California Beer

Today in 1850, California became the 31st state.


California Breweries

California Brewery Guides

Guild: California Craft Brewers Association

Regional Guilds:

State Agency: California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control


  • Capital: Sacramento
  • Largest Cities: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Long Beach
  • Population: 33,871,648; 1st
  • Area: 163707 sq.mi., 3rd
  • Nickname: Golden State
  • Statehood: 31st, September 9, 1850


  • Alcohol Legalized: December 5, 1933
  • Number of Breweries: 305
  • Rank: 1st
  • Beer Production: 23,583,042
  • Production Rank: 1st
  • Beer Per Capita: 19.9 Gallons


Package Mix:

  • Bottles: 44.1%
  • Cans: 45.7%
  • Kegs: 10.1%

Beer Taxes:

  • Per Gallon: $0.20
  • Per Case: $0.45
  • Tax Per Barrel (24/12 Case): $6.20
  • Draught Tax Per Barrel (in Kegs): $6.20
  • California Redemption Value: $0.04 per containers for all aluminum, glass and plastic less than 24 ounces and $0.08 per container for all containers for aluminum, glass and plastic greater than 24 ounces

Economic Impact (2010):

  • From Brewing: $3,809,238,894
  • Direct Impact: $9,224,009,106
  • Supplier Impact: $10,726,058,038
  • Induced Economic Impact: $13,291,784,223
  • Total Impact: $33,241,851,367

Legal Restrictions:

  • Control State: No
  • Sale Hours: 6 a.m.–2 a.m.
  • Grocery Store Sales: Yes
  • Notes: Relatively unrestricted; beer, wine and liquor available at grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations, and warehouse clubs. No statewide holiday restrictions.
    Motor vehicles entering from Mexico may only import 1L of alcohol (duty free). Sale or distribution of alcohol higher than 153 proof is illegal.

    You may serve alcohol if you are at least 18 years of age.

    City and County governments can set different sale hours.


Data complied, in part, from the Beer Institute’s Brewer’s Almanac 2010, Beer Serves America, the Brewers Association, Wikipedia and my World Factbook. If you see I’m missing a brewery link, please be so kind as to drop me a note or simply comment on this post. Thanks.

For the remaining states, see Brewing Links: United States.

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