Before you enter Yosemite, have a cold beer. Here's where

Planning to head to into the wilds of the Sierra Nevadas this summer? Your options for craft beers made in the shadow of California's peaks are as plentiful as the trails and secret campsites, and a new brewpub has opened just south of the entrance of Yosemite Park where you can fuel up for your adventures.

The Sierras have long been a fertile ground for craft breweries, and besides the massively successful Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico there are several well-regarded craft breweries dotting the wilderness. Mammoth Brewing Company near Mammoth Lake is one of the fan-favorites, and their excellent brews are easily available throughout the area. Cans of their Golden Trout Pilsner are especially well-suited to some campside refreshment.

Southgate Brewing Company opened in Oakhurst last month, and the new brewpub offers a menu featuring locally sourced ingredients and a selection of beers made by resident brewmaster Rick Boucke -- formerly of Sequoia Brewing Company. Currently the brewpub offers four beers with plans to add fifth to the rotation. Owner Casey Hawkins describes Southgate's current lineup:

"We have the Deadwood Porter, a smooth dark porter with roasted malt and coffee flavors, the Gold Digger Blond, an easy drinking pilsner-style beer lightly hopped and great on a hot day. We have the Sawtooth IPA, a West-Coast style IPA with a slightly tropical/citrus flavor and smooth finish and our Glacier Point Pale Ale is hoppy pale ale with grapefruit and citrus flavors and my personal favorite.”

In addition to the burgers, pretzels, and pints that you can enjoy before or after exploring the Yosemite valley, Southgate will offer growler-fills of their house beers to keep your campground stocked with suds.

Southgate Brewing Company, 40233 Enterprise Drive, Oakhurst (559) 273-1844.


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