#californiabeer Archives – PorchDrinking.com
The Rocky Mountains have been in existence long before humans traveled the range’s treacherous trails for the newest camping spot or adventurous hike. They invite a sense of tranquility and appreciation, and provide a home to countless species such as bighorn sheep, mountain lions, and the yellow-bellied marmot. The Colorado cutthroat trout thrives in the cold rivers of the Rockies, while birds such as the White-tailed Ptarmigan, Mountain Chickadee, and Pygmy Nuthatch perch among the trees. Yes, this a a beer showcase, but it’s important to set the scene when discussing FTK Pale Ale from Chico, California-based Sufferfest Beer Company.
Alvarado Street Brewery has been brewing incredible beers since 2014. Led by a father-son team who opened their first brewpub in downtown Monterey, California, the brewery expanded two years later, building out both its beer garden and another production brewery in Salinas, aka “The Salad Bowl of the World”. In 2015, Alvarado struck gold when their Mai Tai P.A. won a GABF gold medal, a win the brewery repeated in 2018.
There are not many breweries in the Sacramento, CA area that have a better track record of brewing IPAs than New Glory Craft Brewery. When you check the “about us” section of their website, the first sentence reads: “We reject the mainstream concept of ‘flagship’ or core beers.” A quick look at their current tap list includes 24 beers; 15 of them are either a Pale Ale, IPA, Double IPA or Milkshake IPA. I’m not sure how many different IPAs and hop-forward beers they’ve turned out since 2014, but it’s safe to say they’ve worked every angle of the style.
Spring is upon us! The sun is peeking through, trees are sprouting leaves, flowers are blooming and drinking outside has once again become a pleasant possibility. There is something about seeing the first blossoms of warmth makes us crave a saison—more than usual, of course.
Sacramento, CA-based Urban Roots Brewing & Smokehouse has made quite a name for themselves since they opened to the public in May 2018, becoming known not only for creating award-winning beers but also for their succulent Texas-inspired, California-influenced BBQ.
The Booth Brewery, originally based in Korea, is taking it global.
The Booth Brewery has recently expanded to the U.S., with a brewery in Eureka, California. They purchased the 30-barrel brewing facility from Lost Coast Brewing, who recently expanded to a new location. The new facility is up and running, and The Booth has set a goal of producing 10,000 barrels in the next year. This will include both U.S. distribution and Korean exports.
Located in the heart of California’s Gold Rush county, Moonraker Brewing Company sits in an unassuming business park in the City of Auburn, a mere 700′ from neighboring Knee Deep Brewing.
Walking in their front door, it seems like you might not be in the right spot. No bar, no taps anywhere to be found. However, as you make your way towards the back, the space opens up into a large indoor/outdoor area, that screams beer hall. It also has a few small rooms that give it a bit of a “loungey” feel.
If you met me about a decade ago, you’d never think “this girl is into craft beer.” I could be found with anything from Coors Light to Hypnotic in my hand; yes, I was obviously very cool. It wasn’t until I was introduced to Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale that I started to right my drinking ship and start learning about what craft beer really is.
My boyfriend’s parent’s always had a stocked beer fridge, hashtag goals, and would always have Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Bear Republic Racer 5, among other tasty beers. Trying new beers in a judgment-free atmosphere was great – no beer snobs to scoff at me for my current faves and describing beer in terms I understood.
Anyone that’s familiar with the craft beer scene knows that San Diego is one of the best places in the country to go for a beercation. The official number of breweries constantly fluctuates, but there are approximately more than 150 operational breweries in San Diego County. That number doesn’t count the numerous satellite taprooms that many breweries have around town.
One thing that’s great about the San Diego area is that with the seemingly endless amount of breweries there isn’t a bad place to start your brewery tours, regardless of where you’re staying. Many breweries you probably already know, such as Modern Times, Coronado, Karl Strauss, Stone Brewing, Pizza Port and, well, there are so many it’s hard to name them all. San Diego offers several, diverse beer experiences. For instance, North Park has smaller, cozier taprooms and Miramar has larger (and sometimes massive) production breweries. So, here is a quick guide to just a small number of the area’s numerous breweries — some you know, some that may be new to you. We hope it helps you when you visit San Diego.
Peanut butter and pretzels. French fries and ice cream. Gose and fruit. These are just some perfect sweet and salty pairings; and if you have never tried fries with ice cream go to the store now!! It’s just one of nature’s torrid love affairs that stands the test of time. Modern Times Beer Fruitlands marries this divine pairing in a delightful way.
There was one week in Denver where I saw the weather go from 75 degrees and almost too sunny to 35 degrees and white-out snowing the following day. So, when I finally arrived home after a day of being surrounded by drivers without their headlights on, I needed a beer. I am very much a seasonal drinker. Nothing sounds worse to me than a light beer during the colder months or a thick, dark beer during the hotter months. Therefore, I was extremely thankful that I had a Firestone Walker Nitro Merlin Milk Stout in my fridge.
Did you feel that tremor coming from Sonoma County?! The epicenter is Seismic Brewing Co. and you better brace yourself for a lot of aftershocks. When people think of Sonoma I am 90% sure they think of wine country, sun-soaked vines and not about the fantastic beer scene that is exploding up there. Namazu Oat Pale Ale is at the epicenter of that quake.
I’ve seen some environmental friendly breweries before, but nothing quite compares to the level of commitment to sustainability that 7Sisters Brewing has. The moment you walk through doorway you see a tasting room filled with repurposed materials. My favorite piece is their bar. It was built from school lockers and topped with zinc-wrapped wood from the shipping crate the lockers arrived in. Throughout the tasting room you will see lighting made from Cal Poly lab lamps and tables that used to be shop benches from LA technical college. Heading out to their patio you can see the patio railings that were repurposed from the wood forms used when pouring the concrete.
You know when you find a beer or brewery that just tugs at all your little beer heartstrings? That was HenHouse Brewing for me when I first visited the Bay Area in July. Being a beer girl from Seattle, I have a natural tendency to scope out all the breweries in any area I visit.
Some of my favorite Fall things are the leaves changing colors, pumpkin spiced foods and beverages everywhere, cooler weather, and of course pumpkin beers! Half Moon Bay Brewing Co brews up their Pumpkin Harvest Ale seasonally to delight the taste buds.
Over the next week, craft beer brewers, connoisseurs, retailers and distributors from across California will converge on Sacramento for the 3rd annual California Craft Beer Summit. This three-day event is focused on education, knowledge sharing, collaboration and celebration of everything California craft beer. “The Summit isn’t just a food pairing event, it isn’t just a festival, it isn’t just a trade show and it isn’t just educational – it’s all of the above,” says Leia Ostermann Bailey, Managing Director with the California Craft Brewers Association (CCBA), “The Summit brings together a community of people that share the same values of creativity and innovation.“
Summer may be coming to a close but that doesn’t mean the temperature has let up. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area we’ve been bombarded with unseasonably stifling heat and sticky high humidity. This has meant that light beer has been a major staple in my refrigerator. Lagers, pilsners, session IPAs, and Gose are not normally in my wheelhouse but I’ve come to appreciate their low alcohol crushability.
Right before you reach the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport, there is an industrial area packed with offices. Tucked off to the side is SLO Brew‘s The Rock, the second brewery location that opened earlier this year. Son of Dr. Stanley Hoffman, one of the pioneers who established the Paso Robles wine region, Mike Hoffman founded SLO Brew in 1988 with Kathy Ireland. It was the first brewpub on the Central Coast since prohibition. The current owner, Hamish Marshall, a beer loving Aussie who fell in love with SLO, took over as owner in 2010.
Photo courtesy of Fremont Brewing
Californians, we have good news. No — great news. Hold onto your hats, because Fremont Brewing has announced that their brews are now being distributed throughout Southern California.
Two words in the beer world that are instantly recognizable: Grapefruit Sculpin. Alex Tweet, head brewer and co-founder of Fieldwork Brewing Co in Berkeley, CA, decided to “take that idea in a different, but complementary direction” then the original Grapefruit Sculpin he created for Ballast Point. The different, but complementary direction resulted in Fieldwork’s Sea Farmer Sea Salt Grapefruit IPA (say that 10 times fast!). This grapefruit IPA is absolutely delicious and refreshing, making Sea Farmer the quintessential summertime fruit IPA.