Immensely popular, craft beer is has become a booming industry, especially in California. It is estimated that it contributed an impressive $6.5 billion to the state economy last year, and shows no signs of slowing down. Although there are incredible breweries all over the country, we’ve set out to find the best ones brewed right here in California. Try out our top brews to see for yourself. 🍻
Founded in 1995, the AleSmith Brewing Company is an artisanal craft brewery located in San Diego. The AleSmith Speedway Stout is one of their year-round brews, and has been awarded Gold in both the 2012 and 2014 San Diego International Beer Competition.
The ninth-largest craft brewer in the U.S., Stone Brewing Company began in 1996 as a small microbrewery based in San Diego. Although its newer counterpart, Stone Ruination 2.0, has been released, we believe originals do it best, which is why we vouch for Stone Ruination IPA. Released in June 2002, Stone Ruination IPA was the first full-time brewed and bottled West Coast double IPA, and we’ve loved it ever since.
Born in 1996, Ballast Point had humble beginnings, starting as an idea between two college roommates. Since finding their home in San Diego in 2004, they’ve produced many award-winning brews, our summer favorite being their newest take on IPAs: the Grapefruit Sculpin. Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin has been impressing since the beginning, winning multiple awards since its release.
Just as unique as its name, Modern Times is a brewery based out of San Diego. Although relatively young (the first batch brewed May of 2013), Modern Times Brewery has impressed us with both their unique names and equally good brews, our favorite being the Fortunate Islands Pale Ale.
Opening in April of 2008, Bootlegger’s Brewery is located in Fullerton, California. This German-style brew is an unfiltered wheat beer, with (in our opinion) just the right amount of hop and refreshing taste to make it a perfect choice for summer.
Family owned, Bear Republic Brewery is located in the heart wine country: Sonoma County, California. Their Racer 6 IPA landed our top pick, making sense seeings as this brew is one of America’s most award-winning IPAs.