The Brewery Road Home

The next morning, R wanted to go explore the beach some more so I decided to hit Hwy 1 on my road bike. I rode south for about 35 minutes before turning back north to return to the campsite. What little bit I did ride was absolutely phenomenal and after taking this trip, I would very much so like to return to both areas for some more riding. In particular, I’m adding to my list the Tour of the Unknown Coast, which winds it’s way through Ferndale and the Avenue of the Giants. On the way back I cruised through the main street of Mendocino, which was picturesquely adorable. So cute that it makes you want to quit your job, buy a pastel colored beach house and open a bed and breakfast.

On our drive home we took the road through Boonville, which is a small town in Anderson Valley, home of many vineyards and the Anderson Valley Brewing Company, maker of some of my favorite beers including the Boont Amber Ale. We took a brewery tour, in addition to getting the chance to sample a number of their craft beers that I’d never seen before. I was a particularly big fan of the Brother David’s Double and their Bourbon Stout, which they don’t bottle.

Anderson Valley Brewing Co

After returning from the brewery tour, there were three new boys seated at the end of the bar. R starts hounding me to talk to her about one of them, but I’m somewhat blindsided by the incredible hotness of the one on the end. He was VERY tall and manly with gorgeous long curly black hair. I briefly thought to myself, “I think that is the hottest man I’ve ever seen.” R is nudging me going, “I think that blond guy is the guy from that show with the cute girl, Rachel Bilson?” I have no idea what she’s talking about so I pull up IMDB on my phone, google Rachel Bilson, figure out she’s talking about the OC and hold up a photo of Ben McKenzie in front of her. We determine that his nose does look eerily similar. By this time, the hot boy and guys are starting to leave so I send R over to ask, because everyone loves R.

“Hi, I’m R,” she says to him, all chipper and cute like she is, “are you the guy from the OC?” He says he is and shakes her hand and introduces himself. “What are you guys doing?” she asks. He tells her they are going swimming. “That sounds like fun!” she exclaims. “Have a good time! Thanks!” It was all very R.

Turns out, that hot guy was SO hot I didn’t even realize it was Adrien Grenier.

They are in Boonville filming a movie. Anne has been there working and she’s spotted him also, totally not realizing at first either who she was looking at. Hysterical!

We left Anderson and headed straight for Lagunitas Brewery in Petaluma, CA. Now this is one brewery tour that I highly recommend: it’s a very unique tour chock full of hilarious and memorable stories, and, not to mention, free samples! It’s right up there with my other most favorite brewery tour ever: The Fat Tire tour.

Hanging in the 420 bar at Lagunitas Brewery.

Haven’t had any of Lagunitas’ Brew? If you’re a fan of bold beer, I recommend A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale and Kronik: the Censored Rich Copper Ale.

We woefully wished we could stay and drink beer all day in Lagunitas’ amazing outdoor patio and beer garden, but sadly, we had a four hour drive home. It was the end of our mini summer vacation. We had some killer days exploring the Northern CA coast! You can see all of the photos from the entire trip here.

If you want to repeat any of our trip, here are my recommendations:

STAY
Jedediah Smith State Park: Jedediah Smith Campground, reserve early!
Humboldt Redwoods State Park: Albee Creek Campground, reserve early!
Mendocino Area: Russian Gulch State Park and Campground

EAT
38 Great Camp Recipes, via Sunset Magazine
Samoa Cookhouse
North Coast Brewery

DRINK
North Coast Brewery
Anderson Valley Brewing Co
Lagunitas Brewing Co

Banana Slug in the Kitchen

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