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Shoppers looking for locally grown produce and fresh meat, poultry and seafood visit the Farmers Market at Third and Fairfax. So why not include locally produced craft beer made from California grown ingredients? The Farmers Market Bars – Bar 326 and EB’s – have tapped into a curated craft beer list showcasing smaller brewers based in California. The bars keep it fresh by rotating the 24 tap beer styles they offer, like IPAs, sours, lagers and ciders.
One of beverage director Melissa Kelly’s go-to brewers is MacLeod Ale Brewing Co. in Van Nuys. They supply Bar 326 with a variety of beers including the very popular Van ICE American lager. On the first and third Fridays of the month, Bar 326 has Firkin’ Fridays where they pour Van ICE from a hand pumped cask. Currently on tap is the Cut and Dry Irish stout, akin to Guiness, and Better Days pale ale.
Other brewers that Kelly and general manager Gary Twinn get fired up over are Boomtown Brewery, Common, Angel City and most recently Russian River Brewing Co. from Santa Rosa. On Tuesday, Kelly and Twinn tapped the Blind Pig IPA from Russian River. It’s smooth, loaded with hops but not too bitter at 70 IBU (international bittering units). With the ABV hovering around 6%, it’s not too heavy on the alcohol, like some IPAs. Today, around 5 p.m. the duo is tapping another barrel from Russian River – Pliny the Elder, a double IPA. Bar 326 is proud to be pouring these beers, as Russian River Brewing is a bit selective to whom they distribute.
“All of our staff are level one cicerones,” Twinn said. A cicerone is similar to a wine sommelier, but is trained in serving beer and is knowlegable about styles, ABVs and IBUs. The higher level cicerones (advanced and masters) have gained more knowledge, expertise and beer tasting ability.
Keeping it fresh and rotating the beers to complement the seasons gives Bars 326 customers an opportunity to sample a wide variety of beers. Bar 326 caters to a new, younger group of beer drinkers, whereas Twinn says EB’s offers a bit of nostalgia as “one of the last great dive bars in L.A.” EB’s has 12 taps and also serves old-style beers like Miller Lite, Hamms and Stella Artois. Both bars serve up a friendly atmosphere where local, and tourists alike can enjoy conversation, frivolity and a chance to taste something new.
To welcome neighboring Trejo’s Tacos to the Farmers Market, 326 is pouring Trejo’s Cerveza, a lager from Boomtown Brewery in downtown Los Angeles.
For the warm days ahead, a blackberry sangria cider from Common will keep you cool. If sour beers are your passion, try the Passion Pool sour from Mikkeller Brewing from San Diego.
Twinn and Kelly take their beer knowledge seriously and want their customers to enjoy a good brew and have a friendly experience. Think of them as ambassadors to your Farmers Market experience, your L.A. experience. Stop by and enjoy a pint or two today at 5 p.m. EB’s and Bar 326, at the Original Farmers Market, Third and Fairfax, fmbars.com.
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