Tag Archives: #calibeer

Santa Clara Valley Brewing

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Steve Donahue and Tom Clark founded Santa Clara Valley Brewing in 2013 with the goal of “providing our friends and neighbors with a selection of fine handcrafted beers created with the highest quality ingredients.” We’d say they’re doing a pretty bang up job on that, which makes SCVB the first stop on our San Jose brewery tour!

SCVB’s Electric Tower IPA pays homage to the neighborhood’s historic San Jose Electric Light Tower of 1881, one of many so called ‘moontowers’ that illuminated nighttime cityscapes across Europe and the U.S. in the late 1800’s. It packs a heavy wallop of West Coast IPA+ness to remind you not only where you came from but where you’re going…for another beer!

Two other flagships – Peralta Porter and New Almaden Red -compliment a wide selection of experimental  and one off brewskis. Check them out at 101 E. Alma St. in San Jose! CHEERS!

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company – Berkeley Torpedo Room

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Sierra Nevada Brewing Company crafts their ubiquitous beer in Chico, California, of course. But the Craft Beer Gods smiled upon Berkeley greatly when Ken & Co. launched the Torpedo Room on West Berkeley’s hipster/yupster-friendly Fourth Street.

We love Sierra for many reasons – innovation, consistency, freshness – but perhaps most importantly convenience (can you tell we’re from New York?!). You can find Sierra practically everywhere you turn, and for a fairly reasonable price! Similarly, if you happen upon the City of Berkeley, you know you’ll find the freshest and finest Sierra craft beer at the Torpedo Room each and every visit. Many of Sierra Nevada’s beers are available only in the Torpedo Room or up in Chico, so feel free to try a bunch! They offer generous tasters for as little as a couple-to-three bucks and change each. Pair a beer flight with a local artisanal cheese plate!

While there is no brewing performed on premises (yet), all of Sierra Nevada’s latest and greatest flow from the multitude of taps at this Beer Mecca extension. We topped off our latest trip with one of Sierra’s year round offerings – Hop Hunter IPA, brewed with hop oil distilled right in the fields of the brewer’s Chico farm. That’s farm-to-bottle freshness right in Berkeley! CHEERS!

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Hop Dogma Brewing Company

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El Grenada, California is a pretty relaxing and peaceful place all right. It’s located on the Pacific Coast just north of beautiful Half Moon Bay. Life seems pretty sweet here from the looks of it. There’s an old western post office across the street from the beach, a beachy gourmet sandwich shop and one of the best breweries on the Pacific Ocean – Hop Dogma Brewing Company.

Hop Dogma swung its doors open on the 4th of July in 2013 after founders Ethan Martini and Dan Littlefield took their “hobby business” into the San Francisco Peninsula brewery big leagues. They are known for brewing small batch, hop forward “adventurous” ales, and we couldn’t agree more with their reputation for brewing quality beers made with the freshest ingredients. Grab a sandwich from across the street and get comfy in this superb ocean view craft beer bar!

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We may be in a little over our heads at Hop Dogma! Beer flight on deck = Waddell Creek Saison, Kara’s Kolsch, Here’s You’re Hefe, Pyros Prost (American Rye with chili peppers), Cornshucker Cream Ale, Walk to Me Pale Ale, We All Grin for Lupin IPA and last but not least Fides in Fermento. CHEERS!

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Bear Republic Brewing Company

Established by the Norgrove Family in the historic heart of Healdsburg, Sonoma County, California’s Bear Republic Brewing Company ranks among the 50 largest craft breweries in America!

This buzzing and central brewpub offers mighty fine ale and incredible Cali fresh fare – try the Bodega Bay crab sandwich and all their 14 fresh beers on tap!

21st Amendment Brewery

21st Amendment Brewery was founded at the dawn of the Millennium, in 2000, by Shaun O’Sullivan (former Assistant Brewer at Triple Rock Brewery in Berkeley, California) and Nico Freccia. They’ve grown by leaps and bounds over the years and in 2015 transformed the old Kellogg plant in San Leandro to an impressive state of the art East Bay brewery!

And in case you’re wondering, “What’s in a name?”, 21st Amendment takes theirs from the 1933 Amendment to the United States Constitution that stuck a fork in Prohibition, which lasted nearly 13 years in America. CHEERS!

Sante Adairius Rustic Ales

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Sante Adairius Rustic Ales was founded by Adair Paterno and Tim Clifford in Capitola, California, along the coast of Monterey Bay just south of Santa Cruz. It’s gorgeous here all year round! Home to 70 wineries, Santa Cruz also serves as a hub for beer making (and beer drinking!). This is our third visit to Sante Adairius Rustic Ales. Can you tell we’re fans?!

Paterno and Clifford describe SARA as “an expression of our many years of beergeekery, the rabbit hole of tasting every beer we could get our hands on, and trusting we could contribute to the canon of those beers on the highest esteem.” We’ll drink to that! CHEERS!

Beer flight on deck = Anais Saison, Simpleton IPA (brewed with Simcoe and Galaxy hops) and of course the Vanilla Joe (brewed with Verve Coffee and vanilla beans)!

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Beermaking in progress!

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Southpaw BBQ SF

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Southpaw BBQ brings together plenty of southern comfort, finger lickin’ good bbq and a few house brewed beerskis. Head Brewer Phil Cutti cut (lol) his beer teeth at SF Brewcraft in the mid-90s, where Steve and Mike Bruce (founders of Speakeasy Ales & Lagers) sharpened his brewing skills. Beer flight on deck = Big Bad Leroy Brown, Sour Brown Ale and Pale Ale. Not pictured here but definitely our favorite on this warm summer day in San Francisco is the staff brewed Lemongrass Hefe…get it while it’s hot (outside)!

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This efficient 7 barrel brewing system is tucked into the corner at Southpaw BBQ, allowing them “to bring beer crafting into an accessible community setting.” We’ll drink to that! CHEERS!

Alameda Island Brewing Company

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If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, hop in to Alameda Island Brewing Company for a refreshing beer flight! AIBC was founded by Matthew Fox after home brewing for eight years. If you are a fan of fresh craft beer and expert beer tending, this is your place!

Beer flight on deck = Cavanagh Kolsch, Control Alt Delete, Exiled (Kottbusser), Neptunes Pale Ale and Alameda’s IPA. CHEERS!

To go, we could not resist the most badass and car-safe growler ever invented at AIBC – that’s the Alameda Island flag in their logo!

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Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Chico

We have been looking forward to our pilgrimage to Sierra Nevada Brewing Company – Beer Mecca – in Chico, California, for many years! Sierra Nevada is of course one of our all time favorite craft beers. Sierra’s legendary American Pale Ale is often times our go-to at the bar, whether New York or San Francisco or somewheres between, when it’s found on tap.

Founded in 1979 by home brewers Ken Grossman and Paul Camusi (today independently owned by Ken & Family), Sierra Nevada Brewing Company has grown to be the largest craft beer producer in America behind Yuengling and Samuel Adams. We can see why – they make truly awesome beer!

Original beer art abounds at the Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico, California.

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Sierra Nevada Brewing Company purchased this shiny vessel and another just like it from a defunct German brewer for the price of scrap back in the day! It took them awhile to save up even more money to get them back in their original shape and brewing again, but they made it work!

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You may ask how does Sierra Nevada brew over 1 million barrels of beer per year?! Massive fermentation tanks like these come in handy, and they are just the tip of the brewing iceberg!

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Cases of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale coming down the bottling line at – what a beautiful sight!

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One of the best parts of the beer tour at Sierra Nevada is that you get to sample many of their offerings for free! You start off with the original Pale Ale to get you in the beer tour mood and finish off in their beautiful old world bar and sample another half dozen fresh beers each in their own glassware that optimizes the aroma and experience of each taste.

Of course, even after imbibing a few free beers from the brewery tour, we try a few additional beers at Sierra’s brewpub that are only available in Chico or the Berkeley Torpedo Room. Beer flight on deck! Bigfoot (barleywine aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels), Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale (made with New Zealand hops), Beer Camp #141 Blue Baltic Porter and Knightro! We’re in Beer Heaven. Cheers!

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North Coast Brewing Company

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Pushing further North on our Pacific Northwest brewery quest, we stumbled into North Coast Brewing Company in Fort Bragg along the Mendocino Coast in beautiful California! Brewing quality craft beer since 1988, you can find these mouth watering brewskis in 47 US States. That’s serious distribution!

Why choose when you can simply drink them all at North Coast Brewing Company?! On deck we have a beer flight of 13 lucky tastings. Our favorites would have to be classic Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, Red Seal Ale, Acme California Pale Ale (brewed with Yakima Valley Hops) and of course Brother Thelonious Belgian style Abbey Ale! Cheers!

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