Weeks like this, when spring seems just on the cusp of appearing, it’s easy to get the travel itch. You could slip away down south and hope for a warm Saturday afternoon at one of San Diego’s pristine beaches. You could head inland to turn up the heat and lay by a Palm Springs pool, or try to catch the last little bit of snow, melting away near Yosemite. But if you’re truly hearing the call of the wild, head north on the 101 to Firestone Walker’s Barrelworks location in Buellton.
Just last year, Hangar 24 Brewery in Redlands took a leap — from “microbrewery” to “regional craft brewery,” that is. While the distinction may seem small to most, in the beer world, it’s a pretty big deal. The subtle change in nomenclature has to do with the popular Inland Empire brewery’s production increase, which rolled them over the all-important threshold of 15,000 barrels per year. That’s some serious brewing. But with a small crew dedicated to the craft, a commitment to local farmers and an award or two hanging on the walls, this is the type of seriousness that comes with a smile.