coastal bachelor beer tour

in celebration of AH’s remaining single days, over a dozen intrepid explorers ventured north of the bridge on a beer adventure of epic proportions.

  • our first stop was at lagunitas, where great live music accompanied a killer beer selection in their beer sanctuary.
  • I was excited to try their interestingly-titled farmhouse geuze (funky and sour, very drinkable, maybe my favorite of the trip) as well as their fusion VI (hoppy but sessionable), waldo’s 420 (huge hop aroma and flavor), and cask WTF (intensely malty and hoppy).
  • we headed north from petaluma to healdsburg, where bear republic greeted us with plenty of food and some great beers.
  • there’s nothing quite like racer 5 from the source, especially while washing down some crispy smothered wings.  the staff was friendly and accommodating, not an easy feat considering the state our posse was in as we walked through the door.
  • the next day we headed from our russian river campsite to boonville, where the staff at anderson valley treated us to an experience like no other.
  • after grabbing fistfuls of dirt-cheap samplers and pints of great beers like wee geech, winter solstice, gatlin damnosis, and V.S.O.B., we snagged some bombers and headed to the on-site 18-hole disc golf course, where high winds and water hazards kept our attention.
  • after hours of disc, we ended our stay with a killer brewery tour, where our guide showed off AVBC’s brewhouse, massive fermenters, bottling, canning, and kegging lines, barrels, and coldroom.  I couldn’t get over the brewery’s impressive pricing – for $3-3.50 you could get an 8-ounce pour of any of their beers and keep the glass for a buck more – not bad in an era of $8 10 oz. specialty pours…
  • after anderson valley we cranked out the longest leg of the trip to fort bragg and north coast brewing, where standards such as la merle and pranqster complemented a perfectly prepped bleu cheese burger.
  • we finished the night at van damme state park, knocking back pints of NP’s tasty homebrewed belgian IPA as well as indica, a brazilian IPA JC brought back from cervejaria colorado, on a picturesque beach.
  • the next morning, we heeded russian river brew co’s happy hour call and enjoyed pours of consecration, erudition, sanctification, and segal select while knocking down some pizza (which has vastly improved since my last visit) and playing dominoes.
  • we then staggered over to stumptown in guerneville, just in time to enjoy some rat bastard and death and taxes while watching elvis cover some modern day bieber hits.
  • the long weekend ended with some unreal views at wright’s beach on the sonoma coast, where a night under the stars revitalized the crew and got them ready for the impending work week.  congrats again heady!

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