Sonoma County is considered by many to be the place where America’s craft brewing got its start. What other places across the country do you visit to find great beer?
“The Pacific Northwest has been and still is the most vibrant beer culture in America. Seattle, Portland and the outlying areas of these cities have been at the forefront of American craft brewing. The Northeast has been doing very well with more traditional styles of brewing, particularly in places like Maine and Vermont.”
What are some of your favorite breweries across the country? Are there any regional distinctions to note?
“I would say, generally speaking, that East Coast brewers are making more traditional beer styles, while West Coast brewers are making more radical and exaggerated styles.
Some of my favorite brewers and breweries on the East Coast include Allagash Brewing Company in Portland, Maine, which brews traditional and experimental Belgian-style beers, and Victory Brewing Company in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. The brewer there had his first good beer at Father’s Office back in the ’80s, which inspired him to start making beer professionally. On the West Coast, some of the most innovative beers in the country are being made by former winemaker Vinnie Cilurzo at Russian River Brewing Company in Sonoma, which I visited with F&W senior editor Ray Isle, and by Craftsman Brewing Company in Pasadena.”