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Old 05-24-2013, 07:27 PM   #11
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Definitely stop at Central Coast Brewery in Carpenteria. Right off the 101 and across the traintracks from the sand. Unreal location and really good beer to. Also stop at Central Coast brewing company in San Luis Obispo. Again right off the 101 before you head up the hill to Firestone. Its really small but the bar is in the brewery and they have some really great beer to.
Pretty sure you meant Island Brewing in Carpinteria. Haven't been to that one yet.

And I definitely second Central Coast in SLO. We weren't expecting much and were very impressed.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:37 PM   #12
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1. I live in SF, it's true about Anchor -- finally went on my first tour there after having lived here for years, we had to reserve three or four months out for a spot early on at Wednesday afternoon. At the end of the day, a brewery tour's a brewery tour, and most of what's in their taproom is available in any of our fine craft beer bars, so, don't sweat it.

2. On the subject of SF, 21st Amendment, don't go any time near a Giants home game, they're just a few blocks from the ballpark. But, if you've got a car (or are a hardcore public transit geek), check out SpeakEasy -- great local/regional brewery, and they usually have two or three things on that you won't find elsewhere, so, it's worth the rather-annoying trip.

If you've got time in the Bay Area, Drake's across the Bay in San Leandro is also cool.

3. Can I get a ride with you up to Russian River? ...well, OK, not really, but, I love that place, crazy sours you really won't find anywhere else, and they make a mean pizza to boot, you won't be sorry you went.

Lesse.... pretty much any Whole Foods you pass near will have an excellent bottle selection. You might also check out City Beer Store in SF -- they're the wine bar business model transposed to craft beer, tons of bottles you can drink there or take home, knowledgable staff who will help you pick, and 15 tap handles if you get thirsty while you mull over your options. Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa also has a great bottle selection, but they're definitely more of the "big warehouse full of booze" kind of place.

Marin and Moylan's are another couple breweries between SF and Santa Rosa, etc. ... they do solid work, I wouldn't skip Lagu or Russian River to hit them, but if you've got them time, they're worth looking into.

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Old 05-24-2013, 08:01 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by feinbera
1. I live in SF, it's true about Anchor -- finally went on my first tour there after having lived here for years, we had to reserve three or four months out for a spot early on at Wednesday afternoon. At the end of the day, a brewery tour's a brewery tour, and most of what's in their taproom is available in any of our fine craft beer bars, so, don't sweat it.

2. On the subject of SF, 21st Amendment, don't go any time near a Giants home game, they're just a few blocks from the ballpark. But, if you've got a car (or are a hardcore public transit geek), check out SpeakEasy -- great local/regional brewery, and they usually have two or three things on that you won't find elsewhere, so, it's worth the rather-annoying trip.

If you've got time in the Bay Area, Drake's across the Bay in San Leandro is also cool.

3. Can I get a ride with you up to Russian River? ...well, OK, not really, but, I love that place, crazy sours you really won't find anywhere else, and they make a mean pizza to boot, you won't be sorry you went.

Lesse.... pretty much any Whole Foods you pass near will have an excellent bottle selection. You might also check out City Beer Store in SF -- they're the wine bar business model transposed to craft beer, tons of bottles you can drink there or take home, knowledgable staff who will help you pick, and 15 tap handles if you get thirsty while you mull over your options. Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa also has a great bottle selection, but they're definitely more of the "big warehouse full of booze" kind of place.

Marin and Moylan's are another couple breweries between SF and Santa Rosa, etc. ... they do solid work, I wouldn't skip Lagu or Russian River to hit them, but if you've got them time, they're worth looking into.
+1 about drakes. Love that place
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:03 PM   #14
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uhh sierra nevada in chico. I hear they have beer that is only available in their taproom. i wish i had the time to head up there and check it out.

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Old 05-24-2013, 08:14 PM   #15
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Hey all, I had this posted in general chit chat also but didn't really know where I'd get the best responses so here goes again. For memorial weekend I've been planning a little bit of a brewery road trip heading up the west coast. I'm picking up the SWMBO in LA this morning and then planning on heading north via the 101 and making pit stops at all the necessary hits along the way. We've already done most of San Diego so for the sake of driving were skipping this go round. So far the plan in order is:

The Bruery
Surf Brewing (a little hometown visit to a new shop)
Telegraph Brewing (grab from a bottle shop in Santa Barbara)
Firestone
Anchor Steam
21st Amendment
Lagunitas
Russian River
Bear Republic

Then heading back home depending on whether we want to kick out for boonville, north coast, etc. Anyone know of any must-see stops I'm missing along the way? Got 3 days to kill and plenty of collection space to fill
Sounds like a fun trip--being from Santa Barbara, I can tell you that the Telegraph Brewery is in a warehouse area (that is if you decide not to get something from the bottle shop) which if they are open they do tastings--kinda lackluster.

Check out Hollister Brewing in Goleta. Its in a shopping center, and they don't have bottles to take, but they make some very good beer. I recently heard that the main brewer from Port Brewing started working up there.

You have 2 options for Firestone-- they have the Taproom in Buellton (about 30 min north of SB on 101) where you can get beer and food (its Firestone's Restaurant--good food) and then the main brewery in Paso if you want to check out the brewery. The tours are sporadic and it was ok when I went a few years back. This was before they recently expanded so report back on how you like it. They make a beer called "805" which is only distributed in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties--its not bad. But definitely see if you can get some of those exotic bombers--Buellton had a good selection when I was there last summer.

Oh an you will love the Anchor tour! That was probably the best brewery tour I have been on.

If you are that far north, may as well go to Sierra Nevada?

Have fun! Enjoy!
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:19 PM   #16
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When you're heading north from Santa Barbara stop off in Buellton at the Firestone taproom (not the Paso brewery although that's good as well) a few months ago they opened their BarrelWorks Tap Room.

They store all their barrel project beers for the Anniversary ales and special releases. Plus all the crazy experiment stuff and wild ales. On a recent visit they had Ruffus, Ruffus w/ Bret, Lil Opal, Sticky Monkey(15.2 Barleywine used in the Anniv blends), their SloAmbic, and Parabola 12&13 to name a few.

This weekend they are offering 11 through 16 Anniversary incredible. As an added geek out there are QR Codes on all the barrels that tell you dates, what's in the barrel, and what it was inoculated with. Last time I came across a barrel they brewed with Mikkeller around last years beerfest. You walk in through the Barrel Room. A truly great experience.

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Old 05-24-2013, 08:52 PM   #17
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And I definitely second Central Coast in SLO. We weren't expecting much and were very impressed.
Should also mention if you decide to hit Central Coast in SLO go to the Splash Cafe across the street for lunch. Some of the best clam chowder I've ever had.
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:03 PM   #18
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Pretty sure you meant Island Brewing in Carpinteria. Haven't been to that one yet.

And I definitely second Central Coast in SLO. We weren't expecting much and were very impressed.
I stumbled on Island Brewing while I was camping at Carpinteria this past winter. It's a great location with a view of the ocean. Being in town and right off the freeway, it would make a great lunch break on your drive up the coast. Some pretty darn tasty beers as well!
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:06 PM   #19
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The Bruery is more than a little south of LA, it's more like an hour plus. While you're in LA, definitely hit up Golden Road and Eagle Rock. Those would be my can't-miss spots in LA county. Up in the bay, definitely don't miss Drakes.
I agree, Golden Road and Eagle Rock have great beer!!
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:21 PM   #20
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So we just are getting around to the Bruery for a nice bottle perusing. After that it's north to Ventura for quick trip to Surf Brewing. I'm from Ventura actually so I'm pretty familiar with the area. We're definitely gonna stop off at Island in carpinteria, sounds amazing. I know telegraph is in a kind of janky area, I was just looking to find a shop where o can pick up their white ale. I was debating between the two firestone places; the buellton one is worth it then??

Also, splash is awesome. Can't believe I forgot about their chowder bowls.

As for SF, we already have the reservations for Anchor but I think were gonna skip 21st since I've been a handful of times for giants games. Instead were gonna do a trip out to drakes, I love their IPA and forgot how close they are.

I already had the first kink in the trip, got a flat and had to stop in Bakersfield to pick up a new tire. Normally I'd dread the place but I managed to find a bottle shop
called Imbibe (nice little place) right off of the 99. I was hoping to find some Kern River Citra DIPA but apparently Kyle isn't bottling anymore and its only on draft and growlers up at Lake Isabella. Managed to pick up some of their Just Outstanding IPA and a bottle of 2011 Sophie. Not too shabby...

Thanks for the suggestions guys and keep 'em coming!

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