Claremont Craft Ales AKA CCA is truly one of the best breweries in the area possibly in the County! It’s tucked away on Claremont Blvd in an industrial center making it feel a bit hidden and exclusive. They’ve been around since 2012 and are truly dedicated and passionate about producing highly crafted and exciting beers. I remember going to CCA when it was just a wee brewery in a small space because they hadn’t yet expanded. Now, CCA is one of the liveliest breweries featuring award-winning beers, collaboration beers, and is the weekend highlight of many local residents.
My favorite aspect of CCA is how many of their beers are named in honor of the beautiful city of Claremont like the City of Trees Double IPA, 9th Street passionfruit Blonde, Baseline Double IPA, Padua Porter, Claremont IPA, Indian Hill Wheat IPA; and the list goes on.
Honestly, there are 101 reasons to visit CCA even if you aren’t a beer drinker. Come for the atmosphere, food, games, friendly vibe, décor, people, and most importantly the dogs- because so many people bring their doggos!
In case you need more reasons to visit CCA, here ya go.
1. Three words: Award-Winning Beer
Let’s all take a moment to acknowledge the remarkable beers that come out of this brewery. Their Happy Days Imperial Red, Grapefruit IPA, Station 101 Red IPA, Buddy Black Rye IPA, and Pepper & Peaches West Coast IPA are all gold medal-winning beers. Their Norman Cream Ale was given a silver medal while their beloved Jacaranda Rye IPA is a bronze medal winners. These designations come from the best beer competitions in the country like The Great American Beer Festival in Colorado, San Diego International Beer Competition, and Los Angeles International Beer Competition.
My personal favorite beer is their Coffee Del (coffee IPA) and I’ve never had another one come close to it. They certainly specialize in IPAs but they’re far from a one-trick pony. Their other styles include wheat, gose, porter, blonde, imperial stout, and so much more!
Be sure to grab a growler if you’d like to be the hero of your next backyard BBQ! They carry large growlers, growlettes (how cute), and crowlers (can growlers). So, stock up buddy!
2. The best food trucks!
I love the surprise factor of driving up to CCA to see which food truck is catering. There are so many top-notch food trucks that go through this brewery serving anything from gourmet sliders and delicious grilled cheese sandwiches to fresh sushi and wood-fired pizza.
There are other ways to enjoy food while you sip a brewskie at CCA. They welcome anyone to bring their own picnics or even order from a food service delivery app. It’s worth mentioning that Tuesdays are a big deal at CCA because it’s Taco Tuesday! Although this currently may be on hold due to pandemic, they will eventually pick it back up again.
3. The vibe/atmosphere will keep you coming back.
The energy and ambiance are vibrant and friendly at CCA. When you enter, you’ll notice stringed lights made out of CCA growlers, people playing games, brewery art on the walls, CCA swag, and people enjoying themselves with a glass or flight of craft beer. They have plenty of outdoor seating just be sure to make a reservation beforehand.
CCA is super pet friendly so don't be shy to ask to pet all the doggos - I always do! Feel free to bring your own board games and stay a while because you’ll see others doing the same! Pre-COVID I used to come on Taco Tuesday and play Magic the Gathering (Yes, I am a total nerd) and the best part is other people would stop by to ask what game I was playing and by the end of the night, I made a new friend or two!
Altogether the vibe feels like everyone is truly enjoying themselves. It’s meant for you to stay awhile, share a few laughs with the people next to you, drink delicious beer, and enjoy being amongst good company.
4. The most dog-friendly brewery ever.
“Yay puppies!” is what I always say when I enter CCA. It’s one of the most dog-friendly breweries I’ve ever been. Every Halloween they have a dog costume contest (with the exception of 2020) and it truly is cuteness overload. I've seen dogs dressed as sharks, hot dogs, princesses, cupcakes, and witches (I'm bursting!).
The only event where the pooches can’t come is their Annual Anniversary Celebration because of the high foot traffic because it would be a shame if their little paws got stepped on. Other than that, gather the puppers and take a trip to CCA for a refreshing craft beer while sitting outside to soak up the sun.
5. So Many Festivities
This is where it gets a little dicey because events have come to a screeching halt during this pandemic. It is unknown when the events will pick back up (eventually I would imagine). Pre-COVID there was much going on throughout the week in addition to annual events. Every Wednesday was trivia night and it’s a helluva time! Every Tuesday was bingo called “Bowties, Bingo & Beer” and every other Sunday is “Yoga on Tap”.
When it's safe to gather, CCA is also a great place to host your own celebration with friends and family. I have celebrated my birthday there 3 times and it always goes off without a hitch.
Their biggest event of the year is the Annual Claremont Craft Ales Anniversary Celebration usually held in July. This event has over 50 of their own beers on tap, live music, limited-edition merchandise, amazing food trucks, and tons of mingling.
The best to stay in the loop with all the festivities happening at CCA is by following their Instagram page.
If you visit CCA drop a line in the comments below because I’d love to about your experience. If you’re a CCA regular, what keeps you coming back? Either way, let’s continue the conversation on this incredible brewery we are so lucky to have in the City of Trees. For now, I bid you adieu.
Prefer wine instead? Check out Claremont Wine Bars All Wine Lovers Should Visit.
Photography Credits: All photos were taken by the author of this blog.