Visit California’s “Perfect Pairings” highlighted select foods and destinations in the Golden State

-Brenda Hillegas

Last week, Visit California hosted an afternoon gathering at Uptown Beer Garden to introduce Philadelphia to some of the wonderful foods and travel spots in their state. Representatives from different locations in California were on hand to talk about what their specific areas had to offer and each place was paired with beer or cider from Urban Roots brewery and Nitty’s Cider (both located in Sacramento). This event was especially interesting as some of Philly’s resident foodies were able to sample and learn more about California’s favorite bites as well.

Rob Archie, owner of Urban Roots Brewery and Smokehouse, talked to us about each beer he presented: Tomorrow’s Verse (a classic saison), Steely Jam (west coast IPA), 10 Degree (Czech style lager). The ciders from Nitty’s included Gypsy Rose (cherry pomegranate) and Toxic (tastes like lime Skittles). If you’re ever in Sacramento, be sure to visit both of these places!

Tomorrow’s Verse was paired with a variety of California cheeses. Did you know California has a cheese trail with over 70 producers across the state? If you’re making a trip to California, check out the map at to see what farms and cheese makers are nearby. We sampled cheeses from Cowgirl Creamery and Cypress Grove.

The IPA, Steely Jam, paired very well with fresh veggies and hummus. This pairing was inspired by California’s nine national parks– more than any other state! Pack a cooler with your favorite vegetables and dips, and go explore.

Next up, the Czech style lager, was enjoyed with some marinated chicken skewers. I could just imagine sitting on the beach with this dish. The inspiration- Dana’s Point, California. Though Dana’s Point is known as the birthplace of US surf culture, it’s also the dolphin and whale watching capital of the world!

We moved onto Gypsy Rose cider next and talked about the Santa Cruz beach boardwalk. There, you’ll find the historic wooden roller coaster, The Giant Dipper. Of course, this location was paired with some California dip sandwiches.

Lastly, the unique Toxic cider was perfectly paired with the classic It’s It ice cream sandwich- a San Francisco legend that consists of vanilla ice cream, graham cracker, and a chocolate coating. I dug around the website to see if I can get them shipped to me (and I can!) and there are a variety of flavors. This fun pairing highlighted all of the iconic theme parks around California.

This is just a small example of everything California has to offer. Personally, I haven’t been there in a decade, but I’m excited to hopefully plan a trip in the near future. Mostly so I can get more of that lime cider in Sacramento! For trip ideas and places to visit, head to the Visit California website.

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