California Has More Than 1,000 Breweries! What the Ale!

Kelly Erickson of Girls Who Like Beer eyeballin’ my beer. Photo by Greg Nagel

The California Craft Brewers Association (CCBA) just announced the state now has more than 1,000 breweries. (That may seem like a lot, but in comparison, Starbucks has more than 2,800 locations in California.) As I asked CCBA managing director Leia Ostermann Bailey if the guild knew which one was No. 1,000, I was secretly hoping it was one in our own back yard, considering two have recently popped up in Anaheim. But she replied, “It’s hard to tell exactly, but it’s one of five that opened in NorCal.” 

Tom McCormick, executive director of the CCBA, noted the positive impact these breweries has on the state goes far beyond tax revenue, manufacturing jobs and tourism. “Craft breweries also have a tangible influence on the growth and development of their region, investing in their community, employing their neighbors, and supporting local nonprofits,” he said. It’s something we’ve seen in OC’s 40-ish breweries.

The association’s California Craft Beer Summit happens this weekend in Long Beach, instead of on the state capitol lawn in Sacramento. In addition to the various seminars, I’m excited to try brews from some of the state’s other 57 counties. The festival will be pouring upward of 500 beers from 175 California breweries. Here’s the top 10 of what I want to try:

1. Sante Adairius Rustic Ales’ Like Minds, a barrel-aged buckwheat saison

2. Abnormal Beer Co.’s Tiki Life for Me, an island cocktail wheat ale 

3. Berryessa Brewing Co.’s rice lager Free Kittens 

4. Cellarmaker Brewing Co.’s Moonage Daydream, a classic English pale ale 

5. Gnarly Goat, Crooked Lane’s Doppelbock aged in Highland Scotch barrels 

6. From Dr. Hops Kombucha Beer, the IPK Tropical Hops, a heavily dry-hopped kombucha 

7. Dust Bowl Brewing Co.’s Lo-Cal Lager, a Japanese dry rice lager

8. New California IPA, a collaboration between Karl Strauss Brewing Co. and Russian River Brewing Co.

9. Long Beach Beer Lab’s Dad Beer, a German-style pilsener

10. The beer/wine hybrid Olivera Blanc from Los Angeles Ale Works

For more information about and tickets to the California Craft Beer Summit, visit


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