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Pints of Craft Beer
erinpluskev/Flickr

Craft Breweries in Gold Country

Craft Breweries in Gold Country
The state’s capital more than holds its own in California’s 'beer rush'

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 vans, which often park on the street out the front of the building. At New Helvetia Brewing Company, try the multiple-award-wining Homeland Stout. Finally, head north-east 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 neighbour, The Brewmeister, a homebrew supplies shop 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 of its own beers.

Valley in California's Gold Country
Laura Flippen

Central California

Discover Gold Country

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11
November
Average (°C)
Sept - Nov
30°
High
6°
Low
Dec - Feb
15°
High
3°
Low
Mar - May
26°
High
6°
Low
June - Aug
33°
High
13°
Low

Bumping up against the west side of the Sierra Nevada Range, on California’s eastern side, the Sierra foothills that make up the Gold Country are California classics.

Discovery of gold in 1848 sparked the largest mass migration in U.S. history, with more than 300,000 pioneers heading west.

Here, the state’s past, present and future merge into one unforgettable destination. Pan for gold like a pioneer, bike through meadow and oak countryside and raft a rapid filled river, then explore historic towns with Old West architecture and a new generation of pioneers, opening up outstanding wineries, farm to table restaurants, inviting shops and charming B&Bs.

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During California's Gold Rush, over 25 million ounces of gold were mined from the Sierra Nevada foothills.
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Spotlight: Sacramento

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Golden past, bright future

Like many cities, California’s state capital is undergoing an energetic renaissance. Young adults looking for an urban vibe are moving into this...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Farm-fresh produce, culinary adventures

Juicy heirloom tomatoes and just-picked strawberries. Super-sweet peaches shaped like mini UFOs. Artisan cheeses, emerald-green olive oils, local wildflower honey—California’s farmers’ markets are...

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Laura Flippen
July

Back in 1854, the first California State Fair was held in San Francisco, with the cows standing on display in Mission Dolores. The fair moved to Sacramento for good a few years later, but the...

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Lucas Himovitz
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A Shop Owner in the California Gold Country town of Nevada City,
Laura Flippen

Nevada City

Great food, wine and shows find a home in the Mother Lode

This forest-wrapped hamlet of handsome Victorian-era homes and tree-lined streets 60 miles north-east of...

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Lorres Gold Mine

Empire Mine State Historic Park

Tour a Gold Rush mansion then go underground

Get a one-two punch of experiences with a visit to this remarkable site in Grass Valley, roughly 60 miles north-east of Sacramento. First, spend...

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From Gold Rush history to 8th wonders of the world, visit these favorites

If there was ever a box of chocolates—and all of them delicious—it’s the rich collection of natural treasures, fascinating...

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Amy Meredith/Flickr
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Harriot Manley/ Sunset Publishing

Auburn

Explore an ideally situated Gold Country town with a sporty side

History and modern culture merge with outdoor adventure in this appealing town on the west side of the Sierra Nevada. While Auburn has long been...

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Take on whitewater rapids, pan for gold and explore California history

Pluck a bit of gold from a riverbed scoured by the original ’49ers. Descend deep into the earth to check out unusual rock formations. Get your heart racing with a ride down whitewater rapids. For...

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Rafters on the American River
Rob Brodman

The American River

Rush for gold, rush for adrenaline

The most popular white water-rafting river in the West, the American tumbles through the Gold Country, an inviting jumble of churning rapids, deep...

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Laura Flippen

Columbia State Historic Park

Step into the 1850s in this Gold Country gem

With throw-back charm and a mine-full of historic artefacts, this park presents the Gold Rush in living, breathing colour. Costumed docents...

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Elegant estates, relaxed wineries, urban tasting rooms

Elegant estates at the end of country roads lined with vineyards? Check. Low-key wineries housed in converted barns? Check again. Urban wine trails with hip in-town tasting rooms? Yup,...

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Laura Flippen

Sip Wine in the Gold Country

Sample vintages from old vines and new varietals

The roots of old Zinfandel grapevines run deep in this north-eastern region of California, with wine making here dating back to the Gold Rush days...

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Jenny Martin

Murphys

Explore a blossoming country town with big-city appeal

Like San Francisco in the mid-1800s, Murphys was one of California’s richest boom towns, but this appealing town in Calaveras County still feels...

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Jenny Pfeiffer

Apple Hill

Wine, beer, a bliss-out spa—and juicy, sweet apples

Autumn in the Gold Country means clear blue skies, fiery red grapevines and an invigorating snap in the air. It’s apple season too, with more than...

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Jenny Ella Pfeiffer

Moaning Cavern

Walk, climb, or rappel into a subterranean wonderland

Discovered by miners in 1851, this vertical chamber near Angels Camp is so massive it is the largest public cavern in California—big enough to...

Jamestown's Railtown 1897

Jamestown

Climb aboard majestic steam trains for a cruise through the Sierra foothills

It’s unbelievable but true: you can still wade into the shallows of the South Fork of the American River and find flecks of gold, just like the...

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Sutter's Fort State Historic Park was the first permanent European settlement in the Central Valley.
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Amazing Agritourism Experiences

From almonds and olives up north to avocados, oranges, and dates in the south, the Golden State has a crop (or 10) for nearly every stretch of terrain. After all, ...

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Tai Power Seeff

Golden Chain Highway

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This forest-wrapped hamlet of handsome Victorian-era homes and tree-lined streets 60 miles/98 kilometers northeast of Sacramento is one of the Gold Country’s prettiest towns. Originally settled in 1849 as a mining camp, Nevada City...

Sep 7 - Sep 9
Rub elbows with craft brewers and sample all manner of Californian beers at this annual three-day event

Beyond being the state capital, Sacramento has staked its claim as one of California’s nerve centres for great craft beer. The annual...

Beer drinkers at the California Craft Beer Summit
Courtesy of California Craft Brewers Association
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