California’s Central Valley stretches for hundreds of miles and fortunately for beer lovers, so does the valley’s craft beer scene. Though a bit more secluded than their brewing brethren in other parts of the state, there’s nothing backwoods about the beer here some of the local IPAs and barrel-aged stouts rival those from anywhere.
Starting in the north and working south, the first stop is the Lodi Beer Company; grab a doppelbock drawn from its gleaming copper Bavarian brewing system, located at the centre of the brewpub’s dining room, and the concept of the Central Valley as a craft beer destination will begin to make perfect sense. Then it’s on to Dust Bowl Brewing Company in Turlock, where you can take a tour (advanced booking required) before sampling their Hops of Wrath IPA. Fresno boasts Sequoia Brewing Company, Tioga-Sequoia and Full Circle. In nearby Clovis, the House of Pendragon Brewing Company has a taproom; try a pint of Merlin’s Midnight Mild. In Visalia, at the valley’s south end, stop in at Brewbakers Brewing Company for a taste of its signature Sequoia Red.
The tour ends in Bakersfield, where there are two excellent breweries: Temblor Brewing Company and Lengthwise Brewing Company—Temblor offers free tours of their 1765-square-metre state-of-the-art brewery on Saturday afternoons; afterwards, try their El Cerrito Mexican-style lager and the Hay-Z IPA (the latter should help you forget a few of your 99 problems). At Lengthwise, you can sample any of the 20-plus beers from their brewery, pub or marketplace locations.
California’s heartland offers up one of the state’s most authentic and sensory rich experiences, a chance to see and taste the state’s bounty at every turn. Follow oak shaded country roads to farm stands overflowing with fresh produce and meander along wine trails to some of the state’s most productive vineyards and low key tasting rooms.
Peaches, plums, apricots, and tomatoes. Just some of the ultra fresh produce you will find at farm stands throughout the valley.
Throughout the broad valley, stretching for over 400 miles down the middle of the state, are cities and towns rich with history, international culture, and 'everyone’s welcome' charm.
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