Who is your favorite California brewer?

Discussion in 'Pacific' started by highdesertdrinker, Dec 27, 2012.

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  1. besaunders

    besaunders Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2007 California

    Alesmith's Wee Heavy is a solid beer, if you like that genre. And their ESB is a nice session beer, IMHO.
  2. CA_Infidel2o9

    CA_Infidel2o9 Initiate (0) Dec 1, 2012

    Never tried Alesmith IPA, but it's kinda hard to believe it's better then those two... i'll have to try it.
  3. LegalBrew87

    LegalBrew87 Initiate (0) Mar 6, 2012 California

    To be fair, I dislike basically all the SN IPAs, but I do like Union Jack.
  4. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,446) Mar 18, 2010 California

    Historical - Anchor
    BA beers - Bruery
    Sours - Russian River
    Price wise - Lagunitas
    Availability - Sierra Nevada
    Beer/food combo - Beachwood
    Retsinis and jmerriken like this.
  5. MykelJH

    MykelJH Initiate (0) Aug 3, 2011 California

    Ruskie river
  6. jmerriken

    jmerriken Initiate (0) Jan 15, 2008 California

    Firestone Walker is #1 for me. Yes I have regular access to Alpine, Kern River, Russian River ect. Their quality and price point is unmatched in CA. Although the freshness of their bottles always comes into question. I never buy any of their hoppy beers if more than a month old. Put fresh Union Jack in a blind taste test and it will go toe to toe with any West Coast IPA period.
    After FW, in no particular order, Russian River, Alesmith, Stone, Bruery, Port, Beachwood (as good as anything but not widely available yet), Alpine, Sierra. Hot Damn California dominates, that's why I don't trade, not worth the shipping costs with the riches we have at disposal!
  7. FunkyMacGroovin

    FunkyMacGroovin Initiate (0) Sep 22, 2009 California

    If Russian River only made Blind Pig and Sanctification, I would still pick them. Second favorite is Sierra, third is Drake's.
    penniwisdom likes this.
  8. besaunders

    besaunders Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2007 California

    Ryan Braun
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  9. ggwheeler

    ggwheeler Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2011 California

    In my opinion there are only two joints that keep pumping out world class beers in the golden state:

    Russian River


    The Bruery

    These two operations are in a class of their own. If you're a NorCal drinker then you're probably partial to Russian River.

    SoCal drinkers probably are partial to The Bruery.

    These are the two breweries that are an A+ in California.
    4kbrianb likes this.
  10. 01Ryan10

    01Ryan10 Initiate (0) Sep 10, 2011 California


    You missed the part where Firestone has probably the best BA program in the world.


    In no particular order.

    I'm just glad to live 3-4 blocks from Bruery Provisions.
  11. PaulStoneAnchor

    PaulStoneAnchor Disciple (379) May 30, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    In my opinion:
    Russian River
    Fifty Fifty
    Auburn Alehouse.
  12. penniwisdom

    penniwisdom Initiate (0) Sep 10, 2010 California

    Marin makes some kickass beers.
    bkrueger and FunkyMacGroovin like this.
  13. CenCalMario

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

    12 posts in and you're already with the "no love for..." ?
  14. EdTheEdge

    EdTheEdge Disciple (392) Mar 26, 2011 California

  15. Rinkor16

    Rinkor16 Aspirant (227) Dec 12, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Definitely Russian River for me. The short 10 minute drive makes me a little biased though :wink:
  16. stoutgrl

    stoutgrl Initiate (0) Aug 8, 2012 California

    Russian River!!!!
  17. arash1000

    arash1000 Aspirant (228) Sep 26, 2012 Nebraska
    Beer Trader

    It is hard to choose between Firestone, RR and Bruery. I have to give the nod to Bruery just because it seems like they try to experiment and take more risks. Also the Patrick Pours at Provisions are awesome. :slight_smile:
  18. beerdweeb

    beerdweeb Initiate (0) Nov 28, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    Pizza Port San Clemente, Carlsbad, OB, SB
    dcgunman likes this.
  19. rossthefireman

    rossthefireman Initiate (0) Oct 20, 2008 California
    Beer Trader

    Firestone, RR, Drakes , The Bruery the list goes on.
    My underdog in the fight is Mammoth, who make great beer and I really like what Sante Adairius is doing.
    RobertV916 and Rocket80 like this.
  20. Drunk_And_Sarcastic

    Drunk_And_Sarcastic Initiate (0) Dec 13, 2012 California

    I guess I would have to go with Firestone Walker but I have to say Im biased. Living 20 mins from the brewery has spoiled me.

    Russian River and Alpine are a very close second. Lagunitas and Sierra Nevada are definitely up there when it comes to value. Ballast Point as always been one of my favorites and The Bruery is another favorite, although pricey. Alesmith and Green Flash are also honorable mentions. Yeah, there is a lot of good beer in CA.
  21. flayedandskinned

    flayedandskinned Initiate (0) Jan 1, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

  22. DCRA

    DCRA Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2011 California

  23. bulletrain76

    bulletrain76 Zealot (579) Nov 6, 2007 California

    Only two? Man, you're harsh.
  24. PaulStoneAnchor

    PaulStoneAnchor Disciple (379) May 30, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    I know we all have our favorite brewers/breweries, but all I have to say is California is one of the best brewing states in the nation(we have most of the top 100 breweries here), with Oregon being a close second. :grinning:
    dianimal likes this.
  25. bulletrain76

    bulletrain76 Zealot (579) Nov 6, 2007 California

    Sante Adairius Rustic Ales in Capitola, which opening midway through 2012. Not distributing yet, but they are starting to bottle some sour and funky beers and I have a feeling a lot more people will know that name by the end of 2013
  26. ggwheeler

    ggwheeler Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2011 California

    I might have been a bit too blunt.

    Those two, in my opinion, are A+ joints.

    And then we are swamped in the golden state with a ton of A or A- operations. Any of which I would be thrilled to drink the offerings from, and often do.

    But I think that The Bruery and Russian River are a notch above the rest and in a league of their own.

    Long story short: it's good to live in California if you love amazing beer. Damn good.
  27. dcgunman

    dcgunman Crusader (749) Jul 1, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Beachwood Brewing
  28. ObeMaltKinobee

    ObeMaltKinobee Initiate (0) Jul 13, 2010 Illinois

    Hangar 24... because Kevin is so tall and sexy
  29. jtmartino

    jtmartino Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    That's a bold statement. Granted, I haven't had most of the BA beers they don't bottle, but making a claim like that based on just a few beers seems over-enthusiastic. Yes, Parabola and Sucaba and Velvet Merkin are good, but most of their other beers are inferior to many other BA offerings from other breweries.

    I think Founders has a stronger and more diverse program. 3 Fonteinen, Hill Farmstead, and Cantillon make some of the best beer in the world from barrels. The Bruery is far more exciting than FW, and BT>Parabola.

    Firestone's program is amazing, but it's a hard sell to say it's the best BA program in the world.

    Back OT, my favorite California brewery is Pizza Port (all of them.)
    Levitation likes this.
  30. tcanaday

    tcanaday Initiate (0) Oct 23, 2012 California

    My favs are:

    Sierra Nevada
    Russian River
    The Bruery
    North Coast
  31. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,527) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Alpine's not on your list? Even is anyone didn't think it was #1 it surely to be on a list over Stone or Green Flash etc.
  32. wendy21573

    wendy21573 Initiate (0) Jan 3, 2013 New Jersey

    Well, if I can only pick one, I would have to say Russian River. Although there are others, of course. I guess Russian River is so good cause you can hardly get it...nah, who am I kidding, they just brew really good beer! Stone is good, too...and so is Ballast Point (LOVE Sculpin)....OK, I know it is only supposed to be one! :slight_smile:
  33. pinkgrenade

    pinkgrenade Aspirant (245) Aug 19, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    the rare barrel is coming too! and also societe has many many barreled gems just waiting to be drank. being patient is hard.
  34. Arbitrator

    Arbitrator Initiate (0) Nov 26, 2008 California

    For me, it's a tie between Indian Wells and Hermitage.
    rob133 and domtronzero like this.
  35. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,446) Mar 18, 2010 California

    Have you tried the barrel aged Indian Wells beer?
  36. OTB

    OTB Devotee (431) Sep 2, 2011 California

    Beachwood is quickly becoming my favorite west coast brewery. Amazing stuff coming from that crew.

    John11486 likes this.
  37. frankzito

    frankzito Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2006 Arizona

  38. OTB

    OTB Devotee (431) Sep 2, 2011 California

    Drinking a Beachwood Alpha Supreme tonight, incredible stuff. Cross between Zombie Dust and Alpine HB.

  39. ImJ2x

    ImJ2x Initiate (0) Jan 3, 2012 California

    My fav brewer in Cali? That's like asking for my fav Victoria Secret model; several come to mind. :slight_smile:
  40. kojevergas

    kojevergas Poo-Bah (7,654) Aug 15, 2010 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Lost Abbey. It used to be Russian River, and Alpine's clawing its way to the top, but Lost Abbey is currently my favourite California brewery - if not my favourite North American brewery.
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