The Coastside’s craft beer scene has grown in popularity and scale in recent years, as highlighted by Pacifica Brewery’s Coastal Brewery Bus Tour on Sunday.
Twenty participants tasted beer and got a behind-the-bar look at Pedro Point Brewing Co., Half Moon Bay Brewing Co., Hop Dogma and Pacifica Brewery operations. Led by Cameron Collier, head brewer at Pacifica Brewery, the four-hour tour attracted a diverse crowd of men and women interested in getting an in-depth experience with beer in their hands.
As Pacifica Brewery was opening last year, Collier was in close communication with Aaron Bonner, of Pedro Point, and Dan Littlefield, of Hop Dogma, to discuss how to include the community and how to make the most of their setups.
“I wanted to reciprocate and bring the community together in a way,” Collier said. “Link the coast and make our own section.”
In partnership with the Bay Area Brewers Guild, the tour was part of SF Beer Week, making it one of the hundreds of beer-related events taking place across the Bay Area through Feb. 16. It got the attention of attendees from various parts of the Peninsula with varying levels of craft beer experience.
“You get people who want to learn, more than anything,” Collier said. “Even if they’re casual, they’re interested. They’re engaged, which is good.”
Pending enough interest, Collier hopes to continue tours on a regular basis. Aside from the wealth of knowledge Collier provided throughout the tour, a $75 ticket got participants a flight at each location and food at Half Moon Bay Brewing Co. and Pacifica Brewery.
The group’s first stop after leaving Pacifica Brewery was Pedro Point Brewing Co. There, Collier broke down the operation inside the Criveller Brewtech tanks and gave a basic outline of the beer-making process from cracking the grain and boiling the sugar and water to letting the yeast ferment.
Len Jagelski traveled from Los Gatos for the tour and said he was enjoying tasting the different beers and learning about the process. Jagelski, who was looking forward to trying Hop Dogma and Pacifica Brewery for the first time, said he’d be happy to take another tour.
“I’ve done it on winery tours and now the brewery side.So, yes, I would, absolutely,” he said. “And it’s nice to have someone able to drive.”