By Lisa Bloom
Like most of us, I started drinking the beer my dad drank…beer was beer. As I got older and I tasted more beer, I found the ones I liked, and discarded the ones I didn’t like so much. I remember the first wave of home brewing and craft brewing in the 70s and 80s and had friends whose bathroom or a corner of their garage was filled with the pile of equipment that accumulates about the home beer aficionado, but didn’t really pay that much attention. I stuck pretty much to the mass-produced available most everywhere.
As the weather warms and our food choices turn to barbecue and outdoor grilling, sometimes the perfect beverage is a cold brew. And we’re in luck…Auburn and the surrounding area is host to a growing number of craft breweries, each with their particular focus, each distinctive in their own way.
I still tend to choose my beverage based on the types of food I’m eating and choose wine with certain things, beer with others…the aforementioned barbecue, pizza, Chinese, Thai, Mexican and a hotdog at the ballpark are definitely beer-friendly in my book…but there are those who have more expanded palates and pair their beer with food as one does wine. I’m still a work in progress with that, but I’m working on it, one pint at a time!
In Auburn we’re blessed with three active brewing operations with a fourth set to open in the near future: Knee Deep Brewing Company, the Auburn Alehouse, the Power Club and, coming soon, Crooked Lane Brewing Company. If you travel just a little further afield, Loomis, Rocklin, Lincoln and Roseville add their hoppy goodness to the mix at Dragas Brewing, Out of Bounds Brewing Company, Loomis Basin Brewing Company, Goathouse Brewing Company, The Monk’s Cellar and Boneshaker Community Brewery. If you fancy a bite to go with your brew, many have food of their own to offer and several allow you to order in or partake from visiting food trucks and mobile food purveyors. You can also take some home with you for later…growlers and bottles may be available for sale on-site and several of our local brews are obtainable in local retail outlets.
I will admit to having sampled from 5 of the 9 breweries and look forward to visiting the rest in the near future. I tend to enjoy a hoppy brew, so many of the craft beers presented suit me just fine and I will admit there are a few that didn’t float my boat. But that’s the adventure…finding those that suit your tastes is part of the fun. I tend to use the same yardstick I was introduced to when wine tasting…if you like it, it’s a great beer. To each his own!
So take an afternoon and hit the beer trail, or pop in after a hard day’s work at your favorite local brewery and hoist a cold one! You won’t be disappointed…I promise.
Photo Credits: Auburn Alehouse & Knee Deep Brewing Company by Lisa Bloom. Crooked Lane Brewing is from their Facebook page, Out of Bounds Brewing was found online (open source photos from Bing Images), and Dragas Brewing was taken by Mary Knox-Agins.