Sonoma County Craft Beer Lovers Tour

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Sonoma County has long been synonymous with world-class wine, but with the burgeoning craft beer phenomena, more travelers are seeing this part of Wine Country as a destination for beer. We’ve put together a list of the top eight breweries to visit during a two-day tour of the region.

Day 1

1
Restaurants / Healdsburg

Bear Republic Brewing Co.

For one of the few craft breweries on the tour that offers a full menu of great pub grub, come to “The Bear” with an appetite. Famous for its strong bitter ales, such as Racer 5 and Red Rocket, Bear Republic is a local favorite and a rare find in the town of Healdsburg. That being said, plans are in the works for a new location to open north of Santa Rosa, in Rohnert Park.

Insider Tip

Try the ``Build your own Brat`` sandwich, and choose delicious sausages made with Bear Republic Beer.

Directions

Take Hwy 101 north from Santa Rosa and exit at 503 Central Healdsburg. Proceed to Healdsburg Plaza and destination. From North of Healdsburg, take 101 South to Westside Rd. Take a left under the freeway to Healdsburg Avenue and go left. Proceed to Healdsburg Plaza.

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2
Things To Do / Windsor

St. Florian's Brewery

St. Florian’s Brewery, named for the patron saint of firefighters, is a very small brewery located a mile or so south of the Windsor Town Green. Aron, the brewmaster, and also a Windsor fire captain, brews five or six different beers that can be enjoyed in the tiny taproom or on the outside patio. Your best bet is to order the sampler, or just grab a pint of California Common.

Insider Tip

Those who prefer a beer with less alcohol will enjoy the light, crisp flavor of the 48/96.

Directions

Head south on Healdsburg Avenue leaving the plaza and continue through the light at Mill Street. Stay to the right at the next light and merge onto Highway 101 South and go 5 miles. Take Exit 498 toward Windsor. Turn right on Old Redwood Hwy. Turn left onto Conde Lane, and turn right onto Bell Rd.

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3
Things To Do / Santa Rosa

Moonlight Brewing

After cultivating a 20-year following, fans of Moonlight Brewing finally have a place to enjoy their favorite beers, right at the source. Moonlight’s taproom is (literally) a hole in the wall, where beer aficionados can squeeze in and get a fix of Death & Taxes, or the Twist of Fate. Small parties may find an empty stool, or a table in the brewing warehouse.

Insider Tip

Those with a gluten allergy are in luck: Moonlight Brewing's beers are gluten free.

Directions

Head back the way you came from Bell to Conde Lane and take Hwy 101 south again for 4.3 miles. Take the Hopper Avenue exit and turn right onto Hopper Avenue. Follow Hopper for 1.3 miles, then take a left onto Coffee Lane. Turn left at about .6 miles into the driveway.

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4
Restaurants / Santa Rosa

Plow Brewing Company

Fans of intimate craft breweries will love Plow Brewing Company’s taproom. There are usually about three beers on tap, and the facility is capable of canning beer for you on the spot. Try the Ox II IPA or the Scythe Porter. When you are finished at Plow for the day, you can always head across the street to Bottle Barn and purchase other favorites to take with you.

Insider Tip

Visit Plow Brewing Company on Wednesday evening for their ``Meet the Brewer`` event, where Kevin Robinson discusses the brewing process.

Directions

Turn left out of the driveway and head south on Coffee Lane. Turn left onto Piner Road, and then the first left onto Industrial Road. Plow Brewing will be on the right about .3 miles down.

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Day 2

5
Things To Do / Santa Rosa

Cooperage Brewing Company

Tucked away in an industrial park, Cooperage Brewing company is not what you might think when the term “brewery” enters your mind. Upon entering, you are greeted with a long shuffleboard table, several picnic-style tables, and a gigantic mural painted by a local artist. Cooperage currently has hoppy IPAs and Pale Ales on tap, but check back often, as a selection of aging sours will be tapped before long.

Insider Tip

Cooperage is canine friendly, so bring along your favorite four legged friend.

Directions

The location is very near Plow Brewing Company. From Plow, head left back out onto Industrial Drive and turn left onto Center Drive. Take an immediate left onto Airway Drive and take an immediate right into Airway Court.

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6
Things To Do / Santa Rosa

Fogbelt Brewing Company

Sandwiched between a woodfire pizza restaurant and a barber shop, Fogbelt Brewing Company quietly brews some of Sonoma County’s finest craft beer. Come for the excellent menu and try one of several flagship brews or a seasonal offering. Fogbelt is also a great place to bring a group interested in tasting both wine and beer, as the brewery shares a parking lot with two wine tasting rooms.

Insider Tip

Try a pint of the Armstrong Stout, and pair it with the Bruschetta Trio.

Directions

From Cooperage turn left onto Airway Drive and head to Piner Road. Take a left onto Piner and proceed until you reach Cleveland; turn right onto Cleveland. Fogbelt will be on your right after about 1.7 miles.

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7
Things To Do / Santa Rosa

HenHouse Brewing Company

Quite possibly the newest taproom in Santa Rosa, Henhouse Brewing Company has already garnered outstanding support from local beer drinkers. Belly up to the long copper bar, or grab a table with a friend: the six-beer flight for $10 is a good deal and a must for tasters; or, go all-in with an Oyster Stout.

Insider Tip

If you visit on the weekend, Sebastopol-based Redhorse Pizza has a food truck just outside — great for soaking up Henhouse's popular Saison.

Directions

Turn right on Cleveland Avenue and proceed until College Avenue. Turn left onto College Avenue and merge right to take 101 South for 2.3 miles. Take exit 487 toward Hearn Avenue, then turn left onto Corby Avenue and proceed until Corby becomes Bellevue. Henhouse will be on your left.

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8
Things To Do / Sebastopol

Woodfour Brewing Company

Located in Sebastopol’s artsy Barlow neighborhood, Woodfour Brewing Company sets out to celebrate the classic farmhouse style of brewing. Choose from an assortment of sour beers and lagers, and if you are hungry, Woodfour has a fantastic menu of items to enjoy on the spacious patio.

Insider Tip

Try the Jinja Juice if it's on tap for a unique flavor mix of spice and sour.

Directions

From Henhouse, turn left onto Bellevue Avenue and proceed to Stony Point Road. Turn right on Stony Point, then immediately left onto Ludwig Avenue. Proceed for 2 miles then take a right onto Llano Road. Proceed for 1.5 miles to Hwy 12 and turn left. Proceed to Dept Street, and turn right on Depot Street.

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