Scoring a Century

After completing our trip to Canada this past July, I did some math in my head. I quickly realized that we had the chance to add 100 breweries to the List, something we had never done before. Even in our intensive Year in Beer, chronicled in Merideth’s book Teachings from the Tap, we only added 90. Scoring a century seemed like a worthy goal for 2012.

December rolled around and we were at 96. A planned trip to Los Angeles, where we would reach 100, fell through. We resigned ourselves to coming up just short. In telling friends our tale of woe, they disagreed with us giving up so we decided to give it one more try. Doing some research, we chose Sacramento, home to a number of new breweries, to accomplish our goal.

Black Dragon in Woodland

Piling Porter, Stout and their favorite blankie into the car on Saturday morning, we began the three hour drive to the State Capitol. Our first stop, Black Dragon Brewing, wasn’t in Sacramento but just to the west in historic Woodland.

Black Dragon was in the not-so-historic section of town set off the street behind a pizza parlor. Its nondescript exterior didn’t do justice to its roomy, bright interior. The bar and dining area were flanked on each side by the brewery  and the homebrew shop.

Merideth at Black Dragon in Woodland

Joining a few other customers, we sat down to sample the four beer flight. Merideth really enjoyed the light and refreshing Gypsy Blonde, done with what we assumed was a Belgian yeast. The Araya IPA was solid example of the West Coast style. The star for me was Dragon’s Eye Porter, a 6.5% ABV roasty dark brew with nice notes of chocolate. It was the perfect beer for a chilly December day.

Sample flight at Roseville Brewing

After the first long stretch in the car from our house, it seemed like a short drive to our second stop, Roseville Brewing, in a town of the same name. Located in the last business park in a stretch of business parks, we made a slightly-embarrassing mistake that did not do justice to our reputations as seasoned beer travelers.

Merideth at Roseville Brewing

Walking in the front door, we stood in the tiny front room waiting for someone to help us. Not seeing any taps or beer, I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to taste beer at Roseville. After what seemed like a minute, a man came out front and asked if we needed help. Somewhat meekly I inquired was it possible to try the beers. Surprised by the question, he led us down a very short hallway into the tasting room.

We had seven beers to sample at Roseville ranging from two American-style wheats to a seasonal Stout. Another solid lineup of the beers with the two hoppy offerings, Iron Mule IPA and Spike Driver Double IPA, being the two shining lights for me. Merideth’s favorite was the seasonal Cinnamon Coffee Stout. At 8% ABV, this brew was big on chocolate flavor with a hint of the spice on the finish.

Loomis Basin Brewing in Loomis

One of the benefits of beer travel is that the journey brings us to places we probably would have never visited. Despite having driven the I-80 corridor northeast of Sacramento on a number of occasions, we had never stopped or probably even noticed the city of Loomis. But this tiny town on the way to the Sierras now had a brewery, Loomis Basin Brewing.

Arriving a few minutes before opening time, the industrial park lot was full of cars, occupants still inside. We thought that this was somewhat odd given it was Saturday afternoon. Turns out all those people were waiting for the tasting room to open. We must have stumbled on to something good.

Sample flight at Loomis Basin is on its way…

The small tasting room bustled as Merideth and I went through the six beer sampler. The seasonal 8.4% ABV Recession Ale, a robust Porter, was a big on the coffee and chocolate notes. If there was a beer that I would take home, it would have been the Vindicator IPA, a fine example of the West Coast style. Unfortunately, it was being bottled a few days later. Merideth liked the Swetzer Pale Ale, a light-bodied, easy-drinking brew.

The offerings at Track 7 Brewing

The fourth stop of the day finally brought us to our capitol city. Track 7 Brewing, in an rough-looking industrial part of Sacramento, was very Portland with its large roll up doors and picnic table-filled, dog-friendly tasting room. It was quite crowded on a chilly Sacramento evening attesting to Track 7’s popularity in the community.

Celebrating the 100th brewery with Stout

Ordering a five beer sample flight, Merideth and I joined a few friends who were already there. Focusing on chatting with them, I have to admit I don’t remember too much about the beers. The presence of another wiener dog didn’t help either with our beer concentration. However, I do recall really enjoying their Panic IPA.

That was it! We both hit 100 breweries for the year. Actually, Merideth hit 101, as she went to an extra brewery in Portland in order to catch up on the List count. Congratulations to us!

 View all the images from our day…

Thanks to all our friends who not only met up with us in the Sacramento area but those of you who made beer travel in 2012 a special year. We finished 2012 with 773 breweries… on to 800!

Here are the 101 breweries we added to the List in 2012…

1 Fearless Brewing Estacada OR USA
2 Sandy River Brewing Sandy OR USA
3 Surf Brewery Ventura CA USA
4 Enegren Brewing Moorpark CA USA
5 The Lab Brewing Co Agoura Hills CA USA
6 Holgate Brewing Woodend Vic Australia
7 Otway Winery and Brewery Barongarook Vic Australia
8 Hix Beer Dromona Vic Australia
9 Mornington Peninsula Brewery Mornington Vic Australia
10 Last Drop Brewery Canning Vale WA Australia
11 Cowaramup Brewing Cowaramup WA Australia
12 The Grove Vineyard Wilyabrup WA Australia
13 Bush Shack Brewery Yallingup WA Australia
14 Eagle Bay Brewing Eagle Bay WA Australia
15 Colonial Brewing Margaret River WA Australia
16 Occy’s Brewery Vasse WA Australia
17 Bootleg Brewery Wilyabrup WA Australia
18 Duckstein Brewery Wilyabrup WA Australia
19 Moody Cow Brewery Dardanup WA Australia
20 Wild Bull Brewery Ferguson WA Australia
21 Old Coast Road Brewery Myalup WA Australia
22 The Old Brewery Perth WA Australia
23 Monk Brew Cafe Fremantle WA Australia
24 Little Creatures Fremantle WA Australia
25 Blackwater Brewery Fremantle WA Australia
26 Feral Brewing Baskerville WA Australia
27 Swan Brewery Canning Vale WA Australia
28 Indian Ocean Brewing Mindarie WA Australia
29 Ironbark Brewery Caversham WA Australia
30 Elmar’s in the Valley Henley Brook WA Australia
31 Mash Brewing Henley Brook WA Australia
32 Southern Pacific Brewing San Francisco CA USA
33 Yards Brewing Philadelphia PA USA
34 Manayunk Brewery Philadelphia PA USA
35 Victory Brewing Downingtown PA USA
36 Dogfish Head Milton DE USA
37 16 Mile Brewing Georgetown DE USA
38 Evolution Craft Brewing Salisbury MD USA
39 Burley Oak Brewing Berlin MD USA
40 Stewart Brewing Bear DE USA
41 Argilla Brewing Newark DE USA
42 Dock Street Brewing Philadelphia PA USA
43 Boxcar Brewing West Chester PA USA
44 Stoudts Brewing Adamstown PA USA
45 Lancaster Brewing Lancaster PA USA
46 Mckenzie Brewhouse Chadds Ford PA USA
47 Twin Lakes Brewing Greenville DE USA
48 Sante Adairius Rustic Ales Capitola CA USA
49 Dust Bowl Brewing Turlock CA USA
50 Gigantic Brewing Portland OR USA
51 Moon Under Water Victoria BC Canada
52 Hoyne Brewing Victoria BC Canada
53 Phillips Brewing Victoria BC Canada
54 Craig Street Brew Pub Duncan BC Canada
55 Longwood Brewpub Nanaimo BC Canada
56 High Mountain Brewing Whistler BC Canada
57 Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Co. Squamish BC Canada
58 R and B Brewing Vancouver BC Canada
59 Storm Brewing Vancouver BC Canada
60 Coal Harbour Brewing Vancouver BC Canada
61 Parallel 49 Brewing Vancouver BC Canada
62 Dockside Brewing Vancouver BC Canada
63 Big River Brewpub Richmond BC Canada
64 Central City Brewing Surrey BC Canada
65 Big Ridge Brewing Surrey BC Canada
66 Marine Pub & Brewhouse Burnaby BC Canada
67 Kulshan Brewery Bellingham WA USA
68 Fire on the Mountain Portland OR USA
69 Lucky Bucket Brewing La Vista NE USA
70 Nebraska Brewing Papillion NE USA
71 Granite City Brewing Omaha NE USA
72 Soaring Wings Springfield NE USA
73 Upstream Brewing Omaha NE USA
74 Mosbacher Brauhaus Mosbach Germany
75 Weldebrau Plankstadt Germany
76 Brauhaus Weisses Haus’l Ludwigshafen Germany
77 Wormser Hagenbrau Worms Germany
78 Eichbaum Mannheim Germany
79 Brauhaus Neustadt Neustadt Germany
80 Klosterbrauerei Weissenohe Weissenohe Germany
81 Brauerei Friedmann Grafenberg Germany
82 Brauerei Hoffman Grafenberg Germany
83 Lindenbrau Grafenberg Germany
84 Brauerei Spezial Bamberg Germany
85 Brauerei Kundmuller Viereth-Trunstadt Germany
86 Familienbrauerei Beck Brau Trabelsdorf Germany
87 Kaiserdom Bamberg Germany
88 Tolzer Muhlfeldbrau Bad Tolz Germany
89 Maxbrau Oberammergau Germany
90 Stadl-brau Berwang Austria
91 Mariahilfer Sudhaus Eisenberg Germany
92 Brauerei Mittenwald Mittenwald Germany
93 Klosterbrauerei Reutberg Sachsenkam Germany
94 Cambria Brewing Cambria CA USA
95 Molly Pitcher Brewing Atascadero CA USA
96 Hollister Hills Taproom & Brewery Hollister CA USA
97 Black Dragon Brewing Woodland CA USA
98 Roseville Brewing Roseville CA USA
99 Loomis Basin Brewing Loomis CA USA
100 Track 7 Brewing Sacramento CA USA
101 New Helvetia Brewing Sacramento CA USA