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Be a beer connoisseur with a California brewery tour! Part I

It’s very easy to live an eat-drink-and-be-merry lifestyle in the west coast, particularly in California, where craft breweries are abundant. In fact, with the amount of establishments that serve delicious brews of various flavors, it makes total sense to make a road trip out of it with your very own California brewery tour!

21st Amendment Brewery, San Francisco

21st amendment brew free or die ipaAs one of the most diverse and interesting cities in the country, San Francisco is home to a myriad of brew pubs to visit for the first time. One of the most essential stops a beer tourist must hit to begin an enjoyable beer expedition is 21st Amendment, conveniently located downtown. Among the variety of beers they have on tap, the most popular one of their year-round brews is the Brew Free! Or Die IPA, a hoppy golden IPA that surprises you with an initial kick but goes down real smooth. Saison fans might like to try out the Sneak Attack, a Belgian-style farmhouse ale and 21st Amendment’s version of a winter beer that’s only available till end of March. Upcoming Event: Homebrew day in the BG! Visit 21st Amendment on March 16, 2014 (Sunday) between 12nn and 4pm and hang out at the beer garden to learn about the establishment’s brewing method.

Lagunitas Brewing Company, Petaluma

lagunitas ipaOnce you’re done trying out the brews and sampling 21st Amendment’s delectable lunch menu, you can get on Highway 101 and head to your next stop, another one of California’s pride and joys when it comes to great beer. Lagunitas is well known in the craft beer circuits for its IPA, more than anything else – it’s the number one IPA in the state of California for a reason. With a perfect balance of malt and hops, this beer’s tried-and-true combination of sweet and bitter definitely deserves seconds (or thirds). Upcoming Events: Daily tours of the brewery that require no reservations, hell yeah! Beer Dinner! On March 18, 2014 (Tuesday), the company’s head chef will be creating a series of coursed meals designed to complement a variety of Lagunitas brews. Enjoy a night of good food, great beer, and live music and buy tickets here.

RussianRiver Brewing Company, Santa Rosa

russian river brewing pliny the elderContinue up Highway 101 until you hit Santa Rosa, where the microbrewery responsible for Pliny the Elder – a popular double IPA that’s best enjoyed fresh – gets a regular onslaught of beer tourists every year. Russian River has a long list of brews – super-hoppy California ales, Belgian ales, and barrel aged beers, among others – for you to try, so getting them all via sampler (along with a meatball sandwich or a pizza, which they also serve) is highly recommended. Upcoming Event: Anniversary Party! Celebrate Russian River Brewing Company’s tenth anniversary on April 5, 2014 (Saturday) from 8pm to 11:30pm by coming for an evening of entertainment and some aged brews from the pub’s cellar.

BearRepublic Brewing Co., Healdsburg

bear republic cafe 15 racerIf you’re approaching the limits of your beer-tastin’ capabilities, then make Healdsburg your last stop and visit Bear Republic, medal recipient at the recently concluded 2014 Good Food Awards held in San Francisco, California. Its award-winning brew Café Racer 15 double IPA is a must-try for its bold, aggressive, and hoppy aromas that ends with dry, malty smoothness. This brewery also has a long list of brews and all of them are high on the hops, so be sure to bring your booze-drinkin’ A-game and end your brewery tour on a high note with one of their selections. Upcoming Events: Beer tours are every Saturday at 10am, by appointment only. Weekday Happy Hours at 3pm St. Patty’s Day! Come to the Bear Republic Brewpub on March 17, 2014 (Monday) and enjoy a specially crafted menu that includes succulent corned beef simmered in the brewery’s own Big Bear Black Stout.

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