Your Guide to Craft Beer on the Contra Costa County Beer Trail
Its summertime here in Contra Costa County which means it’s hot and will likely, only get hotter. Cooling off with a frosted mug and drinking an ice-cold craft brew has become one of the best ways to get out and enjoy the summer these past few years. With Craft Breweries becoming all the rage with ever changing taps and steady ABV percentages, we’ve got your guide to some of the best Craft Beer on the Contra Costa County Beer Trail. Don’t forget to check-in to each location along the way to earn your exclusive CC County Beer Trail Hat!
Canyon Club Brewery
Start your Saturday afternoon off right at Canyon Club Brewery in Moraga, CA. This fun, family friendly brewery serves Beeerunch (Brunch) Saturday and Sunday 11 AM – 2 PM creating a fusion of dishes like chicken and waffles, a southern benedict or ahi tacos. Pair your tasty choice with one of their many house brewed beers created by Master Brewer, Christian Kasakoff. We tried the Mysterious Ways Peach & Strawberry Wheal Ale and Beta Tested Pilsner. The Mysterious Ways was by far the favorite, with fresh crisp peach notes and the smell of strawberry, this beer would be great to pair with their Waffle and fresh fruit. The Pilsner had a creamy mouthful with high carbonation, great to go along with their Great Gatsby burger.
Mike Hess Brewing
Next, make your way to Mike Hess Brewing, not in relation to Hess Wines but certainly making a name for themselves in the beer community. Although their flagship location is in San Diego, their Walnut Creek location is tucked into the Orchard Shopping Center with a great dog-friendly outdoor patio with cornhole and indoor tables and chairs. Our suggestion: Grab a Flight – choose from their full lineup of beers, hard seltzers and hard kombuchas. When you order the flight, your beer is served along a Mike Hess Poker chip, turn that chip back into the bartender and earn your free can styled beer glass that guarantees you $5 beers Monday – Thursday when you bring the glass back.
On the way to your next location, make sure to stop for lunch at a participating Concord Taco Trail local Taqueria. Mercado Del Sol, in the Monument District of Concord is a family owned and operated store front where the owner herself will likely take your order. This Taqueria features vegetarian friendly potato tacos or one of our personal favorites, the Quessabirra Tacos. Served up with a smile, you cannot go wrong with this hidden gem.
Concord Visitor Center
Your next stop on the trail checks you into the Concord Visitor Center. Stop in and present your pass to a staff member to receive an official Visit Concord Beer Trail Red Solo Cup along with earning another check-in on the trail to win prizes. Grab your Beer Trail Merch or an I Heart Concord T-shirt and show off your Concord pride.
Epidemic Ales is a true local favorite. Epidemic Ales was founded by 3 couples with a dream and a love of craft beer. Head Brewer, Shawn Hammer continues to bring home gold medals for the brewery for their award winning Lager at World’s End along with other creations. Epidemic Ales continues to spice things up on their menu with flavors that are not like other beers. Some of our recommendations would be their Marilyn Monroast – a golden coffee ale, Chemical Warfare Hazy IPA - a golden wheat with soft flavors of peach, apricot, & melon or of course, their Lager at Worlds End – a traditional pale lager. New to their beer selection are Beer Slushies, created with some of their creative flavors like Pineapple Upside Down and Lime! Epidemic Ales has a consistent Food Truck schedule and community events going through out the year. Check out OG (Los Originales) Tacos, featuring their Quissabirra Tacos “The OGs at the Birria Thing” and Micheladas with homemade chamoy sauce, check out their food truck schedule here.
You can also join the Epidemic Ales Mug Club:
ANNUAL: One year membership valid starting the day of purchase: $175 (tax included) 1) 1 pour per day in a special Epidemic Ales logo mug! 2) 10% discount on merchandise, Crowler, and growler fills 3) Annual gift of $15+ value, available for pickup starting Anniversary Party
LIFETIME: Lifetime Membership: $1,000 (limited quantity, tax included) 1) 1 pour per day in a special Epidemic Ales logo mug! 2) 10% discount on merchandise, Crowler, and growler fills 3) Annual gift of $15+ value, available for pickup starting Anniversary Party 4) Additional annual gift, available for pickup starting Summer Skullfest
*Mug Club subscriptions are non-transferable, members are entitled to the privileges as described in these guidelines. Epidemic Ales reserves the right to require ID for verification. *Membership Card will be available for pickup in the taproom 24 hours after enrollment *If necessary, a period of 60 months will be used for valuation of this membership.
Del Cielo Brewing Co.
Del Cielo, meaning sent from Heaven, is a Latina/Latino Family-owned brewery and taproom located in the heart of Downtown Martinez. Known for their flavorful creations and fruity beers, they consistently have about 20 taps ranging from light blonde ales and pilsners to dark stouts and hoppy IPAs as well as sours and specialty beers. Our recommendation would be a glass of the Orale, their traditional Mexican lager, its crisp and refreshing and pairs with any food choice. While there, also try one of their Sours – Del Cielo has taken several awards home for their fruity inventions. This Month, check out their featured beer Always Pride brewed in celebration of the LGBTQ+ community to benefit the Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County, a local non-profit located in Concord, CA. The Rainbow Center provides numerous programs for LGBTQ+ youth, adults, and seniors. Del Cielo Brewing Co. will donate 20% of the proceeds to the Rainbow Community Center to help them fund for vital services for the LGBTQI+ community in the East Bay. Find out more about the Rainbow Center here.
Armistice Brewing Company
Last on the list is Armistice Brewing Company, a sibling-owned and operated brewery specializing in Hazy IPAs. When you visit the taproom near the water in Richmond, CA, you’ll notice it’s charm and outdoor area with a side ordering window for those who just want to walk up and order a beer without going inside. Because this Brewery specializes in Hazy IPAs that is a majority of their menu, but you can try one or two other options such as their Kolsch or at the time, they had a great Blackberry Blue Berry Smoothie Sour Ale, thick in consistency but reminded us of a blueberry cobbler. If you are a Hazy IPA fan, we recommend the WortArt, a very hazy in sight, aromatic beer with a hoppy finish.
What is your favorite location on the Contra Costa County Beer Trail? We would love to hear from you on any recommendations that we should try! Let us know your thoughts at email@example.com or reach out at our Contact Us Page here.