A crisp, refreshing beer any time of year is a win in our book, but the summertime heat draws out something special in our favorite hoppy beverages. Cooler months typically lead us to a heavier, darker beer and warm summer days make us crave a crisp, refreshing, lighter flavor. Back in the day (we're talking 100+ years ago), there was a reason why beers were seasonal, and that's because refrigeration and shipping of ingredients were difficult, or not even possible at all.
These days, seasonal beers still exist, but it isn't because brewers don't have the means to produce our favorites year-round, but because it creates a want for something different, a craving for something we haven't seen for 6 months to a year. Seasonal beers create a demand, and we are all for it! A lower ABV (Alcohol By Volume) is usually pretty popular when the high temps roll around because a lot of people like to have a cold beer always in hand. The higher the ABV, the less likely you are to be able to make it through an entire cookout. Moderation is always in season, so please be sure you're keeping that in mind. Safety first, as is so common with so many of our summertime activities.
Lucky for us, we have several locations in Davis that are masters of their beer craft. If you want an afternoon or evening out, or are looking to take some of your favorite craft beers home to enjoy, these 5 Davis breweries have you covered this summer and all year long.
Sudwerk Brewing Co.
Consistently awarded craft beer maker, including 2021 Brewery and Brewer of the Year by the Great American Beer Festival, Sudwerk has been a Davis staple making their own unique, hoppy, funky beer for more than 30 years. Combining creative names and eyecatching designs with their amazing blends of flavors and aroma, the craft beer at Sudwerk is a step up from the traditional names located down the beer aisle in your local market. IPAs, sours, lagers, pilsners, stouts, and more, Sudwerk does them all justice. Last year's Great American Beer Festival saw Sudwerk take home 3 Gold Medals for their Marzen Amber Lager, The People's Pilsner, and Backyard Hero American Lager beers.
Come for the beer and stay for the awesome food available fresh from their kitchen. Taken from their German roots, the Marzen Bratwurst is a favorite as well as the fresh-from-the-oven Beer Garden Pretzel. Aggie Smash Sliders and Pulled Pork Sliders are locally sourced favorites on the menu. With unique events, all year long, like the Annual Davis Cherry Blossom Festival and Astronomy on Tap every third Thursday of the month, there is always something fun to do at Sudwerk. You can even join the Suds Club and if you're located in California you can have cases shipped to your doorstep. Open Thursday - Sunday, be sure to plan a visit to Sudwerk on your next trip to Davis!
Three Mile Brewing Co.
Award-winning, small-batch seasonal craft beers locally sourced. Three Mile Brewing offers exceptional flavors and styles that allow you to experiment to your heart's content. Founded by seven friends, and named after a prohibition-era ordinance, Three Mile Brewing offers an engaging, friendly experience in the heart of downtown Davis. IPAs, pilsners, ales, and more are on the craft beer rotation.
There is not a kitchen in the taproom, but you are allowed to take advantage of all the amazing food options in the area and have food delivered to you or brought in. Need some inspiration on food in Davis? Check out our earlier blog here about 5 Davis Eats You Don't Want To Miss. With its distinctive selection of craft beer, open patio, and fantastic location, Three Mile Brewing is a great place to quench your thirst. Join them for trivia nights, guest food trucks, and club memberships for more fun throughout the year! Open 7 days a week, Monday - Thursday starting at 4 PM, and Friday - Sunday, open at 12 PM.
Photo Credit: Dunloe Brewing
Opened in the Summer of 2017 by UC Davis Alum Brennan Flemming, Dunloe Brewing has an always-changing selection at their small brewery and tasting room that features a large outdoor beer garden (with misters) and limited indoor seating area. Without a kitchen on-site, Dunloe allows you to bring outside food in with you.
In the works, Dunloe Brewing is making moves to on expand into a downtown tasting room, which we can't wait for. Be sure to try out their IPAs, stouts, and sours. Middle of Somewhere is an Apricot and Citra mixed fermentation that is currently (as of this publication) on tap and available in cans. Light, easy-drinking, and perfect for summer. Dunloe is open Tuesday - Friday, from 4-7 PM, and Saturday from 2-7 PM.
Photo Credit: Dunloe Brewing
Super Owl Brewing
Everyone has been a victim of the dreaded auto-correct in a text message, but not everyone can say they drew inspiration for the name of their brewery from it. Super Owl Brewing was named after such an error that occurred during Super Bowl Weekend, and the rest, as they say, is history. Super Owl is a family-run 10-barrel brewery that emphasizes a family-friendly atmosphere. The taproom was designed to be a "third place" where neighbors, families, and friends could come together. As such, there are activities for kids, games are welcome at the tables, and water bowls are available for your four-legged friends too. Award-winning brews combined with sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices Super Owl is a Davis classic.
Lagers, IPAs, stouts, and sours are all on the rotational menu. Super Owl's latest release is River Surfing, a 6% ABV German Festbier Lager that is smooth with a light hoppy note. MR. J is always a favorite, the 7.2% IPA is a smooth, tropical treat for your tastebuds. Looking for something a little darker, be sure to try out Attitude for Darkness Imperial Stout, a combination of chocolate and espresso that can't be beaten! Food is not available at Super Owl, but you are welcome to bring your own food or you can order from one of the nearby restaurants located in their plaza: Lamppost Pizza, Shanghai Town, Chuy’s Taqueria, and T-Kumi Ramen & Rice Bowl. Super Owl is open Wednesday - Sunday, starting at 3 PM.
Hooby’s Brewing at the Farm
Hooby's Farm is just that, a 40-acre working farm that has sheep, goats, chickens, and a pig. Your dogs are welcome, but please make sure they are leashed at all times. The farm is family-friendly, so the whole gang can come and enjoy it, but don’t forget to dress accordingly. Hooby's has live music and food trucks lined up for the summer season, but if you happen to be going on a day when there isn't a food truck scheduled, you can bring your own picnic.
IPAs, pilsners, and stouts are on the rotational menu. The Wrong Way Pilsner, 5% ABV, is a light and smooth craft beer that goes down smooth. This Damn Hazy is a 6.2% ABV, IPA with a citrus flavor that is another favorite. Hooby's Farm is a seasonal operation and is only open on the weekends. The typical start time for Saturday and Sunday is at 3 PM, but hours are subject to change so be sure to check their social accounts for times.
Photo credit: Hooby's Brewing Farm
The craft beer scene in Davis is hopping (pun fully intended). With many different tastes and locales available, the product has increasingly improved, which is quite a feat since the level was pretty high, to begin with. The old proverb "iron sharpens iron" is applicable here. Or, in craft beer terms maybe we should say "stainless steel brew kettle sharpens stainless steel brew kettle". All of the breweries featured take great pride in their respective craft beers, and customer-centric attitude and are definitely worth a visit. Some of these brewers also are featured on the Davis Savings Pass, along with so many other Davis favorites. If you haven't checked out the amazing hotel deals available to you, check them out now and plan a Davis Brewery Tour weekend getaway. Cheers to a refreshing and tasty summer!