Following up on our top summer beer festivals list last week, blogger Drew Hendricks felt that the West Coast was underrepresented. Drew is a beer enthusiast, tech, social media, and environmental addict. He's written for publications such as Huffington Post, National Geographic, and Technorati.
by Drew Hendricks
From the beaches and deserts of Southern California, to the bars and clubs of Portland, to the offices and corporate headquarters in Seattle, the West Coast offers travelers and visitors something new and different at every stop. It also offers some of the best beers you can find west of Boston. Here's a look at the top seven breweries on the West Coast.
1. Stone Brewing Company, Escondido, California
Found in Escondido, California, the Stone Brewing Company is confident enough of its status as
one of the best brewery on the West Coast that it's flagship brew is named Arrogant Bastard Ale. The brewery produced almost 150,000 barrels of beer in 2012, and they offer free tours, tastings, and a bistro.
2. Deschutes Brewery, Bend, Oregon
Bend, Oregon offers a reward for those willing to brave its mountains and cloud cover. The tiny mountain town is the home of Deschutes Brewery, which offers guests a beautiful tasting room, the experimental The Abyss, and the brewery standard Black Butte Porter. There are always eight beers on tap, and the friendly and knowledgeable staff will make this a wonderful stop on your West Coast brewery tour.
3. Rogue Ales Brewery, Newport, Oregon
If Seattle has the coffee, then Oregon brings the beer. The Rogue Ales Brewery in Newport, Oregon provides visitors with their choice of a pint from 40 taps while they wait for their tour to start. Atypical appetizers and one of the biggest draft selections in the area add up to a must-see brewery when you're in the Pacific Northwest.
4. Fremont Brewing, Seattle, Washington
Seattle has over 150 breweries within its relatively small borders, but only Fremont Brewing has the trifecta of delicious beers, a pub that allows kids and dogs to hang out (but not drink), and an outdoor patio. The brewpub doesn't serve food, but they allow you to bring your own or order from nearby eateries. Inexpensive beers and taster sizes make Fremont Brewing one of the most popular stops for beer lovers in Seattle.
5. Russian River, Santa Rosa, California
Back south in California, we find the Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa. Their Blind Pig brew is renowned for its hoppiness, but there are a number of others on offer that bring customers back time and again, including the Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger sequence of double and triple IPAs. The food combinations put together by Russian River rank Santa Rosa among the top choices for brews and eats on the West Coast.
6. Mother Earth Brewing Company, Vista, California
With a name like "Mother Earth," you just know the Vista, California-based brewery is going to be good for you. The brewing team focuses on creating a down-to-earth vibe and tasty beers brewed with local ingredients. The tasting room has given birth to more than 30 beers since it was established in 2008. If you're looking for a spot that's a little less rooted in antiquity, and a little more part of the 21st century, then the Mother Earth Brewing Company is the place for you.
7. Beachwood Brewing, Long Beach, California
Another new entry into the West Coast brewery scene, Beachwood Brewing in Long Beach, California offers guests a classy brewing experience. The modern brewery boasts a state-of-the-art system to maintain a perfect balance of carbon dioxide and temperatures, producing some of the most top quality house beers of any brewpub on the West Coast. They also serve up tasty BBQ in Long Beach and Seal Beach.