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The Surly Goat

Not Rated.
The Surly GoatThe Surly Goat
BA SCORE
97
world-class

45 Ratings
Ratings: 45
Reviews: 32
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 8.72%
Taps: 27
Bottles: 100
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ 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: 45 | Reviews: 32 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DoubleJ
4.59/5  rDev +2.7%

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....

DoubleJ, Jun 08, 2012
Photo of aoampm
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

aoampm, Sep 11, 2014
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.64/5  rDev +3.8%

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.

UCLABrewN84, Mar 09, 2012
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.58/5  rDev +2.5%

First mistake was going to this place on a Saturday night, much less one after the Bruery RS party. Place had a line out the door. This was the first time I've ever been waiting in line to get into a bar. I felt authentic LA/WeHo style.

Anyways, after about 20 minutes we were into a massively packed bar. Didn't really pick up much on the atmosphere, other than a few neat paintings of goats, Indiana Jones on the TV and a bar shoulder to shoulder packed with what looked like pretty normal people for this neck of the woods.

Selection and even pricing was awesome. Only $8 for a Deliverance on tap, full pour, tulip glass? That's like, cheaper than I can get it in the bottle at a very reasonable store, much less a hotspot like this.

Bartenders were hot, had one with fake boobs, one with big boobs and one, like the story about Goldilocks and the three bears that was just right. They were all very attentive, especially during such a busy period. Like many places these days, the list of beers they have, and the actual beers they have varies. Tried to order some Alpine stuff first, fail, didn't have it. Ended up going with the Cuvee de Tomme after the Deliverance. $40, seems pricey, but I can't even get it for that much on ebay, so to have that in an LA hotspot, deal, plus it was damn good, so there you go.

I would love to come back to this place when its not a Saturday night. If I lived in the area, this would be a popular place for me on a Monday or Thursday night.

Oh yeah, and I like shooting high end bottles, and they were totally cool with me leaving with the bottle at the end of the night. Nice.

Beerandraiderfan, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.53/5  rDev +1.3%

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.

TheSevenDuffs, Jul 29, 2013
Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -10.5%

GRG1313, Dec 01, 2013
Photo of BeerBucks
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

BeerBucks, Jul 14, 2014
Photo of Metalmonk
4.38/5  rDev -2%

So, we walk in and sit down at the bar, and immediately noticed how beautiful the two women bartenders were, and how knowledgeable they were about beer. I remembered this line from a review I read here (a couple below mine) and turned to my friend and told him what it said: "hot chicks at the bar that know the difference between a porter and a stout." One of the "chicks" caught our conversation at the wrong time, totally misinterpreted and glared at me like I was some chauvinist pig or something...I couldn't get her attention the rest of the night to apologize and explain. Whateva, sista!

The other bartender couldn't have been nicer or more knowledgeable. I had a Rogue Mocha Porter (delicious) and a Ballast Point Three Sheets oaked-aged barleywine (outstanding), and my friend had a Scaldis and a Matilda. All from the tap...so you see the focus on quality there. Saw all kinds of other stuff on offer, on tap and in bottles, hardly a dud in sight. Impossible to not find a top-notch beer to enjoy, and the tap list regularly rotates too...

The atmosphere is dark, which I like, although parts of the room have an austere quality. As soon as you walk in the door, in front of you is the coziest area, kind of a den sort of vibe with tons of framed pictures of goats of various varieties...and then the bar immediately to the right (well-stocked with spirits as well), and then a long row of tables directly behind. Was a Thursday night about 10 pm, and there was a good crowd, but still plenty of elbow room. And don't look for a big sign outside, it's not there, just the street number...we drove by it a few times, looking more for the sign than the #. Totally kick-ass place, the Goat, I'll be back before I leave this town...

Metalmonk, May 07, 2010
Photo of Hojaminbag
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%

The Surly Goat is in West Hollywood, which seems to be a trendy neighborhood to me. The Surly Goat itself, at least, is a trendy type of place. I walked in on a Thursday night and it was pretty packed with well-dressed, young, professional-looking people. People were pretty friendly though, as a group approached my friends and I to start a conversation and hang out for a good chunk of the night.

When you walk in, the bar is directly to your right, with the tap list written on individual chalk boards on the wall above it. The rest of the bar in front of you is divided into three sections, with the sections on either side raised a little bit. On the right is a door to some outside seating, which is great for a night in Southern California.

The bartenders were polite and very efficient, taking care of everybody as fairly as possible on such a busy night. Both were females the night I went, and both were pretty cute.

Now onto the beer. The tap list was impressive, and can be found at all times on the website, so there is no need to go into an in-depth discussion here. I had an Abyss which was great, if you want to know more, go to the website.

The bottle list was fabulous. The list itself says that all the beers on it are stored at 50 degrees and made for cellaring. Some of the highlights were Black Tuesday (75$ does any other bar sell this???), FW Anniversary 12&13 (32, 36), Black Butte XXI (18), Cuvee de Tomme, Russian River temptation and Damnation, and two vintages of the Abyss. These were the highlights, but there were other beers. I would have been happy ordering every beer on the menu, but I didn't have the cash.

Overall, the Surly Goat has one of the most carefully chosen selections of beer that I have seen in any city, and definitely the best I encountered or found in the LA area. Quality and quantity. Prices weren't cheap, but for the area and quality of beer, I was more than happy with it.

Hojaminbag, Jan 19, 2011
Photo of belgbeerdrinker
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

belgbeerdrinker, Nov 05, 2013
Photo of SoCalBeerIdiot
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

SoCalBeerIdiot, May 02, 2014
Photo of Kramerwtmf
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Kramerwtmf, Apr 24, 2014
Photo of augustgarage
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%

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.

augustgarage, Feb 29, 2012
Photo of OlieIPA
4.94/5  rDev +10.5%

Finally got a chance to go out to Hollywood this past night and visit this fine establishment...and I can say it was worth the drive.

A: Basically a toned down version of Verdugo; Leather seating, dim lighting, and a moderate volume of music playing in the background. Definitely a place to bring a date and/or hang with a few friends.

Q: Ordered a few beers, both IPA's, that were extremely fresh. Nothing to really complain about at all.

S: Prompt and polite. The bartender was great and I even had a chat with a guy who worked at both Verdugo and The Surly Goat. He was even nice enough to open up a bottle of "Hop in the Dark" and share among the customers.

S: 24-32 taps (roughly) of higher-end craft beer. Couldn't ask for much more.

F: Not sure if they serve food.

Overall: It's definitely a trip from Orange County, but well worth it. A must try. Cheers!

OlieIPA, Jul 29, 2010
Photo of Bnoise11
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Bnoise11, Apr 21, 2014
Photo of WOTO97
4.09/5  rDev -8.5%

All-in-all a great spot for a location in dire need of a solid beer bar. The bar actually reminded me of a Chicago bar, which is definitely a good thing: focus on hanging out with a great patio area. While there, I had a consecration, three sheets, idiot, and the craftsman saison. All were solid as expected. The service was great; the bartender was generous with tasters and friendly banter at the bar. Service lost some points for simply because the bartender working there didn't have a very solid beer knowledge. Aside from that, very friendly and diligent. I must also note I visited on a Sunday evening and the place was relatively empty. The selection was pretty good. Admittedly, Beachwood has a better selection of the hard to find stuff, but from the looks of this spot, the Goat is surely on its way to greatness. Definitely a fun spot and worth the trek if you are considering visiting.

WOTO97, May 05, 2010
Photo of RolandBlunts
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

RolandBlunts, Jun 19, 2014
Photo of Beerenauslese
4.88/5  rDev +9.2%

This place has 32 taps and a great selection. I was there at a Friday afternoon happy hour and enjoyed an Avery White Rascal. Only a few people were there.

They had some great beers on tap--Deliverance, Dissident, Abyss, Consecration, Pliny the Elder, Blind Pig--just to name a few. The servers were very friendly and helpful, and didn't hestitate to pour a sampler when requested. Prices ranged from $6-10, with most in the $6-7 range and special beers higher (like St. Feuillien Cuvee de Noel at $10).

After going out for the evening, I returned around 11:00PM and I had to stand in line 20 minutes to get into the place. Very popular.

This is definitely a great place in WEHO, although it can get really crowded in the evening.

Beerenauslese, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of callmescraps
4.64/5  rDev +3.8%

I guess I get to be the first to review this place. Frankly, I'm kind of honored.

Atmosphere- It's a very classy-looking place with a stone bar, new leather in the booths and on the stools, with lots of goat-themed beer art and vintage posters on the walls. It's a dark and cozy. They keep the volume on the music tolerable so you can hear companions talk. So far it's been heavily beer-geeky since it's just opened, and because they tapped PtY a couple of days later, but there seem to have been plenty of folks just trying out a new place. It's got a nice vibe.

Quality- Very good. The tap list is all-killer, no-filler. It's probably bordering on a 5, especially with all the great bottles. I'll be re-considering this score as the place develops.

Service- Has been really excellent. Very nice (and easy on the eyes) bartenders. Some folks are still learning their beer, but I've seen them make quality recommendations to several customers. Frankly, with such a great tap list it's hard to go wrong. The guys that run the place are just awesome. Will sit down and have a beer with you, shoot the breeze, and just maybe open up a special bottle or two to share. They are really passionate about beer, and really care about sharing that passion.

Selection- Once again it's all quality stuff. The bottles they have are awesome, but hopefully they'll be adding some more in the future. They've done a good job so far with keeping several different styles on so there is something for every palate.

I have to say, opening this place right in my neighborhood is one of the best things to happen in a long time. The LA beer scene is really blowing up. And these guys are leading the charge. Oh, and they made me even happier when they tapped their PtY keg without much fanfare. That meant that regular folks off the street got to actually try the super-hyped beverage. Most of them seemed to really like it to boot. It was awesome to be able to actually savor that beer in peace, in a mellow environment, surrounded by friendly folks. Just as beer was meant to be enjoyed.

callmescraps, Feb 12, 2010
Photo of HopHeadLouie
4.94/5  rDev +10.5%

The Surly Goat is the best beer bar in LA hands down! And It is not because of the comfortable laid back atmosphere or the world class tap line up. It is not because of the awesome Goat head watching over you or the hot chicks at the bar that know the difference between a porter and a stout. It has nothing to do with the awesome walk in beer cellar adorned with gleaming bottles of Utopias and other rare goodies. It's not the VIP goat room or even the free Pacman. It's the best beer bar In LA because of the vision and commitment of the Goat owners Ryan and Brandon. It is evident in every square inch of that place, this is a beer geeks beer bar! Created by beer geeks for beer geeks in the name of beer, one nation under beer indivisible and justice for brew!

With The Verdugo Bar, Ryan and Brandon broke the stranglehold of pretentious beer bars and brought gold standards like Pliny the Elder to the comfortable neighborhood bar where you could regularly imbibe in mind blowing "how did you get that" beers. A good eighty percent of the soft opening weeks Goat line up were beers that not only exceeded that category but were beers that you would have made an event out of. Pliny the Younger, Sculpin, Rasputin XII, just to name a few.

The Goat is not only a welcome addition to the LA beer scene, it has also just raised the bar for the entire LA beer community.

HopHeadLouie, Mar 04, 2010
Photo of zestar
4.36/5  rDev -2.5%

I stopped in last night and had a very good time as usual. I like going here on weeknights when the crowd is light and there's room to breathe and enjoy the beer. The decor is clean, sophisticated, and punctuated by some nice touches like the vintage coin-op video games and collection of framed keg labels creeping their way along the top of the wall.

A varied selection of quality offerings awaits you on the tap list, which almost always something new (lots of good local options). The option of half pints is always appreciated, though even more smaller pour options (such as flights) would be even better. The bottle list is solid and affordable, and there's a neat bottle fridge where you can easily check out the majority of the selection and prices.

Overall, this is one of the better places to grab a beer in the LA area.

zestar, May 04, 2011
Photo of PlinyTheKid
5/5  rDev +11.9%

I am pleased to say that Surly Goat is definitely my favourite spot in LA. I've been a usual patron at Verdugo Bar since May 2008, going every Thursday till this day, but the atmosphere at the Surly Goat is exeptional.

All the people working there are friendly, and they assure that you will walk out of the bar satisfied and pleased with all the beers you've had that night. Their tap selection is beyond great. From Blind Pig to BrewDog Tokio, the Surly Goat has gone all around the spectrum bringing beers that is definitely a "must try". Thanks to Ryan at Surly Goat and Verdugo Bar, he has provided some of the most exceptional beers.

They have a cellar menu, with all your favourite Russian Rivers, Lost Abbeys, and many, many more. What I love about it so much? If the price is right, you can endulge in older batches of all these beers.

If you want to enjoy the bar in a comfortable setting, the weekdays is right for you. It's not too packed, you meet fellow beer drinkers, and some good music playing in the background (of course you cannot exclude the usual Journey and Def Leppard tracks). Come in on a Saturday and you'll notice the place busier, but with a very fun vibe. Lots of disco, and patrons other than the superficial Hollywood crowd.

You'll definitely enjoy it!

PlinyTheKid, Jul 14, 2010
Photo of ndinh
3.6/5  rDev -19.5%

this place needs a little bit more time to find its stride and get organized. The bar is centrally located so it'll do well for sure. We went the first Friday after opening week and it was jam packed. The bartenders were nice but were scrambling to pour and sometimes the wait was a bit too long. Unfortunately, this is not only a beer bar but a full bar so you have the people ordering their mixed crap so bartenders tend to take longer to shuffle through customers. The beer list was good but not well organized. The board list didn't match the menu so we weren't sure what was available. Strange thing....I asked a bartender for Doggy Claws and she said they were out. My friend asked another bartender a couple of minutes later and she got a pour. Huh? There was also a cask on the board and when I asked, the bartender said they don't have a cask.

ndinh, Feb 23, 2010
Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
4.19/5  rDev -6.3%

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.

SubpoenaDeuces, May 18, 2011
Photo of gregoryG
4.06/5  rDev -9.2%

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...

gregoryG, May 08, 2011
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The Surly Goat in West Hollywood, CA
97 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.