If there’s ever a time in California where you might feel especially ready for a beer, it’s after a day exploring the dramatic desert parklands around Palm Springs. The beer scene here isn’t quite as hot as the climate (yet), but fortunately, a handful of artisanal breweries will invite you in for a cold one.
In Rancho Mirage, the region’s oldest brewery Babe’s Bar-B-Que and Brewhouse at the River offers a gold-medal-winning Blackfin Lager and a Belgian Vanilla Blonde Ale. Show up on a Monday and enjoy the weekly 50 percent discount on most of the taps; with over 35 international awards under their belt, you really can’t make a bad choice.
In Thousand Palms, Coachella Valley Brewing Company will slake your thirst with cleverly-named Kölschella, and on Friday evenings and Saturdays you can take a free tour of the brewery. The sustainably-minded CVB (as it’s known to the locals) is also proud of its high-efficiency brew system, which uses less water and creates less waste than conventional systems. Spent grain left over at the end of the brewing cycle is used in livestock feed by local agricultural businesses.
Just down the road in the community of Palm Desert, visit the friendly tap room at La Quinta Brewing Company to try a Bourbon Barrel Aged Koffi Porter. You can also sample their beers at their nearby Palm Springs Taproom and to Old Town Taproom in La Quinta. And in the High Desert town of Hesperia, order a Mojave Mud IPA or a Santa Ana Saison at the Desert Barn Brewery.