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Wednesday, July 12, 2017


California has a lot of breweries.  It only takes five, however, to satisfy all of my (copious) beer needs. 

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Heretic Brewing Company: For a two-week period back in 2013, Heretic beers suddenly appeared on tap in every Sacramento-area bar that I entered.  Then, just as suddenly, it all was gone.  Fast forward three years, and Fairfield-based Heretic Brewing Company has scaled up.  And their beer make me very happy, very often.  Two items of particular note: (1) Most Heretic beers come in cans, so I can (and do) take them places where a broken bottle would be a disaster; and (2)  Heretic's Evil Twin is the only red ale that I've ever chosen over an IPA.  That's how good Heretic is -- even their red ale is delicious.

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Berryessa Brewing Company: I am told that California invented the Double IPA.  And Berryessa Brewing Company makes a great one: Double Tap IPA.  I recommend drinking it at a picnic table outside the brewery's tasting room in Winters, California -- Berryessa's beer is best freshest.


Lagunitas Brewing Company:  Petaluma-based Lagunitas Brewing Company's IPA is the standard by which I judge all IPAs.  Despite diligent efforts, I have yet to find a better one.

Image result for 21st amendment back in black21st Amendment Brewery: San Francisco-based 21st Amendment makes great beers for drinking outdoors.  Although I generally disdain fruit-flavored beer, I frequently enjoy their Hell or High Watermelon by the pool.  Their Live Free or Die is a heavy IPA best drank on a windy Northern California beach.  And their Back in Black, black IPA has a whiskey aftertaste that goes well with a campfire. 

Stone Brewing Company:  In 2011, the readers of Beer Advocate Magazine voted Escondido-based Stone Brewing Company the #1 All Time Top Brewery On Planet Earth.  I can't disagree.  Stone releases new beers faster than I can sample them, and they're all excellent.

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