Sonoma Beer: The Best Breweries and Brew Pubs

  • Food
  • by WC STAFF
  • on SEPTEMBER 30, 2015
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The Sonoma County beer scene has exploded over the past few years, with over five new breweries and cider houses opening each year. Among beer enthusiasts, Sonoma County is known as one of the top travel destinations to get a good pint.

A New Brewery in Town

Cooperage-Brewing-750x400
Image Source: Cooperage Brewing and Yelp

Cooperage Brewing
981 Airway Ct
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
(707) 293-9787
Yelp: 5 stars, 14 reviews

Situated in a commercial area of Santa Rosa, Cooperage Brewing is a favorite of many local home brewers, beer geeks, and professional brewers. The tap room currently serves fresh hoppy beers, stouts and porters while barrels in the back room age sour beers to be served in a year or so. Giant tables can fit large groups, including kids and dogs, so bring the whole family.

Insider tip: Bring in your own food, the tap room only serves popcorn. Or, if you’re visiting for dinner on a Thursday or Friday, Palooza Gastropub food truck is parked right outside!

Grab a Pint After a Day of Wine Tasting

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Image Source: Bear Republic Brewing Co

Bear Republic Brewing Co
345 Healdsburg Ave
Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 433-2337
Yelp: 3.5 stars, 662 reviews

Just off Healdsburg’s West Plaza Park, Bear Republic Brewing Company’s restaurant and patio provides an excellent break from a day of wine tasting with a hearty menu and national favorites like the Racer 5, an American IPA.

Insider tip: Try one of the rotating, seasonal beers, such as Cuvee de Bubba, a Berliner Weisse.

Gastropub that Focuses on Local

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Image Source: Yelp and TripAdvisor

Barley and Hops Tavern
3688 Bohemian Hwy
Occidental, CA 95465
(707) 874-9037
Yelp: 4.5 stars, 152 reviews

Located in the town of Occidental, Barley and Hops showcases local ingredients and wine country dining at a pub fare. With 13 taps, and up to 60 bottled beers from a wide variety of craft brewers, there is something for every beer lover. Visit on Friday night and enjoy live music from Sonoma County musicians.

Insider tip: Order the Three Little Pigs. Pulled pork sliders work excellent as a beer pairing.

A Craft Beer Geek’s Dream

Beercraft-750x400
Image Source: Yelp

Beercraft
5704 Commerce Blvd
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
(707) 206-9440
Yelp: 5 stars, 40 reviews

Located in Rohnert Park, and minutes away from breweries such as Lagunitas and Russian River, Beercraft is a family owned bottle-shop. Featuring 8 – 10 rotating taps from across California, and a plethora of bottled beer, the taproom is where local Sonoma beer lovers, and industry folks go to unwind.

Insider tip: The two owners travel up and down California, bringing back beers only available at the brewery, so most beers on tap are not available anywhere else in Sonoma County like the Mraz Brewing Company in El Dorado Hills.

The Brewery That Put Sonoma County Beer on the Map

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Image Source: Yelp

Russian River Brewing Co
724 4th St
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
(707) 545-2337
Yelp: 4 stars, 1720 reviews

Right in the middle of downtown Santa Rosa sits Russian River Brewing Co, an iconic name in the craft beer world. The brewpub, opened in 2004, hosts 15+ taps of their award winning beer, including the world renowned Pliny the Elder, available year round at the brewery. Pliny, and its brother Pliny the Younger, have gained notoriety in the beer world for the hop forward recipe and amazing flavor.

Insider tip: If you visit on a weekend, be prepared to wait in a line. Connecting with fellow beer lovers while waiting helps the time go by faster.

Small Bites and Beer Pairings

Palooza-750x400
Image Source: Yelp

Palooza
8910 Sonoma Hwy
Kenwood, CA 95452
(707) 833-4000
Yelp: 4.5 stars, 79 reviews

Centered in Kenwood California, Palooza is the definition of a gastropub. Hand crafted food, a continuously updated craft beer list (both on draught and in bottle), as well as stellar wine, Palooza is a great stop after a day of wine tasting in Sonoma Valley.

Insider tip: Grab a barstool and get beer and food pairing ideas from the bartender. The Scotch Egg pairs really well with a hoppy IPA.

A Home Brewer’s Dream

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Image Source: Facebook

Petaluma Hills Brewing Co
1333 N McDowell Blvd
Ste A
Petaluma, CA 94954
(707) 766-4458
Yelp: 4 stars, 56 reviews

The dream of every home brewer is to one day make a living sharing beers with others. Located off McDowell Blvd in Petaluma, directly across from Lagunitas Brewing, Petaluma Hills is the result of that dream for its owner. The family owned brewery is a comfortable contrast to crowded tables across the street. While the brewery is without a kitchen, guests are welcome to bring their own lunch and enjoy the many board games they have stocked.

Insider tip: Try a flight of carbonated beers alongside their nitro cousins—it will give you a sense of how much a beer profile differs with subtle changes.

Beer on the Petaluma River

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Image Source: Yelp

Taps Beer Company & Kitchen
54 E Washington St
Petaluma, CA 95952
(707) 763-6700
Yelp: 3.5 stars, 129 reviews


Taps is a local’s spot in downtown Petaluma. The large outside patio sits atop the Petaluma River, with a beautiful view of old downtown. With a broad range of draught and bottled beer, you are sure to find something new and exciting whenever you stop by. The menu was created with beer in mind with wine country dishes likes pork belly mac n’ cheese and 4505 Cheddar Bratwurst made with meat from a San Francisco butcher shop, everything is made to taste great with a cold pint. Bring the entire family and sit on a large picnic bench on the patio.

Insider tip: Order a taste test of all four types of hot wings, ranging from hot to out-of-control hot. Pair with pitchers of beer.

The Sonoma Beer scene has changed the way many people view Sonoma County. Not only home to world-renowned wineries, Sonoma County is also home to some of the best beer in the world.