On the Central Coast of California, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, is where you will see the best views of the rugged Pacific coastline. This area is also home to the Paso Robles wine region. Once known primarily for cattle ranches and grain fields, the region also has a rich history of grape growing by true American farmers.
It’s been more than five years since the latest rebirth of hard cider, and it should come as no surprise, especially to apple-loving New Englanders, that the industry continues to grow. Craft cideries are popping up throughout the country, with entrepreneurs putting their own twist on the gluten-free beverage, blending all kinds of apples to create a sip that’s crisp, light, and refreshing.
In ye olde New England, both taverns and homes often had bottles of rum on the shelves, a popular ingredient in Colonial cocktails. A “stone fence” mixed rum and hard cider and a “flip” contained rum, beer, molasses, and eggs, stirred with a poker glowing red from the hearth fire. Some of those old recipes are back, thanks to a resurgence in pre-Prohibition concoctions and our nerdy interest in sipping historical libations.
The Willamette Valley, a premier wine growing region with over 20,000 acres of planted grape vineyards, starts less than an hour south of Portland, Oregon. The valley’s topography is over 100 miles long, spanning 60 miles at its widest point, sitting between the state’s breathtaking Cascade Mountains to the east, with outstanding views of Mount Hood and the Central Coast Range to the west.
Hitting the road with Granite State Tours With all 14 passengers safely aboard Greta the Growler Getta—ﬂagship of the North Hampton, New Hampshire–based Granite State Growler Tours—lead tour guide Mark Chag quickly sets the day’s whimsical tone. “Just your luck!” Chag brays in trademark New England brogue. “Getting on a bus where the blind guy’s driving and the deaf guy’s answering questions!”