Brewery Name: Hop Dogma Brewing Company
Type of Brewery: Retail Brewery
Location: El Granada, California
Facebook: Hop Dogma
Background: A few months ago I tried the Fides in Fermento. It’s an imperial stout from Hop Dogma that I grabbed one day when I was looking for something dark. Good porters and stouts are few and far between in California, so this was truly taking a flyer. My goodness was I impressed. That beer was, hands down, the best dark beer I’ve had from the West Coast, and I went so far as to say it belongs in the same discussion as Mott the Lesser. I immediately went out to find more and got some to Shane and Pete so that we could all share in this brew (take a look at the full write up from all of us here). Driving back up the coast with a friend visiting from out of town, we hit that hour-away-from-San Francisco part of our trip where we wanted a place to chill out and wind down the day. Fortunately, Hop Dogma is at the middle of a lovely little coastal town just off the highway. It was a no-brainer stop, even knowing nothing about these guys other than the Fides experience I had.
Growlers: Yes! Growlers and bottles both available to walk away with. Awesome glassware too!
The Beers: Hop Dogma does all sorts of great work across multiple spectrums and styles. As you might guess by the name, a lot of their work is hop-centric, including their darker beers, which gives an awesomely unique West Coast flair to more traditional styles. I tried everything that their ample taproom had to offer, but here are a couple noteworthy favorites:
Vibe: Ever walk into a place and feel like you just belong? That is the best way to sum up the vibe of Hop Dogma. You can tell immediately that it is a neighborhood go-to in a place where people have the right kind of attitude. We were met with incredibly friendly staff and seemed to make great conversation with everyone who sat anywhere near us.
The venue is a large shore house on a small coastal side road, and the taproom sits on the first floor. Modest branding and a neat paint job help you notice the location, and inside it’s a really comfortable bar with an assortment of stools, high tops, and few standard restaurant tables. A small cooler with beers to go, a rack with shirts, and a small spot for live music performers rounds out the homey feel.
I honestly could not have designed a more perfect end of the day spot to grab a delicious brew if I tried. Everyone at Hop Dogma, staff and customers alike, seemed purely happy to be there and ready to enjoy the moment. Absolutely love the vibe this place gives off and will absolutely be making it a regular stopping point any time I’m up and down the coast.
Dogs: Yes! Dogs are welcome in the taproom.
Price ($ to $$$$$): $$$ - Priced very well for some of the high-quality brews. The pint prices are right about average for craft beer, and the growlers are normal-ish to a bit high. Tons of swag and bottles to go priced fairly as well.
Food: No food menu at Hop Dogma, but they had a few snacks available for purchase to keep ya going.
Final Thoughts: Absolutely on the top of my list of taprooms to visit in the greater SF area. Truly enjoyed the people, the beer, and the overall vibe of Hop Dogma. The clear local feel really enhances the experience and the beer would be worth high praise even without the wonderful venue.
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