Top 15 Factory Tours around the Bay
By bayareadesi team on 02 Mar 2011
There are lots of factory tours you can take in bay area. Here's a list of top 15 we think you should take. Factory tours are fun way to spend the day and learn something at the same time. Most of these are for free or charge a nominal fee. How many have you been to?
Anchor Brewing has played a significant role in San Francisco's rich history. Anchor's seven unique beers—including Anchor Steam®—each brew is virtually handmade from an all-malt mash in our handcrafted copper brewhouse, a veritable museum of the simple, traditional breweries of old.
Anchor Brewers & Distillers Currently we offer one public tour each weekday afternoon, by reservation only. The tour and the tasting last for about 2 hours and is free of charge. For tour reservations call (415)863-8350
Jelly Belly Candy Factory, Fairfield, CA
Step into our factory and smell the aroma of chocolate, apricot, cinnamon or pineapple, whatever is being cooked up that day. A visit to our candy making factory is a sugary delight. During the 40-minute walking tour, Jelly Belly Guides will show you a real working factory, learn the secrets to how they create the legendary Jelly Belly bean, and discover why it takes more than a week to make a single bean. See taffy, chocolates, and wild gummi critters in the making, too.
Reservations are not required. Tours are free.
Marin French Cheese Company, Petaluma, CA
The Marin French Cheese Company has manufactured cheese in the same location for 136 years. For more than a hundred years Marin French Cheese Company has refined it's ability to produce an "authentic French" Camembert striving for authenticity in it's hand crafted artisan process. Cheeses from Rouge et Noir are created from traditional recipes, using traditional cultures to achieve the taste and quality of true Camembert and Brie cheeses without compromise. The lover of soft ripened cheeses has a variety of Rouge et Noir selections from which to choose. Each distinctive cheese provides a fresh and unique culinary experience. They offer tours seven days each week at 10:00am, 11:00am, Noon and 3:00pm.
Mrs. Grossman's, Petaluma, CA
Mrs GrossmanWe are the largest sticker manufacturer in the United States and have been making stickers since 1979. They currently manufacture more than 700 different sticker designs and are adding new designs all the time. They run our presses 24 hours a day in our beautiful 110,000 square foot facility. Along with sticker making factory, their building houses the design studio, business offices and a well-stocked company store where all of their stickers are available for sale to the public.
The one-hour tour includes:
* An award-winning video hosted by Angus, Mrs. Grossman's granddog
* A guided tour of the sticker factory
* A fun Sticker Art craft activity
* A visit to our Sticker Museum, where you can see every sticker we've made
Tours are Monday-Thursday by reservation only. The fee is $3.00 per person. For tour reservation call (800)429-4549
McRoskey Mattress Company, San Francisco, CA
If you've ever wondered how the legendary comfort of a McRoskey mattress is made, here’s your chance to find out and have some fun too.
“We’ve been handcrafting mattresses in San Francisco since 1899 and we still follow many of the same mattress-making techniques,” said McRoskey owner and president Robin McRoskey Azevedo. “This tour is a wonderful opportunity to see a McRoskey mattress made firsthand and learn a bit of San Francisco history as well.”
The weekly tour will take participants through all stages of mattress manufacturing and will last 30 minutes to one hour. All tours are by advance reservation only. Tours are every Thursday at 1 p.m. For tour reservation email sales@McRoskey.com or call (877)499-9600
Mee Mee Bakery, San Francisco, CA
Since 1950, Mee Mee Bakery, located in San Francisco's Chinatown, has been making fresh fortune cookies daily from our bakery to individuals, restaurants, and special events. Come down and see for yourself how fortune cookies are made! They offer free short tours of their bakery so that you can not only enjoy fortune cookies, but also appreciate and delight yourself in how they are made. Tour hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 am to 4 p.m. Tour is Free.
For tour reservation call (415) 362-3204
Alembic, Santa Rosa, CA
When Alembic started back in 1969, our goal was to create the finest quality American made instruments ever known. This philosophy applies to all products that we offer. While we are best known for our basses, we also make outstanding guitars, preamps, and accessories.
Tours are almost always available on Wednesdays at 11:00 am. For tour reservation call (707)523-2611
Heath Ceramics, Sausalito, CA
Join them for a tour of historic Sausalito factory, where their craftsmen have been producing award-winning tableware and architectural tile for over half a century. You'll see how every part of their process from clay-making to kiln-firing is done right here in our 1959 factory, often utilizing the original methods and equipment developed by Edith Heath throughout her career.
Tours are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday mornings at 11am (with more to be added later in the year). Admission is free. For tour reservation call (415)332-3732 x13
The Paramount Theatre, Oakland, CA
Paramount Theatre is one of the finest remaining examples of Art Deco design in the United States. Designed by renowned San Francisco architect Timothy L. Pflueger and completed in late 1931, it was one of the first Depression-era buildings to incorporate and integrate the work of numerous creative artists into its architecture and is particularly noteworthy for its successful orchestration of the various artistic disciplines into an original and harmonious whole.
Public tours are given on the first and third Saturdays of each month. No reservations are necessary. Tours begin promptly at 10:00 am. The tour lasts about 2 hours and provides a full and informative view of the Theatre. Admission is $1.00 per person.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Chico, CA
In 1979, Ken Grossman began building a small brewery in the town of Chico, California. His goal: to brew exceptional ales and lagers. Today, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is considered the premier craft brewery in the United States. And the beer? Critics proclaim it “Among the best brewed anywhere in the world.”
You can see the brewing process for yourself, then try their award-winning ales and lagers in our Taproom & Restaurant. Guided tours are complimentary and available daily.
Corbin, Hollister, CA
They are the largest and most highly regarded manufacturer of quality motorcycle seats and accessories in the World... and have been for over 35 years!
Corbin carries a full line of motorcycle saddles and accessories for nearly all motorcycle makes and models, including custom bikes. Look around and see for yourself. Corbin offers a self-guided walking tour for small groups on Monday - Friday 8am to 4pm and on Saturday 8 am to noon. Tour is free.
Hilmar Cheese Company, Hilmar, CA
Hilmar Cheese Company products are known around the world for excellent quality, great taste and superior functionality. State of the art production facilities enable us to produce a variety of high quality cheese while meeting diverse customer specifications.
The cheesemakers will explain how fresh milk is turned into tasty Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese in our "Cheese Theatre." Explore their interactive exhibits about agriculture, the dairy industry and cheesemaking. Meet "Buttercup," dress as a cheesemaker and "mix a meal" for a cow in our miniature mixer wagon. See modern technology package 500-pound barrels and 640-pound blocks of cheese!
Self-Guided Tours are available daily from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Guided Tours are available on Saturday and Sunday at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
Anheuser-Busch (Bottling Plant), Fairfield, CA
At the beginning of the tour, we'll explain the wonders of our natural brewing process while you enjoy complimentary tastings of our fine beers. You will visit the beechwood aging cellar and the production floor, where high-speed packaging lines fill thousands of cans and bottles every minute. Tour is free. Sept-May - Tues-Sat 10:00 am - 4:00 pm; June-Aug - Mon-Sat 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Cheese-making has been in Walter’s family for 4 generations. So, it came natural to follow his ancestors footsteps when he bought his first cheese vat in 1983. It was in Escalon, hidden in an almond orchard, where the family remodeled an old dairy barn and produced their native Gouda cheese, Quark and Yogurt for the first 12 years. Sales were done on Certified Farmers Markets, by Mail Order and through a small room in their garage with refrigerator, where people could just walk in and leave their money on the counter top. Talking about honesty and trust! No reservation needed and Tour is free.
Sun Empire Foods, Kerman, CA
Phil and Sandy Dee love what they're doing, converting the traditional harvest of their homeland into something imaginative and delicious. Sun Empire food
The company produces literally tons of hand-made, coated delicacies. Their scrumptious milk chocolate covered nuts and fruits make an excellent companion to their brittles and/or roasted nuts and dried fruits.
Half hour tours are available weekdays between 9:00 and 3:00, January thru September at no cost. For tour reservation call 1(800)252-4SUN