Lodi Beer Taps
Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr

Central Valley Craft Breweries

Central Valley Craft Breweries
Take a beer tour of this broad valley, where there are plenty of places to sip a pint

California’s Central Valley stretches for hundreds of miles and fortunately for beer lovers, so does the valley’s craft beer scene. Though a bit more secluded than their brewing brethren in other parts of the state, there’s nothing backwoods about the beer here some of the local IPAs and barrel-aged stouts rival those from anywhere.

Starting in the north and working south, the first stop is the Lodi Beer Company; grab a doppelbock drawn from its gleaming copper Bavarian brewing system, located at the centre of the brewpub’s dining room, and the concept of the Central Valley as a craft beer destination will begin to make perfect sense. Then it’s on to Dust Bowl Brewing Company in Turlock, where you can take a tour (advanced booking required) before sampling their Hops of Wrath IPA. Fresno boasts Sequoia Brewing Company, Tioga-Sequoia and Full Circle. In nearby Clovis, the House of Pendragon Brewing Company has a taproom; try a pint of Merlin’s Midnight Mild. In Visalia, at the valley’s south end, stop in at Brewbakers Brewing Company for a taste of its signature Sequoia Red.

The tour ends in Bakersfield, where there are two excellent breweries: Temblor Brewing Company and Lengthwise Brewing Company—Temblor offers free tours of their 1765-square-metre state-of-the-art brewery on Saturday afternoons; afterwards, try their El Cerrito Mexican-style lager and the Hay-Z IPA (the latter should help you forget a few of your 99 problems). At Lengthwise, you can sample any of the 20-plus beers from their brewery, pub or marketplace locations.

 

 

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Laura Flippen

Central California

Discover the Central Valley

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8
December
Average (°C)
Dec - Feb
16°
High
3°
Low
Mar - May
28°
High
7°
Low
June - Aug
36°
High
16°
Low
Sept - Nov
32°
High
6°
Low

California’s heartland offers up one of the state’s most authentic and sensory rich experiences, a chance to see and taste the state’s bounty at every turn. Follow oak shaded country roads to farm stands overflowing with fresh produce and meander along wine trails to some of the state’s most productive vineyards and low key tasting rooms.

Peaches, plums, apricots, and tomatoes. Just some of the ultra fresh produce you will find at farm stands throughout the valley. 

Throughout the broad valley, stretching for over 400 miles down the middle of the state, are cities and towns rich with history, international culture, and 'everyone’s welcome' charm. 

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Lake Berryessa, located just outside of Winters, has a sunken city underneath it called Monticello.
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Alex Farnum

Davis

You don’t have to be a student to enjoy the perks of this ag-oriented college town

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SPECIAL FEATURE
Farm-fresh produce, culinary adventures

Juicy heirloom tomatoes and just-picked strawberries. Super-sweet peaches shaped like mini UFOs. Artisan cheeses, emerald-green olive oils, local wildflower honey—California’s farmers’ markets are...

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Laura Flippen
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Laura Flippen

Haggin Museum

Local history merges with world-renowned art at this must-see museum in Stockton’s Victory Park

Housed in an early-19th-century brick building, this handsome art and history museum is the centrepiece of Stockton’s stately Victory Park. The 34...

California's Heartland

California's Heartland
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The Tehama Trail is a surprisingly fertile area—a prime place for farms and ranches. Many invite visitors to stop in and buy fresh produce, artisanal olive oils, and other local food products.

The trail links together nearly two dozen vineyards, orchards, and grass-fed beef ranchers and...

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Bakersfield is full of surprises. Once known for oil and agriculture, this Central Valley town is morphing into an arts, culture, and sports hub, while still offering a glimpse of the past. Visit Colonel Allensworth State Historic...

April

One of California’s premier universities, University of California, Davis, invites everyone to its annual open house—a chance to learn, play, touch, taste and enjoy all aspects of the leafy campus...

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Courtesy of U.C. Davis College of Engineering
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Kodiak Greenwood

Gray Lodge Wildlife Area

Map of Shasta Cascade
Some 300 species of birds and mammals make this a Mecca for outdoor enthusiasts

Located on the Pacific Flyway 60 miles north of Sacramento, Gray Lodge encompasses 9,200 acres surrounded by agricultural flatlands and...

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Harriot Manley/ Sunset Publishing

Houseboating

Take to the water on a deluxe floating home

In California, it’s hard to talk about houseboats without talking about the Central Valley. One of the state’s premier places for holidaying in a...

November

Honour the harvest season at this remarkable, family-friendly event, hosted at the beautiful Full Belly Farm in the fertile Capay Valley. The valley, north-west of Sacramento, has one of the world...

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Harriot Manley/ Sunset Publishing

California Delta

A boater’s and fisherman’s paradise awaits

Located north-east of the San Francisco Bay, this 1,000-mile network of inland waterways—the major waterway from the snow-capped Sierra Nevada to...

Lodi Wine Country
Dale Goff Photography

Lodi Wine Country

Sample the city’s famous Zinfandels after a day of outdoor fun

Best known for big red wines, particularly old-vine Zinfandels, the American Viticultural Area of...

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The 10 acres of rooms, passages and gardens at Fresno's Forestiere Underground Gardens were excavated by hand using only farming tools.
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Courtesy of Buck Owens Crystal Palace

Bakersfield

Experience California’s oil-rich history, with Basque food and country western music on the side

This rapidly growing city in the southern Central Valley is full of surprises. Once known for oil and agriculture, Bakersfield has...

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Derrell McCain/Alamy

Best Kept Secret: Solano County

See why this Central Valley region holds its own in terms of good wine, pretty countryside, and cool activities

A treasure awaits about 20 miles east of Napa, in a lovely but largely “secret” area of sprawling countryside and bayfront beauty. This is...