TOP 10 BREWERIES OF NORCAL IN CALIFORNIA
Northern California is known for more than just world-class wineries; there are world-class breweries as well so here is our list of the latter to get your buzz on.
 
10.
RUSSIAN RIVER BREWING CO. (SANTA ROSA)

When you hear “Russian River” you’re probably inclined to think of tasty pinot noir and it’s for that reason that the Russian River Brewing Co. is all the more necessary for this region. You can steal some time away from wine tastings by filling up on great craft brews here, where you can still drink similar to wine: barrel aged beer.

9.
SANTE ADAIRIUS RUSTIC ALES (CAPITOLA)

Drawing inspiration from Belgian beermaking tradition, Sante Adairius crafts malty brews that are equally satiating as they are salivating. ABV approaches 10% with a few of the beer varieties, and their chocolatey Farmhouse Noir is an interesting take on the Belgian saison/farmhouse recipes.

8.
ANCHOR BREWING COMPANY (SAN FRANCISCO)

Anchor has been around for a while, claiming that it has roots all the way back to the 1849 gold rush. Tours are given by reservation only and escort you through the three-story brewery including a tasting at the end. The history of the brewery and the building are astounding, and it may just add even more to the flavors of their already delicious brews including the well distributed Anchor Steam Beer.

7.
SPEAKEASY ALES & LAGERS (SAN FRANCISCO)

Inspired by prohibition (said no one ever) Speakeasy Ales & Lagers creates fun and creative brew names that are a shout out to that very complicated time in US history. They started just over 20-years ago with their iconic first brew called Prohibition Ale; appropriate. Nowadays you can find Pop Gun Pilsner, Double Daddy Imperial IPA, and a number of beers in the Perfect Crime Series. Leave your tommy gun at the door and enjoy your stay.

6.
ALMANAC BEER CO. (SAN FRANCISCO)

Almanac focuses on sourcing the plentiful options of locally grown ingredients for their brews. If you want to visit the Barrel House, Brewery and Taproom you’ll have to head out to Alameda Island but there’s also a swanky tasting room in San Francisco for convenience. In utilizing local produce, Almanac has developed brews that incorporate raspberry, cherry, peach, and blueberry.

5.
MAD RIVER BREWING CO. (BLUE LAKE)

Mad River is approaching its 30th year in business with a slew of accolades that break down to “four Gold Medals, four Silver Medals and one Bronze medal from the Great American Beer Festival. Two Bronze awards from the World Beer Cup and 2010 Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year award from the Great American Beer Festival.” There’s a unique and not-so-California feel to the taproom which is refreshing.

4.
ALE INDUSTRIES (OAKLAND)

Ale Industries, or AI, is a force all its own with a vision that is inspiring to beer lovers and entrepreneurs alike. Take this except from their mission statement, for instance: “We unapologetically refuse to let our beers be categorized into styles, types, or profiles because we believe it relegates our vision of craft beer from a verb to a noun, from a spirit to a product.” Hell yea! Head to Oakland to show your support and sip on a few beers that we won’t dare classify.

3.
SIERRA NEVADA (CHICO)

There’s no doubt that you’ve had a Sierra Nevada beer concoction before as it’s the highest distributed brewery on this list. It is the largest craft brewery in California and third largest in the United States, which is why you might easily recognize that Pale Ale label. You can register for a 45-minute tour online and are encouraged to do well before time to ensure space, it fills up quickly.

2.
CELLARMAKER BREWING COMPANY (SAN FRANCISCO)

If you’re the kind of beer drinker who knows what she likes and will continue ordering that no matter where she goes, then you should stay away from Cellarmaker. These subversive brewers like the idea of surprising your taste buds with new and unique flavors one beer at a time. The benefit of this is that you can try a brand new release every week; counter to that is if you fall in love with one brew you’d better drink it while it’s there because it may never return.

1.
NORTH COAST BREWING COMPANY (FORT BRAGG)

If you’re on an epic Pacific Coast Highway trip then you may as well make a pitstop in Fort Bragg which is right along the way and about four hours north of San Francisco. We’ll get to the actual beer soon, but it’s important to point out how amazing this company is focusing on non-GMO, solar power, zero waste, and being certified B-corp; this is the responsible way to drink beer. Speaking of beer, you have to try their Old Stock Ale and the Brother Thelonious which is a Belgian style abbey ale.

VEBO BREWERIES OF NORCAL EXPERIENCES IN CALIFORNIA