The Surly Goat

Your Rating: None
The Surly GoatThe Surly Goat
58 Ratings
The Surly GoatThe Surly Goat

Type: Bar

7929 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, California, 90046-5107
United States

(323) 650-4628 | map

No notes at this time.

Added by verdugobar on 02-08-2010

View: Place Reviews
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 58 |  Reviews: 36
Photo of sillyhed8
5/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Ooooh....had my bourbon county with vanilla here...couldn't be better

69 characters

Photo of cleolicious
5/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

West Hollywood REALLY needed a place like this. Before The Goat came along the best quality beer you could get in WeHo was a Corona. For a city that's known for it's nightlife, and being in a state that is known for it's numerous breweries, beer savvy WeHo is not. It's just shameful. Enter "The Goat". The menu turnover is constant. When's the last time you've had Pliny The Elder on tap? Maybe you have but it's almost shocking around these parts if you did. The staff here is great. All the ladies behind the bar are as knowledgeable of beers as they are beautiful. The guys who manage the bar know beer and are always down to discuss. This is a real beer bar at it's finest. If it's not on tap they have it in a bottle. The decor is excellent with pics of goats everywhere. Hovering over the bar is "Gus", an actual goat head. There's a great patio as well as two different seating areas inside. The bar itself is nice to sit at. The bathrooms are super clean keeping with the bar's theme. Everyone there is friendly and welcoming. The only negative is the parking, which isn't so bad considering it's West Hollywood. There's a parking lot next door that's usually free. However, depending on the night of the week and how busy it is you might encounter some little fucker in a jacket asking you for $8. If so, there's bound to be a spot available down one of the side streets, you just have to hunt a bit. As for the music, they could use to play a little more rock. Nobody wants to come to a great bar like this and hear any form of dance music. Leave that for the Hollywood douchebags down the street at Voyeur who's taste in music is as bad as their taste in beer. In conclusion, if you're looking for a damn good local pub that sells damn good beers, isn't so "Hollywood" but also isn't a dive bar in any way, you've found it.

Note: It takes a lot of guts to open a "straight" bar in WeHo these days. The fact that this place use to be a gay bar called "Eye Candy" a few years ago shows that straight people are finally starting to be accepted as equals in West Hollywood. No longer are breeders afraid to walk the streets at night. We can all finally feel free to be our opposite-sex loving selves at The Surly Goat.

 2,227 characters

Photo of LevG
5/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

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!

 1,290 characters

Photo of Foppie
5/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Great lighting
Awesome beers served properly
Quick and attentive service
Amazing and always rotating list of rare taps
Baby Blues BBQ next door delivers for free, the Goat has menus behind the bar if you ask.
Always amazed at what crazy 11% + beers they have available for $5
Awesome bottle list for great prices.

This is what West Hollywood needed a place with solid tunes and a relaxed atmosphere. The front patio just got redone and is super comfortable now with cushions galore. Game room in back is fun too!

Love this spot!

 531 characters

Photo of Mdavies021
5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of jwolfe1311
5/5  rDev +11.9%

Pretty much the best. Gets really busy weekend nights. nice and dive-y but not dirty.

87 characters

Photo of HopHeadLouie
4.94/5  rDev +10.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 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.

 1,374 characters

Photo of OlieIPA
4.94/5  rDev +10.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 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!

 869 characters

Photo of Alpha309
4.89/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Great and knowledgeable bartenders and very prompt with their service. Constantly checking on customers to make sure that everything is good. Beer selection is top notch. All taps are rotating and you can never be sure what they are going to have when you pop in. They have both very rare beers, and the common but great beers on a regular basis.

 350 characters

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.88/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

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.

 736 characters

Photo of mrvid123
4.86/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Weho isn't worthy! Ok, some folks are.
Gotta love a joint that always has a Barleywine and a sour waiting for you everyday of the week. Not sure how they turn a profit on their beers, they always seem to be significantly cheaper than neighboring spots. Dual patios are a nice touch. I like the layout of the bar because whatever room you are in you kind of feel like you are in a private room. Monthly special events are always awesome, they threw a great New Years Eve party and their 4/20 Lagunitas celebration was cool too. Parking isn't that tough if you have a little patience and check out side street. Metered parking is free after 6pm too I believe. I bring in food from the Whole Foods across the street. Good times.

 726 characters

Photo of MtnSoup
4.79/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Worldclass? Yes, definitely. They had a veritable cornucopia of bourbon barrel aged goodness the evening I was there...servers are very knowledgeable and friendly. I will be back.

 179 characters

Photo of raulstotle12
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of mhksuccess
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

One of the best spots in the los angeles area
they always are friendly even when gets crowded
always has a variety of great beers on tap and the bottle service is awesome at a fair price
no cover charge and great dj on saturday night
would definite recommend checking out this spot for sure

 298 characters

Photo of ManuelHerrera
4.74/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Moving to West Hollywood, my roommate and I were concerned we wouldn't be able to find great beer in L.A. but we were wrong...dead wrong.

In the eyes of the experienced beer lover, The Surly Goat is the equivalent of staying in the penthouse suite at The Four Seasons in Valhalla. With a solid 20-odd beers on tap that range from the Firestone's Pale 31 to A-Beer-I-Swear-To-God-You-Haven't-Heard-Of Ale, there is a beer that's sure to satisfy even the most casual of beer drinkers.

The Goat models itself after all the "trendy" L.A. scenes... in other words you'll probably pass it a couple of times and not even know it. From the outside it looks more like a random black box theater until you see the signature Goat. Walk inside and you've got beer and goat paraphenalia all over the walls.

The crowd varies depending on when you go - during the weekday happy hours your more likely to find a closer to middle aged crowd with some scattered twentysomethings, but go on a weekend and all bets are off. The Goat is crowded (often with a line!) with attractive young professionals, hipsters, and even a little bit of the college crowd.

This is my favorite bar in LA and I can't recommend it enough. It's got a lot of character and definitely worth a shot. And if you don't like it, it's just a short stumble back to your normal watering hole, which I'm assuming is Bar Lubitsch or The Dark Room.

 1,401 characters

Photo of d_kizzle
4.73/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of euskera
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
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..

 269 characters

Photo of whiskeysoda
4.71/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Verdugo. Blue Palms. And now: Surly Goat. A true trifecta of bars that any beer geek in LA would consider a must.

Ryan has done a bang-up job taking the quality and selection from Verdugo (as well as the all-hot-ladies-behind-the-bar concept) and making it more cozy and welcoming to a wider audience to try to educate the novices around WeHo about craft beer.

The atmosphere is dark: plush booths and couches as well as cast iron bars and kitschy goat-centric paintings (as well as the iconic goat-busts above the bar and in the hallway to the waterclosets). 2 smoking patios and a 'game room' with free mini-shuffle board, foosball, and pac man (soon to be everything from pac-man to galaga to centipede).

The 27 taps are advertised on small menus at the bar or on chalk placards that flanks said goat-bust above, and - as you'd expect - they are changed out frequently, with at least 4 "on deck" placards at the ready beside the main menu. Recent additions include Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast, Hop in the Dark, Consecration, Los Abbey Red Barn, Stone RIS 2010, etc. Ask nicely (and look like you know what you're talking about) and they'll give you a leather-bound bottle list that is TRULY stunning. Seriously. You'll probably make a lot of girly sounds reading through it. Ryan covets his bottles like Crom coveted his sword.

SPEAKING OF CROM...did I mention that there are only about 3 televisions in the place which continually play obscure and/or cult classics including Conan: The Govern...I mean, "The Barbarian," Beetlejuice, Top Gun, Black Samson, The Omega Man, etc. Yeah. Don't, worry, they'll ex the kitschy films if an important game is on gotta love the idea of watching Conan talk about crushing his enemies while quaffing a Scaldis in a goblet.

Good times. Good times.

 1,804 characters

Photo of SDStoutly
4.65/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Absolut
4.65/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Trendies craft beer bar. Staff is knowledgable and understands the beer. They will talk beer and strike a fine balance between fans and sellers. Only downside is low foox

 172 characters

Photo of callmescraps
4.64/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

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.

 2,076 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.64/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

 877 characters

Photo of Philousa
4.61/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

 1,291 characters

Photo of Hojaminbag
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

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.

 1,934 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
4.59/5  rDev +2.7%
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....

 3,050 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
The Surly Goat in West Hollywood, CA
Place rating: 4.47 out of 5 with 58 ratings