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Old 05-19-2014, 04:29 PM   #21
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Yes to all the suggestions, including, and importantly, taking the 101 south toward SoCal rather then the 5. The 1 (as suggested) is absolutely one of the most majestic drives on earth, but if time is an issue, stick to the 101.

One suggestion that is an absolute MUST, amazing and unique experience, drinking world class sours and barrel aged beers, is the Barrelworks in Buelton. It's Firestone Walkers Sour and barrel age facility and it's about 1:45hr south of the Paso tasting room/main brewery. Do not miss it. I promise it'll be one of the highlights of your trip.

PM me if you're going there. I'll meet ya. And I can also steer ya toward the right brewery experiences in Santa Barbara as well.

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Old 05-19-2014, 06:37 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbaysurfer View Post
Yes to all the suggestions, including, and importantly, taking the 101 south toward SoCal rather then the 5. The 1 (as suggested) is absolutely one of the most majestic drives on earth, but if time is an issue, stick to the 101.

One suggestion that is an absolute MUST, amazing and unique experience, drinking world class sours and barrel aged beers, is the Barrelworks in Buelton. It's Firestone Walkers Sour and barrel age facility and it's about 1:45hr south of the Paso tasting room/main brewery. Do not miss it. I promise it'll be one of the highlights of your trip.

PM me if you're going there. I'll meet ya. And I can also steer ya toward the right brewery experiences in Santa Barbara as well.
Barrelworks is probably the best brewery-related experience I've ever had. If you like sours and perk up at the phrase, "bourbon barrel aged," you absolutely have to go there.

I'll also second the suggestions of:
Russian River
Bear Republic
Lagunitas (their smoked pork nachos are incredible)
The Bruery
Stone

Additionally, I'll say that if you're going to Stone Escondido, hit up Lost Abbey in San Marcos. Excellent West Coast beers under the Port Brewing label and amazing Belgian stuff under the Lost Abbey label.

In your original post you mention going to Golden Road and Beechwood. They don't get mentioned a lot, but both are fantastic. Good food and great beer at both breweries. They're both seriously underrated.
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Old 05-19-2014, 06:48 PM   #23
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If you do head down Highway 1 from Santa Cruz, stop in Marina at English Ales brewery - they have some nice offerings, and also they do burgers and fish & chips there.

In Monterey itself, there is Peter B's brewpub on Alvarado Street, and a new one that just opened at the opposite end of the street called Alvarado Street Brewing and Grill. Haven't been in there yet but from what I've seen and heard, it's a good place to go.

If you're interested in wineries in the Monterey/Carmel Valley area let me know. There are a LOT of really good ones.

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Old 05-19-2014, 09:49 PM   #24
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Santa Cruz is definitely worth a stop. Some of my favorite breweries in town are:


We also have a ton of taprooms, including:

Once you've drank your fill around here, you can head south and cut over to Highway 101 at Castroville, or continue down to Monterey and use Highway 68.

If the timing works out, you could even hit the Hop and Barley Festival in Scotts Valley on June 28-29!
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