My lawn is turning brown. A lot of grass is grown for the beef industry which is one of the biggest wastes of water in the state. It takes something like 6,000 gallons of water for each pound of beef. Almonds don't really grow anywhere else in the country and California produces a majority of the world's supply and 99% of the almonds grown in the US. Almonds are native to the Mediterranean climate of the Middle East. The funny thing is that wild almonds are highly toxic and contain an enzyme which creates cyanide. Each wild almond can contain 4-9mg of cyanide. Sweet almonds contain a small fraction of that since they lack the enzyme. Almonds are considered a cash crop due to the high prices they demand. With the drought, though, a lot of farmers are cutting back on their water usage, though last weekend when I drove along highway 120 I saw at least one orchard running their sprinklers in the middle of the day with pools of water around the trees.
99% of the walnuts grown in the US are grown in California. The Persian and English walnuts are the most common for eating and like almonds like a Mediterranean climate. The black walnut is much less popular and there are varieties native to both the eastern North America and California and some other places.
Before the major drought, growing these was not a major issue in California. Unlike other crops, though, it takes years until a tree can produce and they don't do well in other areas of the country.
Hops, barley, wheat, etc. needed for beer can be grown just about anywhere and don't necessarily have to be grown in the state for the brewers.