Brewery folk are often asked about the history of this place. We've heard some tales of things that have supposedly happened here over the years which definitely never happened, and many, many misconceptions about the evolution of The Brewery. That said...
With no intenion of dispelling any myth or mystique threaded through our unique community, we offer these stories of interest relating to downtown and East Los Angeles, the Brewery itself, and a few of the people who've passed through here.
Warning: this link can be a dangerous bunny hole which can eat up your entire day. We suggest you just read the timeline you came for (click the "Read More" link below) and skip the thing about the tree entirely.
This is the story of the 400-year old sycamore that Aliso St was named for and which also used to be such a feature in early LA and, for a short time, of the Maier & Zobelein Brewery. The tree was 60 feet high and 200 feet wide, making it a dramatic landmark back in the era of single-story buildings.
It's on the right beyond the Plaza in this 1857 photo from Fort Hill:
You might not expect it at first glance, but in addition to a debt to a long-dead sycamore tree, the Brewery Artist Colony owes a not-insignificant debt to the lavish, German-style beer gardens of the late 19th century. In the years after the Civil War, waves of new immigrants and the national craze for German-style "beer gardens" created such a demand for malted spirits that beer replaced hard cider as America's most popular alcoholic drink.
GROUND BROKEN FOB ERECTION OF A NEW PLANT
Will Turn Out Sixty Barrels of the Beverage per Day—Eastern Capital Interested '
Within the next three weeks ground will be broken for the erection of the plant of the Los Angeles Brewing company, and within two months thereafter the new establishment will be complete and in operation. The company filed its articles of incorporation in the office of the county clerk on the 16th Inst. The capital stock Is $50,000, and so confident are the promoters of the enterprise in its success that they have secured the investment of Chicago capital to the amount of $25,000 in the concern