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Highway To Ale

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We’ve traveled far and wide to suss out the best destinations for beer travel on the West Coast. Whether you’re in the mood for a weekend getaway or have time for an extended vacation, let Beer West be your guide to finding the tastiest beer paired with sandy beaches, city streets, high desert, and mountain peaks.

photo by Annalou Vincent

Washington

by Megan Flynn

Driving into Seattle via I-5, I’m reminded why I love this city. The metropolitan skyline butts up to the sparkling waters of the Puget Sound, and the snow-capped Cascade Mountains loom in the distance. Lately, trips to Seattle have been limited to weekend business trips, but I decide it’s time to spend some quality time in the Emerald City and really get to know its beer landscape. With breweries aplenty and a thriving foodie culture, it’s not hard to schedule a week that’s chock-full of tastings, tours, and sampling…

Oregon

by Emily Hutto

Road trips test one’s ability to sit for long periods of time, track down the very best pub grub, and mingle with new faces along the way. Eastern Oregon’s antiquity and scenery, combined with great food and beer, pave the way for days of effortless rambling.

I begin my sojourn in Pendleton, where I fuel with black coffee and cornfield French toast at Rooster’s Restaurant. A local from the next table tells me a trip to Pendleton isn’t complete without a walk underground through the historic saloons and Chinese laundromats. A fellow traveler at the opposite table is headed to hike the nearby Blue Mountains. I suspect I’ll see them both later that evening at Pendleton’s first brewery, Prodigal Son, for a round of summer “Sues,” a light golden ale…

California

by Brian Yaeger

Despite the fact that I am a former San Franciscan, I can say without bias that Northern California is the undisputed origin of the modern craft-brewing renaissance. Between Fritz Maytag resurrecting Anchor Brewing in San Francisco in 1965, Jack McAuliffe launching New Albion (the first post-Prohibition brewery in Sonoma) in 1977, and Ken Grossman opening Sierra Nevada in Chico in 1980, NorCal is a Mecca for all beer pilgrims. Even when I lived in NorCal, I wasn’t able to make it to every single brewery; there are more than three-dozen…

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