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When I started this blog, I did so with a fair amount of patriotism knowing that the term ‘craft beer’ had been owned by the Americans for some time. Let’s not forget however that many of these beer types originated in England, specifically pale ales, porters and stouts. With Brooklyn Brewery and Sierra Nevada dominating the US presence on taps at UK pubs, I wanted to find some alternatives and a road trip up the Californian coast seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so. I only wish that I had had more time to work my way through the entire menu at 99 Bottles in Santa Cruz or the full list of beers in the 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco. We all know that Americans can do great pale ales but it was the dark ales that really stood out. Two in particular- Black Butte (pronounced be-yoot!) by Deschutes Brewery, a smooth mild porter and Back in Black by 21st Amendment Brewery, a black IPA, malty, strong and extremely moreish. It was served in a can, a current trend in the States as according to the breweries, it is a better method for preserving flavour. Well whatever they are doing they are doing it right. Other beers of note, Tricerahops, a doubly hoppy Double IPA from Ninkasi Brewery and Pranqster by North Coast Brewing, the absolutely perfect accompaniment to a big juicy cheeseburger. Check back soon as I will be making it my mission to find out where to get these beers in London. Full list below-

Back in Black- 21st Amendment Brewery (Black IPA 6.8% ABV)- San Francisco, California

Black Butte- Deschutes Brewery (Porter 5.2% ABV)- Bend, Oregon

Tricerahops- Ninkasi Brewing (Double India Pale Ale 8.8% ABV)- Eugene, Oregon

Pranqster- North Coast Brewing (Belgian Style Golden Ale 7.6% ABV)- Fort Bragg, California

Uncle Dave’s Rye IPA- Discretion Brewing (Rye IPA 7% ABV)- Soquel, California

IPA- Lagunitas Brewing Company (IPA 6.2% ABV)- Petaluna, California

Anchor Steam Beer- Anchor Brewing (Amber 4.9% ABV)- San Francisco, California

Big Daddy IPA- Speakeasy Ales and LagersĀ (India Pale Ale 6.5%) – San Francisco, California

Californi-ale!