LA Times readers name Last Name Brewing best in Southland
Upland’s Last Name Brewing has been named the best local craft brewery in the Southland by readers of the Los Angeles Times.
“When brothers Curt and Andy Dale first dreamed of opening their own brewery as they cooked up homebrewed batches of beer in the 1990s, they had no idea they would end up being pioneers of what would become a thriving craft brewery industry in the Los Angeles area,” read a Last Name press release. “Twenty years later, their enterprise Last Name Brewing, a venerable granddaddy of the independent craft movement, has been named Best of the Southland in the Los Angeles Times’ 2023 Readers Choice Awards.”
“We’re kind of astonished, to be honest,” Last Name CEO Andy Dale said in the release. “As one of the first independent breweries in the area, we have certainly made just about every mistake in the book. It’s been a wild ride watching the craft brewery industry grow up around us and raise the bar year after year on what it means to make great beer and serve your community.”
Formed as Dale Bros. Brewery in 2003 by Curt Dale, and owned since 2007 primarily by Curt and his brother Andy, the brewery began in a tiny warehouse space on 9th Street in Upland. In 2012 it moved to its current 8,200 square foot location on Porterfield Way in Upland.
“When we first started, we were kind of the weird brewery in the area because we focused on making lagers, rather than the big West Coast IPA styles that are so prevalent,” founder Curt Dale said in the release. “Tasting Rooms also didn’t really exist like they do today, but we are proud to host the community in ours and we now make everything from Japanese-style Pilsner to Hazy IPAs to barrel-aged Imperial Oatmeal Stout, although our roots in the world of lagers are as strong as ever and inform everything that we brew.”
The brewery has routinely hosted fundraisers for community groups, and for eight years ran one of the region’s largest craft beer festivals to raise money for a local educational foundation.
“We’re very proud to have helped raise nearly $200,000 for charity over the life of the festival, as well as helping other organizations reach their own fundraising goals,” Andy Dale said in the release. “One of the great things about being part of a business like this is seeing the ways that it can bring people together, whether that’s for a great cause, or just to enjoy a great beer.”
The brewery was first singled out by L.A. Times readers in July in the paper’s regional competition, being named the Best of the San Gabriel Valley and Inland Empire. “Given the caliber of the other breweries that had been named top of their regions, and that LNB is nestled more than 30 miles east of LA, the brewery team expected the accolades to stop there,” read the press release. “So when the Times alerted them that Last Name Brewing had been named the Best of the Best, it took Andy Dale a minute to believe them.”
“We have an awesome team here and we just do what we do every day: focus on making great beer and providing a great atmosphere for our customers to enjoy it in,” Dale said in the release. “And every day there are myriad challenges, big and small, to making that happen. It’s just really, really heartening to be recognized like this by L.A. Times readers – our brewery team has been able to pat each other on the back and say we must be doing something right, you know?”