By Emily G. Peters
Arcadia’s first microbrewery is ready to pour you a cold one this summer.
Owned by fellow brewers Mike Reiling and Shawn Nemanich, Mt. Lowe Brewing Company has a passion for quality craft beer and a love for local history. Neither owners are new to the entrepreneur game—before launching Mt. Lowe, Reiling owned a home theater and installation company and Nemanich owned a hot rod restoration and repair shop. Yet after years perfecting their craft, enthusiastic beer fans pushed the pair to change careers and bring their brews to Arcadia in 2016.
“Arcadia is revitalizing their downtown area, and it seemed like a good fit” said Reiling. “They were underserved in the microbrewery business and the proximity to the freeway, Gold Line station and downtown made the city an obvious choice.”
As self-proclaimed history nerds, the two named Mt. Lowe after the scenic electric railroad trolley built in L.A. in 1893—a unique pioneering effort in the United States. That same appreciation for trailblazing drives Railing and Nemanich’s approach to making beer, with a goal to refine—and advance—the science of brewing. They cite their brewing process as nothing less than “crazy meticulous,” shooting for perfection in each batch of freshly-made brews.
Mt. Lowe offers a variety of beers, ranging from the hoppy “The Hills Have IPA” to “The Thaddeus,” a creamy, English-style stout named for the railroad’s incorporator. Their American-style wheat beer “Honeyngton Hef” (get it?) even took silver medal at the Los Angeles International Beer Competition. Choice selections also include malty reds, refreshing ales, habanero-infused IPAs—in short, you’ll want to sample everything on the menu.
Most of their beers are offered in growlers (large jugs) or crowlers (oversized cans that seal in flavor and keep the beer ultra-fresh). The beautiful tasting room offers full pints or flights to taste the beer rainbow. The brewery also makes its beers available on tap to restaurants eager to include Mt. Lowe’s local flavors—an angle that the owners hope to expand to more restaurants and even grocery stores in the future.
Mt. Lowe’s schedule is never short on fun. Their calendar is a mash of beer-based activities, hosting everything from beer yoga—really!—to “paint and pint” nights to live music, dancing and classic trivia. Local food trucks are frequently on hand with tacos, sushi and more for Mt. Lowe patrons—all which pair great with beer.
Though brewing is a fine science, enjoying one needn’t be. Families are welcome at Mt. Lowe, with the beverages available to anyone of age that enjoys a “finely handcrafted brew.” Giving their neighbors something different from your average beer was paramount to Reiling and Nemanich.
“We wanted to give the public the choice to drink local rather than global macro beer,” said Reiling. “Beer that revolves around customer demand rather than market domination—that what’s important to us.”