Something special is brewing in Los Angeles’ Lincoln Heights neighborhood. In a city with competition that’s as infamous as its traffic, Benny Boy Brewing is already gaining an impressive fan base after less than a year on tap.
As LA’s first and only combined brewery and cidery, Benny Boy offers beer that’s inspired by Old World traditions and hard cider made without added sugar and artificial ingredients. When ordering a beer, you’ll notice your server turn around to pour your beverage straight from a giant tank into your glass–another distinction only Benny Boy offers.
Brewing has become a lifestyle for Benny Boy’s namesake, co-founder Ben Farber; he has been immersed in the brewing world for more than a decade, part of which was spent in an apprenticeship in Belgium. Joined by his wife, co-founder Chelsey Rosetter, the couple researched Old World brewing methods and how to adapt them to modern-day equipment for more than five years. The result is beer and cider the way it’s meant to be made: quality, farm-grown ingredients, minimal processing, zero filtering and natural carbonation.
Benny Boy is designed to be a backyard party for adults 21 and older. When you enter, a large backyard– filled with firepits, seating and pop-up food vendors carefully curated by Rosetter–flanks the cider house on your right and the brewery on your left. In the middle of the cider house sits a grand, real tree that was repurposed from the orchard where the team gets their apples. If you take a seat, notice the tables that Farber helped make from repurposed wood from the previous structure.
The open-air cider house consists of large cider tanks full of seven varieties. While some ciders are too sweet and filled with undesirable ingredients, Benny Boy’s ciders are the real thing. If you’re a spicy margarita lover like us, you’ll want at least two rounds of the Devil’s Umbrella, made with Pippin and Gravenstein apples, pineapple and habanero.
When you enter the brewery, your eye is immediately drawn to the enormous, imposing tanks that house their incredible selection of eight beers, ranging from light to dark. Our favorite–and Farber’s–is called Tripel Trouble, a dangerously delicious and smooth Belgian strong blonde. When you receive your tasters, notice Benny Boy’s wood beer tasting paddles are made from the same reclaimed wood as the tables in their cider house. As if cider and beer wasn’t enough, they also partnered with Pali Wine Co. to offer natural wines.
In addition to beer and cider, Benny Boy strongly believes in good ole fun. Every so often, Benny Boy invites everyone out for a rousing game of Chicken Shit Bingo. As the name suggests, visitors can grab a drink and watch chickens take a No. 2 on numbered squares. If that number matches your ticket, you win!
Benny Boy Brewing is open Tuesday and Wednesday, 4 to 10 p.m.; Thursday, 4 to 11 p.m.; Friday, 3 p.m. to midnight; Saturday, noon to midnight; and Sunday noon to 10 p.m.
For more information about Benny Boy Brewing, visit www.bennyboybrewing.com.
Photo credit: Marie Buck