Temecula Wine Country has firmly established itself as one of the top wine growing regions in the world, but did you know that there’s also a flourishing brewing scene?
Craft beers have become popular in the last ten years, and the world of finely brewed beers can be just as fascinating as the wine industry. Like wine, there are centuries of passion and history behind beer, and the Temecula Valley breweries have gone from humble beginnings, to producing some of the best beer that you can find in the United States.
Of course, the breweries are small craft producers, so finding bottles on your local shelves will not always be easy. If you want to experience the best of what the area has to offer, then a visit to one of the local breweries will be your best chance.
Here are five of my favorites that offer a real brewery tasting experience.
Black Market Brewing Co.
Food is a large part of the experience in Temecula Valley, and it’s also integral to Black Market Brewing Co. You’ll find some of the best pizzas in the region here, along with an impressive handcrafted beer menu for pairing.
This is the perfect brewery for dining and beer tasting with friends, and there are group specials available, as well as a Friday Happy Hour from 2-5 PM.
Bring your friends or family along and try some of the unique twists on traditional beer making. The Superstition Pumpkin Ale will be quite unlike anything you’ve had before, and their New England Style Double IPA is one for those who like a traditional beer that hits with complex tasting notes.
Relentless is only open for tasting from Wednesdays to Sundays, but they do offer private parties and events, so you could use this brewery for an impressive craft beer themed party. The tasting room is right next to the brewing vats, giving the place an authentic and almost industrial feel.
You can count the different beers on two hands, which is one of the marks of a small craft brewery that focuses on quality rather than maximum output. There are beers here influenced by Temecula Wine Country, such as the Ride It Out Dark Sour that is aged in wine barrels and flavored with blackcurrants and raspberries. Fruit and aromatics are big in the Relentless Brewing beers, but you’ll also find more traditional offerings, like the Marisa’s Folly aged Belgian beer.
Here’s another one that needs to be on your itinerary when you visit Temecula Valley. Aftershock Brewing isn’t afraid to go for unique and inventive flavors, which is apparent with their Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Ale. Many of the brews here are based on local ingredients, but there are also craft beers that are inspired by international hop strains, such as the Tremors Unfiltered Pale Ale which uses Motueka Hops that were first cultivated in New Zealand.
Aftershock doesn’t follow scientific brewing methods (outside of the basic rules of brewing), and instead aims for unique batches rather than consistency. You could visit Aftershock at different times of the year and discover a new brew every time!
Ironfire Brewing Company
Ironfire prides itself on authenticity in flavors and production methods. The company claims to have some of the best ales and lagers in the world, and you’ll believe that claim when you visit this brewery for some taste testing.
The Gunslinger Golden Ale is a great introduction for anyone who is not familiar with small batch craft beer. It’s accessible, but still provides a superior drinking experience to the average macro-beers that people are used to. For a flavor explosion that is dark and soul warming, make sure you try the Last Rites Bourbon Barrel Aged Triple Chocolate Imperial Stout.
8 Bit Brewing Company
Just to the north of Temecula Valley is the city of Murrieta, which is where you will find 8 Bit Brewing Company, a place that blends the age old tradition of brewing beer, with the latest contemporary Californian cuisine.
You’ll find a casual atmosphere with great food and some interesting craft beers, with a leaning towards light American style beers as well as Imperial Pale Ales. For those that like the darker roasted notes of stout and brown ale, there are also a few options that can pair well with the food that’s on offer.
As the name implies, there’s a strong gamer and pop culture influence here, and this is even reflected in the names of beers like the Mario Tart: Luigi Sour Ale, and the Dunkle Kong Jr Dunkelweizen.
Wine brought fame to Temecula Valley, but there’s plenty more on offer in the region. A Taste of Temecula is your gateway not only to the fascinating wine growers culture in the region, but also to the very best things to do when you visit Temecula.