California — a land of the famous Napa and Anderson Valley Regions where winos gather to indulge in the pricey pass time, while overlooking the perfectly landscaped hills of delicious grapes.
If you ask a different crowd of drinking connoisseurs, California is the proud state, which is home to 11 Craft Breweries which have made this fancy list of U.S. top 50!
Having visited just one brewery on that list, my homestate-grown “Dogfish Head Brewery” in Milton, Delaware, I knew that research needed to be done into a few more, so a roadtrip idea was born! With just 7 days planned, covering the entire state of California and it’s 11 famous breweries was an impossible feat, so we settled for just a handful and a few extra that were along our scenic route’s way.
Flying into San Francisco, our first stop was clear:
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If you’re near San Francisco, San Francisco Brewing Company
The San Francisco Brewing Company was the second-oldest bar in San Francisco, trailing the famous “The Saloon”, opened 1861, by forty-six years. It was however, San Francisco’s oldest micro-brewery, and one of the first four brew pubs in the United States. Wikipedia
My 2 cents: located in the Guirardelli Square, where we got some free chocolates to satisfy our sweet tooth. Parking, on the other hand was a @%^&.
If you’re near Yosemite NP: Dust Bowl Brewing Company
It’s a 30,000 square-foot facility, which houses a new brewery and restaurant. The Brewery Taproom opened in July 2016, and features two 20 tap towers, indoor seating with expansive views into the brewery, patio dining, beer garden with life-size games, brewery tours and more. Dust Bowl Brewing Company
My 2 cents: the space is huge and its plenty for your parties, celebrations, family gatherings, just gotta make a reservation!
If you’re near Lake Tahoe: Cold Water Brewery and Grill
Conveniently located on the main road right near Lake Tahoe and all its amenities, this Brewery is sure to please a sun-kissed local family as well as roadtripping travelers ready for a Happy Hour special.
If you’re near Redding: Woody’s Brewing Company
Since 1984, this brewery calls itself “Family -owned, family-brewed and finely-crafted.” Run by three ambitious brothers, this brewery has a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere, excellent beers (I loved them all, which is rare) and a very tasty pretzel with beer flavored cheese sauce dip.
If you’re near Redwood NP: Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe (#47 on the 2017 Top 50 craft breweries list! Congrats!)
Table Bluff Brewing, Inc., doing business as Lost Coast Brewery, is an award-winning brewery in Eureka, California, which produces year-round and seasonal beers. Between 1990 and 2011, the brewery expanded production from zero to 60,000 barrels per year. Wikipedia
My 2 cents: Having lost my Hoppy-beers virginity to Indica IPA, I was initially turned off by it a few years ago. As my bitterness buds evolved, Indica became my go to beer when I could get my hands on it (craft beer used to be harder to come by in South Korea). So I was eager to try this tasty beverage on tap from the source and boy was I glad that I did!
If you’re near Mendocino: North Coast Brewing Company (#48 on the Top 50 craft breweries in 2017! Congrats!)
Celebrating their 30th anniversary, this talented brewery is not just known for its wonderful Old Rasputin Russian Imperial, Red Seal Ale, or Scrimshaw Pilsner, but also for their community support and sustainability.
If you’re near Larkspur: Marin Brewing Company
A family friendly environment in the heart of a busy Larkspur Landing Circle, where you can enjoy a workout next door before or after your happy hour, then do some window shopping, visit a spa or grab a baked pastry for that morning rush hour commute to your San Fran job!
Some would call this operation a fail with just 2/11 breweries visited off the aforementioned Top 50 list. Nevertheless, road-tripping is part sightseeing, part drinking, part sightseeing while drinking (with the car parked for the night of course). While a few breweries could have been included in our list (Sierra Nevada, my sincerest apologies), the logistics just didn’t pan out… For road-tripping is also about enjoying your journey without feeling the constant pressure to see (or drink ) it all. Cheers to California!
Here’s our 7 day adventure as indicated by the non very beer-like cocktail glasses, because we’re classy broads who like to drink! (did I just call my mom a broad 😛
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