New Suds in Town – More Craft Beer in Santa Rosa

Two new breweries have turned an industrial area in northwest Santa Rosa into a destination for craft beer fans.

Plow Brewing Co., which opened in April, is owner and brewer Kevin Robinson’s handiwork. After stints at Lagunitas Brewing in Petaluma, San Francisco’s Speakeasy Ales & Lagers and Russian River Brewing in Santa Rosa, Robinson struck out on his own, installing Plow’s brewing equipment himself.

The cozy taproom feels engineered for bellying up to the bar and talking beer. Robinson had had three brews on tap recently: a pilsner, a traditional India pale ale and a rich Imperial porter. A hoppier IPA is just around the corner. Can’t decide? Plow offers “crowlers,” 32-ounce cans filled at the bar and meant for taking home. Robinson also offers bottles for sale, under his Divine Brewing Co. label.

While Plow is the kind of place you’d stop to have a beer, chat up the friendly staff and grab a crowler, Cooperage Brewing Co., a couple blocks away, is designed to let patrons while away the afternoon. The spacious taproom has diversions including TVs, a putting green, darts and the bean bag game of cornhole.

Accomplished home brewer Tyler Smith, who founded Cooperage with his wife, Stephanie, plans to specialize in sour, barrel-aged beers. They can take a year or more to make, so for now, he’s pouring a rotating selection of quicker-to-market ales. Makin’ Hoppies, a pale ale, can hold its own against the area’s best offerings.

Cooperage is extremely dog-friendly. One Sunday afternoon, several pooches hung out with their owners while the Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog” played on the sound system. No joke.

Cooperage Brewing Co., 981 Airway Court, Santa Rosa, 707-293-9787, cooperagebrewing.com

Plow Brewing Co., 3334 Industrial Drive, Santa Rosa, 707-843-4583, visit on Facebook

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