When California’s warm weather gets a little too hot, there’s no better way to cool down than with a cold beer. All over the state, you can find breweries serving up everything from European style ales to hoppy IPAs and everything in between at breweries of all sizes, from widely available to hyper-local. Check out just 10 of the best breweries in California.
Firestone Walker has become one of the largest breweries in California. Although you can find Firestone in stores throughout the state, a stop at the brewery in Paso Robles offers the opportunity to try a bigger variety of brews and many that can’t be find anywhere else.
Sierra Nevada has grown considerably to become a large brewer of craft beers but it’s part of the history of California’s craft brewing scene, dating back to 1980. Choose your choice of tour to see different aspects of the brewing process or spend a day at the brewery, learning about all the different elements of beer making.
During the summer, the Lagunitas brewery is like an ongoing party with live music and other special events where people mingle and drink beer. Although it’s smaller than some other craft breweries in the state, it’s got a massive reputation for producing some hoppy IPAs.
Surf Brewery is in an industrial section of Ventura, just off the 101 Freeway. It has a great selection of tastings and isn’t far from the beach. There’s also a store on one side of the building so that you can learn to brew your own beer. Head later in the day when food trucks park outside to help you soak up some of the good stuff.
Eagle Rock Brewery takes beer making seriously. Just a few years old, the small brewery in a small section of Los Angeles has taken over the beer scene. Try a vast variety of different types a beer and learn more about the history and process of the brewery in a no-frills warehouse with knowledgeable staff.
Head to Golden Road Brewery for a weekend tour to learn how the brewers transform hops into beer. Golden Road Brewery is known for its canned beers and since first opening its brewery and café in Atwater Village, has opened other locations elsewhere in the city, but you’ll still find games, entertainment and food to go along with your choice of beer.
Best known for its Arrogant Bastard brew, Stone Brewing Company is amongst the best craft breweries in San Diego. Inexpensive tours come with samples of the beer at the end and it’s also a great place to enjoy some of your favorite beer freshly brewed in the sunshine. Amongst the top 10 largest craft brewers in the states, Stone Brewing Company has a few other breweries, including one in Berlin.
Since its early days as part of the Korbel Champagne Cellars vineyard, Russian River Brewing has moved its location to Santa Rosa’s downtown and transformed into a popular brewpub. The food is good, but the beer is what draw fans from all over the world willing to stand in line for a taste of the seasonal specialties made in limited batches.
Mission Brewing Company dates back to Prohibition, but it went of business until being reinvigorated in 2007. Since then, Mission Brewing Company has relocated a few times before finding a home in a humongous former Wonder Bread warehouse with a spacious tasting room. Find out why the brewery continues to garner awards and accolades as you enjoy a taste and a view of the production process.
Brew Crew Inc. isn’t just one brewery. It’s actually three. It’s an expanded vision of a home brew where intrepid brewers can share and mingle and beer lovers can enjoy a taste of multiple craft brews. Step into the tasting room or enjoy one of the featured events they occasional host.