Small pours of different beers lined up for a tasting
Bear Republic Brewing Co., Rohnert Park

Enjoy Craft Beer and Breweries in Sonoma County

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Artisan brewers have increasingly bellied up to the bar in Sonoma County Wine Country, creating finely crafted beers based on local ingredients, their production limited to small, coveted amounts.

Sonoma County now has more than two dozen operating breweries, eight cideries, and 15 distilleries, with more opening seemingly every day.

Sonoma County's craft beer scene has become such a rich tapestry that Sonoma County has compiled a Craft Beverage Map showing local breweries, as well as cideries and distilleries.

Sonoma County's rich craft beer scene culminates in February, with the popular annual Pliny the Younger release (which in 2021 was held online in late January) by Russian River Brewing.  Their second, larger location now in Windsor features tours of the state-of-the-art beer making facility. Also in February is Santa Rosa's FeBREWary, a ground-breaking celebration of craft beer and community from Santa Rosa breweries, and produced in conjunction with California Craft Brew Week.

Russian River Brewing Tap Room
Russian River Brewing Company Santa Rosa

Of course, that's not to overlook Dempsey's Restaurant & Brewery and the ever-popular Lagunitas Brewing Co. in Petaluma; Fogbelt Brewing Company, Shady Oak Barrel House, and Third Street Aleworks in Santa Rosa; Barrel Brothers Brewing Company in Windsor; and Woodfour Brewing Company, Crooked Goat Brewing, and Seismic Brewing Company at The Barlow in Sebastopol. 

In Rohnert Park, brew houses include Bear Republic Brewing Co., (which moved here from its longtime home in Healdsburg); Parliament Brewing Company, which offers small-batch beers with names like Whatchamacallit IPA and Friend From Vermont New England Pale Ale; and Old Caz Beer, which keeps a rotating array of their brews on tap, such as Steady State German Pilsner, Chismosa Mexican Amber Lager, and Catastrophe Rye IPA.

A group of friends drinks beer together outside on a patio
Brewsters Beer Garden

Local craft beers are also featured in nightlife spots like The Block, Brewsters Beer Garden, and Taps Restaurant and Tasting Room in Petaluma; Barley & Hops Tavern in Occidental; and Steele & Hops Public House in Santa Rosa. Read more about Beer Gardens in Sonoma County here.

What's the buzz (pun intended) about? It's because all these independently owned operations showcase beer as art.

Two cans of beer sit on top of fresh hops
Fogbelt Brewing Company

At Fogbelt Brewing Company, brewers Paul Hawley and Remy Martin use exclusively California-grown hops. And Taps owner Eric Lafranchi features some three dozen beers from around the world on tap.

With so many choices, the solution is simple. Try them all. To get started, check our listings of Sonoma County's breweries, distilleries, and cider houses, and our Beer Trail Itinerary.

Want a bit of guidance? Take a guided craft brewery tour with On Tap Beer Tours or North Bay Brewery Tours, or visit craft breweries on two wheels with the Pints N Pedals guided cycling tour by Getaway Adventures or the Santa Rosa Bike 'N Brew Tour with Ace It! Bike Tours

You can also find more info about things to dorestaurants, and hotels and lodging in Sonoma County.

Written by Sonoma Insider Carey Sweet.