Hops and History

Westwood Village welcomes Broxton Brewery at the Janss Dome.

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By Keldine Hull

In 1906, Dr. Peter Janss, alongside his two sons, Edwin Jr. and Harold Janss, founded the Janss Investment Company, a real estate dynasty that spanned four generations and molded nearly 90,000 acres of Southern California property. From Yorba Linda to Thousand Oaks, the Janss family created subdivisions, developed homes, and changed the landscape of the western coast. 

In 1929, the Janss Investment Company hired well- known architects Allison & Allison to build the Janss Investment Company Building. Also known as the Janss Dome, it became their headquarters and the first building in the up and coming, Mediterranean style neighborhood- Westwood Village. The Janss family was deeply embedded in the development of both UCLA and Westwood Village as they evolved together to become what it is today. 

After several different tenants, the iconic Janss Dome, located at the intersection of Westwood Boulevard, Kinross Avenue and Broxton Avenue, is now home to Broxton Brewery which opened in October of last year. Running a modern business out of a historic location comes with its own set of unique challenges. According to Paige Reilly, New Original Breweries Director of Operations, “Although the technical side can be difficult at times, we are so lucky to have a gorgeous building with such character and history. I think part of the reason people love Broxton so much is due to the juxtaposition of having such industrial workings inside such a classic building.” 

On February 9, Broxton Brewery became the first brewery to serve its own alcohol since the formation of the North Westwood Neighborhood Council (NWWNC).

The 1906 constructed Janss Dome occupied by Broxton Brewery. Photos: Facebook.

“Brewing has been an expected part of our business since the very beginning. We have been planning to brew beer at Broxton, and are happy to finally have our equipment up and running. Now that the beer is flowing, we can finally show the world of Westwood who we really are as a brewpub,” Reilly said. 

According to Michael Skiles, President of the NWWNC, the newly formed council helped to facilitate Broxton’s ability to brew its own beer. 

“A craft brewery serves an important niche for people who want to try freshly brewed and innovative quality beers. Before the Broxton opened, most community members who wanted craft beers needed to look elsewhere to places like West Hollywood. Now it’s awesome that our community can enjoy great beers, cocktails, and food right in the heart of Westwood in one of our most iconic buildings,” Skiles said. 

Skiles adds that other businesses seeking to offer a unique Westwood experience, like the Broxton, will be encouraged to do so by the formation of the NWWNC.

Nearly a century after the Janss family lay the groundwork during Westwood Village’s formative years, the NWWNC hopes to continue its growth and development. “The members of the North Westwood Neighborhood Council are committed to supporting housing developments that will alleviate the dire shortage of affordable student housing, businesses that will re-invigorate and offer excitement and entertainment to the area, and infrastructure improvements that will re-center the community around people rather than cars.”

Located in the oldest building in Westwood Village, Broxton Brewery honors Westwood’s past while looking to the future. 

“Broxton is not just a restaurant; we are an experience. When you come to Broxton, we don’t want you to just eat and drink, but we want you to have a holistic experience. This was an important part of why we opened Broxton and why Broxton sticks out on the west side. There are plenty of fun pubs where you can eat good food and drink good beer, but none where you can be enveloped by our passion for the product that we make,” Reilly said. 

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