Dozens of artisan beer makers have sprung up all over this sunny region of Southern California. Riverside and the Temecula Valley (already a popular wine region) are the two big centres where you’ll find craft breweries and restaurants with local beers on tap.
In the Western-style town of Temecula, breweries serve up some unique and uniquely named craft beers: Aftershock Brewing serves its Candied Yam Brown Ale; Black Market Brewing pours Aftermath Pale Ale; Refuge Brewery has Blood Orange Wit and Ironfire Brewing serves 6 Killer Stout.
In the sprawling university city of Riverside, Euryale Brewing Company serves up Cyclopes Coconut Porter and Perseus Pale Ale, among others, while Wicks Brewing Company, one of the largest brewpubs in the Inland Empire, has an impressive 25 taps plus a rotating 'guest tap' for local home brewers. Gastropub the Salted Pig exclusively features local craft beer alongside its menu of hearty burgers and pasta dishes.
Other Inland Empire towns are getting into the brewing boom too. Visit the appealing college town of Redlands to sample what’s on tap at Hangar 24 Craft Brewery (one of their 'core beers', Orange Wheat, pays tribute to another local industry) and Ritual Brewing, where you can feast on a Monk’s Lunch Belgian-style ale.
In the town of Upland, pick your favourite from at least eight house-brewed beers at Last Name Brewing (formerly Dale Bros. Brewery); drop by Rökhouse Brewing Company to imbibe a few of their self-described 'ruggedly handcrafted' beers; and in San Bernardino, stop by Brew Rebellion, where you should stock up on any favourites you discover: they brew their beers in small batches of between 110 and 190 litres at a time.
With its inviting destinations and uncrowded wilderness, this region feels like an insider’s secret amid the bustling excitement of Southern California.
Mount San Gorgonio, nicknamed “Old Grayback”, is the tallest peak in Southern California, at 11,502 feet.
Surprising alpine scenery around Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear beckons, with pine scented trails in summer and winter sports when the snow falls. If you like action, get the adrenaline rush of seeing the world’s best NASCAR racers compete at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. For a dreamier escape, float in a hot air balloon above rolling Temecula Valley wine country.
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