The insider’s view of Downtown’s culture, food, drinks, and the people who shape it.

Dry River Brewing: Follow The River

Dry River Brewing: Follow The River

Like a river, ideas flow freely through a mind. It’s the next step of paddling upstream, to make those visions a reality that tests a person’s will and devotion. Sharp witted David Hodgins didn’t hesitate on a brewing revelation, and quickly grabbed a paddle for the journey ahead. But with such a specific operation he intended to erect, he sought another set of hands to grab the oar aside him to fight the rapids. Insert Naga Reshi, a wide smiled beer guru, who at the time was burying barrels in deserted sands off Brazil to ferment with exotic jungle fruit.  David extended the other paddle and Naga graciously accepted leaving one jungle for the next. Four years later, Dry River Brewing is cruising fiercely with the current, and this tandem quite possibly has forever changed the perception of what it means to brew beer in Los Angeles.


Walking through the salvaged fireproof doors, you’re visually transported to a hidden dockside bar. Within the hollowed air, reclaimed wooden beams are bolted to walls of weathered panels. Take a seat to witness each unique brew, guided by the principle of biodynamic sours, waterfall from taps in different flavors and vibrant colors. Dry River’s taste is pure and invigorating, and the wonder of flavor floats any attention into absolute beer bliss.


The back cavern is where Naga finely tunes the souls to each brew, sometimes taking three years to fashion. You won’t find steel fermenters. Each unique blend is fermented in wooden barrels of Ozark Oak. There is no limitation to what can be produced inside these barrels.


In one case, molten hot lava stones dropped in the mash creating a volcanic boil, another time strained through sequoia bark. Naga takes it further, “our beer is also naturally carbonated, you won’t find a factory Co2 machine.” David knows the importance of time to taste ratio, “We like to think we created the term Slow Beer, it may have taken a while but now the process is fully functioning in our tap room, and our future beers are right here aging as we speak.”


When asked what’s ahead for the future of Dry River, Naga’s confidence glowed, “to create the highest of standards and know anything is possible.” Dave grinned and followed by emphasizing the importance to “create a gathering for the river revitalization effort, and draw in awareness to new and exciting things.” Exciting is an understatement.


Every river has a source, the community at Dry River is just that. The exciting yet calming vitality inside lures diverse minds to gather and connect through conversation and the boundless passion for the sought after brews, like the new Mangosa Escura, a dark Mango Gose.


A river cuts through rock not because of power, but because of its persistence. In a world of commercialized beer perceptions, this hand-made wooden sanctuary is a modern brewing nirvana, channeling towards an open mindset how beer can be made and molding new perceptions of how it should taste.

Written by Travis Platt | Photography by Robiee Ziegler

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