I’m in California for a quick minute. Despite there being a 6+ level earthquake here yesterday, I didn’t feel anything. It’s funny, but having lived here for 12+ years of my life, the most powerful earthquake I felt was in Newport, RI.

One of the things I feel about being back in California, the beer is different. There is such a thing as New England IPA, but that isn’t really the difference. Beer just feels different out here. We have some specific breweries like Seirra Nevada, Firestone Walker, 21st Ammendment, Anchor, Lagunitas, Russian River, Modern Times, Fort Point, and Anderson Valley just to name a few. But beyond just the breweries is the availability of the beer. You can get it anywhere. Convience store, Grocery Store, Package Store, you name it. Some bars even let you buy beer to go.

And when you get to the store, you end up trying to have to pick between many different choices. So, here is some of the beer I’m looking to find while I’m out here this year, and maybe bring some back to the other coast.

Modern Times Dark Beers

Modern Times brewery make some of my favorite dark stouts. They also do some sours and IPAs, but I’m going for the coffee beer. It’s worth finding them. While I have seen some of their beer on the east coast (last time was at the Mooring in Newport), it is hard to find and they don’t always have the dark stuff you can get here. Modern Times also does their own coffee so their coffee stouts are particularly great.

Fort Point Kolsch and Westfalia

Fort Point is another great local brewery. They are based up in San Fran and make some beers taht I’m a pretty big fan of. The Kolsch (AKA KSA) is pretty consistent and tasty. I’m a fan. My favorite is the Westfalia. I started drinking it because I had a pass through van named beer, but honestly, the Red Ale is just tasty.

Two Pitchers Pop Top and Radler

Two Pitchers is my favorite. I’ve saved the best for last. They are based out of Oakland and somewhat hard ot find. Their beer is not particularly alcoholic, so I’m not sure it gets as much fan fair as it might otherwise. They have a great Radler which is found pretty easily. It’s a fruity light beer that tastes sweet and citrusy. The other beer that they do is called Pop Top. I also got into this beer because of the reference to a van in the beer name, but the beer is a wheat ale with pomegranite lemonade and is sweet, citrus and tasty. Huge fan and worth looking out for.