Things To Do Around Pleasanton – Tri Valley Bay Area Beer Trail
The Tri-Valley Bay Area - Northern California
Occupying a cozy spot just beyond the hills, a little over 30 miles east of the city of San Francisco, the Tri-Valley is one of Northern California's hidden gems when it comes to offering a wide variety of incredibly enjoyable things to do for just about anyone. Amador Valley, Livermore Valley, and San Ramon Valley combine to form the Tri-Valley which is home to several cities, including (but not limited to)Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, and Danville.
This sunny valley is filled to the brim with restaurants, galleries, theaters, breweries, and incredible shopping, including outlets, malls, and boutiques. Aside from activities at the fairgrounds, there are numerous events throughout the year in these cities. Visit Tri-Valley California puts on events such as The Art Walk, Craftoberfest Craft Beer Festival, Harvest Festival, Winemaker Dinner, Evening In The Vineyards and more. There are various events that are perfect for the whole family, and there are some geared towards adult fun and entertainment so you can be sure there's plenty to choose from depending on what you're looking for. The Beer Trail is one of the activities that is a must-do that will please those with an appreciation for specialty brews. We'll tell you more on this below so keep reading.
So, if you thought that San Francisco was all that the Bay Area had to offer, you will be pleasantly surprised by what lays a short distance beyond that beautiful bay. Providing unique and underrated things to do while at the same time giving you a break from the hectic tourist crowds, a day spent in Northern California's Tri-Valley will be a worthwhile trip for any visitor.
What Is The Tri-Valley Beer Trail?
This region of the Bay Area renders optimal soil and climate for growing the ingredients necessary for making great tasting beer. It offers the perfect setting for hops to be cultivated and has at one point been home to the biggest hop farms in the world. They even named one of their major streets "Hopyard" in recognition of this historical significance! This road's history goes back to the late 1800s when the marshlands were recognized for their fertility and turned into a major hops production by the Pleasanton Hops Company that became world-renowned.
Fast forward a couple of hundred years, and you've got California's newest brew trail in the Bay Area introduced by Visit Tri Valley California. Consisting of a collection of twenty breweries spanning the areas of Livermore, Pleasanton, and Danville, the Beer Trail is a great way to explore the different flavors that this region produces.
Why The Beer Trail Is One Of The Top Things To Do Around Pleasanton
As a guest of Visit Tr-Valley California, I was invited to get a glimpse of what the Beer Trail is most recognized for, and I can tell you I was pleasantly surprised. This area has always been appreciated for offering excellent wineries and continues to impress on that level, but now beer lovers also have something to look forward to here.
Having a husband that has always had an affinity towards craft beers (yes, even before they were part of the trendy, hipster culture of the newest generation of connoisseurs!) the beer trail sparked my interest and was immediately intriguing to me. I was more than happy to see what it was all about.
Visit Tri-Valley provides you with a Beer Trail Passport (you can grab it on their website here), listing the craft breweries in the area with a spot next to each for collecting the stamp during your visit. It's a great way to keep track of your brewery visits so you can make sure to go back and visit the ones you may have missed. A half a day trip is all that is required, so it's a great way to spend a Saturday just to get away and do something different in the Bay Area. Once you have earned ten stamps on your Beer Trail Passport, all you have to do is send it in or email it to Visit Tri-Valley California, and you get your free T-shirt or pint glass!
One of my favorite parts of the tour was visiting the Shadow Puppet Brewing Company where we, not only enjoyed some beer tastings, but were given a tour of their facilities. They even pour and seal their own beer "Crolwer" cans if you want to purchase your favorite beer for later at home or for a gift! This brewery even has a kids room and some food options, too. It was definitely my favorite stops! Another great experience I had was our visit to the Beer Baron Bar and Kitchen in Pleasanton. This restaurant blew me away with their beer and food pairing. It was a thrilling experience for my taste buds. The food and beer on their own were exceptional treats, but the way they were presented together was beyond delectable.
How To Get To And Around The Tri Valley Bay Area
Typically in the opposite flow of traffic, heading east towards the Dublin/Pleasanton area is an easy drive by car from either the San Francisco or Oakland Airport for visitors flying into Northern California. The 580 freeway would be the best route for those coming from the east or north, while the 680 is best coming from Silicon Valley in the south.
Alternatively, the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) provides a (mostly) scenic and peaceful ride at an economical price. It's not a very complicated system and easy to figure out with usually just one transfer. With the availability of services like Uber, even taking a taxi is not super expensive as a way to get around.
If you are a solo traveler or want to enjoy you some adult beverages with your friends or partner, make sure that you have a designated driver or safe option for getting around town or back home. A fun and safe way to "hop" around the different restaurants and breweries (did you catch the pun there?) is taking one of the brew tours offered by the Blue Brew Bus. They offer convenient pickups from the Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station and take you around for beer tasting at three different craft breweries. As part of their All Inclusive Brew Tours, you'll also receive discounts at breweries (for more fun later!), and a souvenir beer glass for any purchases you get to take home.
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Disclosure: I was a guest of Visit Tri-Valley California for this experience and all of my opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission if purchases are made as a result of clicking on them. That's what helps me keep this blog going so that I can provide more helpful information to my readers.
About the Author
Hi! I'm just a California girl addicted to travel and adventure with a passion for art and dance on the side. Born in Iran, but I consider myself a citizen of Earth, adhering to the belief that "The world is but one country and mankind its citizen." I strive to make a positive impact on everyone I meet and learn as much as possible from them. My degree out of college is in Marketing. However, I entered the hospitality business at an early age and worked my way up to hotel management. After about 13 years in that industry (5 of which I was a hotel assistant manager), I made the decision to move to Thailand and leave the 9 to 5 grind behind. My husband and I set off for a life of living abroad and hopes to continue traveling the world, just 3 months after our wedding. It all started with the two of us, along with our cat, together in Thailand. Can't wait to see where life takes us next!