Top Norcal Breweries

Top Norcal Breweries

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We hit up five SF-based beer authorities to help us come up with a definitive list of the best breweries in NorCal. Here they are.

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    Almanac operates under a partner brewing arrangement, meaning that they don’t have their own brewing equipment yet, but honestly -- who needs it when you're getting rated the best brewery in NorCal even without it?
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    As if their Barrels and Uniquities Department of cutting-edge beer wasn’t already enough to set them apart, Ale Industries also uses no fossil fuels. They employ a biofuel boiler, electric forklifts, and -- for distribution -- a biodiesel truck.
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    Sante Adairius is heavily influenced by Belgian brewing traditions -- their saisons are brilliant -- but can also satisfy the hopheads with some heavy-hitting IPAs.
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    “Consistent, high-quality IPAs and authentic Belgian styles. Every beer that gets shipped is perfect. The only thing I don’t love about Russian River is that it is not around the corner from my house.” -- Richard Rosen, Pi Bar
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    Sierra Nevada’s flagship Pale Ale is the second-most popular craft beer in the country, but the brewery remains cutting edge, as evidenced by their placing at #3.
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    “Incredibly dynamic hoppy pales and IPAs; they are doing the most exciting things with hops in the area.” -- Christian Albertson, Monk’s Kettle
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    A brewery that can trace its roots back to the Gold Rush, Anchor languished for decades in the 20th century before Frederick Louis “Fritz” Maytag (yes, those Maytags) bought the brewery in 1965 and turned it around.
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