• info@vernonbrewersguild.com •

• (323)-905-BREW •

The City of Vernon, California is a bustling industrial city located just 4 miles south of downtown Los Angeles. It’s the center to many food, metal, textile, and brewing industries. The population fluctuates every day, from 102 permanent residents to more than 80,000, as workers enter for daily jobs. Vernon’s economy continues to grow year after year as new industries flock for its cheap real estate, central location, and access to major highways and railways.
            Vernon was first incorporated as a city by John B. Leonis in 1904 after he saw the promise in land having 4 major railways pass through it. It was because of this facet he designated the city as the first “exclusively industrial” city in the United States. In order to create attraction for new business Leonis first leased out space for a baseball stadium, home of the Vernon Tigers, a 10,000 seat boxing arena, and the “world’s longest bar” at 200 feet long and with 40 bartenders. As businessmen from around the country came to Vernon for the heavy weight boxing matches Leonis was able to sell them on establishing their west coast factories in the city. Some of the first businesses to open in the early 1910s were Owens-Illinois Inc. (which is now the worlds leading glass container manufacturer,) Alcoa Inc. (the world’s second leading aluminum manufacturer,) and the Studebaker Automotive Company. With the early success of some of these companies, more industries started to move to Vernon in search of similar success. Companies such as Vernon Kilns, General Mills, Norris Aerospace Industries, Brunswig Drugs, and over 30 slaughterhouses including Farmer John and Swift.
            As the city grew with workers the demand for fresh beer increased. Fortunately in the early 1900s barley was California’s most common cultivated grain producing 100,00 tons each year. Los Angeles itself was also producing over 150,000 lbs of hops each year. Vernon’s first production brewery, a branch of The New York Brewing Company, opened in 1897 even though Vernon had yet to be incorporated as a city. Founded by John Murat of New York, the production brewery specialized in a rich copper ale and held a 5,000 barrel per year capacity. Because of the cities vast railway system the beer was shipped to west coast cities as far as Seattle, Washington. The New York Brewing Company did not survive the 1920 Prohibition. After Vernon became its own city and Prohibition ended, the people wanted a beer to call their own. So it was in 1935 two German immigrants, Joseph Maier and George Zobelein, started The Los Angeles Brewing Company. Their light style of pilsner gained immense popularity and became the staple beer at the Vernon baseball stadium and local bars, including the “world's longest bar.” Vernon’s prosperity can be directly accredited to its beer boom. Because the workers had good beer, the workers made good work, and the city flourished.
            Many new breweries such as Eastside Old Tap, Anheuser-Busch, Acme Brewing, and Pabst became the core breweries of Vernon and Los Angeles. It was in 1972 The Vernon Brewers Guild was formed by Acme Brewing’s master brewer, Jack Straw (formally from Wichita, Kansas.) Straw saw the need for a brewer’s guild in order to preserve Vernon’s brewing history and to support the generations of new brewers to come. With the rapid growth of today’s craft beer movement The Vernon Brewer’s Guild hopes to backbone the current industry. In 2016 Straw stepped down from the guild and appointed Nicholas Fisher as the new Executive Director. The Vernon Brewer’s Guild is still in operation today and accepting new members.

Los Angeles Brewery, 1935

John B. Leonis

Toast outside of Eastside Old Tap


© VERNON BREWERS GUILD EST. 1972. All Rights Reserved • www.vernonbrewersguild.com • Privacy Policy