Uncommon Brewers, an all-organic brewery based out of Santa Cruz, features many unique beers such as their Golden State Ale brewed with toasted poppy seeds, their Baltic Porter brewed with licorice root, and my favorite, the Bacon Brown Ale brewed with you guessed it, bacon! The toddler of the group, Working Man Brewing Company, is based out of Livermore. They brought a 14% ABV Belgian quad (yikes!) that had very little bite, as well as their C’est Noir, a creamy imperial stout. But, Tioga-Sequoia was my standout for the day. Their tent was the place to be. I tried the Joaquin Murrieta Chile Beer as well as the Rush Hour Breakfast Stout. The 4.8% ABV Joaquin Murrieta is a cerveza-style lager full of zing. If you like chilis, this is definitely the beer for you. My Irish roots were a bit weary of the chili flavor, but I found it to have plenty of spice with very little heat. All I needed was some chips and salsa to go along with it. The 7.2% ABV Rush Hour Breakfast Stout was a great afternoon pick-me-up. Loaded with coffee flavor, Rush Hour is like drinking an iced latte. It provided the perfect midday caffeine “buzz."
Tioga-Sequoia may be new to me, but it certainly isn't the new kid on the block. Founded in 2007, TS predominantly distributes to the Central Valley. However, they are in the process of expanding their Fresno facility to double production capacity. Hopefully that means there is more TS brews on the horizon for those of us in the Bay Area.