My husband, Troy, and I were able to attend the Brew Angel’s 63rd Annual Pub Crawl. The crawl was well attended, with 31 people boarding the bus for our trek to Moylan’s Brewery and Restaurant, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Third Street Ale Works and finally, Bear Republic. The back of the bus is reserved for the homebrews that members brought to share, very popular and tasty. It was a bright sunny day with beautiful views as we drove across Highway 12 from Lodi to the North Bay. This bus was equipped with a restroom, which we were discouraged to use for obvious reasons and “hold on” if we did!
Moylan’s Brewery and Restaurant in Novato
Our first stop was Moylan’s Brewery and Restaurant in Novato. The bartender lined up a plethora of brews for us to taste: Hopsicle Triple Hoppy IPA , Celts Golden Ale, Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale, Ryan O’Sullivan’s Imperial Stout, Irish Style Red, Orange and Black, White Christmas Spiced White Winter Lager. I would say my favorite was the Orange and Black, a special brew commemorating the San Francisco Giants World Series win. I first bought this beer in a bottle – a stout with hints of orange. All the beers were delicious and well balanced. Moylan’s has won many awards, both nationally and internationally. This was voted as our favorite brewery so far!
Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma
Up the road in Petaluma, we stopped at the Lagunitas Brewing Company. A trip to the TapRoom and Beer Sanctuary is something to experience. A brewery that has always pushed the envelope, their facility is so very unique and artistically eclectic. Brian, our Lagunitas historian and tasting guide, shared much of their history and the story behind some of their beer names.
One such story would be the release of a brew to commemorate the Undercover Sting in their early days. They are in the process of a multimillion dollar expansion. We had the opportunity to taste Hop Stoopid, Pils – Czech Style Pilsner, Maixmus and a few others. Most of their beers I would consider “big beers” with high alcohol content, very well hopped.
Loved this stop! You may want to check out the Beer Circus in May. There was a great write up in The Celebrator Beer News about this now annual event, check it out!
Third Street Aleworks
Next stop was the Third Street AleWorks in Santa Rosa. This being our lunch stop, we were in need of food. The almonds and jerky I brought along were not holding up to the big beers! They had an extensive beer list, with lists posted on the wall, including alcohol content. We were offered a limited lunch menu with plenty of choices. Most popular at our table was the fish and chips.
At our table there were also grilled tri tip steak salad ,
and the Italian Pizza.
I ordered the Bird on Third – grilled chicken breast with bacon, avocado, pepper jack cheese served on a toasted French roll.
What do I like best about pub food? French fries! They were cooked to perfection, with the skins on. Some of the beers we tasted were: Annadel Pale Ale, Bodega Head IPA, Stonely Oatmeal Stout, Cascadian Dark Ale and American Wheat Ale. The service was remarkably smooth for a large group. Some people took the opportunity to run over to Russian River Brewing and taste some of their famous Pliney the Elder.
Bear Republic Brewing Company and Restaurant
Our final stop was Bear Republic Brewing Company and Restaurant in Healdsburg. Known for their Racer 5 we tasted that along with Big Bear, Red Rocket, Peter Brown Tribute Ale. Brian, a brewing assistant, gave us a short tour and took us over to the Barrel Room. The Barrel Room was set up for a dinner that evening. Bear Republic has won many awards, is home of the Best IPA in the US and has expanded their brewing facility to Cloverdale. The beer was tasty, well hopped. You could tell the day was wearing on us by this stop and it was time to load up the bus. As we were leaving Bear Republic, the dinner crowd was filtering in.
The bus ride back to Lodi was quieter than the ride over. There was still beer in the back for those that wanted it. As we pulled into the Flying J lot at the intersection of I-5 and Hwy 12, designated drivers met the bus. All headed home, looking forward to next year’s 64th annual Brew Angel’s Pub Crawl.
“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.”
– Abraham Lincoln