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Cheers! Your Guide to California Breweries

For those who salivate at the thought of a cold, frothy beer, you might want to try one of the latest travel trends to emerge: a brewery tour! With smaller breweries becoming more prominent in the industry, many beer enthusiasts are planning a tour of the country’s top craft breweries for their next vacation.

With many craft breweries popping up across the country, it seems like anywhere you go, you can enjoy a local, unique beer. Specifically, California is emerging as one of the areas in the US that is known for its breweries.

Not sure where to start? Check out our picks for top California breweries below.

  • Karl Strauss Brewing Company inspired to bring handcrafted beer to San Diego in the mid-1980s, Karl Strauss was the first microbrewery in a city with no local beer. Craft beer quickly caught on and the brewery became widely respected for its high standards in quality and consistency. If you’re staying at Grand Pacific Palisades, you’ll find the brewery is just steps from the resort lobby. Even better, kick back at the pool and let the brew and food come to you. Another must-experience is the Karl Strauss in Sorrento Mesa. Take the winding walk-way through this urban retreat surrounded by lush gardens, cross over the lily pond, and dine on the patio overlooking the koi fish.
  • Stone Brewing Company now has two locations, both in the San Diego area. The original location sits on beautiful grounds in Escondido, which is just north of San Diego. This location is 55,000 square feet, but there’s much more to it than just its sheer size. You can reserve a spot on a tour throughout the day and see how they brew many of their world class beers. And after the tour is over, you will find that Stone is very generous with their sampling. The other location just opened in 2013 in Liberty Station right on the water of the San Diego Bay. Not as grandiose as the Escondido location, this one still has a world class feel with a fantastic food menu as well.
  • Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma is self-dubbed as a Beer Sanctuary, where free beer tours are given seven days a week. Monday through Friday you can do a tasting tour as well. This would be an ideal switch-up during a wine tasting trip in Sonoma or Napa. Lagunitas is one of the most experimental breweries in the country.
  • Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa, CA is known as a California-style brewery with ales that are “aggressively hopped” Belgians and barrel-aged beers. One of the calling cards of Russian River Brewing Company is the extremity of its hops, a prominent ingredient in India Pale Ales. While at their brew pub, be sure to taste Pliny The Younger, which is a favorite among beer enthusiasts.
  • One of the more famous breweries in California is Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, which is based in Chico, about an hour and a half north of Sacramento. One of the pioneers of the craft brewing industry, Sierra Nevada features some of the purest ingredients with a commitment to the environment. Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is one of the original small-scale breweries in the country. Some of the top breweries in the country learn the trade and techniques from Sierra Nevada brewers at yearly Beer Camps each spring.

Remember to please drink responsibly and know that there is never a ResorTime destination too far away from one of the best breweries in the country! For help in booking your next California brewery tour vacation, call us at (877) 477-7368.

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