Los Angeles has plenty of breweries, but only a few cideries within the city limits. That’s about to change as Benny Boy Brewing opens this Saturday, March 26, producing on site along Daly between Main and Alhambra Avenues in Lincoln Heights.
Husband-and-wife team Ben Farber and Chelsey Rosetter spent the last seven years trying to open Benny Boy Brewing. While Rosetter worked at local breweries like Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Eagle Rock Brewery, and Los Angeles Ale Works, Farber studied the craft for 12 years. He apprenticed in Belgium, researching throughout Europe while learning craft brewing and fermentation techniques that are on full display here.
Benny Boy sources apples from the Five Mile Orchard near Santa Cruz, and uses whole flower hops instead of the more widely used pellet hops, which takes more patience during the production process. For cider, Farber prefers natural carbonation instead of forced, and the house dry cider is made completely from raw apple juice. Benny Boy’s beers are influenced from Europe, but with ample California style like saison brewed with fresh basil, or desert champagne brewed with fresh prickly pear, sage, and desert salt. Staff will serve beer straight from the tanks.
For those interested in wine, the chardonnay and pinot noir at Benny Boy come from Pali Wine Co. They also have a partnership with Spirit Guild Distillery to produce pommeau, a traditional French aperitif made with apple brandy and juice, which is then blended and barrel aged for three years. They’ll also sell the aperitif in 32-ounce growlers to take home.
Benny Boy’s has plenty of room for group hangouts, with its 3,200 square feet of indoor and outdoor space. As a former contractor, Farber oversaw the construction, restoring the building’s 1920s bow truss ceiling and installing a 55-foot bar from reclaimed wood. Drinkers can actually see the production equipment while seated at the bar. A reconstructed tree from the apple orchard lies on the premises, as does a mural from LA street artist Shandu One. The outdoor area separates the two buildings that house the cidery and brewery with comfy seating areas.
After tomorrow, Benny Boy adds to SoCal’s cider producers including Alma’s Cider & Beer, Honest Abe Cider House & Meadery, Ficklewood Ciderworks, and the 101 Cider House. Benny Boy Brewing hours will be Wednesday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday until 11 p.m., and Friday from 3 p.m. to midnight. They’ll keep weekend hours Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight, and Sunday to 10 p.m.