Fresh & Local Craft Beers

AMERICA’S CRAFT BREWING BUSINESS is booming. Some 7,500 small and independent brewers are churning out over 25 million barrels of craft beer annually.

The past — where “one size fits all” beers are sold coast-to-coast — is giving way to an era where craft breweries churn out local, special-release beers; beers named after local places; or seasonal beers made with local ingredients, such as Mountain Mandarins.

Beers honor our region’s rivers and trails (Three Forks Bakery & Brewing Co.’s “Emerald Pool IPA,” “Purdon Porter” or its “Ales for Trails”) while others are brewed for fundraisers, such as Chico-based Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.’s “Resilience” beer honoring Paradise fire victims and firefighters (highlighted in our last issue).

The beer labels often tap the talent of local artists, such as Jennifer Rain Crosby. She creates the artwork for Nevada City-based Three Forks’ labels.

For a special label this spring, Loomis Basin Brewing Co. created “Jungle Bear” for Sacramento Beer week. “The lush, tropical deliciousness is brought out by the addition of Idaho 7 hops, giving it hints of apricot, grapefruit and papaya. #letsgettropical,” the label reads.

It also created “Who’s Your Caddy?” beer for the Hagen Oaks Golf Expo and some local golf clubs. It is a blond, light ale, with a cartoon-like label.

Breweries turn to social media, such as Instagram, to spread the word for their special release beers. “For ephemeral-obsessed, Instagram-savvy beer drinkers, special releases are peak zeitgeist,” as Vinepair.com puts it.

Other craft brewers in our region also are producing special release beers, often thanks to their own canning lines. These include ol’ Republic Brewery in Nevada City, Knee Deep Brewing Co. in Auburn, and FiftyFifty Brewing Co. in Truckee.

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