Suggest West Coast Breweries

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cslewisster

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I tend to drink East Coast beer pretty exclusively (especially local Pennsylvania Brews) and I'm attempting to expand my horizons. What are some great West Coast Breweries to check out? I'm up for almost anything in terms of beer styles so feel free to suggest specific brews from specific breweries.
 

carnevoodoo

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I tend to drink East Coast beer pretty exclusively (especially local Pennsylvania Brews) and I'm attempting to expand my horizons. What are some great West Coast Breweries to check out? I'm up for almost anything in terms of beer styles so feel free to suggest specific brews from specific breweries.
What are your options for getting beer from the West Coast? There's so much out here, that I just want to understand what you might be able to get.
 

Clonefarmer

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Sierra Nevada (tend to be hoppy but well done and affordable), Rogue (great tasting beers but expensive), Stone brewery (good beer, decent price) Anchor (The first modern micro since prohibition).

These are all usually available in most stores with a good micro selection. I am sure someone from the west coast will have better knowledge of the less distributed brews.
 
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cslewisster

cslewisster

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Sierra Nevada (tend to be hoppy but well done and affordable), Rogue (great tasting beers but expensive), Stone brewery (good beer, decent price) Anchor (The first modern micro since prohibition).

These are all usually available in most stores with a good micro selection. I am sure someone from the west coast will have better knowledge of the less distributed brews.
I've had something from all of them except for Stone. I really do need to try Stone.

Here's what I'm looking for and why. I had a conversation today with a professor that insisted that West Coast Brew was way better (please don't let this start a flame war).

I've had the readily available brews from the West Coast (Anchor, Rogue, SN..etc) I'm looking for something special or smaller. Think something like Weyerbacher vs Dogfish Head if that helps. Or just suggest something I haven't had.

I hope that clears up what I'm looking for. If not tell me and I'll try again. Feel free to suggest anything in the mean time.
 
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cslewisster

cslewisster

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What are your options for getting beer from the West Coast? There's so much out here, that I just want to understand what you might be able to get.
I live around Philly and we tend to have a lot of places that have over 100 bottles available for takeout. So just feel free to suggest something and I'll take care of finding it.
 

carnevoodoo

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I've had the readily available brews from the West Coast (Anchor, Rogue, SN..etc) I'm looking for something special or smaller. Think something like Weyerbacher vs Dogfish Head if that helps. Or just suggest something I haven't had.
ok. the biggest one that has already been mentioned is Deschutes. If you can get your hands on a bottle of something from their limited runs like Abyss or Dissident and you'll be happy.

Elysian Brewing Company makes a few really neat beers. Jasmine IPA, their pumpkin beer kicks some ass, and I seem to remember them having a few other things I enjoyed as well.

Russian River should be an obvious one. Pliny is good, but if you can get any of the sours I would go for it. Consecration is on shelves right now and is on everyone's top sour list ever, and it isn't a lie. Beatification is wonderful too. They make a lot of nice beer at their brewery, but they're not easy to get in other places.

Firestone Walker releases some nice stuff. Their real winner is the anniversary beer they put out every year. It is pricy, but a good bottle to try at least once.

The Bruery in Orange County is making some good Belgian Style beers. The White Orchard and their Berliner Weiss are both good.

I can speak best for my hometown, though.

Ballast Point makes a lot of amazing beer. Sculpin IPA, Sea Monster Stout, Victory at Sea Imperial Porter (lots of coffee and vanilla), Dorado IIPA (probably the best IIPA made in SD, and a close race with Pliny for being the best on the coast)

Green Flash has their West Coast IPA, IIPA, Double Stout (my personal favorite) and they make a few other styles and don't f up any of them.

Alesmith. My favorite brewery. They don't make a ton of styles, but what they do, they do perfectly. Favorites are Speedway Stout, Wee Heavy, Grand Cru, IPA, and their seasonal My Bloody Valentine/Evil Dead Red. I wouldn't pass up anything they do, and all the bigger bottles are good for long term aging, with the exception of the Horny Devil.

Alpine Beer Company is great. Make a range of IPAs, a great stout, and they actually put out a geuze that was really nice last year.

Pizza Port makes good beer. Of the stuff that Port Brewing bottles, I would try to find some Old Viscosity. Everything else is ok, but that one stands out. Especially good with 3+ years of age on it. I'm not a fan of the Lost Abbey part of this operation as much, but they have made a few pretty neat beers. I just don't like their regular line.

Oh, and Mission Brewing Company is worth looking out for as well. They're up and coming.
 

carnevoodoo

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I forgot Bear Republic. Racer 5 and Black Bear Stout are awesome and in bottles. They're up in Northern Cali.
 

brewt00l

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ok. the biggest one that has already been mentioned is Deschutes.

Firestone Walker releases some nice stuff. Their real winner is the anniversary beer they put out every year. It is pricy, but a good bottle to try at least once.

Alesmith. My favorite brewery. They don't make a ton of styles, but what they do, they do perfectly. Favorites are Speedway Stout, Wee Heavy, Grand Cru, IPA, and their seasonal My Bloody Valentine/Evil Dead Red. I wouldn't pass up anything they do, and all the bigger bottles are good for long term aging, with the exception of the Horny Devil.

Alpine Beer Company is great. Make a range of IPAs, a great stout, and they actually put out a geuze that was really nice last year.

Oh, and Mission Brewing Company is worth looking out for as well. They're up and coming.
We don't get these 5...the rest we do, and I second those suggestions.
 
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I will have to say, while all of CA and the west coast brews great beers, my choice for best of the best would be San Diego. Not that quality suffers anywhere on this coast.

Of course there are exceptional beers produced elsewhere that would fit, but the quantity of top notch quality in SD is amazing.
 

Couevas

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I think you could have seen this coming from me.......
Best brewery tour I have ever been on and some good samplin.' The Bistro and Beer Garden is pretty fabulous as well

STONE BREWERY
Escondido, Ca (North San Diego County)
 

carnevoodoo

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I think you could have seen this coming from me.......


STONE BREWERY
Escondido, Ca (North San Diego County)
Shocker. Stone has the biggest fanboy base ever. I do like their smoked porter and the bottles of 2006 Double Bastard I have are almost drinkable now, and they DID make the Vertical Epic in 2004 that was in my top beers ever list, so I guess they're ok.
 

brewt00l

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I tend to drink East Coast beer pretty exclusively (especially local Pennsylvania Brews) and I'm attempting to expand my horizons. What are some great West Coast Breweries to check out? I'm up for almost anything in terms of beer styles so feel free to suggest specific brews from specific breweries.
If you're in the city, hit the foodery. Burbs: capones, candlewyck & blue dog are good hookups.
 

Couevas

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Shocker. Stone has the biggest fanboy base ever. I do like their smoked porter and the bottles of 2006 Double Bastard I have are almost drinkable now, and they DID make the Vertical Epic in 2004 that was in my top beers ever list, so I guess they're ok.
C'mon man. Give them the credit they deserve.
I grew up in So. OC and lived down by you for a while as well. I have had every beer you mentioned and I have drank more Firestone than most will in a lifetime (I went to Cal Poly SLO, right in between their two breweries.

I do agree with all your suggestions, but Stone is the best brewery on the West Coast and maybe in the country.
 

carnevoodoo

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C'mon man. Give them the credit they deserve.
I grew up in So. OC and lived down by you for a while as well. I have had every beer you mentioned and I have drank more Firestone than most will in a lifetime (I went to Cal Poly SLO, right in between their two breweries.

I do agree with all your suggestions, but Stone is the best brewery on the West Coast and maybe in the country.
Stone is awesome. They are more responsible for SD being the beer Mecca it is than anyone else. Their recipes aren't my favorite, and there are a couple of IPAs in town I'd drink before theirs, but they are very solid, amazing to have in a community of breweries, and I will always be a fan, for sure. I do not discount any of their accomplishments, at all.
 
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cslewisster

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ok. the biggest one that has already been mentioned is Deschutes. If you can get your hands on a bottle of something from their limited runs like Abyss or Dissident and you'll be happy.

Elysian Brewing Company makes a few really neat beers. Jasmine IPA, their pumpkin beer kicks some ass, and I seem to remember them having a few other things I enjoyed as well.

Russian River should be an obvious one. Pliny is good, but if you can get any of the sours I would go for it. Consecration is on shelves right now and is on everyone's top sour list ever, and it isn't a lie. Beatification is wonderful too. They make a lot of nice beer at their brewery, but they're not easy to get in other places.

Firestone Walker releases some nice stuff. Their real winner is the anniversary beer they put out every year. It is pricy, but a good bottle to try at least once.

The Bruery in Orange County is making some good Belgian Style beers. The White Orchard and their Berliner Weiss are both good.

I can speak best for my hometown, though.

Ballast Point makes a lot of amazing beer. Sculpin IPA, Sea Monster Stout, Victory at Sea Imperial Porter (lots of coffee and vanilla), Dorado IIPA (probably the best IIPA made in SD, and a close race with Pliny for being the best on the coast)

Green Flash has their West Coast IPA, IIPA, Double Stout (my personal favorite) and they make a few other styles and don't f up any of them.

Alesmith. My favorite brewery. They don't make a ton of styles, but what they do, they do perfectly. Favorites are Speedway Stout, Wee Heavy, Grand Cru, IPA, and their seasonal My Bloody Valentine/Evil Dead Red. I wouldn't pass up anything they do, and all the bigger bottles are good for long term aging, with the exception of the Horny Devil.

Alpine Beer Company is great. Make a range of IPAs, a great stout, and they actually put out a geuze that was really nice last year.

Pizza Port makes good beer. Of the stuff that Port Brewing bottles, I would try to find some Old Viscosity. Everything else is ok, but that one stands out. Especially good with 3+ years of age on it. I'm not a fan of the Lost Abbey part of this operation as much, but they have made a few pretty neat beers. I just don't like their regular line.

Oh, and Mission Brewing Company is worth looking out for as well. They're up and coming.
This is a great list. Thanks for putting so much time into it. I looked up a few of the Breweries and Russian River looks about my speed. :rockin: I'm probably going to go home and talk to my wife about making a trip to pick some up ASAP. I haven't finished looking at the rest but this is great and exactly what I was looking for. Thanks.
:mug:
 

brewt00l

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This is a great list. Thanks for putting so much time into it. I looked up a few of the Breweries and Russian River looks about my speed. :rockin: I'm probably going to go home and talk to my wife about making a trip to pick some up ASAP. I haven't finished looking at the rest but this is great and exactly what I was looking for. Thanks.
:mug:
Outside of Damnation and a couple other odds and ends, RR is draft only in the region...however there are RR products on draft through out the area right now.
 

Beerzoid

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Apart from what others have mentioned some lesser known West Coast brewery I'd suggest, but probably impossible to get in PA


Ninkasi: Total Domination IPA, Tricerahops Double IPA, and Oatis Oatmeal Stout.

Lagunitas: Hop Stoopid

Oakshire: Espresso Stout

Bend Brewing: Hop Head

The Pike Brewing Company Seattle: XXXXX Stout

Laughing Dog: Dogzilla Black IPA

Mcmenamins: Terminator Stout and Ruby Ale

That's all I can think of right now.
 

humann_brewing

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Rogue (great tasting beers but expensive), Stone brewery (good beer, decent price)
It is interesting to see the perspective of someone that is far from both of these breweries. Here, you can't get a stone 6 pack for less than $10 and that is the regular pale ale, if you want the Ruination it is like $14 and the oaked AB is like $17 some places and I am talking about a 6-pack.

Rogue is definitely a great brewery, but I am biased towards it since it is some of the first good beer I had, but yes they are definitely more expensive that the normal in the bottle, but not at a pub or one of their brewhouses. I picked up a 12 pack of 22oz Amber Ales for $18 when they were having a sale at the brewhouse.
 

humann_brewing

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C'mon man. Give them the credit they deserve.
I grew up in So. OC and lived down by you for a while as well. I have had every beer you mentioned and I have drank more Firestone than most will in a lifetime (I went to Cal Poly SLO, right in between their two breweries.

I do agree with all your suggestions, but Stone is the best brewery on the West Coast and maybe in the country.
Ok.... let's not get too crazy here. I had another thread that discussed the Bias of growing up near a brewery and the hometown pride you get from it. (https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f96/so-what-he-up-california-104575/index2.html#post1147801)

I know everyone says that Stone is the best and a friend that I have down here would certainly agree with that, guess what, he grew up in Escondido too. Anyways, they are good, just not $10-$17/6-pack good. Oh yeah and good ol' Cali and the CRV + tax so it is a lot closer to $20 for that six pack.

Ok, sorry about that :off:

"good in most peoples opinion"

stone :) and all the other Cali places people have mentioned

I don't think I have heard Russian River yet, I like Lost Coast too.

Now for the rest of the West coast, yes there is more than California on the west coast. The others mentioned are great, but you probably have had their beer such as Widmer, Deuschutes, Rogue etc...

Some smaller ones that are excellent though.

Maritime Brewery
Boundary Bay
Hales Ales was mentioned
Ironhorse was mentioned too
The Ram Brewhouse
Snoqualmie Falls
Pike Pub Brewing

P.S. I know I have a Stone beer on tap and one in the pipe, I brewed the IPA for the Stone lover friend I have and leave it for him whenever he comes over and I do like the Stone Oaked AB, but just can't bring myself to pay $17/six pack for it, but I have got an occasional growler from the brewery, again from the stone lover friend.
 
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cslewisster

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Outside of Damnation and a couple other odds and ends, RR is draft only in the region...however there are RR products on draft through out the area right now.
Looks like we can pick them up here. Not the whole selection but it's better than nothing.
 

brewt00l

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Looks like we can pick them up here. Not the whole selection but it's better than nothing.
Give them a call before you drive over..IIRC Origlio is the PA master distributor of RR from their purchase of Kunda and most everything goes right to the commercial accounts.
 

HOOTER

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Boundary Bay, Pike and Snoqualmie Falls are all great breweries. I've got to give some love to Coeur d'Alene brewing and Norther Lights (no official website that I can find). If your in Spokane these are worth visiting. Also, Harmon brewery in Tacoma is excellent. Oh yeah, can't forget Mac & Jacks. I just love west coast brews.
 

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Look for 21st Amendment products in cans, I believe they currently can an IPA and their Watermelon Wheat. Never had the latter, as it is always gone by the time I get to the beer fests.

Widmer sells everywhere, except Ok.
 

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This is a great list. Thanks for putting so much time into it. I looked up a few of the Breweries and Russian River looks about my speed. :rockin: I'm probably going to go home and talk to my wife about making a trip to pick some up ASAP. I haven't finished looking at the rest but this is great and exactly what I was looking for. Thanks.
:mug:
If you are going to Russian River Brewing, (which I think makes the worlds best hoppy beers), also do the tour or Lagunitas Brewing which is just down the road. They have a free tour every weekday at 3:00 PM which they don't advertise on their web site. They start you out at their private upstairs bar in the brewery and let you sample any beer they make. Then you get a brief tour of the facility. Their beer on tap at the brewery is really good. They even pour some of their experimental beer on occasion as well. Have fun!
 

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My personal favorite breweries and best(IMHO) beers they make:

Sierra Nevada (kind of biased here :D)
-Torpedo IPA, Bigfoot, Celebration, Stout

North Coast Brewing Company
-Scrimshaw Pilsner, Old Stock Ale, La Merle, Brother Thelonius Abbey-style Ale

Lagunitas
-IPA, Brown Shugga', Maximus IPA

Rogue
-Dead Guy, Old Crustacean, Chipotle Ale (weird but good!)

Stone
-Arrogant Bastard, Double Bastard, Ruination IPA

Anderson Valley Brewing Co.
-Brother David's Dubble & Tripel, Hop Ottin' IPA, Boont Amber, Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema
 

humann_brewing

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Boundary Bay, Pike and Snoqualmie Falls are all great breweries. I've got to give some love to Coeur d'Alene brewing and Norther Lights (no official website that I can find). If your in Spokane these are worth visiting. Also, Harmon brewery in Tacoma is excellent. Oh yeah, can't forget Mac & Jacks. I just love west coast brews.
I lived in Spokane for a couple of years, but before I drank beer, I wish I got to try those places now.
 

Beernip

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Some that I haven't seen mentioned.

New Belgium Brewery:
Fat Tire, Tripel, 1554, Abbey Grand Cru

Hair of the Dog:
Fred from the wood, Doggie Claws, Adam
 

Matt Up North

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Speakeasy, SF
Marin Brewing, Larkspur
Moylans, Novato
Lagunitas, Petaluma
Russian River, Santa Rosa
Bear Republic, Healdsburg
Ace Cidery, Graton
Lost Coast
Feather River Brewery, Magalia
Fox Barrel Cidery, Auburn
Sudwerk, Davis
Ej Phair
21st Amendment, SF

Just to name a few that are smaller in my area, though growing.
 

carnevoodoo

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Look for 21st Amendment products in cans, I believe they currently can an IPA and their Watermelon Wheat. Never had the latter, as it is always gone by the time I get to the beer fests.

Widmer sells everywhere, except Ok.
I am not a 21st Amendment fan at all. The IPA is way too malty and the Watermelon Wheat reminds me of beer that people who don't like beer would like.

If you can get RR Supplication I'd suggest it. If the Pliny is FRESH, get it.

I'm glad someone mentioned Maritime, too. Their dark ale was a favorite up mine from up North.

Oh, and I've never been a Rogue fan, but I know a lot of people like them.
 
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