Food GPS Teaser – New in NorCal

Tomorrow morning over at Food GPS, a companion piece to my Central Coast post from a couple weeks back.


What breweries in Northern California are must visits for you?

Is it Russian River or Moonlight?

Sierra Nevada’s massive complex in Chico?

Or do you have some other small spot that needs a light shone upon it?

Let me know below…..

Rare Barrel

To work around the big, big start up costs in equipment and material, new breweries have turned to Kickstarter or they have had their beer brewed for them but this is the first time that I have seen a brewery just begin with barrel aging space. Barring Almanac Farmhouse ales (also of the northern part of California) that has a similar working style.

Here is what the press release says about The Rare Barrel, “Northern California is rich in brewing tradition and is home to some of the best breweries in the world. Hoping to add to this proud history, we are pleased to announce that we will be launching an all-sour, all-barrel aged “gypsy” brewery in the San Francisco Bay Area named The Rare Barrel.

What do we mean by “gypsy” brewery? We plan to partner with the great breweries of the Bay Area for our brewing needs, and we will be building our own barrel warehouse for fermentation, packaging and serving our beers to the public.

Our team is made up of people committed to producing the highest quality sour beer. Co-founders Jay Goodwin, former Brewer and Head of Barrel Aging at The Bruery in Orange County, Alex Wallash, homebrewer and Sales Representative in biotechnology, and Brad Goodwin, entrepreneur in the pharmaceutical industry, make up our crew of passionate craft beer lovers.

We hope to release more details of our plan over the next few months. We look forward to producing beer with experimental methods, a singular focus on quality sours, and a commitment to the craft beer community.”

Moonlight Brewing

Moonlight Brewing (like it’s famous, but no less revered neighbor, Russian River) is a bit of mystery to me and a lot of people. They don’t have large distribution circles but they are doing what they want to do, the way they want to. And for that, I applaud them.

Here are some of the brews from their Abbey (“The Abbey de St. Humulus, founded in 2005, is home to the Moonlight Brewery. We believe that Moonlight is the first and perhaps only Abbey brewery in the US. The Moonlight beers are not of European Abbey brewery styles, as we are not a European Abbey, but instead are of the unique California Abbey style range. The mission of the Abbey is to promote good will through good beer. Abbey de St. Humulus is in no way affiliated with the Trappist Monasteries.”) that caught my eye….

Reality Czeck – a 4.8% lager.

Toast – their slightly burned lager.