beset upon by regulatory and permitting issues with the city of Los Angeles, turning what should have been a relatively quick build into a months-overdue nightmare of pushed deadlines. Though the taproom opened in April, it took until last week for brewing on site to really begin, creating a new timeline that sets the Westside location back at least a year from their original projections.
Meanwhile, nearby cities like Torrance, Long Beach, and even Hawthorne have been only deepening their connection to the growing craft beer market, puling in some much-needed funds for their municipalities in the process. Firestone Walker’s Propagator brewhouse is now up and running in Venice, and is currently turning out one-off beers for experimentation that you’ll only be able to find at the Venice taproom.