Food + Drink, Sonoma Breweries

Where to Taste Big Chicken IPA in Sonoma County and Beyond

HenHouse Brewing Co.'s Big Chicken IPA is only available for two days. Here's where to catch the rare beer bird.

Henhouse BIG Chicken IPA Release TODAY. (Photo courtesy of HenHouse Brewing Facebook page)
Henhouse BIG Chicken IPA Release TODAY. (Photo courtesy of HenHouse Brewing Facebook page)
Henhouse Big Chicken IPA Release today. (Photo courtesy of HenHouse Brewing Facebook page)

A Petaluma chicken is on the run. We’re not talking the feathery poultry kind of chick but a big hoppy one, and now is your chance to catch it. Today marks the fifth annual release of HenHouse Brewing Co.’s limited edition Big Chicken double IPA and, as we speak, Bay Area beer lovers are getting ready to seek out this rare bird.

Only available to taste two days per year, Big Chicken is a big deal in the beer world. It is made with Citra, Amarillo, and Mosaic hops, and each barrel contains 11 pounds of hops (most IPAs contain only three pounds). The high hop content makes the beer intense, but also fragile and it perishes fast. Because of this reason, HenHouse kegs and delivers Big Chicken on the very same day, and ask that bars and brewpubs taps it on that day in order to ensure peak freshness. The beer usually runs out within two days (and with SFBeer Week in full swing, the beer is likely to go even faster), which leaves only a small window between now and Sunday to get a taste.

“Big Chicken is the extreme of our focus on freshness,” said HenHouse Brewing Co. president Scott Goyne,”Beer is a far more perishable product than most folks realize, in particular hop flavor and aroma degrade fast, so it’s important to drink hoppy beer in it’s short window of freshness.”

In Sonoma County, Big Chicken will be available at HenHouse’s taproom and at the following locations:

Roaring Donkey
McNear’s Saloon
Sauced BBQ & Spirits
Petaluma Market
Wilibee’s Wine & Spirits
Mario and John’s
Twin Oaks Roadhouse

Rohnert Park:
Beer Craft

Flagship Taproom

Santa Rosa:
Local Barrel
Belly Left Coast Kitchen
Steele and Hops
Westside Grill
Rincon Valley Tap Room & Bottle Shop

Oliver’s Market

Healdsburg Emporium

K&L Bistro
Community Market
Whiskey Tip

Barley and Hops


Big Chicken will also be available at these Bay Area locations:

North Bay:

Hopmonk (Novato)

Beer Craft (Novato)

Pig in a Pickle (Corte Madera) 

Napa Palisades

San Francisco:

Hopwater Distribution


Alamo Drafthouse

Crafty Fox

Mikkeller Bar

Long Bridge Pizza


G Spot



Sea Star

WesBurger ‘N’ More

Mission Bowling Club

Richmond Republic

Babu Ji

Rosamunde Sausage Grill

City Beer Store

Liquid Gold


East Bay:

Tap 25



Golden Squirrel

Elevation 66

Ben and Nick’s

Albany Taproom

Pacific Standard

Vine and Grain

Lost and Found

Hop Grenade

Ol Beercafe

Hog’s Apothecary

Half Orange

The Growler

Brotzeit lokal

Good Hop



The Cooler

Sunol Ridge


Final Gravity

Modesto Market

South Bay:

Devil’s Slide Taproom

Winters Tavern


Editor’s Note: Travel, dining and wine tasting can be complicated right now. Use our inspirational ideas to plan ahead for your next outing, be it this week or next year. If you visit restaurants, wineries, and other businesses during the pandemic, remember to call ahead, make reservations, wear a mask and social distance.

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