Sonoma County, California has a long, illustrious history of being known for its miles and miles of vineyards and tasting rooms where some of the world’s best wines are produced and poured. However, in recent years, the region has established itself as much more than just wine country, proving that it can also cater to those who would much rather see what’s on tap than uncork a bottle. With more than 20 functioning breweries in the area, if you love your suds, you will have no problem finding a craft beer to satisfy your palate. The only trouble you’ll have is deciding where to go. Fortunately, the following list features what locals and visitors agree are the best Sonoma County breweries to get you started down the right beer trail. At these spots, you can’t be blamed for choosing to forego a glass of red, white, or bubbly in favor of what promises to be some of the most unique tasting beers you’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing.
Healdsburg Beer Company
1670 Stirrup Loop
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Healdsburg Beer Company is proud to be a family-owned brewery. Since opening in 2007, they have focused on producing a limited variety of artisan cask ales. They offer The Fitch Cask, The Alexander Cask, and The Lytton Cask on a regular basis, as well as seasonal ales periodically. Less than a 1,000 gallons are made each year, and a labor of love can be tasted in every pint.
15045 River Rd
Guerneville, CA 95446
At Stumpton Brewery, you will find a few in-house beers on tap along with some local favorites. The choices are consistently being rotated so patrons get the chance to taste something different on their next visit. This is a great place to start your afternoon when they open at 11AM or end your night since they never close before midnight.
St. Florian’s Brewery
7704 Bell Rd
Windsor, CA 95492
Founded by Windsor’s honorable fire captain, St. Florian’s Brewery is just as dedicated to the community as the husband and wife team that run it. They strive to serve nothing but the finest beer releases made from quality ingredients. Among their award-winning offerings is the St. Florian’s Brewery California Common lager, St. Florian’s Brewery brown ale, Flashover IPA, 48/96 (a homage to the firefighter’s committed working schedule).
Fogbelt Brewing Company
1305 Cleveland Ave
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Fogbelt Brewing Company is a relatively new spot in Sonoma County, opening for business in 2013. Owned by long-time friends and natives to the area, there is hope that the brewery will help to reemerge this as one of the country’s most recognized hop growing regions as it once was. The taproom features a long list of handcrafted beers that are routinely joined by seasonal and experimental releases.
Woodfour Brewing Company
6780 Depot St
Sebastopol, CA 95472
Located in The Barlow, one of Sebastopol’s most popular attractions, Woodfoor Brewing Company is a farmhouse style brewery and restaurant, specializing in saisons, sours, and barrel-aged beer. On tap, a mixture of ales and lagers are available to perfectly complement a fresh, seasonal menu of savory small plates.
Petaluma Hills Brewing Company
1333 N McDowell Blvd A
Petaluma, CA 94954
The taproom at Petaluma Hills Brewing Company is open daily and provides guests the chance to speak with the actual brew experts and possibly even get a taste test. The lively brewery is constantly filled with events and activities, and of course, a wide selection of craft beer that continues to impress with each rotation.
Carneros Brewing Company
22985 Burndale Rd, Sonoma, CA 95476
A visit to Carneros Brewing Company will you give you the full brewery experience. The taproom is located within the brew house, giving patrons a rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of the brewmaster at work. There is also a beer garden on the grounds where you are welcome to enjoy the beautiful scenery while chugging down a refreshing beer.
Because beer tasting in the region has increased so much in popularity, you can easily visit any of the best Sonoma County breweries by creating a customized tour with a local company, such as North Bay Brewery Tours or Brew Brothers Brewery Tours. This will allow you to keep your mug full of suds without trying to figure out directions to the next place or who’s going to be the designated driver. If you have time, you can also add some of the area’s larger and more well known breweries to your itinerary, which include Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa, Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma, and Bear Republic Brewing company in Healdsburg.
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