Being an “institution” doesn’t necessitate being in existence for a century, and June Lake Brewing is proof of that. JLB celebrated its third anniversary on June 20, 2017, but it’s already hard to imagine June Lake without the industrial-looking brewery pumping heavy metal music and churning out “super awesome beer,” owned by Justin and Sarah Walsh. The young couple opened the brewery on a wing and a prayer, but their product is already highly sought after. Currently, JLB doesn’t sell to anyone outside of Mono County, so you have to be in the Eastern Sierra to enjoy their wares.
Purchase some of their signature schwag to really fit in around town, though their style is a little unorthodox (think cartoons in shark suits with pentagrams scrawled on their chests, yetis flipping the bird, and a strange series of international drunken snails). They aren’t after good Yelp! reviews, either. Their beertenders can be a little sassy, and wide-eyed tourists wander into the joint not sure what to do sometimes—it’s kind of a “God helps those who help themselves,” Wild West philosophy they’re running on. But if you make it up to the bar, rewards lie there in spades—true to their slogan, their beer is “super awesome.” There’s really not a wrong choice on their beer menu.
Just in time for summer, JLB recently expanded their tiny beer garden to a larger, shaded patio with dog bowls, wooden railings and multiple tables where patrons can enjoy beverages paired with the Hawaiian soul food made by Rena and Bob McCullough and their crew of family member and friends in the distinctive orange food truck that is Ohanas 395. This dynamic duo of businesses is reason enough to visit the gorgeous town of June Lake.
131 S. Crawford Ave. June Lake. Visit junelakebrewing.com.
Sarah Rea is a freelance dirtbag-turned-journalist who has been living in the Sierra on and off for twenty years, with eight spent in Yosemite National Park and five in Mammoth Lakes. She likes dogs, rocks, good food and jumping into cold water.