The small team at Ohana Brewing Co. has been busily making a wide variety of beers in its downtown-adjacent brewery for more than a year, but there hasn’t been a tasting room to visit where you could sample the parade of brews (almost every release over the last year has been a new recipe). This will soon change, as in addition to brewing and distributing the beer, the team is also preparing to open a dedicated tasting room.
Targeted for an April opening, the new tasting room won’t be at the South L.A. brewery but in a small retail space in Alhambra’s Main Street Business District -- just blocks from where brewery cofounder Andrew Luthi grew up. The Ohana tasting room will offer tasting flights, growler fills and brewery merchandise like glassware and shirts, though due to the conditional-use permit issued by the city, patrons will be limited to four 4-ounce tasters. Luthi hopes that the restrictions will be lifted after the tasting room operates for a few months.
On a recent sneak peak at the 7 S. First St. location, adjacent to celebrated craft beer destination 38 Degrees Ale House, the tasting room’s layout was outlined in masking tape. The compact bar, keg refrigerators, and four rotating taps were arranged along one wall, with a dedicated growler filling station and small office occupying the rear of the space. Details for the growler-fill policies are still being worked-out, Luthi says, but he plans to allow for blank and unbranded 2-liter growlers to be filled.
Luthi and his team of brewers are all excited to have a dedicated outlet for their brews, and they hope it will allow them to expand production as more people become familiar with their offerings.
The Alhambra tasting room is just one element of Ohana’s big plans for 2014. Luthi says he also hopes to complete the build-out on the brewery and an on-site tasting room, begin packaging beer and possibly expand the brewery’s production capacity.