California

Craft Beer Tour 2019: Winters, CA

These photos were taken Sunday, October 20, day 21 of Craft Beer Tour 2019; my annual craft beercation taken before and after the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver. These photos were taken at Berryessa Brewing and Hooby’s Brewing in Winters, California.

When I arrived in Chico for the Hop Harvest Festival at Sierra Nevada, I had some decisions to make; primarily, where would I go from here? Do I hang out in Northern California, or head home? I sent out some messages to friends in the general area, and then I headed to Sierra Nevada. Continue reading

Sierra Nevada Hop Harvest Festival Photos

These photos were taken Saturday, October 19, day 20 of Craft Beer Tour 2019; my annual craft beercation taken before and after the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver. These photos were taken at Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico, California; primarily of their 2019 Single, Fresh, Wet & Wild Hop Harvest Festival, which was put on by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and the California Craft Brewers Association. I say the photos are primarily of the Hop Harvest Festival because I did go to the taproom a couple hours earlier just to figure out where everything was; and it was a little too early for me to check in to my room.

Since the entire reason that I returned to the Pacific Northwest two years running is fresh hop IPAs, attending this event seemed like a match made in Hop Heaven. I have to give credit to HopSaint Brewing Company owner Steve Roberts for putting this event on my radar. A few days before I left for Denver, and GABF, I went to HopSaint where Steve same up to say hello. After chatting a bit about GABF he mentioned they would be pouring at Sierra Nevada’s Hop Harvest Festival shortly after GABF ended. When I saw that it was being held on the 19th I took it as a sign, since that was the date I would be entering California anyway; and I would be driving right by Chico anyway. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2019: Weed, CA

These photos were taken Friday, October 18, day 19 of Craft Beer Tour 2019; my annual craft beercation taken before and after the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver. These photos were taken at Mt. Shasta Brewing Company and Weed Ales & Lagers, both of which are located at the same location in Weed, California.

When I left ColdFire Brewing I still had a 6 1/2 hour drive to Chico, and that was just not going to happen. When I do these trips I try to avoid driving at night because I cannot see this new landscape in the dark. I knew if I stopped in Weed it would only be a 2 1/2 hour drive to Chico, and the Hop Harvest Festival didn’t start until 2:00 PM. I also knew that Weed Lager & Ales was located there; so I head south for four hours to Weed, CA.

I know I have driven south on I-5 through Mt. Shasta before, but I must have gone through at night because I do not recall ever seeing the view I had of Mt. Shasta before. It was truly magnificent with its snow caps and the cloud of snow above it; I had to stop and take a couple photos, but it was cold and windy as heck so I didn’t spend a lot of time there. Continue reading

Melvin Brewing San Diego Soft Open

These photos were taken Thursday afternoon at the soft open for the new Melvin Brewing which is opening in the East Village area of San Diego.

Melvin Brewing is a Wyoming-based brewery that is known primarily for their IPAs. I don’t think I was aware of them before I attended the 2017 Great American Beer Festival; but I think it would be difficult to not have noticed them if you were an attendee. The two years that I have attended, Melvin’s booth was an old school bus, which co-founder Jeremy Tofte apparently lived in for a year. Their booth included a DJ during each GABF session, and had WWE Hall of Fame wrestler “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan hanging out at the booth to shake hands, take photos and sign autographs. I seem to recall they had impromptu parades during a couple of the sessions that included their representatives in costume.

They were more than just a show though, as they walked away with the Brewery Group and Brewmaster of the Year award, along with a pair of gold medals for American-Style Strong Pale Ale (Hubert MPA) and Fresh or Wet Hop Ale (Wet Hop Melvin). So when I was invited to attend their VIP soft opening it seemed like a no-brainer as San Diego is significantly closer to me than anywhere in Wyoming. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2018: Lost Coast Brewery and Dust Bowl Brewing

These photos were taken Saturday and Sunday, October 6 and 7, which were days 20 and 21 of my Craft Beer Tour 2018.

When I left Oregon I set my GPS for Eureka so that I could visit one of my oldest friends (Cathy) and see what had changed in their craft beer world since my last visit in 2010. It turns out not much has changed; in fact the only brewery I could find was still Lost Coast Brewery, which is where we went since Cathy does not drink but would join me for lunch.

Lost Coast Brewery is a brewpub that was founded in 1990; they have since opened a larger brewery and tasting room in 2014. I went to Lost Coast in 2010, but I didn’t remember them being so crowded back then; business must be good. Continue reading

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