Verdugos on Draft

Hiking Wildwood Canyon Park in the Verdugo Mountains and Beer Tasting at Brewyard Beer Co.

A tough workout followed by an ice-cold beer really makes you feel alive. Test your vitality and revive your energy via a 3-mile (round-trip) out-and-back trek in the Verdugo Mountains and a hoppy reward at nearby Brewyard Beer Company.

Park at the end of Wildwood Canyon Road in Wildwood Canyon Park in Burbank to find the trailhead for your high-rising, high-intensity hike. The trail immediately begins to ascend, and it’s just the beginning of the nearly 1,500-foot gain—challenging enough that hiking poles are a good option. You will soon reach a plateau with a bench and your first sweeping views of Burbank, the Hollywood Hills, Griffith Park, and beyond. At just past the half-mile mark, take a sharp right at the marked Vital Link Trail, a perfectly named path that gets the heart beating. This narrow trail is a switchback-heavy, steep grind that has little shade, so it’s best to push through. The radio tower in sight is your goal.

The end of this journey is signified by the connection with the Verdugo Fire Road, where you’ll be grateful to find the Willie Mann memorial chair to enjoy the panoramic vistas in comfort. You can explore around the area, as the ridge provides great views of the San Gabriels to the north. Be careful as you head down (those poles would be extra useful) to your car—that yeasty treat is coming soon!

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Cheers! Brewyard Beer Company opened as Glendale’s first microbrewery in 2015, but owners Sherwin and Kirk have already made it a perennial Angeleno favorite. Located in a hidden warehouse under the Western Avenue bridge, Brewyard is a bit hard to find, but incredibly easy to enjoy, with a vast array of delicious brews, bar games (darts, cornhole, board games), events, and warm hospitality. Their focus is on a new category known as common lagers (or what they call the California lager)—hybrids that encompass myriad flavors. We love the Morning Joe (blonde common with coffee), Black Sunrise (black common), and Jewel City Common, but you can’t go wrong. Enjoy a flight or a pint and park yourself at their centerpiece—a working 1936 Ford Flatbed restored by Sherwin and Kirk themselves.

To get to the Wildwood Canyon trailhead, take the I-5 to Burbank Blvd. and exit east. Take an immediate right on 3rd St., followed by an immediate left onto Harvard Rd. Stay on Harvard Rd. for 1.5 miles, followed by a right onto Wildwood Canyon Rd., which ends in a roundabout and parking spots after 0.7 mile. The brewery is about 3.5 miles southeast: Head back down Harvard, turn left On Bel Aire, and then left on Western. After crossing San Fernando Rd., proceed left under the Western Bridge to the 900 building. Brewyard is at 906 Western. Hike and brewery are both dog-friendly!

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