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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Going to California and will have a lot of time and brain cells to kill.
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Old 02-20-2009, 06:51 PM   #1
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Default Going to California and will have a lot of time and brain cells to kill.

My wife and her assistant will be going on a business trip at the end of April to Cali and myself and the assistant's husband will be tagging along.
So I want to hit as many brewpubs that I can while I'm there. This is my first time to the west side and I know there is a lot of beer out there that I can't get over here.

I'll be landing in San Francisco on a Friday morning and driving to Visalia for a breakfast meeting then on Saturday we need to be in Ripon but not sure if we are going there Friday night or Saturday morning. From there she does not have it all worked out yet but basically we will be making a loop around the San Francisco area. She does think we will be in Hanford at one point too.
The wife also has hopes of heading up to Napa Valley at some point to hit some wineries.

So I'll be there for 6 days and don't have a clue as to where to go.
If you have any places that you think I MUST go to please tell me I can use all the help I can get.

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Old 02-20-2009, 07:25 PM   #2
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:42 PM   #3
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Here's a link for you..

Beer Travelers - California Brewpub Finder

Not a whole lot going on in Central Cali for brewpubs, I remember one in Fresno off of Shaw, Bulldog Brewing or something like that. That was a while ago though. It looks like there's a brewpub in Visalia, BrewBaker Brewing.

The Calistoga Inn makes a pretty good beer, if you make that far up the Napa Valley. Good food too.

Too bad you won't be farther North, you could stop into Sierra Nevada.

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Old 02-20-2009, 08:29 PM   #4
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Well looking around the SF CA area I'm coming up with these.

Brewbakers
Full circle brewing
Vally brewing
Rogue Ales
Anchor brewing
Kelley Brothers brewing
Pleasanton Main ST brewery
Pacific Coast brewery
Jupiter
Marin brewing
Steehead brewery

Not sure what ones are good or bad. But all seem like they would not be to far to go. But then again, I've never been there so I have no idea how it is to get around over there.

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Old 02-20-2009, 08:32 PM   #5
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Don't forget about 21st Amendment. If you can get her to settle on going to Sonoma you could hit Russian River in Santa Rosa as well.

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Old 02-20-2009, 08:45 PM   #6
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You're hitting my area of California for this trip.

My recommendations:
SF: Anchor Brewing - A great historical brewery with brews you can't get anywhere but there.
Ripon/Manteca: Kelly Brothers - Ask lots of questions and tell them your a homebrewer. They'll give you extra special attention! The Four Towers IPA is pretty good.
Stockton (If you get there) Valley Brewing. Try the burger and yam fries with their house IPA. I used to go here once a week when I worked in Stockton.
When you're in the Napa area visit Russian River Brewery in Santa Rosa. They won't have any Pliny the Younger on tap anymore, but they have some of the best beer on tap that your tongue will ever taste! Consecration is a must as well as their Valentine's beer Rejection. Pliny the Elder on tap is also something you have to do once in your life.
One word of advice in the Napa area. The cops are everywhere and they have a zero tolerance policy for drunk driving. Have a designated driver for sure!

Let us know where you went and what you liked best when you get back.

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Old 02-20-2009, 08:47 PM   #7
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Don't forget about 21st Amendment. If you can get her to settle on going to Sonoma you could hit Russian River in Santa Rosa as well.
oh good catch.. Russian River is the one place I want to go more then any of them but not sure if we will get that far north. Like I said I don't know how it is to get around over there. You tell me somewhere in MI and I can tell you how long it would take to get there. But over there I have no idea.
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:20 PM   #8
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oh good catch.. Russian River is the one place I want to go more then any of them but not sure if we will get that far north. Like I said I don't know how it is to get around over there. You tell me somewhere in MI and I can tell you how long it would take to get there. But over there I have no idea.
From SF it would probably take you about an Hour and a Half to get up to Santa Rosa, just head North on the 101. You would pass right through Marin County, you could check out Moylan's in Novato and Marin Brewing in Larkspur. There's also Third Street Aleworks in Santa Rosa. From there it's probably 20-30 minutes to Sonoma. You'd also be passing right by Petaluma and could stop in at Lagunitas, and there are a couple of others Willowbrook and Dempseys.

At end of April spring will be starting and the weather will start getting nice. So there may be quite a few people out,especially when you get to SF. And SF can be pretty chilly so bring warm clothes, but you are from Michigan so it will probably feel warm to you.
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:25 PM   #9
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I grew up in SoCal.

If I were you, and I could get away with it, I would skip it all for a chance to hit up Stone in San Diego. It is about a 7 hour drive from SF, but it IS the greatest brewery in America!!!

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Old 02-20-2009, 10:21 PM   #10
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This is not what I thought it was. I thought you were moving to CA.

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