Northern California was the wellspring of the craft beer movement, which can be loosely traced from Anchor Brewing in San Francisco to Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in the young-at-heart college town of Chico, and then to the world. Indeed, California craft brewers have changed the way we drink beer, turning it into a drink not just for sports fans but connoisseurs too.
"Indeed, California craft brewers have changed the way we drink beer, turning it into a drink not just for sports fans but connoisseurs too."
Get a taste for where the movement started with a visit to Sierra Nevada Brewing’s expansive tasting room/restaurant/brewery complex. Take a self-guided tour, or join a guided one, with offerings including a sustainability tour showcasing California’s largest privately owned solar installation, and an in-depth exploration (limited to 5 beer geeks at a time) of the brewery’s inner workings. No tour is needed to cool off with a frosty pint in the trellis-shaded Taproom & Restaurant.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. has been the catalyst for other small-batch breweries to open in the area—and of course it helps that it’s a college town. Stop by Dunsmuir Brewery Works for a tall pint of some of their Good Boy Porter, or Mount Shasta Brewing Co., in Weed, home of Weed Golden Ale and Mountain High IPA. Lassen Ale Works in Susanville is located in the Pioneer Saloon, a true landmark of Old West, founded in 1862. Eight core beers are brewed on site, including Thompson Peak Pilsner and Almanor Amber, as well as seasonals. Outdoor imbibing rules at The Brewing Lair, a laid-back, dog-friendly brewery with cornhole, slack lines, and an outdoor stage that hosts frequent concerts.