What happens when you’re someone who is completely burned out at work, loves beer, and has an underutilized car? Road trip!
I had actually been wanting to do a drive down the 101 for quite some time and it did not disappoint. Stunning scenery, winding roads, and tall cliffs dropping into the ocean. Ross burned me a bunch of Metallica discs so I could rock out as I went - perfect for the burned out aspect (no pun intended). By the time I got back I was listening to Beach House so I think the trip was a success. I only got pulled over once! My trusty Mazda3 has driven over both the Golden Gate and Bay bridges! I only almost hit three deer and two elk!
My favorite and most unexpected part of the trip was discovering that the annual ‘Bay to Breakers’ race was happening in San Francisco at about the same time I would be there. I discovered this after an evening of drinking at Rogue in Newport. Drunken fantasies turned into a last minute registration, literally an hour before registration for the race closed. I hadn’t run more than 5 miles yet this year but had been running consistently. A fun 12k was a perfect stretch for me at that moment.
I ended up stopping at 18 honest to goodness breweries and a couple tap houses. Lots of fun conversations were had and I have a whole new set of glasses due to buying a pint glass at just about every stop. It’s hard to believe but you actually can overdose on good beer and pub food. Upon returning home all I wanted was seafood and wine for the next week.
In lieu of being too verbose I’ll just break down the trip to some ‘best of’ bullet points. Curious about anything else? Let’s meet down at the pub and have a chat about it over a beer…
Best of the Trip
- Highlight of the Trip: Running Bay to Breakers - A nice accomplishment for me as I haven’t run that far since high school. Super fun too!
- Top Stretch of Road: Highway 1 between Eureka and Fort Bragg. 15 mph curve after curve and lots of deer. Kinda like a video game!
- Creepiest Motel: Curley Redwood Lodge - Actually a nice place for cheap but felt very much like I was transported into a David Lynch film.
- Top Brewery: Rogue Ales - Highest of expectations and it did not disappoint. 40 on tap, all the Chatoe Rogue series, and a free pint if you wear a hawaiian shirt on Tuesday.
- Top Beer: Consecration from Russian River Brewing. I love me some sour and this is a dark brown sour aged in cabernet sauvignon barrels. I assure you that it tastes even more amazing than it sounds!
- Top Beer Name: More Cowbell from Russian River Brewing. I didn’t try one because I was busy with their sours but genius name for listening to people ordering beers.
- Biggest Surprise: Redwoods National and State Parks - I was thinking big trees but blah. Not true, I was mesmerized for the better part of a day before I had to move on. Wow!
- Biggest Disappointment: Crater Lake National Park - I’m sure it’s awesome but as is generally my luck it was foggy and snowing so I didn’t get to see anything.
- Best Unknown to me ‘Bay to Breakers’ Tradition: The folks dressed as salmon running ‘upstream’ after starting at the finish line.
The Brewery List
- Astoria Brewing
- Pelican Pub & Brewery
- Rogue Ales
- Redwood Curtain Brewing
- Lost Coast Brewing
- North Coast Brewing
- Anderson Valley Brewing
- Russian River Brewing
- Lagunitas Brewing
- 21st Amendment Brewing
- Sierra Nevada Brewing
- Caldera Brewing
- Boneyard Beer
- Deschutes Brewery
- Bend Brewing
- Ninkasi Brewing
- Fire on the Mountain Brewing
- Burnside Brewing
Plan your trip carefully. I did the 18 breweries over 10 nights as to not actually be driving under the influence!