Golden State Brewery – Santa Clara, CA

Walking into Golden State Brewery for the first time I was impressed at first sight. Never mind the proximity to the railroad tracks and the industrial setting (most craft breweries tend to reside in tucked-away locations like this anyway). A few smiling fermenting vessels, happy to contain the deliciousness inside, greet patrons upon entrance. In fact, the seating area is snuggled right next to the brewing operation, so connoisseurs can further appreciate the brew being enjoyed. Pleasingly, the place doesn’t smell “yeasty” or like a bar as other breweries can, which means you can sit and enjoy your beer a while longer.

Behind the bar, friendly staff pours craft beer in front of dozens of old-school California license plates sporting the vintage black, blue, and occasional sunset designs (a really cool idea). The bar itself is made of a rustic hardwood that helps bring outdoor Cali inside. With only a handful of tables scattered throughout, the brewery feels open, but cozy enough to have a conversation.

Golden State Brewery has awesome beer and you can enjoy all six in their sampler. Each beer is unique and taste like it should for its style. You’ll have to go on our tour to taste them all, but I’ll say my favorite is the Golden Gate Red–a smooth and interesting red ale with a nose that intrigues the olfactory nerve then delights the tastebuds.

Another favorite of mine has to be the Eureka! IPA which offers up 90 IBUs and packs a powerful first sip. After the tastebuds settle down, the nuances of citrus and sweet round out the finish. A must try for IPA lovers.

Golden State Brewery is definitely worth checking out, if not for their welcoming and pleasant environment, then for their delicious take on classic styles which lend to the Santa Clara Valley’s innovative culture.