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Best Brewpubs in California!

Beer and food. Yumm Yum Yum.

Was just a the Sierra nevada Brewery in Chico. The beer there is great, brews you can't get in the stores.

The food is really good. We went for lunch. Stromboli, Fish and Chips, and Sierra Nevada salad.

The meatballs in the Stromboli were some of the best I ever had, On a toasted french roll covered with sauce and cheese.

The fish was excellent too, light and fluffy batter wnd the fish done perfectly.

The salad, with balsamic vinagrette and cnadied pecans and gorgonzola was made with various lettuces and heirloom tomatoes. Awesome.

The fires wer lacking though, they were the frozen type everyone has. Mine were cajun style but more breaded thatn cajun I thought.

I ahve beeb here many times and the food is always high quality, and the beers are just perfect accompainment to the meal.

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  1. Other good places in the Golden State:

    The Brewhouse, Santa Barbara

    Stone near SD

    Rock Bottom

    Ummm..my mind went blank

    Pick up a "Celebrator" beer mag if you can and look for the "Hop Spots" I imagine Sierra Nevada has a few Celebrators up for grabs.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Diana

      The Rubicon in Midtown Sacrmanto has some really good beers and fantastic food. Theri hot wings are the ebst I ahve ver had. All food made from scratch. Great burgers, french onion soup and cross cut fries..........

      1. re: Diana

        The North Coast Brewery in Fort Bragg and the beers at Piachi.

      2. The "Amber" and "Oatmeal Stout" at the Seabright Brewry in Santa Cruz are very good. The food there used to be very good but is now just okay. The only exception is: ask them to put gorgonzola cheese on their Brewery Burger. It may sound awful but it's a marriage made in heaven.

        8 Replies
        1. re: harryd

          My favorite brewpubs, hands down, are Russian River in Santa Rosa and Pizza Port in San Diego.

          1. re: naven

            The Thirsty Bear? santa Rosa? Great one. good pub food and some excelleent beers.

            1. re: naven

              Which Pizza Port, naven - Solana Beach or Carlsbad? Or does it matter? :)

              Though I haven't given Carlsbad that many tries, I tend to favor Solana Beach. I think Carlsbad is a bit more "comfortable", but I generally liked the in-house beers a bit more at Solana Beach.

              1. re: RB Hound

                Another vote for Pizza Port. Both locations are great, although the original in Solana Beach location can't be beat for overall atmosphere. I'm not sure what you mean about the in-house beers though. They have the same beers at both locations.

                1. re: mangiatore

                  They definitely have different beers at the two locations.

                  1. re: jturtle

                    Oh, I guess you guys are talking about beers in addition to the ones brewed on the premises. In any case, most of the beers are the same.

                    1. re: mangiatore

                      Actually no. They brew and offer different beers at all 3 locations. There are some staples at all 3 but they all offer a different selection. This is why when they enter in beer brewing competitions they specify which location they are from.

          2. Come to think of it, there's actually a pretty good brewpub in Big Bear. It's tiny, but the beer is darn good. the food is just so-so, but that's Big Bear for ya.

            1. I searched in vain for a brewpub in LA. There are plenty of places with good beer and food, but when I say BREWPUB, I mean they make their own beers. Gordon Biersch is a chain (they also own RockBottom) and all the beers are mediocre and shipped from corporate. Angel City makes great beers, but they don't have a bar or food.

              I heard there's a place in one of the downtown hotels. Anyone know about this brewpub? Is the beer any good?

              1. I'll also add the Half Moon Bay Brewery in, well, Half Moon Bay.

                1. Skip the food at Stone brewery, but drink the hoppy, hoppy goodness.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: jpschust

                    Boy, it sure seems like people hate the restaurant there. All I see on this board is complaints about the food and service.

                    1. re: mangiatore

                      I liked the food I had at Stone. However, I will say this: in my travels around town to various beer enthusiast establishments I have heard a tremendous amount of bitching and moaning about Stone's brewpub. The complaints generally seem to be that a) it's not "beer food", and b) it's too expensive.

                      Now, to provide a grain of salt, this is coming from guys who normally eat burgers/nachos/french fries with their beer, and spend very little on them. The complaints leveled at Stone's bistro are painful to listen to at times, since they are mainly coming from the mentality that beer isn't meant to go with fancier food (a POV I find completely absurd).

                      I think Stone is to be applauded for offering an alternative. Personally, I wish more brewpubs would step up their menus a bit. Part of getting good beer taken seriously is demonstrating that it's not an also-ran to wine when it comes to fine foods.

                      The Linkery and Stone are good examples of what's possible with beer and food pairing. The view that "good beer food" is limited to burgers and nachos needs some changing, IMO.

                      BTW, not all commentary on here about Stone is negative. In this thread, the guy raves about it:


                      On edit: my comments above are really pertaining to the stuff I've heard in person. I wouldn't put the complaints I've read on here in that same category. Obviously people here aren't expecting pub grub when they go. I've had pretty good service on my visits, but I haven't been in a while. I plan to return soon and see how it's coming along. For me, if the food is interesting enough, I can forgive the service.

                      1. re: Josh

                        I could care less about the price of the food, and generally my service has been good, but the food has been bland the two times I've eaten there, under or overseasoned, dry and tasteless. I am open to whatever food concept you want to try with your beer, but a) it better pair well with the beer and b) it better be done well.

                        1. re: jpschust

                          On one of my visits there, the person I was with had a seared ahi noodle salad dressed with wasabi. She found the wasabi really overpowering, and the chef happened to be near the table and told her that they increased the wasabi amount because people had been complaining that it was bland. I haven't been there in a few months, but am curious to go back and see if they've worked out those consistency issues. I think it can be hard to judge a place fairly in their first year of operation, at least sometimes. Some of my favorite restaurants have had their rough patches.

                          1. re: Josh

                            Sorry, in my opinion, no restaurant gets a year of free passes- generally in my mind you only get a few weeks if that, and that's only for service, not for food. I haven't seen the food getting better from November to April when we were there last, leading me to believe that food just isn't nor should it be their focus.

                  2. I like the Sequoia Brewing Co in Fresno. Great beer and food.

                    1. I like Stone as well..been there twice now. The place is beautiful and the outside area is so nice, i like the beer too. Yes..the food is more for a foodie not the pub food expecting type. Expensive, decent but not fabulous. We will continue to go since it is close to home and it is hard to find places with outdoor seating sometimes. Also it is great for kids, lots of grass for them to run around.

                      1. We've had 2 out of 3 great meals and fabulous brews at the Ukiah Brewing Co. in...of all places, Ukiah. They are strictly organic, and it's not a bad thing! Their gorgonzola burger is sheer heaven, and their fish & chips are fabulous..usually. Our last trip was a tad disappointing, but it was winter...hard to say. We watched a gent get an Oatmeal Stout float with vanilla ice cream during the summer...he highly recommended it for a hot California day. Check it out!

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: NoCAFoodie

                          I've also made a couple stops at the Ukiah Brewing Co. The food has been very good, but I haven't been impressed with the beer. Its been at least a year, so this isn't fresh info.
                          I'll definitely continue to make it a stop on my trips down 101. If nothing else, I'll support them for their stance on organics.

                          1. re: jwbarth

                            For the most part, I happen to enjoy the food @ Stone. More importantly, I like the fact that places like Stone (and even more so, the Linkery) are going out of their way to buy products from quality smaller farms. Neither Stone or the Linkery are fantastic, but I don't go to these establishments just for the food.

                            My issue with Stone is the fact that the last couple of times we have gone, the wait has been 2 1/2 Hours.

                            1. re: naven

                              I recently went to the Stone brewery in SD and found it fantastic. We had appetizers, entrees, beer, and desserts. All four of us had an exceptional experience at Stone, we even had a good time on the tour of the brewery. We did have reservations, and didn't have to wait for a table on a Saturday night. I had the Tikka Masala and I must say the braised swiss chard that came with it was the best greens I have ever had.

                              We frequent the Linkery and have always had great beer and great food there. I have found San Diego kind of lacking in really great restaurants so I wonder what really qualifies as "fantastic."

                              As far as LA, I found only one really good brewpub there. Father's Office in Santa Monica, I think it's on Montana. While they don't brew their own beer, they have a fantastic selection of food and brews. They have an amazing burger and many fantastic sides served tapas style. We always went early as it gets very crowded.

                              1. re: Foodnerds

                                Since they don't brew their own beer, Father's Office ain't no brewpub.

                                Plus, Yoon is a twit. His attitude is deplorable and he gets his famous "beer knowledge" from God knows where. he really has no clue what he is talking about half the time.

                        2. Brew It Up in midtown Sacramento, is great. they have the facilities to brew your own beer. recipies, brewmaster and all the equpment to make some mighty nice beers.. Best of all, no clean up, no storage of fermenting beers!

                          Their food is pretty good too,more on the upscale side of the brewery type menu.


                          1. Russian River in Santa Rosa and Bear Republic in Healdsburg ;)

                            1. Humboldt brewery in Arcata used to have excellent peel & eat cajun shrimp and some fo the best, hot wings I've ever eaten... and good beer.

                              also used to hit the lost coast brewery, for onion "strings" and home made jalepeno poppers... and oatmeal stout on tap... mmmm... breakfast of champions.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: withalonge

                                They have mead on tap at the Lost Coast Brewery too. Really good food too and some of the best beers at any brewpup anywhere..Indica, Great White and Downtown Browm are all Lost Coast beers....

                              2. Sacramento Brewing Co. Marconi and Fulton. Great beers. Nice clubby type decor. the food is really good,more towards the upsacale pub food. Fantastic burgers and appetizers.

                                Oasis brewing, Sunrise mall area, Sacramento. By the same co that runs Sac Brewing. Again great beers and great appetizers. Wood fired pizzas. The entrees ahve always been kind of lacking though.

                                Both locations above have Team Trivia on Thursday nights. Fun, great prizes.