Best Northern California Craft Brewery? is continuing it’s craft beer loving enthusiasm by letting you sound off on who you think the best Craft Brewery in Northern California is!!  With so many fantastic breweries to pick from, this should be a close one.  You may be asking yourself, “Best What?”  You might love all these breweries, but one of these breweries might be the ultimate pleaser in your mind and mouth. Go a head, pick one, and have fun.

Here is how this works. …

  • Pick a winner from the list OR
  • Write in a pick that isn’t on the list, using the comment feature AND OR
  • Bitch and moan that you don’t like this poll or that someone got left out (and not written in by you, the complainer)

This poll will go until August 27, 2009 at 5PM. EXTENDED UNTIL SEPTEMBER 2nd at 5PM!

If we get an overwhelming amount of write ins of a brewery that hasn’t been listed, we might add them to the list, and talley up the current write ins. Please, just have fun with this.

Best Northern California Craft Brewery?

  • Lost Coast Brewing (24%, 458 Votes)
  • Moylans Brewing (16%, 311 Votes)
  • Blue Frog Grog & Grill (11%, 220 Votes)
  • Russian River Brewing (11%, 217 Votes)
  • Bear Republic Brewing (10%, 190 Votes)
  • North Coast Brewing (6%, 119 Votes)
  • Sierra Nevada Brewing (4%, 84 Votes)
  • FiftyFifty Brewing (3%, 63 Votes)
  • Lagunitas Brewing Co. (3%, 58 Votes)
  • Anderson Valley Brewing (2%, 47 Votes)
  • Mad River Brewing (2%, 37 Votes)
  • Anchor Brewing (1%, 17 Votes)
  • Rubicon Brewing (1%, 16 Votes)
  • 21st Amendment Brewing (1%, 14 Votes)
  • Eel River Brewing (1%, 11 Votes)
  • Mendocino Brewing (1%, 10 Votes)
  • Moonlight Brewing (0%, 9 Votes)
  • Auburn Alehouse (0%, 8 Votes)
  • Speakeasy Ales and Lagers (0%, 8 Votes)
  • Sacramento Brewing (0%, 6 Votes)
  • Valley Brew (0%, 4 Votes)
  • Marin Brewing (0%, 4 Votes)
  • Mt. Shasta Brewing (Weed Ales) (0%, 4 Votes)
  • Triple Rock (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Drakes Brewing (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Black Diamond Brewing (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Magnolia Brewing (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Bison Brewing (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Buffalo Bill's Brewery (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Sudwerks (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Devil's Canyon Brewing (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Iron Springs Brewing (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,926

Loading ... Loading ...


  1. Vincent says

    North Coast Old Rasputin Stout. Strong, Hard, and meant only for the truly beer worthy.

    Also, there Black Hart stout’s possibly the most affordable quality beer available in CA.

    “I” for North Coast.

  2. barndog says

    Lost Coast? SERIOUSLY? It’s a mediocre brewery, at best. Don’t get me wrong, nothing I’ve ever had from them is _bad_, but nothing has ever made me stop and say “Wow, that’s incredible!” Ever. And I have no idea why Blue Frog is even in the top 20.
    Russian River, Lagunitas, Bear Republic, Drake’s, Magnolia, Marin Brew Co., 21st Amendment, Anderson Valley, are all far, far superior.
    It seems that Humboldt residents were voting provincially, and not based on actual merit. Through no fault of Full Pint, this poll is skewed, and therefore invalid.

  3. clayton says

    Seriously?? you guys picked a brewery because you liked a beer or two from there and not because they make some of the best of all types of beer out there?…They’re actually pushing the envelope and making the best beers in their catagory?…Sours, belgians, imperial and double IPA’s, and even just the best “good ol-fashioned IPA” – blind pig, baby. I love the beers that Northcoast has, Anderson Valley – What up??, Sierra Nevada – I love you, Bear Republic – love the big black, hop-rod, racer5, but seriously, the “Best Brewery” award goes to Russian River because none of those other brewery’s can do what they do to the quality(and flavor) that they do. They aren’t a 1,2,or3 hit wonder brewery and they dont only make “american style” ales. No other brewery can sell $40 bottles of amazing sours.
    Peace!! I’m out!!
    PS – Hopsickle isn’t a “good” beer, its just the hoppiest!!

  4. says

    North Coast Brewing makes fine beers, and they are getting a lot of pours from San Diego bars lately. The Le Merle alone kicks ass.

  5. says

    Big Blue Frog has the Best Food, Best Beer and Perfect Atmosphere!!! It’s an amazing restaurant/Brewery for ALL Ages!!! It’s my 3 kids favorite place to eat!!!!

  6. Birdena says

    Lost Coast Brewery! Eight-Ball Stout is my all-time favorite, but Tangerine Wheat is trying to win my heart.

  7. Rickshaw says

    MOYLAN’S….Those who disregard their hop bombs are to be shamed. Worship your RR, BR and Lagu if you must but gold medals and alpha kings have been bestowed upon Moylan’s Hopsickle XXXIPA and Moylander XXIPA. 22oz. of sticky, hop delight for your drinking and backseat driving pleasure. Go big…vote Moylan’s!

  8. Merle says

    For a hoppy pale ale, one of the finest I have had is Blonde Frog out of Blue Frog Grog and Grill in Fairfield, CA. I served the brew at this years Oregon Brewer’s Fest and I couldn’t believe the reaction. Friday, when the majority was there for the tasting, people would come for a taste and come back time and again for more. The women seemed to really go for it especially if they took in the bouquet, looked at me as if to say, ehh… When they tasted it the smile of satisfaction was wonderful. I had several couples that stayed around the tap and drank the afternoon away with Blonde Frog. Found in 22oz in Belmont Station in Portland Oregon and other fine establishments.

  9. Tressa Kalivoda says

    BLUEFROG all the way, The best beer, food and people. Three cheers to you guys you got my vote. Best of luck Tressa:)

  10. rob says

    lost coast great white is my default beer of choice when overwelmed by all the good choices ,wheat on tap at the brewery with some fish and chips is also a favorite.

  11. says

    Russian River is my favorite for complex beers… Pliny the Elder.. mmm

    Lost Coast Downtown Brown is probably one of my favorites for sitting around chilling with my buddies beer.

  12. Anne says

    Gotta give a big shout out for the Mendocino Brewing Co. I LOVE those Eye of the Hawk and White Hawk IPA’s. That beer is no joke, super smooth, great tasting, good kick, what more could you ask for!?!?!!! Torpedo IPA and Bigfoot Ales by Sierra Nevada brewing is also a winner in my book. Almost forgot Anderson Valley. There is some damn good beer out there. Too hard to just pick one.
    Man…I love Microbrews!!!!

  13. Chris L says

    Hard to determine the best. Best brew, best brewpub experience, so many??? Then there’s Six Rivers, Brew It Up, Hoppy, …

    My pick – Bear Republic Brewing

    for overall experience and best brew sampler. I liked them all!

  14. Julie Gomez says

    Lost Coast Brewery is my pick. I tried to indicate it where the breweries are listed, but couldn’t figure out how to mark my vote.
    So please mark it for me.

  15. Keith says

    Fifty Fifty in Truckee has Bronze from the Great American Beer Festival in Colorado for their Stout, and a Silver Medal for their Stout from Australia….
    We all know how Aussies love their beer.

  16. says

    RUSSIAN RIVER PUB…they have plaques from food network…drive ins diners and dives guy fierri and an award for best hot wings in california!!! they are so fukin goooooood! now i want some!!!

  17. says

    AVBC’s Boont Amber is my favorite with Mad River Brewery’s Steelhead Pale Ale a close second. I think it would be interesting to compare the votes to a beer drinking demographic by region to help compensate for location-bias. :)

  18. Chris B says

    Any other brewing company or pub similar to Bear republic has no competition whatsoever. I love eating their great food and drinking their beer together because, they both compliment each other in taste, and your taste buds. #1 Brewery in North Cali, Bear Republic Brewing Company, hands down.

  19. sunny borg says

    Bear Republic good beer yum yum. all the good rich flavors. good food, good service. can’t go wrong with Bear Republic. you rock.

  20. Taylor R. says

    There are many notable Nor-Cal breweries excluded from this list…which was emailed to me by Bear Republic, which likely explains all the “hoopla” for them in the comments here…They’re good, but “the best”? – Questionable…

    FYI – The best (extra hot!) hot wings are at the Brewery at Lake Tahoe!!


  21. Jesse says

    Northern California has to have more honorable mentions than any of the other regions polled, but it is Fort Bragg’s North Coast Brewery that makes the finest crafted beers. Compare their “Brother Thelonius” Belgian Ale against Mad River’s “Mad Belgian” Golden Ale or Lagunitas’ “Brown Shugga” and you will note the more crisp, refined flavor that distinguishes its quality craftsmanship.

  22. Nance Simon says

    Love the beer especially the Jackpot Lager and my husband loves the IPA! The service is excellent & the food is so freakin yummy especially the pizza.

  23. Martha says

    You haven’t lived until you have had the Tangerine beer from Lost Coast brewery – the best ever!

  24. Barbara Madaras says

    Lost Coast is the best! Great White is for sunny days, but Downtown Brown is really special inside on a rainy night :).

  25. Nancy Wilcox says

    Lost Coast is the very best brewery!!! Especially love the Great White Beer with that bit of lime!

  26. Loretta says

    Loast Coast Brewery is BAR none the best brewery around! All the brews are amazing. My favorite? Probably the Tangerine Ale because it is unique and very refreshing for the summer.

  27. craig stewart says

    After taking a tasting tour of northern California breweries last summer, we visited many on this list, my friend and I nominated Bear Republic Brewing Company as having the best overall IPA, Racer 5 and Racer X. It had the best taste from start to finish. Many of there beers are finding a market around California. Moylands IPA ran a close 2nd as did Russian River. As you can tell it was an IPA tasting adventure.

  28. Bill says

    Pliny the Elder. Hands down, the best beer of this group. have you tried it? please do.

  29. Steven Meyer says

    Voted for Russian River – LOVE their beers, espcially Pliny the Elder. I only wish they were more widely/easily available (particularly by the keg). Having said that, my #1 “on hand” beer is Bear Republic. I’ve gone through several kegs of Racer 5 and currently have Hop Rod on the kegerator. With so many AWESOME beers in NoCal … is there REALLY such thing as “the best”?!?

  30. Brandi Jaquint says

    Mount St. Helena Brewing Co. They just won Gold for the English Ale in the State Fair,awesome stout. Great service from the staff.
    Middsletown, Ca. 95461

  31. David Grasseschi says

    I picked one and was not happy about it. There many great breweries on this list. Just because I picked one that I drink most often, does not mean that I do not love the beers from some of the others. I also like a brewery that puts out a bad beer now and again. It means that they are taking chances.

  32. Tera says

    I would like to vote for Mad River Brewing as the BEST brewery in Northern California!!!!

  33. Shalome says

    I don’t see Six Rivers Brewery on your list. My favorite IPA is from Six Rivers in McKinleyville, CA. They also have awesome local Humboldt grass fed beef hot dogs in their restaurant, that you can not purchase in the store. Mad River Brewery is second on my list with their Jamaica Sunset IPA, but they just told me they are discontinuing it and what’s left is on the store shelves! No! How could they?

Leave a Reply