With hundreds of craft breweries across the state of California, it’s no surprise that Sacramento, the state’s capital, has its own artisanal beer scene, including the annual Sacramento Beer Week festival. Hoppy Brewing Company draws a young crowd from nearby California State University at Sacramento. At Track Seven Brewing Company, try a Nukin’Futz Imperial Peanut Butter Chocolate Cream Porter, or, if that sounds a little too ambitious, a Bee Line Honey Blonde Ale; Track Seven is also known as a hub for food trucks, often parked on the street out front. At New Helvetia Brewing Company, try the multiple-award-wining Homeland Stout. Finally, head northeast of Sacramento to the town of Folsom and Red Bus Brewing Company, a self-proclaimed “open-book” brewery; it allows anyone access to the brewery’s recipes, which can come in handy after a visit to Red Bus Brewing’s next-door neighbor, The Brewmeister, a home brewing supply store under the same ownership.
Head to Nevada County, where craft beer is also on the rise. Try Three Forks Bakery and Brewing in Nevada City, where you can pair your Dynamite Double IPA with a thin-crust sourdough pizza or a slice of gluten-free Insouciance Cake. Also in Nevada City is Jernigan’s Taphouse and Grill, where you can choose a libation from 12 taps to sip on while watching a game on one of their big-screen TVs. Four miles down the road, in Grass Valley, Thirsty Barrel Taphouse and Grille offers more than two dozen varieties of its house-made brews.