The 300 Mark!

Petaluma HillsWe made it to 300 breweries since we started beer traveling 5 years ago. Our current stats, which I just love looking at.

California – 246 / Nevada – 16 / Oregon – 12 / Arizona 11 / Pennsylvania – 9 / Maryland – 4 / Virginia – 2 / DC – 1

2010 – 40 Breweries Visited
2011 – 53 Breweries Visited
2012 – 57 Breweries Visited
2013 – 74 Breweries Visited
2014 – 77 Breweries So Far

These milestones aren’t always easy to achieve. We almost didn’t make when we drove an hour to a brewery that just wasn’t open. No notice, nothing. Beer traveling has it’s mishaps just like all travels, no matter how much you plan.

We chose Petaluma Hills Brewing in Petaluma, CA for our big 300. Their tap room may be new to the Sonoma County beer scene, but their beers have been around for almost a year and they have been solid from the start. Most new breweries we go to have adolescent starts, probably a better world that, but most linger from the early stages of opening a brewery and replicating their beer recipes. We try to revisit them after the kinks are worked out and their beer pretty much always improves.

Not the case at Petaluma Hills Brewing. The standouts were the Portluma, a smooth and balanced Porter and the East Side Bitter, a mixture of malt and subtle bitterness. I’m very excited to try their upcoming Pumpkin Patch Traffic Jam Ale, rightfully named for anyone that has experience the rubbernecking pumpkin patch traffic……really people? it’s just a pumpkin patch.

All in all we couldn’t have picked a better place to reach 300 because they were genuinely excited and celebrated our milestone with us. I see only good things for this brewery. Come visit them at their great location across the street from Lagunitas in Petaluma, CA.

Cheers and Happy Beer Travels!

~Sparklinglover

Black & White Beer Ball

black and white beer ballblack and white beer ball 2This weekend we attended the Black & White Beer Ball put on by Ales for Autism. This is the third year and our second year attending and it is becoming one of my favorite San Francisco Beer Week events. A night of dressing up, drinking beer, and supporting a great cause. Yes, all great things.

There were over 25 breweries and 2 craft cideries to choose from. I was especially excited to see The Rare Barrel, Redwood Curtain Brewing and Prairie Artisan Ales attend because this was their first times pouring in Sonoma County. Prairie actually brewed a beer specifically for this event, Prairie Spectrum, a red farmhouse ale. It was a little light, but grew on me the next day when I tried it again at BeerCraft. The highlight of the night was Churchill’s Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing. A complete surprise to me. It was so aromatic with gorgeous hop notes and incredible smooth.

I love dressing up and was so impressed that the attendees did the same…well almost everyone. I am excited to see this event grow and get more people from the bay area to experience North Bay beer. For those that what to attend next year I would highly recommend the VIP ticket. For $15 more ($50 VIP, $35 General) you get in an hour earlier, complimentary coat check and passed hors d’oeuvres. Completely worth it!

Check out this great slow motion video from Sonoma County Wire of the event: