Los Angeles is 500 square miles and a thousand bars. So you have a pretty good selection of “happy hours” to get your drink on. That said, the two Weiland Brewery locations in downtown LA offer incredibly reasonable happy hour prices Monday-Friday from 3-7 p.m. and 10 p.m. to close. Let’s start with the beer because we’re all about the beer. Neither Weiland spot is a tier one beer joint, so if you are a tier one beer snob be forewarned. That said, each bar offers eight OK taps and a decent bottle selection. They have three house brews: honey blonde, amber, and India Pale ale, all brewed by Firestone in Paso Robles. There is a house hefeweizen brewed by Bayhawk Ales in Irvine. These are all perfectly respectable, sessionable beers and, at happy hour, they go for $3 per pint. In addition, there are four rotating craft brews that change whenever a keg blows. You can expect to pay $4 per pint for the “guest taps” during happy hour at Underground and only $3 at the original Weiland.
Not a beer drinker? House wines are $4 and select martinis are $6. Well drinks are discounted. It’s Weiland’s “so ridiculously cheap, it’s like stealing” happy hour.
Whereas most bars offer either the food or the drinks at a discount, then make up for it on the opposite side, Weiland offers a bar menu at prices that make the low beer and drink prices look steep. Snack on a basket of fresh cut kettle chips for one dollar. That’s just chips you say. The most expensive items are crab cakes or “Weiland’s Wings” for $4.95. Tired of paying twelve bucks for a shrimp cocktail? $3.95 at Weiland. Grilled chicken quesadilla or crispy calamari, and not some scaled down miniature version, also $3.95. You can drink three house brews with the two “priciest” items on the menu and get a bill for $16.90. Surely they’ll be out of business by the time this is posted.
The original opened in 1999 in Little Tokyo and is housed in the original 100-year old Weiland brewery building from which they take their name. Here, you are art district adjacent so you’ll find a mix of local artists and City Hallers from the nearby government buildings that house our Mayor and ten thousand hard-working, soft-drinking bureaucrats. Or is it the other way around? There is a parking lot right in front with reduced rate prices with a validation.
Locale two is Weiland Underground, the underground part coming from the fact the bar is deep below street level under the City National Bank skyscraper at 5th and Flower. Opened in 2006, this financial district spot has a completely different feel that comes from being newer, bigger and from hosting lawyers, corporate finance types, more lawyers, and more corporate types. But that’s lunch and the early happy hour. Once they head home, the downtowners descend upon this place for dinner and the late happy hour. There are plenty of flat screens if you need to catch a game. Downtown parking is always a nightmare, but you can park in the garage off of Flower or 5th for 90 minutes free.
If you are looking for a happy hour on a tight budget — and while neither spot is Verdugo Bar or Blue Palms Brewhouse where the beer is concerned — the two Weiland Brewery bars offer beer and food at prices that just might beat your kitchen at home. Hell. The burger at Father’s Office might cost you more than an afternoon at Weiland.