Ah, wine country. The perfect place for brewing a sparkling amber glass of beer. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is Northern California’s most famous beer, so it’s good that they chose to name it after an entirely other state. And did you know that UC Davis teaches craft brewing? Their parents must be so proud.
Oh! Bear Republic beer! There’s actually a bottle or two of that in my fridge. It’s all coming together now. Roger Herbst, the Bear Republic beer specialist, shows James and Martin around town while they try some of the brewery’s IPAs. Kind of cool, they get a lot of their barrels from the wineries when they’re done fermenting wine.
James and Martin head to Tedeschi Winery for a tour of the other liquid. They stomp some grapes and taste the fruits of their footy labor. They take a batch to add to their beer because the sugars and plums will make for a delicious fermentation.
Next, it’s the Sierra Nevada Brewery. They load up an RV with beer and some guy whose name I didn’t catch for a lesson in imperial stouts. It is decided that they will brew their wine beer as a stout. I’m a little confused as to why they need to ride around in an RV, but okay.
Are you ready for the first listicle? The top 5 craft breweries in Northern California are:
5. Rubicon Brewing Co.
4. Redwood Curtain Brewing Co. (only available at the brewery)
3. The Rare Barrel (sour beer!)
2. Moonlight Brewing Co.
1. Russian River Brewing Co.
And now we’re milking cows. “It’s like squeezing an old prune.” Eew! James milked the cow with his mouth! Why?!
The top 5 craft beer bars in Northern California are:
5. The Banshee (open late)
4. Railroad Station Bar and Grill (70 craft beer and plenty of wine)
3. The Handle Bar
2. Heritage Public House
1. The Winchester Goose (locally sourced food and tasty craft beer)
Gather ‘round the campfire and I’ll tell you a story about grilled trout and sour peach beer. Mmm, looks pretty delicious. James offers up a black IPA with charred hot dogs. S’mores! Apparently they pair with a barrel-aged porter.
It’s back to UC Davis for state-of-the-art brewing equipment and an actual Professor Of Beer who is an adorable little English man named Terrence. And now, a lesson in pouring:
- Take the top off of the bottle;
- Present the label; and
Well, that taught me nothing.
When the beer is done, it is deemed Collaboration Stout since it is a combination of Bear Republic, Sierra Nevada, wine, and cow juice. And the verdict? Drink up! Naked, and in the river, for some reason.