{Sierra Nevada Brewery}

It’s no secret–I love Sierra Nevada beer. There’s almost always a case of their Pale Ale in our house at all times, along with a few of their seasonal varieties tucked away in the fridge. Luckily for me, my brother lives in Chico, birthplace of Sierra Nevada and home to their brewery and taproom, so I try to make an excuse to visit whenever I get the chance (of course, visiting my brother is the real reason!).

Since I was in the area at Christmas, I decided to drag my family up there for a little afternoon brewery visit. Sierra Nevada’s taproom and restaurant has some of the best pub food I’ve ever had and this past visit was no exception. The menu features beer-inspired dishes with local ingredients.

Here are some photos of the meal:

Goat Cheese and Beet Salad

Mushroom, Garlic, and Pecan Pizza

French Dip

Roast Beef and Potato Pizza

Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup

Plus, they always have 15 beers or so on tap to try in tasters, half pints, or pints, many of which you can only find in the brewery. Growler, anyone?

You can check out more about Sierra Nevada on their website here.

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{Tap It Take 2}

Another Monday, another brewery revist! The last time I posted about Tap It, I promised I would take more pictures to share the next time I was lucky enough to go back. That time finally came this past Saturday as friends, and fellow beer drinkers, who used to live in SLO came back to visit for a few days.

The taproom is only open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 12pm-6pm which makes it a bit hard to get to, but definitely worth the visit if you can fit it into your schedule. Plus, they have happy hour prices until 4pm ($1 off pints and $12 pitchers) which we were able to make on Saturday (don’t judge!).

The taproom is pretty tiny but very well designed and decorated.

Taproom

Taproom

Taproom

They have a small bar to the left when you walk in with their 2 beers (IPA + APA) and 2 guest beers–Mission Blonde Ale and Green Flash Double Stout. Last time we were there, they didn’t have any guest beers, so we were just able to taste their two for free. This time, tasting was $4 for a flight of 4 beers.

The stout was perfect for the cold, windy day!

Beer Flight

They also have a great indoor/outdoor patio in the back if you’re looking to stay for awhile!

Patio

Growlers are $20 the first time, with $15 refills, and the 6th refill is free–I think we’ll have to get one next time!

Prices

As before, you can check out more about them at there website here!

{Firestone Take 2}

Firestone Brewery

Jeff’s parents were in town this weekend, so we decided this would be the perfect time to head back to the Firestone Brewery and try to actually catch the tour this time (not to mention a beer or two!).

Jeff and I have toured both Sierra Nevada (in Chico) and Lagunitas (in Petaluma), but it’s always fun to tour new breweries and see the different philosophies and techniques at each brewery. Plus, as a homebrewer, Jeff always loves to see the fancy equipment!

The tour guide was super knowledgable and took the 6 of us around the back to see the brewing equipment and the bottling and packaging line. One of the most interesting things on the tour was learning about how some of their beers, like the SLO favorite DBA, are actually aged for a period of time in oak barrels like wine. We had the opportunity to taste the DBA right out of the barrel while on the tour and it was definitely oaky!

Firestone Brewery

Firestone Brewery

I always find it fascinating to learn about the water filtration systems at all of the breweries because water quality and mineral content can strongly alter the taste of the beer. At Firestone, they have to neutralize the Paso Robles city water in order to use it for normal brewing, but when they brew speciality beers like German pilsners, they actually simulate the mineral content you would find at a German brewery. At Sierra Nevada, they actually filter enough water into the brewery that they sell a lot of it back to the city for public use!

After the tour, we filled up our growler (of course ;)) then headed back for SLO.

Can you tell we’re beer nerds?

{Weekend Festivities}

Redondo Beach

What a weekend! Lots of driving, great friends, good food, and maybe a drink or two in there somewhere…

Jeff and I headed down to L.A. this weekend for an engagement party for our good friends. We usually take 101 when we visit L.A., but I somehow convinced Jeff to take Highway 1 this time since I had never been on the southern portion of 1 before, and the ride was absolutely gorgeous. We hit a bit of traffic, but we were able to entertain ourselves by checking out all of the huge and architecturally unique homes up on the bluffs overlooking the ocean and of course, the ocean itself! I must say that it will be strange if we ever move away from the coast…

We had some time to kill after we checked into our hotel, so I looked on yelp to see if there were any breweries near by and stumbled on the Redondo Beach Brewing Company. It’s often hit or miss with local breweries, but we figured we would check it out–I mean, you can’t go too wrong with a brewery just blocks from the beach, right? I ended up ordering their beach blonde and it was delicious–score! It actually reminded me of one of my favorite beers ever–Sierra Nevada’s Glissade–and that’s hard to do. Jeff tried their red, but wasn’t that impressed with his selection.

Overall, it was a great place to pass some time and enjoy some good beer. The outside of the building was adorable too and we were able to sit on a nice outside patio on the 2nd story. I definitely recommend checking it out if you’re ever in the area!

Redondo Beach Brewing Company

Here’s their info.