#CaliforniaCraftBeer Archives – PorchDrinking.com
There are not too many breweries that have had this kind of success in such a short period of time. Located strategically between Los Angeles and San Francisco in the town of Atascadero, Wild Fields Brewhouse is just three years old and has captured numerous gold medals. You would be hard-pressed to find two nicer people. Jacque & Ryan Fields are the real deal.
The end of September brought great news out of Sacramento, California, as Governor Newsom signed the final bills of the ’21-’22 congressional session. Among the various bills signed were AB 2301 and 2307, which have removed several hurdles for the ever-expanding brewery industry in California. The first added some nuance to the three-tiered system to allow breweries some self-governance, and the second allowed breweries to continue to expand the communities they serve.
Cold IPA is one of the coolest styles of the summer, and Sierra Nevada Cold Torpedo Cold IPA is looking to legitimize the IPA varietal with national distribution in a mixed sampler pack. Building on the tradition of Torpedo Extra IPA, Cold Torpedo is a new interpretation of the storied West Coast IPA.
Crooked Lane Brewing has a unique setting and is one of the most respected breweries in the Sacramento, CA area. Its home was initially built as a duplex movie theater, and then has seen life as a German auto dealership, a motorcycle dealer and then a mixed martial arts studio.
With somehow only a year without San Francisco Beer Week, this weekend marks its comeback. February 11-20 brings with it 10 days of beer fests, brewery activities, and beer releases. Although the usual grand, almost 150-brewery attended, gala that usually kicks off the week has had to be altered, it’s good to see that such an anticipated yearly event has returned.
San Diego-based Pure Project started its craft brewing journey in Costa Rica in 2014 but has been firmly ensconced on the west coast since 2016. However, the brewery still focuses on many of the elements that made its Costa Rican location and the initial brewery concept unique like using pure, unique and local ingredients whenever possible, giving back to environmental nonprofits and often starting with the ingredients before determining the style of beer they’ll create. Lief is one such beer.
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.
With what seems like a never-ending supply of new exciting beers coming out these days, it’s not uncommon to see a beer that was a whale just six or seven years ago now sitting on the shelf collecting dust. So when you come across a beer that has been able to generate the same high level of enthusiasm from ever-fickle craft beer fans AND sells out immediately year after year, you know you have discovered something truly exceptional. The Bruery’s Black Tuesday Imperial Stout is such a beer.
First released over a decade ago, in 2009, Black Tuesday continues to enjoy a near cult-like following in many craft beer circles. It is currently ranked 17th on Beer Advocate’s list of best American Imperial Stouts and 62nd for all around best beer.
If you’re native to the Central Coast of California, summers filled with picking blueberries at local farms might be a tradition of yours. Gathering the family together in the summer heat. Driving down the dusty dirt road to a local farm. Grabbing that galvanized tin bucket and picking off the freshest berries you can find. Chances are you couldn’t resist popping one, two or a couple dozen blueberries into your mouth as you filled your bucket. These are just some of the fond memories during summertime in the Central Coast.
A fruited cream ale might not be the first thing you think of when you hear the words “huckleberry” and “beer.”
Bootlegger’s Brewery, based in Fullerton, California, is working to change that. The brewery’s Huckleberry Cream Ale, What the Huck!, made its debut in late January, 2020, and has gained many a fan since. Brewed with Cascade hops, 2-Row barley, flaked corn and, of course, loads of huckleberries, What the Huck! was the brainchild of Bootlegger’s Regional Manager, Kristyn Biggerstaff.
The arrival of graduation car parades around town serves as a reminder that we’ve hit summertime. As new grads find exciting ways to celebrate their next chapter in life in the midst of a pandemic, some counties are starting to re-open with outdoor seating. Breweries that have been permitted to open outdoor seating and on-site consumption are now a beacon for the craft beer community.
HenHouse Brewing Company, based in Santa Rosa, California, isn’t open for outdoor seating quite yet, but that’s not stopping them from having killer curbside pick-up options and putting out freshies on the reg. One such offering is The Philadelphia Experiment IPA, named after an alleged military experiment which claimed that the union of gravity and electromagnetic radiation could render something invisible. (You know, normal things.) If you’re into conspiracy theories and enjoy juicy IPAs, be sure to follow HenHouse on Instagram for all the goods coming out of this seven-year old brewery.
In the face of adversity and trying times, it is always an encouraging sight to witness those who press forward and beat the odds. Solaris Beer & Blending in Murrieta, California, is one of such stories. Though they have no tasting room and are still under construction, the brewery was able to put the proper licensing in place in the midst of a pandemic. And despite having limited weekly releases as their sole income, the quality of Solaris’s offerings are nearly unparalleled, especially given the size of their operation.
One of the first beers Solaris released was Pink Flowers – Rose Petals, part of their Sour & Flower series. This sour golden ale was brewed with rose petals, Turkish apricots, kumquats and conditioned on French oak.
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 heart of February means showering those with whom you love affection…and beer, right? Of course, it also means enduring the last few weeks of cold and snow, unless you happen to be in Arizona enjoying Arizona Craft Beer Week. …
Russian River Brewing Company is an iconic brewery, a brewery that started beer trends, even before we knew what beer trends were. They are also a company that methodically moves at their own speed, with their own vision.
Though there’s no question that Russian River could have expanded earlier, they completed their expansion on their own terms, in my mind further proving their dedication to, and love of, craft beer. The stunning new brewing facility is located in Windsor, CA, just about nine miles from their Santa Rose brewpub. The new location includes a multi-room restaurant and a bar, with both indoor and outdoor bar seating, along with separate tasting and gift shop areas.
This time last year my wife and I were just settling into our new home in Sacramento. Being here only a few months, we had experienced quite a few of the craft breweries around the area, but hadn’t fully experienced all that the Golden State had to offer to the craft beer lover. Then we went to the Craft Beer Summit and we got the glimpse of the variety and quality of the craft beer in California.
Amongst the haze craze that has taken over the beer world this past year, I find myself gravitating towards sour ales more often than not; they are tart, refreshing, packed with flavor and tend to run a little lower in ABV—okay, I also don’t feel like I’m weighed down by tons of sugar! Don’t get me wrong, I love me some hazy IPAs but… when the temperatures are creeping up to 100 degrees I can’t pass up a sour beer!
Picking up a new hobby or craft is pretty common during the Summer, but if your latest DIY project was a huge fail, fear not and let craft beer become your new hobby; it’s ours! It is guaranteed to be more relaxing than getting rained on while painting the house or the “new” Summer deck that became a hazard area at your last BBQ. The PorchDrinking staff’s got your back and have plenty of beers to share in this week’s What We’re Drinking.
Burning Barrel Brewing is the vision of a father/son duo; Jack and Duncan Alexander. Jack, a longtime homebrewer, and Duncan are leading the way on the build-out of the brewery located within the Barrel District of Rancho Cordova, a city just east of downtown Sacramento. Rancho Cordova has embraced the “Maker Spirit” by creating its Barrel District, streamlining the process of opening a brewery — and more. The Barrel District currently includes six breweries, two distilleries, and one meadery.
It almost feels strange to discuss a beer that’s been around for more than a year, but who says beer writers must concentrate solely on new releases? So, as summertime reaches its apex, it seems fitting to discuss 21st Amendment Brewery (21A) Watermelon Funk.