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Beer trip across the West Coast

Discussion in 'Pacific' started by groperfish, Apr 17, 2013.

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  1. groperfish

    groperfish Initiate (0) Jul 2, 2011 Australia

    Hey all,

    Been busy planning trip & have an itinerary (including Breweries/Brewpubs/Bottle shops we want to visit). I'd really appreciate any comments.

    We are trying to cut the budget slightly (accommodation & car hire are the biggest) - if there are any breweries which aren't a must-see (i.e.: can get in easily & brewery not that great), I'd appreciate the advice!

    I hope the attached Jpeg is OK...

    Thanks again all. The advice given has been so great.

    Here is the itinerary: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/15/beersi.jpg/
  2. rmdownward

    rmdownward Aspirant (295) Feb 10, 2007 California

    As it looks like you'll be heading up Hwy 5, norh of Reding you'll find Dunsmuir Brewing in Dunsmuir. Quirky, tiny brewpub in an old gas station. Decent beer and great pulled pork. At the base of Mt Shasta is Weed, home of Mt Shasta Brewing. Try the Shastafarian Porter. Both are couple minutes off Hwy 5.
    flexabull and danscott like this.
  3. danscott

    danscott Aspirant (238) Jul 15, 2006 California

    If you are going to Chico, that means you are passing through Sacramento, yes? Lots of spots in the area. It may be a better bang for your buck to hit some local alehouses rather than breweries to get a wider selection of our local brews.

    Spots that are heavy on the local beer are The Shack, Hot City Pizza (they are a few blocks from each other), Samuel Horne's Tavern (in Folsom. 20 minute drive from downtown), Flaming Grill (with a wide selection of exotic meats) and Dad's Kitchen. If you are particularly enamored with high octane IPAs, Hot City Pizza is a required stop.
  4. danscott

    danscott Aspirant (238) Jul 15, 2006 California

    Also, a couple of blocks from Russian River is Flavor Bistro, which is the unofficial taphouse for Moonlight Brewing, another local treasure. Do not miss.
    flexabull likes this.
  5. danscott

    danscott Aspirant (238) Jul 15, 2006 California

    Budget more time to hang out in the San Francisco area. Amazing city. One of the few spots in CA where a car is unnecessary. Cheaper accommodations for this part of the trip are found just outside of SF in Emeryville, Oakland and Daly City.

    In this area, Beer Revolution and City Beer are must adds for huge, high quality selection.
  6. danscott

    danscott Aspirant (238) Jul 15, 2006 California

    And, OMG, Bend is an incredible brewery town. Half a dozen spots there are killer. Rent bicycles and spend the day touring them.

    Another option, though, is to skip Bend and hit Deschutes in Portland. Bend is beautiful but is a serious detour if you feel pressed for time.
    flexabull likes this.
  7. Thirsty_Rob

    Thirsty_Rob Initiate (0) Oct 7, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    After reading this thread, the number one thing you should do is rent a car/van. The rail system here is awful. Really awful. Awfully awful. Just don't do it. Really.

    Is that the order of your stops in the picture? If so, Kern is after LA and before Paso, and as much as I do love Kern... it's a pain in the ass to get to and way out of the way unless you plan to camp/stay near the Kern River for a day or two which would be great. Alpine is like a 20min drive from SD, so cut out Karl Strauss and go to Alpine. When you're in San Marcos get food and a beer at Churchills Pub. Put Beachwood in the LA section because it's definitely not SD. If you can, go from SD to Alpine to Escondido to San Marcos to Carlsbad (so you can hit Pizza Port since you're a big ipa/dipa fan) then on to LA would be great IMO. When in SF, swing by City Beer Shop. If you want to hike, check out Muir woods just north of the Golden Gate bridge. You can make a day out of going to Lagunitas, Russian River and Bear Republic. Keep traveling north and spend some time on the lost coast (Eureka, Ca). Hit up Lost Coast brewing then keep traveling north to Fort Bragg where you'll find North Coast Brewing. Then you can hit bend. Bend is awesome! You'll really enjoy that town and you have to go to Boneyard Brewing. Really great beer. As others have said about Portland, skip Rogue and go to cascade and upright instead. No regrets there...

    The drive up the coast via the 101 would be the best bet after LA, unless you really have your heart set on Kern and Yosemite. While Yosemite is definitely a must see, taking the coast all the way up guarantees you world class beer, a great view and great cities. You can stay in Carmel or Monterey.

    You're definitely on the right track. I've traveled pretty much the entire state several times so I can offer up any advice... still I will finish with RENT A CAR/VAN or you'll regret it...
    flexabull likes this.
  8. walterfredo

    walterfredo Aspirant (262) Nov 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    ^couple comments. Fort Bragg is not north of eureka. And I wouldn't really say kern is after paso, it's actually due east from paso, so I think that order is fine, drive up the coast from SoCal and head east after Paso.

    I would consider skipping mammoth unless you really want to go there for reasons other than beer. Mammoth brewing is mediocre at best and it will add substantial time to your trip.
    Thirsty_Rob and flexabull like this.
  9. DougOLis

    DougOLis Initiate (185) Aug 15, 2008 California

    Mammoth isn't that bad dude. Their beers are more than drinkable. And if the OP wants to see some of California other than breweries or beaches then I would definitely recommend it. I'm not sure how much time the OP is spending but cutting over from LA or Paso to Kern then up to Mammoth through Yosemite and back to SF would be a nice drive.
    jtmartino likes this.
  10. Rzzzzz

    Rzzzzz Devotee (424) Nov 10, 2007 California

    Yeah...if it's on time. I've taken the train to Seattle a couple of times and I do remember it stopping in Chico during daylight hours. Probably on the return trip (south).
  11. DrunkenMonk

    DrunkenMonk Disciple (319) Jun 2, 2012 California

    No SF? Spend a couple days in San Franciso & area. You could visit Anchor, 21st Ammendment, Speakeasy, City Beer, Toronado, Drakes, Beer Revolution and a few others before heading north to Lagunitas, Russian River, Bear Republic.
    danscott likes this.
  12. DrunkenMonk

    DrunkenMonk Disciple (319) Jun 2, 2012 California

    From Russian River can drive north to Eureka. You'd pass through all the redwood parks and could visit North coast in Fort Bragg, Eel River in Scotia, Lost Coast in Eureka and Six Rivers and Mad River in McKinleyville. You could camp in Humboldt Redwoods, Prairee Creek, or Jedediah Smith Redwoods amongst others.
    danscott and flexabull like this.
  13. flexabull

    flexabull Poo-Bah (2,289) Mar 9, 2006 California
    Beer Trader

    Mad River is technically in Blue Lake, but it's very close to McKinleyville. There is also the Redwood Curtain Brewery in Arcata that is a pretty cool little spot.
  14. walterfredo

    walterfredo Aspirant (262) Nov 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    ...and Eel River BC is in Fortuna.
  15. DrunkenMonk

    DrunkenMonk Disciple (319) Jun 2, 2012 California

    Wasnt sure. The pictues on their website show the old Palco mill in Scotia.
  16. nanobrew

    nanobrew Initiate (0) Dec 31, 2008 California

    though it is a small section of your trip and it sounds like you have a good handle on it, here is a map of beer places in SD. It will give you an idea of what areas are good to stay in. Sounds like a great trip! How many people are you traveling with? If a bunch, renting a car could might be best, and just take turns as DD. If just a few (like two of you) then paying for cabs and public transit might be best so you can both drink and get around safely, plus the savings of a car rental would be a lot less.
  17. Thirsty_Rob

    Thirsty_Rob Initiate (0) Oct 7, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    You're right about Fort Bragg. I wrote that really late after drinking. haha Should be more careful about my directions. I agree with skipping Mammoth. But I did say to hit Kern after LA and before Paso. I guess he can snake around California. I was just suggesting to skip all of the Central Valley and head up the coast... unless he definitely wanted to hit Yosemite. Maybe I can draw a map about what I'm talking about...
  18. chromebomb

    chromebomb Initiate (0) Dec 16, 2009 California

    You should spend at least a day in LA and SF just touring around.
    danscott likes this.
  19. groperfish

    groperfish Initiate (0) Jul 2, 2011 Australia

    Hey all. The beer trip has been amazing so far. Wife has started a blog if anyone wants to see what we have been up to ao far carbeers.wordpress.com
    Met a fellow BA'er last night who welcomed us into his home, bought us dinner and opened his cellar for us. Couldn't believe the generosity.
    Off to Kern River now.
    JohnQ, flexabull and dcgunman like this.
  20. CenCalMario

    CenCalMario Initiate (132) Jan 12, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    If you're going to Kern River they're at the Bakersfield Brew Fest today... might save you a trip up the hill and you can catch a few other brews too. Just a thought.
  21. AptosBeerDrinker

    AptosBeerDrinker Initiate (177) Aug 9, 2011 California

    Nicely done. Off to a good start.
  22. skunkpuddle

    skunkpuddle Aspirant (259) Feb 14, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    I would recommend sea world and seal beach. Beer should be respected, not engulfed.
  23. groperfish

    groperfish Initiate (0) Jul 2, 2011 Australia

    Thanks for the heads up, unfortunately we didn't go through Bakersfield and didn't get your message until we hit Kern River when our phone had signal again. Let us know if you know of any other upcoming Brew Fests, thanks.
  24. groperfish

    groperfish Initiate (0) Jul 2, 2011 Australia

    Thanks for the recommendations. We have seen so many animals since being in the states. We have seen wild dolphins and squirrels at Torrey Pines Beach, three bears while camping in Sequoia, along with lots of deer, squirrels, snakes, lizards and birds. They make a nice change from koalas and kangaroos. We also visited both the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park - the running cheetah was pretty impressive!

    Agree that beer shouldn't be engulfed. Mainly tastings (I'm driving) and the occasional pint/takeaway.
  25. Rzzzzz

    Rzzzzz Devotee (424) Nov 10, 2007 California

    Enjoying the blog. Especially the photos of all these places in Southern California that I've heard about but never seen before (chief among them, Walter & Claudia's house).
  26. Rosanne

    Rosanne Initiate (0) Jun 5, 2013 California

    Haha! The beer is good there!
  27. Rosanne

    Rosanne Initiate (0) Jun 5, 2013 California

    Groperfish's other half here.
    Any of you peeps in Portland over the next four days or Seattle on 19th/20th? We are thinking of doing a blind tasting of Pliny, Heedy Topper, Alpine: Pure Hop & Moylan's: Hopsickle. It would be good to do a bottle share to taste some other rarities as well.
  28. Rosanne

    Rosanne Initiate (0) Jun 5, 2013 California

    Another alternative is Vancouver, BC from 24th to 27th
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