Domestic beers similar to Boddingtons...
I'm a big fan of Boddingtons, however I'd prefer to find a local (Northern Calif) brewery that makes something that is similar to it. Or something that you could find at your local specialty store (I've seen some interesting beers at Trader Joes, WholeFoods etc..).
I'm a big fan of the nitro beers and porters as well. So suggestions along those lines would be great...
I'd look for something in perhaps the "Cream Ale" variety, unfortunately nothing jumps out at me amongst Nor Cal breweries. Maybe somebody else can think of something.
Lot's of good Porters though. Almost too many to list.
I had one that was really really good a long time ago... it was made by Rogue, but not sure what it was called. Something with "bitter" in the name maybe?
Summer Solstice from Anderson Valley was very similar, and much more tasty IMO. It is not a Nitro beer so it won't be as creamy. Its a seasonal so you probably won't see it again for a few more months.
There are several other imports that are similar. Sort of a cream ale / english bitter. They are not at all popular right now in the american beer scene, which is unfortunate because they are great session beers.
I guess i should have specified the imports: St Peters English Ale, and Sam Smith Yorkshire Stingo being two of the best. These will have a bit more of a bite since the nitro mellows the beers hop profile big time. We had a really good one in CO but it was at the tap room only, and is gone, so that doesn't help you at all
Here is a detailed list of the similar style:
English Bitter - BeerAdvocate
Though BA calls it a Pale Ale i place it more in the bitter or cream ale catigory.
For a darker creamy beer that shouldn't be too hard to find, try Left Hand Milk Stout. I hear they are now making a nitro version as well.
There really are not many domestic cream ales, which is a shame. I great lawnmower beer style that could really bridge to the mainstream. In Wisconsin, Spotted Cow is close, but not really creamy enough to be put in this category.
Just checked the Lefthand brewing co webpage and there's no distributors in California... *sigh* sent them an email to find if there were any other ideas besides crossing statelines.
Boddington's is pretty close to a light English Bitter or Cream Ale as Guerdonian pointed out. Not too many breweries are interested in this style, I'm assuming because it's not exciting enough for the craft beer movement right now.
There were a couple brewed in the area (from Lagunitas and Anderson Valley as Guerdonian already mentioned) but I don't think they're made anymore. You're out of luck for a locally-made one currently.
Your options are to check out other styles, as other people have indicated, or to stick with Boddington's or Wexford's Cream Ale. You can find Wexfords at BevMo. Bellhaven is about the same too.
You won't find Left Hand in CA, but you can buy it online. I wouldn't say that it's close to Boddington's, but it's still good.
I suggest you try stuff from Anchor Brewing, which is probably the closest local brewer to what you're looking for in a Boddington's.