There are literally hundreds of Craft Breweries across the great state of California, and new ones being born every day. It’s safe to say that the industry is booming, but for out-of-towners looking to get off of the beaten path and drink like a local, here are a few favorites from around Southern California.

Bottle Logic – Fundamental Observation – American Double/Imperial Stout – 14.3% ABV – Anaheim, Ca

Fundamental Observation is a full-bodied Imperial Stout that blends Madagascar vanilla beans and bitter cocoa in aged bourbon barrels. Its slight tan head gives way to black as night coloring with moderate carbonation.

Expect hints of dark roasted coffee and sweet milk chocolate to start your love affair with this smooth, yet hard hitting double. The boldness of this beer comes from the fact that it doesn’t hide the barrel taste it grew up in.

Monkish Brewery – Anomaly – Belgian Strong Dark Ale – 8.5% ABV – Torrance, Ca

If you’re looking for an excellent domestic take on a Belgian Strong Dark Ale with good depth and nice fruit flavor then you’ve come to the right beer. On the nose, you’ll get a hint of rye bread, plum skins, and a mild booze character, but don’t let that fool you. The alcohol is well covered without any of the booziness that comes off the aroma, so fans of the style will get a nice surprise while newcomers won’t shy away from the over the top alcohol content that drags so many Belgian Strong’s down into oblivion.

Mumford Brewing Company – L.A Like… – IPA – 6.8% ABV – Los Angeles, Ca

A typical Californian’s idea of Craft Beer is an IPA. So if you’re going to be roaming around our streets for a watering hole, you’d better be ready to hop into the deep end of bitterness, because it’s sink or swim as far as we’re concerned. L.A Like… A juicy, hazy IPA, is a good place to start.

While the aroma can be a bit off-putting, fruity and loaded with hops, the taste rides the temperature to become increasingly bitter the longer you let it sit.

San Fernando Brewing Company – O’Melveny Red – Red Ale – 7.5% ABV – San Fernando, Ca

O’Melveny Red is a malty amber ale with a hint of sourdough that goes down smooth and makes sure you do the same.

It drinks like a refreshing ale, but the 7.5% ABV lurks just under every sip, waiting to do to you what you’ve done to it. So be careful with this one, it’s a completely drinkable weekday beer without all the hang-ups of a Tuesday afternoon.

Homage Brewing – Sister Jack – Sour Ale – 6% ABV – Pomona, CA

Although new to the craft beer scene, Sister Jack, a barrel-aged sour dry hopped with Citra, is the kind of beer that’s either not for you or love at first flight. It welcomes the palate with a crisp, refreshing front-end bite while maintaining floral notes that go easy on the nose. Overall, if you’re looking for a well-balanced welcome to Southern California then look no further. We predict that just like our sunshine and weather, California will soon be synonymous with Sister Jack and the rest of her family from Homage Brewing.