Summer Beercation or: How I spent an obscene amount of money on booze, Part VIII: Lagunitas Brewing Company

My flight from Lagunitas.

My flight from Lagunitas.

Somewhere in the back of my mind there was a little voice telling me to stop drinking after getting Russian River’s massive tasting flight, I didn’t listen.

After spending some time drying out in Santa Rosa to make sure I was stone cold sober I headed towards the final brewery for my beercation: Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma, CA. Continue reading

Summer Beercation or: How I spent an obscene amount of money on booze, Part VII: Russian River Brewing Company

Russian River signage

Russian River signage

After being wowed by the sours at The Rare Barrel, I would have been entirely content with ending my beercation in Berkeley. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I am a beer glutton and wanted to take full advantage of my time in Northern California.

Since I was already in the Bay Area, I decided it wouldn’t be entirely unreasonable to make the long drive up to Sonoma County to finish off my trip.

My second-to-last stop: Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa. Continue reading

Summer Beercation or: How I spent an obscene amount of money on booze, Part VI: The Rare Barrel

Here is a boring picture of their sign.

Here is a boring picture of their sign.

The first time I drank a sour was a repulsive experience, I couldn’t wrap my head around the concept of acidic beer. Why drink something that tasted like it was spoiled?

But remembering how my initial experiences into beer turned out, I decided to give the style a shot and cautiously waded into the world of wild yeast. Eventually an “a-ha moment” came to me.

It was during this year’s LA Beer Week and I had the opportunity to try some sours from Cascade Brewing in Portland, Oregon. Everything just clicked, the fruitiness and tartness from the beers I tried worked in harmony—sour gummy worm in beer form.

Since I was already in Berkeley, and with my taste in sour beers growing, the next stop on my beercation was a no brainer. I made my way to The Rare Barrel. Continue reading

Summer Beercation or: How I spent an obscene amount of money on booze, Part V: Sierra Nevada’s Torpedo Room

Sierra Nevada's Torpedo Room in Berkeley

Sierra Nevada’s Torpedo Room in Berkeley

When it came to the Bay Area portion of my beercation I had the not-so-bright idea of spending half of my time in San Francisco and the other half in Berkeley. After having my fill at 21st Amendment and Cellarmaker it was time to cross over into the East Bay.

While I could have gone to a number of great places in the East Bay, such as Alameda’s Faction Brewing or Drake’s in San Leandro, I decided to focus my time exclusively in Berkeley.

I have history with the city, in addition to going to school there it was where I first got into beer. Without that fateful trip to the Pyramid Alehouse, which unfortunately closed, I don’t know if I’d be into craft beer the way I am now. Continue reading

Summer Beercation or: How I spent an obscene amount of money on booze, Part IV: Cellarmaker Brewing

Cellarmaker's tastefully decorated tasting room.

Cellarmaker’s tastefully decorated tasting room.

After finishing up at 21st Amendment, it was time to hit up the second brewery on the San Francisco leg of my beercation: Cellarmaker.

Opened since 2013 Cellarmaker Brewing Company has made a name for itself in the city’s craft beer scene for its approach towards small batch brewing.

The brewery has committed itself to constantly brew up new and unique tasting beers rather than settle into a stable of flagships. The brewery uses high quality ingredient sourced from all over the world from Slovenian hops to coffee supplied by the cafe down the street. Continue reading

Summer Beercation or: How I spent an obscene amount of money on booze, Part III: 21st Amendment Brewery

This is the only picture I took that didn't come out completely terrible.

This is the only picture I took that didn’t come out completely terrible.

During my drive up to Northern California I got to enjoy some fine beers from Firestone Walker and Sante Adairius Rustic Ales, but they’re not the real start to my Beercation. Those were just the prelude.

My summer beercation didn’t really start in earnest until I arrived in San Francisco.

The city is home to over a dozen different breweries and brewpubs, making it a bit daunting when trying to figure out which ones to visit. I eventually narrowed it down to two breweries that I felt were good representatives of the city’s craft beer scene. Continue reading

Summer Beercation or: How I spent an obscene amount of money on booze, Part II: SARA

I am horrible at taking photographs.

I am horrible at taking photographs.

My initial plan for this beercation was to visit several breweries along the 101 Highway as I made my way up to Northern California but it began to dawn on me that it was a terrible idea.

Driving for seven hours and being half in the bag isn’t a particular safe or fun aspect. So after Firestone Walker, I would go to one last brewery before calling it a day.

I decided to stray a bit off of the 101 and head up to Capitola. Located just outside of Santa Cruz it is home to Sante Adairius Rustic Ales; opened since 2012 the brewery has made a name for itself with its farmhouse and wild ales. Continue reading