West Coast Road Trip

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by wesbray, Jan 6, 2013.

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  1. wesbray

    wesbray Disciple (349) Feb 29, 2012 Alberta (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    I'm planning a summer (probably July) road trip down the West Coast from Canada. So far, i'm planning to visit Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles but I may adapt these slightly. What are the best beer spots/breweries in each of these? Probably a loaded question due to the large quantity of beer in most of these places but i'm only going to be briefly passing through each place...
  2. wesbray

    wesbray Disciple (349) Feb 29, 2012 Alberta (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Also add San Diego and Sacramento to the list!
    jzeilinger likes this.
  3. MarcatGSB

    MarcatGSB Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2011 Michigan

    Portland is a must, obviously. I'm not going to comment on breweries, because I havent been there in a while, but if you're looking for a place to stay, choose the Hawthorne St. Hostel. Awesome place...great location, and there is a bus stop right in front of it. Enjoy the trip man!
  4. mikeburd1128

    mikeburd1128 Zealot (514) Oct 28, 2011 New Jersey

    This will probably get moved to the regional thread, but I'm doing SF and Anaheim/LA the last week in July for some Jays games and would like to see the responses also. I hadn't started planning yet, but Russian River and The Bruery were on my list.
  5. MetalMountainMastiff

    MetalMountainMastiff Initiate (0) Oct 1, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    well from SF you could go to petaluma(55 mins) which has Lagunitas, then from there to santa rosa(22 mins) which has RR. Of course from Canada to sac you might Pass by Truckee which has 50/50. The Stone stores in the LA/San diego area are cool.

    Also in SF is Healthy Spirits..A cool store with a good selection
  6. jrnyc

    jrnyc Savant (945) Mar 21, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Keep heading south to San Diego.
    dianimal likes this.
  7. mrcraft

    mrcraft Meyvn (1,415) Dec 15, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    I second adding San Diego. It has the best collection of breweries in California within close proximity to each other. AleSmith, Stone, Alpine, Green Flash, Ballast Point, etc.

    Los Angeles doesn't really have any breweries of note. In north Orange County, 30 minutes from Downtown LA without traffic, you can find The Bruery in Placentia.
    dianimal and luwak like this.
  8. SanFranJake

    SanFranJake Initiate (0) Nov 2, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    Be sure to stop off of 5 and hit Chico for Sierra Nevada. Great town, cheap eats and solid beers.
    smitherz22 likes this.
  9. checktherhyme

    checktherhyme Initiate (152) Apr 8, 2008 Washington

    Chico, Petaluma and Santa Rosa are all pretty close to eachother. Hit up Lagunitas, Russian River and Sierra Nevada for sure. I have done this trip a couple times. Also, I would take 101 after Portland and hit up Rogue and Pelican. Pelican is my favorite brewpub I've ever been to. Beautiful, on the ocean and they make amazing beer.
    dianimal and luwak like this.
  10. luwak

    luwak Aspirant (269) Mar 2, 2010 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    If you do the (truly beautiful and amazing) Oregon coast drive down route 101, which is far more scenic than driving straight from Portland to the CA border on route 5, you must stop in Pacific City and go to Pelican.
    The beach and dunes alone are worth it. But the brewery of course is world class and that drive is really awesome...you'll want to stop like every ten miles.



    and of cours eif you do this trip you must

    (1) post pics so we can all be jealous and happy for you

    (2) go to Russian River so we can further live vicariously through you or face being hated forever by BAs everywhere....
  11. RaulMondesi

    RaulMondesi Meyvn (1,048) Dec 11, 2006 California
    Supporter Beer Trader

    If you do Orange County, The Bruery is a must. Their Brewery is in Placentia, but they also have a tasting room in Old Towne Orange (I live here, and it is awesome - it's also a great beer-mart). Also in Old Towne/The Circle is Haven Gastropub and Smoqued - great food and beer selections.

    Other lesser options (and for the Jays fan), is Noble Ale Works in Anaheim (real close to the stadium) and Bootleggers in Fullerton. Both are above average, but not super special (yet). Skip Old Orange Brewing and Anaheim Brewing - their stuff just isn't good.

    Another place just to grab a good beer is Hollingshead in Orange. I'd say 70% of the time they have Pliny on tap with around 15 other great selections. They also have a pretty nice market of bottled beers (to drink in store or take home).

    Last but not least (if you are looking for a solid place to eat with even better beer), I recommend The Playground in Santa Ana. 15 California beers on tap, a great bottle list, and the menu changes daily.


    Hope this helps!

    Edit: And don't forget Beachwood in Seal Beach!
  12. SanFranJake

    SanFranJake Initiate (0) Nov 2, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    Chico is no less than three hours away from RR and Lagunitas...hardly "pretty close".

    Also, depending on what day you'll be in SF, Speakeasy Brewery does a Friday late afternoon/early evening party w live music and good eats.
  13. checktherhyme

    checktherhyme Initiate (152) Apr 8, 2008 Washington

    He is planning on driving the entire west coast. 3 hours isnt very far to see one of the top breweries in the world in my opinion. It's all relative. I was just trying to give a suggestion.
    luwak likes this.
  14. RenoZymurgist

    RenoZymurgist Disciple (342) May 4, 2003 California
    Beer Trader

    Bypass Rogue.
  15. SanFranJake

    SanFranJake Initiate (0) Nov 2, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    Yeah, we have a Rogue ale house in San Francisco anyhow.
  16. wesbray

    wesbray Disciple (349) Feb 29, 2012 Alberta (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Thanks for the suggestions guys, was also thinking of Anchor and Deschutes?
  17. jlenik

    jlenik Disciple (374) Jan 22, 2009 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Would love to visit Anchor for the hell of it.
  18. wesbray

    wesbray Disciple (349) Feb 29, 2012 Alberta (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Picked up a Dead Guy growler and a bottle of Hop Stoopid today in preperation. Very impressed to find them in very northern Canada.
  19. rembrant

    rembrant Initiate (0) Aug 17, 2010 Ohio

    six Rivers in McKinleyville...north of Eureka was great. Loved Bear Republic...great "Wild Game Chili. Russian River..for sure. In Portland..Hair Of The Dog. A block away is Bunk Bar...great sandwiches. If you wanna side trip, go out the Columbia Gorge to Hood River for Double Mountain...great beers, then cross over to White salmon Washington for Everybody's Brewing.

    If you take I-5 toward So-Cal....look for Kern River south of Fresno. If you take 101......then Firestone near Paso Robles.
  20. hopsputin

    hopsputin Meyvn (1,135) Apr 1, 2012 New Jersey

    Everything that's been said so far is solid. I'd hit HoTD, Deschutes, Russian River, Firestone Walker. Bypass LA and head to Anaheim (Bruery) then San Diego (Lost Abbey, Stone, Ballast Point, Alpine..etc)
  21. fredmugs

    fredmugs Poo-Bah (1,533) Aug 11, 2012 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    I just had a Hangar 24 Double IPA and it was awesome.
  22. coreybrock

    coreybrock Initiate (0) Sep 10, 2010 California

    Has no one mentioned Bend? With Crux opening there are now a bunch of great places/beers. Cool little place, especially during the summer.
    johnnyboy76 likes this.
  23. wesbray

    wesbray Disciple (349) Feb 29, 2012 Alberta (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Anything in Washington worth bothering with?
  24. Flight0011

    Flight0011 Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2013 Washington

    There is this little word of mouth brewery in Arlington WA, about 45 minutes north of Seattle on the 5. Its called the Skookum brewery. It is one of the better brewerys in the area. I reccomend it
    blguillen and beertunes like this.
  25. AxesandAnchors

    AxesandAnchors Initiate (0) Nov 21, 2012 Oregon

    Hood River Oregon:
    1. Pfriem
    2. Double Mountain
    3. Logsdon Farmhouse

    Portland Oregon:
    1. Hair of the Dog
    2. Cascade Barrel House
    3. Upright
    4. The Commons
    5. Bailey's Taproom (not a brewery but its a must)

    Bend Oregon:
    1. Boneyard
    2. Deschutes
    3. The Ale Apothecary
    4. 10 Barrel
  26. mudbug

    mudbug Defender (603) Mar 27, 2009 Oregon

    Welcome to the largest "region" listed in BA! Only one month? Well, In that case I'd stick to a rout that follows I5 through Washington with side trips out to Diamond Knot then Seattle for numerous good drinks, then south to Portland and the Horsebrass pub among others. At this point I'd go East up the Columbia Gorge with a stop at Mt. Hood (The chalet is a hoot and the beer is good too) Then South to Bend (Deshutes, Boneyard and more) then back west to Eugene (Ninkasi Fire Mountain and more) Then a short backtrack up I5 to Corvallis and Block15 and les Caves then West out Hwy20 to Newport and Rogue (Don't listen to the naysayers) South on Hwy 1 will get you the best scenery in the US untill the first stop in Ca at Lost Coast then through the Redwoods (awsome) to Santa Rosa and Russian River and a short jaunt further to Lagunitas. Here is where you need to decide if the trip to Chico and Sierra Nevada is worth it (I think yes) then from there I'd high tail it through the middle of Ca. with a visit to Firestone then another slog south to San Diego and all it has to offer. Good luck, It's a hell of a loooong ways!
    beertunes likes this.
  27. BuckeyeOne

    BuckeyeOne Zealot (517) Mar 9, 2008 Washington

    Yes, head to the Fremont neighborhood in Seattle and go to Fremont Brewing and Brouwer's Cafe. Fremont has a nice tasting room with good prices and Brouwer's is a world-class Belgian-style cafe with a great taplist and really good food.
    beertunes likes this.
  28. BuckeyeOne

    BuckeyeOne Zealot (517) Mar 9, 2008 Washington

    Besides these must-try stops, there are a number of really good beer bars around Seattle --- Noble Fir, Pine Box, Collins Pub, Naked City, Bambino's Pizzeria, etc. Elysian Brewing-Capitol Hill is also really good.
  29. Absolut

    Absolut Zealot (564) Sep 19, 2011 California

    if in the LA area go to Naja's, Boneyard Bistro, and/or Ladyface.
  30. loony4lambic

    loony4lambic Initiate (0) Nov 26, 2012 California

    This is shutting down Jan 13th :slight_frown:
    dianimal and NoSignsOfPain like this.
  31. NoSignsOfPain

    NoSignsOfPain Initiate (0) Jan 16, 2011 California

  32. NoSignsOfPain

    NoSignsOfPain Initiate (0) Jan 16, 2011 California

    I like, but really, don't like :slight_frown:
    loony4lambic likes this.
  33. wesbray

    wesbray Disciple (349) Feb 29, 2012 Alberta (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    So I now have quite a few breweries in mind to visit, what about pubs? Any worth going out of my way for?
  34. checktherhyme

    checktherhyme Initiate (152) Apr 8, 2008 Washington

    There are No Rare Beers in Washington.
    beertunes likes this.
  35. jmccraney

    jmccraney Disciple (327) Sep 30, 2010 Washington

    Uh oh, so many California people and no Washingtonians to help you out. Here's my two cents. I'll start with some of my favorite breweries in rough order:

    Schooner EXACT
    Black Raven

    I've had great beers from a million little hole in the wall places (one was literally a guy's garage, but he was fully licensed and everything), and I feel like that best captures the Seattle beer scene, so if you have the time check out some of the smaller places, do it. In terms of the big names in Seattle, you have Red Hook, Pyramid, Fremont, Pike, and Elysian, but I would say the first two are primarily a historical attraction. If you're a fan of Belgians, Sound Brewery is great, but they're a bit out of the way.

    BuckeyeOne makes a good point with Brouwer's. Great food and great beer. I have heard great things about Beveridge Place Pub as well, but have yet to visit. As for the other places he mentioned, Naked City makes great beer, but I need to make another pilgrimage to give a better review. Pinebox is nothing to write home about (no offense, just wouldn't come to Seattle to see it) but does have decent selection. The nice thing about Seattle is that just about anywhere you go, you can find something potable: Manny's Pale Ale from Georgetown or Mac and Jack's African Amber, and a smattering of offerings from Deschutes, Fremont, Pike, Elysian, etc. Take time to enjoy our amazing seafood, because beer is ever present.

    Next stop: Oregon. I haven't spent a lot of time drinking here, but if it were me I would make a stop in Bend. I always enjoy Deschutes' beer, and I've heard good things about Boneyard, but have yet to pay a visit. If you're planning your trip around beer, you've probably had some Rogue, so you can form your own opinion, but I haven't been impressed by their beer. Make sure Hair of the Dog doesn't slip off your list as well, I'm a fan.

    On to NorCal. A lot has been said already, but I lived in California for a few years so I'll chime in here as well. The one name I haven't seen mentioned yet that I love is Bear Republic, if it's on the way, definitely make a stop. I personally find Lagunitas to be my favorite out of the NorCal bunch though. Somebody mentioned 50/50 in Truckee where I just happened to be last month; the Eclipse series is amazing, but I was thoroughly unimpressed by their other beers. You go to Tahoe to ski and the beer is a bonus, but it isn't necessarily worth a detour. As for Russian River ... well the hype machine has spoken, there's little left to say, haha. Go. Another one that I almost forgot is North Coast. I've never been, nor have I thoroughly experienced their beers, but Old Rasputin is one of my favorites so give it some thought.

    Firestone Walker, yes. But if you're all the way down to LA, you might as well continue down to San Diego. My favorite breweries: Ballast Point, Port, Lost Abbey, AleSmith. Heard great things about Alpine, but missed it on my own SD trip. Stone is a giant and well worth the visit; the beer, the tour, the gardens the food, all make it a required stop. Another point of note is Slater's 50/50 (locations in Anaheim, San Diego, and possibly another). They have an excellent tap selection from up and down California, beer milkshakes, and absurd bacon burgers. Ok, maybe not a tourist attaction, but one of my favorite places ever!

    Whew, time to go ice the fingers on a cold brew. Enjoy your trip!
  36. jmccraney

    jmccraney Disciple (327) Sep 30, 2010 Washington

    Wait a minute, how could I forget beerfests?! My biggest piece of advice might be to plan your trip to coincide with a beerfest or two. I don't have any in mind but the site below will have some of the Seattle ones. I know Portland, Sac, and LA have some and I assume there are many more that I don't know about.

  37. danscott

    danscott Aspirant (238) Jul 15, 2006 California

    In July, the beer festival at the California State Fair (Sacramento) will be happening. This is where the winners of the CA commercial beer competition are poured.

    This has been a decent event in the past, but new (and supercool) people are helping run it this year.
  38. Flight0011

    Flight0011 Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2013 Washington

    Freds rivertown ale house in snohomish WA, (north of seattle) great selection, great food and also rated as " one of the 10 best pubs in the US for holiday cheer" ether way its a great pub and if you are there for cask night its a treat. also you cant forget the redhook brewery in woodinville and there are also many great micro distillerys in the area if your interested.
  39. ijaap

    ijaap Initiate (165) Jan 5, 2013 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Black Raven and Fremont Brewery are a must if you come through the Seattle area. I'd recommend hitting Malt and Vine in Redmond, WA and Bottleworks in Wallingford, WA. Both are excellent bottle shops with a good tap selection to keep you occupied while browsing.

    I'll also second Redhook. They have some very cool in house offerings not available anywhere else. Plus a great pub/eatery.

    Brouwer's is an awesome place to go and grab some beer or whiskey. Great selection. There's a hole in the wall pub called the Stumbling Monk in Capitol hill, WA with some truly excellent tap offereings. They rotate weekly though.
    checktherhyme likes this.
  40. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Initiate (0) Dec 10, 2011 California

    Are you driving down and back? If so, you really need to plan this out on a map. Suggestions are all over the place, if you're on the 101, it's pretty isolated from the 5. So if you're going to Pelican brewing there's no way it's on the way to stop in at Bend or Hood River. Same with driving south on 101 into CA, you're not going to bust over to Chico and then back to russian river.

    There are so many good stops, you need a down and back route (I'd drive back on 5). And with all the drinking...you're going to have a lot of hotel/camping stays. Or dropping serious coin on beer anyway...this'll be an expensive trip.

    Best bet is to honestly hit the breweries you want the most and beer bars in the area that carry a lot of local beer.
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