1. Central Coast Monterey Street Pale Ale
The Monterey Street Pale Ale from Central Coast Brewing in San Luis Obispo won the Great American Beer Festival's gold medal in 2017 and 2015. It tingles your senses as it hops its way through your system and lands with a crisp finish. Local business owner, Sara Peterson, pointed us towards Central Coast as a great spot close to downtown San Luis where you can grab a beer and people watch through the huge sliding glass doors or out on the porch!
2. The Rare Barrel's Dreamsong
Locals sing the praises of the Dreamsong, a "tart saison aged in oak barrels" that takes the crown for their favorite. Co-owners Alex Wallash and Jay Goodwin followed their passion for brewing from college and later realized their passion for sours. Their passion is palpable through their array of sours they have available as they strive to create small batch, epic specialty brews.
3. The Tux From Topa Topa Brewing Company
The Tux is a Nitro Milk Stout brewed with cacao, pecan wood and glazed doughnut tones. Locals tell us this caramel under-toned beer is the best stout in California. Located in Ventura, Topa Topa embraces the good vibes of the ocean and the mountains and brews them into their beers. Plus, everyone knows that a stout is the perfect afternoon snack to help buzz your way to dinner!
Need more recommendations in California? Check out our Ventura City Guide here! You might also like The Best Beers in the Pacific Northwest.
4. Societe KellerPils
"every day that I'm not brewing beer professionally is a day that there’s somebody else out there who's younger than me and more driven than me and they're going to win"
-Douglas Constantiner, co-founder.
It is with this mindset that the Societe KellerPils came into existence. Local brew master and brewery owner, Alex Tweet, told us that no matter how much attention Societe and the Keller Pils get, they are still underrated. In order to experience the top beers in California you have to put this on your list.
5. Barebottle Galaxy Dust
This New England style IPA is unique to its core as it is made from unique Australian Galaxy hops and popular Vermont Yeast. This citrus-y beer is light with a bite as the hops come in for a grand finish. Go get a taste of the home-brewery scene at Barebottle Brewing Company.
A Note from Dirt Road Travels: We're a new take on a digital city guide, told through stories, photos and local's recommendations. We've highlighted the founders of Warby Parker, YETI Coolers and Patagonia and musicians like The Lumineers. See our city guides for towns across Washington, Oregon and California here and - even better - click here to be emailed recs from 50+ cities across the US.