First off, no, you cannot check out books here. The bartenders are not old women in plastic underwear. Instead, the Library Alehouse, located in the heart of Santa Monica’s Main Street, represents a unique synthesis of swanky restaurant and beer drinkers haven.

The draft selection was comparable to the female population within the alehouse; plentiful, highly variable and mighty fine. (Note to Self: Move to Main Street, Santa Monica) While the lighting was dim, it was castle dark, not haunted house dark. Lots of candles and other ambient light added warmth that was pleasing to the eyes.

Unfortunately, my eyes deceived me. The small size of this alehouse, coupled with the (relatively) big crowd and lack of bar space rubbed this beer drinker the wrong way.

It all felt more than a bit claustrophobic and uncomfortable, a feeling that was reinforced by the table we had to share with a couple on a date. Awkward? This is not a place to watch football or stretch out and relax.

Luckily, the beer selection is quite unique and packs some serious game. There is a dedicated beer menu that breaks down the taps based on brewery, type and even alcoholic content.

Those who don’t feel confident in their beer knowledge can simply ask the informed waiter or bartender for guidance. He was two for two on recommendations with some amazing beers I have never had before including Bear Republic’s Racer IPA and the aptly titled Pranqster Belgian Ale that was simply superb.

Those looking for a romantic place to take the lady should feel confident that the Library Alehouse is up to snuff. Beer snobs and everyday Joes will appreciate the beer selection from afar, but unfortunately this Library isn’t exactly worthy of a full figured endorsement from the Bar Exam.

For more information, call (310) 314-4855 or visit

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