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The Surly Goat

The Surly GoatThe Surly Goat

Taps: 27 / Bottles: 100
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
BA SCORE
98
world-class

36 Ratings
Ratings: 36
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 7.78%
$$ - reasonable


[ Bar ]

7929 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, California, 90046-5107
United States
phone: (323) 650-4628

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @surlygoatbar

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: verdugobar on 02-08-2010)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 36 | Reviews: 30 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of euskera
euskera

North Carolina

4.72/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$

An oasis for beer geeks in a desert of stores on Santa Monica Boulevard. Cool, quirkly laid-back atmosphere, excellent selection, great service. Beer list is always slightly different when I go there, which I most definitely enjoy.

Always on my list when I visit LA..

03-30-2014 14:59:20 | More by euskera
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

4.53/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$

This is a really cool place and really stands out in an area that doesn't have much to offer in the way of beer bars.

You would walk right by the place if you weren't looking for it as there is no branding on the outside except for their logo and there was no indication from the outside that this beer even had beer, let alone craft beer.

The atmosphere is really cool. Clean and pleasant with a bit of an old school feel to it. One bonus for me was that they were playing 90's alternative music.

Selection was excellent. Nothing extraordinary on tap, although they had Abyss on deck that wasn't tapped while I was there. Good selection of styles too, with a mix of IPA/DIPA, stouts, saisons, Belgian Ales, etc. Pliny was on tap too.

Don't miss this place if you are in the area.

07-29-2013 17:21:24 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of pmoore311
pmoore311

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$

Awesome bar, great atmosphere and great location and good tunes. Being from the Detroit area and in the Los Angeles area often for work, this is my go to spot. This is also the place where I had the pleasure to have my first PtE on tap so maybe I am partial. Definitely worth checking out.

05-07-2013 20:00:31 | More by pmoore311
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

4.59/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$

There are some people who believe that everything happens for a reason. While I've enjoyed many nights at Verdugo Bar and have a good relationship with owner Ryan Sweeney, I had never ventured over to West Hollywood to check out his other bar. I knew I would visit one day, it was a question of when. With place review #400 in my sight, I listed several choices to the BA Community of which place I should visit for that milestone. Congrats Surly Goat, you are the winner of that contest....

Using the Verdugo Bar as a base, I knew that the Surly Goat had high standards to chase in every department. Perhaps the best aspect of the Verdugo Bar is the dark, lounge-like atmosphere that's tough to replicate. To my surprise (or not surprising, depending on your point of view), The Surly Goat maintains a similar, awesome atmosphere. It's dark on the inside. A well lit bar area with taps written in chalk. That big goat head hanging over the bar is easy to recognize. Candles lit at every table. Lots of open space behind the stolls of the bar. Several games available to play in another part of the bar, including 80s arcade games and table games. No shortage of goat-related memorabilia, especially the ones in the German bock adverts. And let's not forget about the few areas outside where one can drink.

Two different female bartenders serving drinks during the night. It was easy enough to approach the bar and ask for a drink, though on a busy night I could see it turning into a clusterfu<k. No cluster tonight, but I did have to give a little time. I did receive good beer knowledge from one of them, when I asked the difference of styles between two of the taps. Speaking of....

There are over two dozen taps, a cask (when available), and 40 different bottled options. Many of the taps options are not easy to find, and this is reinforced from options like Firestone Unfiltered DBA, World Wide Stout, Tongue Buckler, Zymaster, Los Padres Ale, Craftsman Ochre. Other brands availale from the keg include Russian River, Avery, Lagunitas, Coney Island, Weihenstephaner, Stone, Ballast Point, Port, Eagle Rock, Anchor, Sam Adams Chocolate Bock. And that's saying nothing from the small, yet impressive bottle list (Firestone Anniversary, Cuir, several Russian River's, Eclipse series). In a nearly perfect marriage with the beers, the serving temperature, freshness, glassware, and pours are excellent. And extra props for oversized flutes with different volume lines; a 33 cl pour is actually going to give you 33 cl of beer, plus head. The prices are somewhat reasonable too ($6-8 pours), especially given that you're not going to get shortpoured.

The Surly Goat shares some trails with its older sibling Verdugo; a good beer list, people who know beer, and a great atmosphere. In fact, I would even say this is almost like Verdugo Bar v2.0. Congrats to Ryan and his crew for opening another must stop beer bar in the LA area, and happy #400 place review to me! Now if I could only find a convenient place to park in West Hollywood....

06-08-2012 17:10:34 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.64/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$

I headed over to Surly Goat tonight with my buddy after a dinner at Golden State Cafe. We got there right after they opened at 6 and there was tons of seating around the space. We grabbed some stools at the bar but there are also tables towards the back of the space. A very modern space inside aesthetics wise. They have around 26 taps all of which are great import and craft selections. The quality of all of my pours was very good as well. We got exceptional service all night long from one of the bartenders so that was awesome. Best of all, they now do tasters! Apparently they did not do so in the past from what I understand. Prices were reasonable for everything (especially the tasters at $1 or $2 depending on what kind of beer you want to try). I will definitely be back here in the future and I highly recommend this place if you are looking for a spot in the area.

03-09-2012 06:09:38 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of augustgarage
augustgarage

California

4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$

Those familiar with Verdugo Bar, BoHo, or Little Bear will immediately recognize Ryan Sweeney's (if not Adolfo Suaya's) signature on this fortress of his craft beer empire: nondescript, monotone exteriors (though the enclosed patio is a nice divergence from the theme), subdued signage, dark modernist/minimal interior design (with key lighting where it is most needed thankfully), a night-club atmosphere (complete with plush booths, distinct seating areas, Karaoke and DJ nights), and a full bar with no food (though you can bring in or even order some from outside).

In Glassell Park, this formula strikes me as out of place, but in West Hollywood, it integrates well with the surrounding community. Personally I much prefer pubs to clubs, but I won't fault the atmosphere just because it isn't my scene.

In any case, the selection and quality of beers at Surly Goat is among the best in Los Angeles. I'd list a couple dozen taps, but you can easily peruse their website for the most up-to-date info. You will always be greeted with clean lines and wide variety (with a rapidly rotating tap and bottle list). I really appreciate the emphasis on seasonal beers, new beers, and on stocking a wide variety of styles at all times.

The staff is attentive and friendly (though I suspect attractiveness and extroversion were more important than customer service or product knowledge during the hiring process), and pours are all served in appropriate glassware.

Happy hour offers a small number of $4 beers for the more frugal among us...that said, the overall value is not the best given you can pay $9 for something like a small pour (25cL) of Tripel Karmeliet (wander over to the Whole Foods and pick up a 750mL bottle for a couple more bucks). Most pints are $7 which is fine given the location and selection. Bottle prices are higher than most stores but lower than many other bars, so that's a wash.

Worth a visit if you are in the area - if my pockets were deep enough to live near-by I'd probably be a regular.

02-29-2012 19:09:35 | More by augustgarage
Photo of Philousa
Philousa

California

4.61/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$

The Goat is the best beer bar I've found in the greater LA area. A year ago, this might not have held much weight, but there are burgeoning spots that are making themselves known in LA, so I think this is a pretty bold statement. Bear in mind, I haven't been to most every great beer bar in LA, so take it with a grain of salt. each time I've been there, they have local stuff that's either hard to find or is different than what you'd find anywhere but the tasting room from which it was brewed. They also have a great selection of craft beer across the US that you might not find on the west coast, such as slightly rare DFH or Avery beers. Their choice of beer leans heavily towards the US craft beer, but they have a couple taps devoted to the Belgian or German brews.

The only reasons I docked points is the area and the atmosphere. They really go for a clubby feel on the weekends, and the cool atmosphere is just a bit too dark for my preference. It doesn't really lend towards a friendly atmosphere in which you could easily strike up a conversation with a fellow craft beer advocate. The area sucks for parking if you go on a weekend, too. I guess that's Hollywood for you, though.

Despite my minor gripes, I will seek out The Goat in the future and I recommend you do the same.

12-27-2011 22:26:37 | More by Philousa
Photo of Beezee
Beezee

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$

Myself and a few serious midwestern beer nerds stayed a few blocks from this bar. We all agreed it was excellent. Prices are reasonable for LA -5 bucks a pint -the average price in LA seems to be about 7 bucks a beer. The atmosphere is great with old school video games, flat screens with sports, nice booths, nice art, dark atmosphere and an outdoor seating area. Great bottle selection. Great tap list with a cask on tap. Bartenders are very friendly. Great BBQ spot next door. Had a great time watching the Bulls lose and drinking a Pliny.

06-04-2011 23:57:01 | More by Beezee
Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
SubpoenaDeuces

California

4.19/5  rDev -6.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 5 | $$

First and foremost, this and Verdugo are my favorite spots in LA. I love the bottle list and amazing taplist this location offers. The special monthly events keep things interesting as well. The prices are incredible especially when you consider the west hollywood area and the quality of items on tap. I once got a tulip of consecration for $7 I believe, well below retail.

The only complaint I have about this place is some spotty problems with bartenders occasionally. I love the owner Alan and he always makes sure that we have a good time however, there are several instances where I requested something from the bottle list that was unavailable and I was ostracized for having requested it. Come on, if you saw Papier for $40, you would request it wouldnt you? Another instance I requested a certain batch of Temptation and they brought up a different bottle and I didnt want a different batch and the bartender mocked me behind my back and my friend called her out on it. Rough spots to an overall excellent place. It would take a lot more to keep me from coming back to this awesome establishment.

The shuffleboard tables are great and the mix of people is perfect. There's Voyeur right next door so when clubsters get heismanned at that spot you get an influx of random people that pepper the place up with a great vibe.

Overall, this place is a gem and I regularly blow my friends minds from out of town when we can sit down and enjoy a batch 4 bottle of temptation when the need arises. keep up the good work.

05-18-2011 18:06:37 | More by SubpoenaDeuces
Photo of gregoryG
gregoryG

California

4.06/5  rDev -9.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$

Has a really nice selection of brews on tap. the dudes that run the place seem to know their beer but the girls behind the bar have never impressed with their knowledge of brew. i have dj'd there a few times and a plus of this place is that they usually have pretty good music playing by decent djs. also you can bring in food from the surrounding area to eat with your beer. parking can be pretty bad in this part of Los Angeles but there is a small valet parking lot next door that only costs $5...pretty cheap for hollywood...

05-08-2011 20:42:43 | More by gregoryG
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The Surly Goat in West Hollywood, CA
98 out of 100 based on 36 ratings.