Beer aficionados in the Sacramento Valley have no shortage of brewery destinations to try. The map on this page gives you the lay of the land, and we detail 24 establishments in the region that take pride in a broad variety of products.
American River Brewing Co.
11151 Trade Center Dr. Suite 104, Rancho Cordova
W-F 4 p.m.-8 p.m.
Brewmaster Andy Armstrong's best-known beer is the award-winning American brown ale called Coloma Brown. Other popular choices, available in select retail stores or at the taproom, include two IPAs, a seasonal Hefeweizen, and an Irish style red ale. American River has been producing beer since early 2012.
289 Washington St., Auburn
M 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Tu 4 p.m.-10 p.m., W-Th 11 a.m.-11 p.m., F 11 a.m.-12 a.m., Sa 9 a.m.-12 a.m., Su 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
This fun-loving local destination for beer lovers is making scores of well-received beers, including California State Fair winner Gold Digger IPA, Gold Country pilsner and a hoppy strong pale ale called Fool's Gold Ale. Brian Ford is the brewmaster. The brewery also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Berryessa Brewing Co.
27260 Highway 128, Winters
F 3 p.m.-8 p.m., Sa-Su 12 p.m.- 6 p.m.
About to celebrate its first anniversary, this brewery on the outskirts of Winters has taken the area craft beer scene by storm. Brewmaster Chris Miller is widely respected for his knowledge and finesse, brewing several styles including House IPA, Separation Anxiety IPA, a porter and a saison. The charming taproom includes plenty of outdoor seating and often live music.
Black Dragon Brewery
175 West Main St., Woodland
T-W 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Th 11 a.m.- 8 p.m., F 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sa 10:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Su 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Approaching its one-year-anniversary, this brewery, which doubles as a supply store for home brewers, has yet to distribute its beers, meaning brewmaster Jason Breatt's beers, including porters, a variety of IPAs and a blueberry blonde called, yes, Fairy Fart, are available only at the taproom.
Gold Hill Brewery
5660 Vineyard Lane, Placerville
Th-M 10 a.m.-5 p.m., or by appointment.
Opened in 2000, this popular brewery focuses on traditional styles such as IPA, porter, English dry stout, Scotch ale and wheat beer. Gary Ritz is the brewmaster.
Hoppy Brewing Co.
6300 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento
M-W 11 a.m.-12 a.m., Th-F 11 a.m.- 1 a.m., Sa 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., 4:30-12 a.m., Su 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m.-12 a.m.
Part of Sacramento's old guard, Hoppy made its commercial debut on June 15, 1994. The brewery/restaurant has become a local fixture. The flagship beer, Hoppy Face amber ale, is a traditional IPA. Other popular choices from brewmaster Edward Kopta include Liquid Sunshine blonde ale and Total Eclipse black ale.
Jack Russell Farm Brewing Co.
2380 Larsen Drive, Camino
M-Sa 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Su 11 a.m.- 6 p.m.
This Apple Hill destination is modeled after an English farm brewery, featuring 13 beers on tap from brewmaster David Coody, including its most popular, a strong blonde ale.
Knee Deep Brewing Co.
645 5th St., Lincoln
Closed to public; growlers sold
F 5 p.m.-8 p.m.
Look for a new tasting room from this award-winning brewery later this month at 13395 New Airport Rd., Auburn. Pop in for a taste of Knee Deep's IPA-centric line of beers crafted by brewmaster Jeremy Warren, who earned a gold medal at the 2013 U.S. Open Beer Championship for the Belgo Hoptologist.
718 Sutter St. Suite 200, Folsom
M-Tu 11 a.m.-3 p.m., W-Th 11 a.m. 10 p.m., F-Sa 11 a.m.-midnight, Su 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Lockdown Brewing takes its imagery from nearby Folsom Prison, and joins its tasting room with Beach Hut Deli for a hybrid brew pub and sandwich shop. Lockdown Brewing contracts with St. Stan's in Modesto to make its beers, including the popular Stony Bar Scotch ale with a sweet, malty character. Lockdown runs a smaller tasting room at 11327 Trade Center Dr. #350, Rancho Cordova.
Lodi Beer Co.
105 S. School St., Lodi
Su-Th 11 a.m.-9 p.m., F-Sa 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Locals and tourists clamor for the Lodi Lite, an easy-drinking lager that's well suited for Central Valley summers. Other beer styles created by brewmaster Peter York include wheat beers, red ales and a seasonal Christmas Ale spiced with clove, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Loomis Basin Brewing
3277 Swetzer Road, Loomis
Tu-Th 3 p.m.-7 p.m., F-Sa 3 p.m.- 8 p.m.
Brewmaster Jim Gowan earned silver medals at the California State Fair for Loomis Basin's Golden Eagle Mandarin Wheat and Robust Porter, and eyes an expanded barrel-aged beer program. In addition to a line of IPAs and stouts, look this month for a Jacked Up Recession Ale that's aged in Jack Daniel's barrels.
New Helvetia Brewing Co.
1730 Broadway, Sacramento
W-Th 4p.m.-9 p.m., F 4p.m.-10p.m., Sa 1p.m. -10 p.m., Su 1p.m.-6 p.m.
New Helvetia taps into Sacramento's storied beer history with its Buffalo Craft Lager, an homage to Sacramento's Buffalo Brewery, which began its operations in 1890. Brewmaster Brian Cofresi also crafts 20 other beers, including some batches made with locally grown hops, and nabbed first place at the California State Fair with his Homeland Stout.
Old Glory Brewing Co.
8251 Alpine Ave., Sacramento
Brewmaster Julien Lux has crafted beers under his Old Glory label since March, and a taproom at 8251 Alpine Ave. in south Sacramento is expected to open Oct. 1. Meanwhile, Old Glory beers are distributed around the region including a farmhouse ale, red ale, IPA and California common ale.
Ol' Republic Brewery
124 Argall Way, Nevada City
S-Th 12 p.m.-9 p.m., F-Sat 12 p.m.- 11 p.m.
Brewmaster Jim Harte and company have created a veritable house of lager in Nevada City. These beers, including its Dortmunder and Helles lagers, are ideal for outdoor drinking, while a Schwarzbier Bavarian black lager adds coffee overtones and deep color to this familiar beer style.
Out of Bounds Brewing Co.
4480 Yankee Hill Road, Suite 100, Rocklin
Th-F 3-9 p.m., Sa 12-9 p.m., Sun. 12-7 p.m., Monday Night Football hours
Head brewer Bruce MacPhee logged a decade at Oregon's celebrated Deschutes Brewing Company, and touts an English style methodology while utilizing West Coast ingredients. Its taproom was scheduled to open by the time this section published.
Placerville Brewing Co.
155 Placerville Drive, Placerville
W-Mon 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Ales of all sorts are the specialty of brewmaster Steve Meylor, including a house favorite blonde ale and seasonal pumpkin ale that lands in the fall. Pub foods are also on the menu.
Power Club Restaurant & Brewery
195 Harrison Ave., Auburn
W-Sa 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
An engineer by trade, brewmaster Alfred Lee tends to experiment at this little-known and highly productive microbrewery in a historic Victorian mansion. IPAs are his specialty all 10 of them.
River City Brewing Company
545 Downtown Plaza Suite 1115, Sacramento
M-Th 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. or later, F-Sa 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. or later, Su 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. or later
Traditionally, River City has leaned toward German and English styles, but brewmaster Brennan Holmes is making waves with his hoppy West Coast beers. This year, his Cap City IPA won best IPA at the West Coast Brew Fest, and his amber ale took first place at the Amador County Fair in the category as well as first runner-up for best in show.
Roseville Brewing Company
501 Derek Place, Roseville
M-F 5 p.m.-8 p.m., Sa 2-6 p.m.
Open for less than two years, Roseville Brewing Company's head brewer Brett Ratcliff works to produce a beer for every taste, including fruity wheats or double IPAs.
Rubicon Brewing Co.
2004 Capitol Ave., Sacramento
M-Th 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m., F-Sa 11 a.m.-12:30 a.m.,
Su 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Rubicon's IPA won gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival in 1989 and 1990. The recipe has remained unchanged and the IPA is still Rubicon's flagship under brewmaster Scott Cramlett. But his latest brew, Monkey Knife Fight, won best pale ale at the Amador County Fair this year.
630 K St., Sacramento
Closed to the public, but beer available in select stores. Rooted in the region's beer history, Ruhstaller is all about how beer is grown, which could be why proprietor J.E. Paino has opened up its hops farm to the public while he hunts down a new brewery location. Ruhstaller's Captain California Black IPA won best American-style black ale at the 2013 U.S. Beer Open.
Sudwerk Restaurant and Brewery
2001 Second St., Davis
Su-Tu 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m., W-Th 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m., F-Sa 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
Sudwerk rebranded itself in August, emphasizing its Davis roots instead of its likeness to a German microbrewery. Brewmaster Mike Hudson's new releases are more in the West Coast style, but traditional offerings have garnered awards at multiple California State Fairs. This year, Sudwerk's marzen and maibock took silver and their light lager and doppelbock took bronze.
Sutter Buttes Brewing
421 Center St., Yuba City
Closed until Oct. 1; hours subject to change. 11 a.m.- 4 p.m., Tu-Th 11 a.m.-10 p.m., F-Sa 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Su 12 p.m.-5 p.m.
Sutter Buttes' signature beer is the Franklin Double IPA, which won best in show at the 2011 Amador County Fair. Brewmaster Mark Martin's farmhouse-style beers are gaining popularity as well, and he's expecting more lagers after the brewery's renovation in October.
Track 7 Brewing
3747 West Pacific Ave. Suite F, Sacramento
W-F 5-9, Sa 12-9, Su 12-6
Ryan Graham subscribes to firmly hopped West Coast brewing, so it's no wonder Track 7's Panic IPA is his most popular year-round release. But head to the industrial taproom and delight in a range of seasonal selections the Belgian-style brews are particularly noteworthy.