Even though the largest beer companies in the United States still dominate the beer market, the top three are the absolute leaders with large portfolios of brands and are ranked in the 10 largest beer brewing companies in the world.
Perhaps not surprisingly, these are:
- Anheuser Busch Inbev SA/NV
- Molson Coors Brewing Co
- Constellation Brands, Inc.
The first two are the result of relatively recent mergers, while the third is more of a “clearinghouse” of major imported beer brands in the US.
And how popular is beer?
According to a Gallup poll from five years ago, 65 percent of Americans drink alcoholic beverages and of those, 43 percent said that they prefer beer, while just 32 percent were wine drinkers and only 20 percent preferred liquor.
What is becoming increasingly apparent to any beer connoisseur is the growing popularity of craft beer. And any craft beer aficionado worth their weight in hops knows that California reigns as the Craft Beer Capital of the United States.
California and Craft Beer – a Great Combination You Can Enjoy from Cal Mart
We’ll be the first to admit that there are plenty of superb craft brews from other points throughout the country, but California was the first when it comes to craft beer and it is the most abundant when it comes to craft breweries and varieties.
In 1976 Jack MacAuliffe opened New Albion Brewing in Sonoma, California, considered the first microbrewery and a pioneer of the U.S. craft brewing movement. Then, in 1980, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company opened and introduced the world to its Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Today, California has the most craft breweries of any state in the US with over 840 craft breweries as of 2018.
And, at Cal Mart, we are proud to offer an abundantly broad selection of craft beers from the state’s best craft breweries.
When it comes to our craft beer choices,we make it a point to include many seasonal brews, as well as several other styles from microbreweries originating from throughout the West Coast and California, in particular. And we consider ourselves fortunate to be able to stock some of the greatest local choices out of Mendocino, Napa, and Sonoma Counties, as well including some rare and hard to get brews.
10 California Craft Brews That Can Be Had at Cal Mart
1. Stone Brewing’s Stone IPA
Stone IPA was originally brewed to celebrate their first anniversary in 1997, according to the brewery. Today it is one of the most well-respected and best-selling IPAs in the country.
Founded in 1996 in San Marcos, California, it is the largest brewery in Southern California. Today, Stone Brewing is headquartered in Escondido.
2. Almanac Beer Company IPAs
With selections of fresh beer brews such as LOVE Hazy IPA and WAVES West Coast IPA, Almanac beers are an experience as well as a great collection of brews.
An Alameda brewer, Almanac Beer Company makes farm-to-table beers in small batches using fruit, grains, and herbs purchased from local family farms.
3. Irreverent Wit from Laughing Monk Brewing
They describe themselves as, “a small batch craft brewery in San Francisco that blends traditions from California and Belgium with a mix of local, seasonal ingredients.”
With brews sporting names such as Brother Boogie, Brother Andrew, and Sainted Ladies Strawberry Milkshake IPA, these are definitely worth checking out.
4. Fort Point Brewing Core Beers
Fort Point Beer Company is a beer company located in the Presidio of San Francisco started Fort Point in 2014. Their four core beers are KSA, Villager IPA, Westfalia, and Park.
In addition, they feature their award-winning Manzanita, a smoked altbier made using manzanita wood.
5. Russian River Brewing and Pliny The Elder
Russian River Brewing Company was created in 1997 when Korbel Champagne Cellars of Guerneville decided to branch out into brewing beer. Today, the company boasts two breweries in Santa Rosa and Windsor, both in Sonoma County.
The brewer is widely known for their Double India Pale Ale, Pliny The Elder, a multiple award-winning favorite.
6. HenHouse Brewing’s HenHouse IPA
A truly unique craft brewery based in Santa Rosa that was born in 2011 and has found an enthusiastic fan base over the last ten years. HenHouse is probably best known for their signature brew, HenHouse IPA.
But some of their other creations such as their hazy IPA called The Walrus is Paul demand attention as well.
7. Fog Belt Brewery
According to the Sonoma County Tourism website, “Fogbelt Brewing Company is a craft brewery and gastro-pub located in Santa Rosa, CA. Fogbelt celebrates the North coast, sourcing local ingredients and naming each beer after a prominent coastal redwood tree only found in the ‘fog belt.’”
They also brew up a tasty trio of IPAs known as Stardusk Juicy IPA, Del Norte IPA, and Screaming Giant Double IPA.
8. Barrel Brothers and Dad Pants Pilsner
Located in the beautiful Sonoma County town of Windsor, just over the hills from Calistoga, the Barrel Brothers bring a humble tone to their great brews like The BrotherMaker Double IPA. As they describe their brewing philosophy on their company website,
“We firmly believe if you aren’t having fun at work, or life in general, you should probably be doing something else. When it comes to making beer, we’re having a blast and just trying not to suck.”
9. Old Possum Brewing’s Alien Search Party IPA
And there is also their session-able single malt extra pale ale, Mama’s Pouch. Another Santa Rosa brewery, Old Possum Brewing uses the best local ingredients from neighboring farmers, ranchers, bakers, butchers, maltsters, and hop growers.
The objective is to produce “a more genuine and hyperlocal product.”
10. Lost Coast Brewery
Lost Coast Brewery was founded by Wendy Pound and Barbara Groom in 1989. It is one of only two female-owned breweries in Humboldt County. The first beer distributed by Lost Coast Brewery was their Downtown Brown, which went on to win numerous awards.
Possibly one of their better-known brews is their Great White, an unfiltered Belgian Witbier. In addition, they offer up the Lost Coast Hazy IPA.
Cal Mart: Your Source for Great California Craft Beers in Calistoga
Cal Mart has been a family-owned and independent grocery store in Calistoga for over half a century. In those more than five decades customers have always had a unique and enjoyable shopping experience with us and continue to do so today.
We like to think that we really are “Napa Valley’s Finest Grocery” and believe that our love for what we do and our commitment to service is what makes Cal Mart a memorable shopping experience.
Located in the center of downtown Calistoga and conveniently situated between Napa Valley’s famed Silverado Trail and State Route 128, Cal Mart is a favorite stop for both locals and visitors to the wine country.
Cal Mart is proud to offer a great delicatessen, a gourmet cheese department, a tantalizing selection of specialty foods items that are unique and hard to find, as well as quality fine wines.
Of course, there is also our extensive craft beer selection.
Looking for that special something to give to a friend or loved one? We offer beautiful gift baskets, and we have a vibrant collection of flowers and plants for any occasion. And much, much more! We invite you to make it a point to stop by and take time to explore all that we have to offer.
And while you’re here, please feel free to talk with our knowledgeable staff and then treat yourself to one of our refreshing smoothies made with organic ingredients.
Cal Mart in beautiful downtown Calistoga, CA is where you can always find something that is unexpected, unusual, and uncommon!