In the heat of summer, quench your thirst with refreshing sips of ice-cold beer created right here in the Coachella Valley. The desert’s microbrew and craft culture has grown to meet demand for fine, independent, and locally made beers; summer is a great time to explore the lighter styles and seasonal blends.
In addition to finding craft brews at valley stores and restaurants, you can check out the batches coming from taprooms firsthand: Call ahead to catch a tour to see the brewmasters in action.
A veteran on the valley craft beer scene, Babe’s Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse has been cooking up recipes for more than a decade. Babe’s uses lighter hops and malt bodies to make its brews enjoyable year-round in the desert climate. The flagship beers — the Honey Blonde Ale and Blackfin Lager — have won numerous awards. In keeping with the industry trend of moving away from mass food production, Babe’s sources its honey from farms less than an hour away.
Babe’s Brewhouse sits within the restaurant and features a silo at the entrance holding more than 15,000 pounds of malt. Order from the bar or at the table; tasting flights are available during regular restaurant hours, every day from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. The bar closes at 11 p.m.
71800 Hwy. 111, Rancho Mirage. 760-346-8738;
La Quinta Brewing Co. has come out strong in its freshman year with hotels, golf courses, and retailers embracing its “taste of sunshine” ales and porters, including the “hoppy” One Eleven Pale Ale and Windy Point Wheat with hints of orange citrus.
The Poolside Blonde is perfect for drinking indoors or out. It’s also packaged in lightweight cans for easy portability, cooling, and less light exposure. Look for the Brews Traveler mobile draft beer trailer about town or grab a taste at the taproom, open 2-8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 2-6 p.m. Sundays.
77917 Wildcat Dr., Palm Desert. 760-200-2597;
There’s always something new to sample at Coachella Valley Brewing Co., which introduces a new beer each week. Embracing sustainable concepts and taking a “farm-to-glass” approach, the team sources from local agriculture for its brews.
In homage to the East Valley citrus harvest, try the Harvester Imperial IPA, created with three types of grapefruit. The Dubbel Date, a Belgian-style amber ale, uses a pound of dates for every barrel. Summer Swarm — the lighter version of the popular Desert Swarm — is a honey double-wheat beer with a killer taste: The honey is sourced from an East Valley African killer bee colony and has notes of kumquat, coriander, cinnamon, and citrus. Tasting room hours vary and run Tuesdays to Sundays.
30640 Gunther St., Thousand Palms. 760-343-5973;