BiteClub

Win Exclusive Battle of the Brews Tickets

Craft Cup and 'Wich Hunt are exclusive new events


CONTEST CLOSED: CONGRATS KAI

Thousands of beer-drinkers are counting the minutes to this year’s Battle of the Brews, a knock-down, drag-out People’s Choice contest to name the best brewery. In its sweet 16 year, this annual tradition hosted by the Active 20-30 Club of Santa Rosa will feature dozens of competitors vying for  votes including Firestone Walker, Gordon Biersch, Anderson Valley Brewing, Lost Coast, Black Diamond, Widmer, Red Hook, Humboldt Brewing, Blue Moon, Lagunitas, Sierra Nevada, New Belgium and many others. Local restaurants will also compete, while Love Fool and the Pat Jordan Band rock onstage.

Not to mention, all the proceeds going to local children’s charities. So you can feel good about all that imbibing.

Battle of the Brews
March 31, 2012
Grace Pavilion, Sonoma County Fairgrounds
Craft Brew Cup and ‘Wich Hunt: 2:00-4:00pm
Main Event: 4:00-8:00pm
Go to BattleOfTheBrews.com for tickets

But you, BiteClubbers, deserve something a bit more…exclusive.

The premiere pre-event at Saturday’s Battle of the Brews is the First Annual Craft Cup and ‘Wich Hunt. From 2-4p.m., 300 guests get the red carpet treatment during these two juried competitions. Craft Cup competitors will be showing off the best of their craft brews in an unique tasting experience.

‘Wich Hunt, hosted by BiteClub, pits 21 of my favorite local chefs against each other to come up with the baddest, meanest, most amazing sandwich in Sonoma County. Each of the sandwiches (and trust us, there is some major creativity going on here) will be available for sampling. Judges will include the esteemed Chef John Ash, Author Clark Wolf, Bohemian Editor Gabe Meline, Ike’s Place owner Ike Shehadeh and culinary personality, Laurie Figone in a blind tasting.

Think you deserve a spot on the guest list? Me, too.

Tell me your favorite place to drink beer in Sonoma County and why in the comments below (and no, your house doesn’t count). Creativity and humor get my attention. I’ll pick a favorite to win two tickets ($95 each) to the Craft Cup and ‘Wich Hunt (which also give you access to the later People’s Choice Event). Full rules here. Contest ends at noon, Friday. YOU MUST BE 21 TO ENTER.

Who loves you more than beer, baby?

‘Wich Hunt Competitors
– Zin Restaurant
– Kin Restaurant
– Jackson’s Bar and Oven
– La Rosa Tequileria and Grille
– Chicago Style Hot Dogs
– Brasserie Restaurant at Hyatt Vineyard Creek
– The Farmer’s Wife
– Healdsburg Bar & Grill
– Peloton Catering
– John Ash & Co.
– El Coqui Puerto Rican Restaurant
– Chef John Lyle, Chosen Spot
– Street Eatz Mobile Kitchen
– Sheana Davis, Epicurean Connection
– Original Superburger
– Pearson and Co.
– The Culinary Institute of America, Greystone
– Rocker Oysterfeller’s
– Boathouse Sushi
– Hopmonk
– Joey’s at the Belvedere
 
‘Wich Hunt Judges
– Heather Irwin, Bite Club Eats
– Chef John Ash
– Clark Wolf, Author and Food Consultant
– Ike Shehadeh, owner Ike’s Place
– Gabe Meline, The Bohemian
– Laurie Figone, Cooking with Laurie Figone
 
Main Event Restaurants
Sweet Spot
Stout Brothers
La Rosa
Sizzling Tandoor
Rev’s BBQ
Sally Tomatoes
West Side Bar & Grill
Rosso Pizzeria
Mary’s Pizza Shack
Lagoo’s Ice Cream
Doc Holliday’s
Bar B Que Smokehouse Bistro
Coldstone
KC’s
Sam’s For Play Café
Joey’s @ the Belvedere

Craft Cup Competitors
Dempseys
Ruth McGown’s
Firestone Walker
Eel River
Mad River
Lost Coast
Anderson Valley
Lagunitas Brewing Company
3rd Street Aleworks

Main Event Beer Competitors
Firestone Walker
Dempsy’s
Blue Frog Brewing
Gordon Birsch
Marin Brewing Company
Moylan’s Brewery
Fox Barrel Cider Co.
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Lost Coast
Eel River Brewing Company
Stone Brewing
Alaskan Brewing
OSKAR Blues
Black Diamond
Pismo Island Lager
Mad River Brewing
24 Degrees
Sonoma Springs Brewery
Napa Smith Brewing
Peroni Pilsner
Shiner Bock
Trumer Brewing
Landsbeck Brewing
Widmer
Red Hook
Speakeasy
Humboldt Brewing Co
Blue Moon
Mendocino Brewing Company
Lagunitas Brewing Company
New Belgium/Fat tire
Sierra Nevada
Ruth McGowans

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Comments

78 thoughts on “Win Exclusive Battle of the Brews Tickets

  1. It is an unlikely spot, by far, for wine drinkers of Sonoma County. However my passion for Sonoma prevails because of it’s distinct classification for being different, off color or just plain weird. This is why us beer drinkers can survive in a county full of purple and whites. I now enjoy a day of wine tasting when dragged begrudgenly by that out of town Aunt and Uncle who just can’t wait to have a taste of Sonoma. I pack up my fancy, $30 dollar thermal cooled wine bag. But no, no–it is not wine that I dare pack up, but a nice, tall, refreshing twenty two. Did you know how well a twenty two ounce beer fits into these oversized Koozies? Now, the wineries may be dissapointed in my lack of interest of their varietal’s behind the wine bar, however I can’t think of any better place to drink my favorite beer, than looking over the beautiful vineyards, on a warm afternoon, as the sun sets to the west. We are a beer community and we will stand up for what we believe in!!

  2. My favorite place to drink beer is Barrel Brothers in Windsor.

    It may not be the biggest place in the county, but it is the best in my opinion. The staff is amazing, I never feel rushed, I don’t need to stand in a 45 minute line to get in, and best of all, the beer is AMAZING.

    I apparently am not like the majority of Northern California beer drinkers, in that I do not love IPA’s. This is what makes BB so great for me. They do have an IPA and a Double IPA, but then they also have many fun beers. Porters, lagers, sours, etc. They are also pushing and challenging themselves to try new things like the new Hibiscus Belgian.

    I will always

    1. (Forgot to finish)…

      I will always go by Barrel Brothers to introduce people to the amazing beer and atmosphere whenever someone comes to town for a beer.

  3. My favorite place to drink beer is Barrel Brothers in Windsor.

    It may not be the biggest place in the county, but it is the best in my opinion. The staff is amazing, I never feel rushed, I don’t need to stand in a 45 minute line to get in, and best of all, the beer is AMAZING.

    I apparently am not like the majority of Northern California beer drinkers, in that I do not love IPA’s. This is what makes BB so great for me. They do have an IPA and a Double IPA, but then they also have many fun beers. Porters, lagers, sours, etc. They are also pushing and challenging themselves to try new things like the new Hibiscus Belgian.

    I will always

    1. (Forgot to finish)…

      I will always go by Barrel Brothers to introduce people to the amazing beer and atmosphere whenever someone comes to town for a beer.

  4. I have been on a hunt the past few years, some may say it has become a mission of mine to find the greatest beer and greatest chicken wings Sonoma County has to offer. I have spent many hours on the padded stools at Ausiello’s, a pitcher of Lagunitas and too many napkins at my side. Playing pool at The Belvedere, a Blue Moon in hand contemplating where my next move should be. Playing darts at Fiorino’s, not doing to good, no matter as long as I have my Racer 5 by my side. Enjoying the sunshine out at Stumptown Brewery, an ice cold Rat Bastard Pale Ale…watching the river drift by hoping it will show me the way. Then suddenly I find myself, a bar stool under me, Pliny the Elder in hand and a plate of savage chicken wings in front of me, Russian River Brewery…I am one happy girl. I realize, maybe its the ale, maybe I am in a state of euphoria, but through all the hops, the barley, pint glasses, conversations, late nights, bar games, music and the wings….its this beer drinking journey I love the most, excited to see where it will lead me next…may the journey continue!

  5. I have been on a hunt the past few years, some may say it has become a mission of mine to find the greatest beer and greatest chicken wings Sonoma County has to offer. I have spent many hours on the padded stools at Ausiello’s, a pitcher of Lagunitas and too many napkins at my side. Playing pool at The Belvedere, a Blue Moon in hand contemplating where my next move should be. Playing darts at Fiorino’s, not doing to good, no matter as long as I have my Racer 5 by my side. Enjoying the sunshine out at Stumptown Brewery, an ice cold Rat Bastard Pale Ale…watching the river drift by hoping it will show me the way. Then suddenly I find myself, a bar stool under me, Pliny the Elder in hand and a plate of savage chicken wings in front of me, Russian River Brewery…I am one happy girl. I realize, maybe its the ale, maybe I am in a state of euphoria, but through all the hops, the barley, pint glasses, conversations, late nights, bar games, music and the wings….its this beer drinking journey I love the most, excited to see where it will lead me next…may the journey continue!

  6. Where in Sonoma County do I
    Flee from life’s burdensome fodder
    Imbibing of the lovely hop,
    The barley malt, the yeast and water
    So artfully assembled here
    By masters of a craft so old
    That Christ himself was not a thought
    When first its recipe was told?

    I have, it’s true, been seen among
    The redwood studded Occidental
    At Barley & Hops’ inviting tavern
    Partaking of their liquid rentals
    And at the Stumptown Brewery
    Enjoying all their tasty fare
    Although at present it is also
    The barbecue that calls me there

    I have remembrances of fondness,
    Smells of oysters and the songs
    Wafting in the summer evenings
    At The Blue Heron, and I still long
    For One-Ton Blackberry that Denise made
    In days when Third Street Aleworks had
    A quality beer that made amends
    For the servers of the food being bad

    The magic Toad, no… not that one!
    Serves up a good brew and a meal
    And when I am ensconced in Fort Bragg
    I put my trust in old Red Seal
    I’ve been in Murphy’s Irish Pub
    For longer than I’d ought to ‘ve been
    But alas, when late I saw the sun
    I wore a monumental grin

    The Black and Blue Burger the Bear
    Republic serves with pride is but
    An iceberg’s tip amongst fermented
    Wonders of the finest cut
    And cold salt air and sails slapping,
    A swinging boom that one must dodge
    the ghost of old Jack London offers
    To patrons at his historic Lodge

    Across the street, the old Swede’s place,
    The gals who ran it were a “team”,
    The 70’s there wonderful times
    I revive occasionally in dreams
    But must one visit here and now
    To drink the best of Sonoma County
    Or might one be appeased with thoughts
    Of Hopland Brewery’s Red Tail bounty?

    “The time’s, they are a changin'”, wrote
    The poet of my childhood
    And Whole Foods Coddingtown is proof
    Their Tap Room a harbinger of good
    Beer on a constantly revolving
    Menu highlighting the best of best
    From o’er the world’s lands and seas,
    Brought here for us to put to test.

    I love the visions dancing in my
    Head that bring back evenings spent
    Upon the patio at Russian River
    And how seriously Pliny bent
    My understanding of what beer is,
    And the patio crew that was always there
    From opening day, stalwarts all,
    The music and laughter we all shared

    I reminisce of days gone by
    At Phyllis’ Lakeville Marina
    Where a hundred-plus beers lurked in wait
    In the cooler, and there’s never been a
    Better place, nor will there ever,
    The jazz and characters assembled
    There were of a type no longer
    Made… a Samuel Clemens tale resembled

    But gone need not forgotten be
    And certainly the future holds
    A brightness that can only be
    The light from which promise unfolds
    The generation coming next
    From whence the new masters will yield
    An understanding not yet seen
    Of the possibilities of their chosen field

    And on our way to enlightenment
    We suffer through our diligence
    At helping create a Mecca boasting
    Unsurpassed intelligence
    Of all things barley, and all things hops,
    Of yeasts so unfailingly fine
    And all the best ways to combine them
    With the same water God turned to Wine,
    Which should not, in all fairness, be
    Devoid of credit for our bounty
    Of wondrous beers, friendship and joy
    In our beautiful Sonoma County.

      1. I realize, by the way, that Hopland Brewery was not in Sonoma County, but it’s a part of the beginning of the country’s, thus Sonoma County’s, craft beer explosion and had to be there!
        😉

    1. The above poem is, by the way, entitled, “the best place to have a beer in Sonoma County and why”. 😉

  7. Russian River Brewing Co. I’m becoming a lover of beer and I like the whole experience there… Beer flights, the food pairing, ( pizza) and the atmosphere, (lotsa’ hunky guys…even some for an old girl like me! Besides, I never win anything…!

  8. The best place to drink a cold beer is The Sweet Spot in beautiful downtown Santa Rosa. Why of all places? They serve Lagunitas on tap plus there is a great selection of bottled beers. Not only do I go there for the beer, they have “bored” games and you can play dice games as well and be as loud as hell. I happen to be a golfer, or at least try to be a golfer, and they have a putting mat where you and your mates can put dollars on who makes the most putts. Oh god just remembered they have a freakin shuffleboard table! I’m about to go home “sick” from work right now just thinking about it. They do carry exclusive on tap beers which taste a whole lot better from the tap then a brown bottle. Also they have the biggest projection screen out of all the bars in town where you can watch whatever major game is on TV. If I don’t win these ticketsafter this insightful information, I will still go to Battle of the Brews, but be out 90$.

  9. My favorite place to drink beer is Fiorinos located in the Montecito shopping center. Every Sunday during football season I arrive a few minutes before 10AM to help the bar owner Joey set up shop for the day. I go to Fiorinos because I am a Cleveland Browns fan and want to watch every agonizing minute of the season. It is not easy to be a fan of the Cleveland Browns so plenty of beer drinking is required just to make it through the games each Sunday. I choose to watch the game in the back corner of the bar on a 16″ tv that isn’t HD but it gives me a chance to be alone…with my beer (usually something from Bear Republic or Lagunitas) for 3 hours of reprieve from the chaotic home life. But usually by the end of the game I need a few more beers to wash away any memories of the horrendous football I just watched and can’t wait to get back to the previously stated chaotic home life. The Fiorinos slogan is “A Friendly Place” and that couldn’t be more spot on. A great old school neighborhood bar where everyone knows your name and the owner serves up free homemade biscuits and gravey every Sunday during football season.

  10. Beer Beer an underrated libation that gives ones palate a great sensation.
    If you ask where I troll for my favorite pint.
    I will tell you It’s Toad in the Hole without a hint of spite.
    I’ve sampled many a brew taveling up and down our pot holed roads.
    But none compare with the “Toad”
    And if you drink a pint for your head, I promise it will keep your hair red.

  11. Beer is a very new passion of mine, thanks to the Tap Masters (Jayson, Misty and Tyler) at the Tap Room in the Coddingtown Whole Foods. When it opened in 2010, I went with a girlfriend who loves beer. As we saddled up to the bar, I asked what wines they served. They looked at me like I had lost my mind. I told them, in my most refined Sonoma County style, “I DON’T DRINK BEER.” The challenge was ON for them to make a beer convert. I am happy to say they were very successful. So, my favorite place to drink beer in Sonoma County so far is the Tap Room, where I have different choices everytime and enjoy the staff and the patrons. I always run into friends and have made a few new ones who frequent the Tap Room as ofen as I do, under the vise of doing our “grocery shopping” which now has a very new meaning for many Sonoma County residents. My favorite beers so far are the Belgian Ales, but I am still learning and branching out. Attending the Craft Cup and Battle of the Brews will continue the process!

  12. Drinking beer in Sonoma County isn’t as easy as you would think! In truth, any drinking establishment serving fine Sonoma County beer is great, but every time I go out I have a strange experience with the patrons.

    I submit for you my list of odd experiences:

    Traxx in Petaluma: I was mistaken for Sarah Palin. Seriously.

    Russian River Brewing Company: A woman asked if I was a doctor because I have “short fingernails.” Seriously?!?

    Third Street Aleworks: Someone tried to recruit me to sell textbooks to elementary school children.

    Toad in the Hole: A chef from a local restaurant (that gave my friend food poisoning) struck up a conversation with me. He asked if I would come in for a free meal…I still haven’t gone to visit!

    Summer Nights Railroad Square: Ok, technically it’s a wine event, but an intoxicated man who was holding a beer groped me.


    ‘Nuff said. In truth, I love sitting outside in the sun at Lagunitas Brewing Company on a summer day listening to some live music. Great beer, great food, great people, and surprisingly I have not been fondled, recruited, or mistaken for a politician. Really, it’s my fellow beer-lovers that make this county a great place to drink beer!

  13. Beer…an old friend, a comfort in otherwise turbulent times, a refreshing & icy cold reminder of all things that are good in life: good times, good food, good friends, and GOOD BEER!!! My girlfriend and I love our local tap room in Petaluma: Taps! This place is a meeting of the minds on both sides of the beer spectrum, brewer and drinker, these guys love beer…they brew it and seek out all kinds of rare and hard to find brews for us beer loving customers. It’s warm, inviting, and friendly there. They have an amazingly large selection of brews to choose from on tap. Craft brews, micro brews, import brews, limited production brews, light, dark, gold, brown, white, wheat, barley wine, stout, amber…seriously, it’s like the big Crayloa box full of hoppy goodness…Ahhh yes, my “favorite” of late is Abita Purple Haze…a very refreshing wheat beer with the most amazingly refreshing bouquet and finish…this stuff is like drinking a bit of heaven….Taps has a nice assortment of good grub…fresh, reasonably priced, and tasty…if you want good fries, go here..these guys make a mean fry, and if you are adventurous enough, those Disco Biscuits (think chili cheese fries) are the bomb (a messy, delicious chili bomb that is)…Tightwad Tuesdays $2 dogs, $2 Taps IPA….$10 bucks and I’m a happy guy…Oh, I mentioned the fries…but the hot dogs…fughedaboutit…..Seriously Heather, I’m not sure if I my love of frosty beer is exceeded by my love of tubed meat…but, I am also a hot dog man, and these guys have some dogs that are innovative, and delicious…I mean a Reuben Dog and a pint of Purple Haze??? Yeah…..I might have to excuse myself and kiss the sky here…

  14. Beer…an old friend, a comfort in otherwise turbulent times, a refreshing & icy cold reminder of all things that are good in life: good times, good food, good friends, and GOOD BEER!!!

  15. My favorite place to drink beer is the tiny Sonoma Springs Brewery in Sonoma. This place is in a tucked away spot on West Napa Street. In fact, it’s so hidden, it took me a couple of months to find the place. O.K., I didn’t try too hard to find it, but I’m glad I finally did. It’s very small, with about fifteen seats in the place. Most of the time, the owner will your server at the bar, so there is no one more qualified to answer your questions. All the beer making equipment is twenty feet away, so the aroma of beer will certainly be in the air. When you walk through the door, you’ll start salivating from the aromas. Best of all, the quality of the beers are great! I can’t reveal the exact address. If I do, my little secret will soon be no longer.

  16. Where in Sonoma County do I
    Flee from life’s burdensome fodder
    Imbibing of the lovely hop,
    The barley malt, the yeast and water
    So artfully assembled here
    By masters of a craft so old
    That Christ himself was not a thought
    When first its recipe was told?

    I have, it’s true, been seen among
    The redwood studded Occidental
    At Barley & Hops’ inviting tavern
    Partaking of their liquid rentals
    And at the Stumptown Brewery
    Enjoying all their tasty fare
    Although at present it is also
    The barbecue that calls me there

    I have remembrances of fondness,
    Smells of oysters and the songs
    Wafting in the summer evenings
    At The Blue Heron, and I still long
    For One-Ton Blackberry that Denise made
    In days when Third Street Aleworks had
    A quality beer that made amends
    For the servers of the food being bad

    The magic Toad, no… not that one!
    Serves up a good brew and a meal
    And when I am ensconced in Fort Bragg
    I put my trust in old Red Seal
    I’ve been in Murphy’s Irish Pub
    For longer than I’d ought to ‘ve been
    But alas, when late I saw the sun
    I wore a monumental grin

    The Black and Blue Burger the Bear
    Republic serves with pride is but
    An iceberg’s tip amongst fermented
    Wonders of the finest cut
    And cold salt air and sails slapping,
    A swinging boom that one must dodge
    the ghost of old Jack London offers
    To patrons at his historic Lodge

    Across the street, the old Swede’s place,
    The gals who ran it were a “team”,
    The 70’s there wonderful times
    I revive occasionally in dreams
    But must one visit here and now
    To drink the best of Sonoma County
    Or might one be appeased with thoughts
    Of Hopland Brewery’s Red Tail bounty?

    “The time’s, they are a changin'”, wrote
    The poet of my childhood
    And Whole Foods Coddingtown is proof
    Their Tap Room a harbinger of good
    Beer on a constantly revolving
    Menu highlighting the best of best
    From o’er the world’s lands and seas,
    Brought here for us to put to test.

    I love the visions dancing in my
    Head that bring back evenings spent
    Upon the patio at Russian River
    And how seriously Pliny bent
    My understanding of what beer is,
    And the patio crew that was always there
    From opening day, stalwarts all,
    The music and laughter we all shared

    I reminisce of days gone by
    At Phyllis’ Lakeville Marina
    Where a hundred-plus beers lurked in wait
    In the cooler, and there’s never been a
    Better place, nor will there ever,
    The jazz and characters assembled
    There were of a type no longer
    Made… a Samuel Clemens tale resembled

    But gone need not forgotten be
    And certainly the future holds
    A brightness that can only be
    The light from which promise unfolds
    The generation coming next
    From whence the new masters will yield
    An understanding not yet seen
    Of the possibilities of their chosen field

    And on our way to enlightenment
    We suffer through our diligence
    At helping create a Mecca boasting
    Unsurpassed intelligence
    Of all things barley, and all things hops,
    Of yeasts so unfailingly fine
    And all the best ways to combine them
    With the same water God turned to Wine,
    Which should not, in all fairness, be
    Devoid of credit for our bounty
    Of wondrous beers, friendship and joy
    In our beautiful Sonoma County.

      1. I realize, by the way, that Hopland Brewery was not in Sonoma County, but it’s a part of the beginning of the country’s, thus Sonoma County’s, craft beer explosion and had to be there!
        😉

    1. The above poem is, by the way, entitled, “the best place to have a beer in Sonoma County and why”. 😉

  17. Russian River Brewing Co. I’m becoming a lover of beer and I like the whole experience there… Beer flights, the food pairing, ( pizza) and the atmosphere, (lotsa’ hunky guys…even some for an old girl like me! Besides, I never win anything…!

  18. The best place to drink a cold beer is The Sweet Spot in beautiful downtown Santa Rosa. Why of all places? They serve Lagunitas on tap plus there is a great selection of bottled beers. Not only do I go there for the beer, they have “bored” games and you can play dice games as well and be as loud as hell. I happen to be a golfer, or at least try to be a golfer, and they have a putting mat where you and your mates can put dollars on who makes the most putts. Oh god just remembered they have a freakin shuffleboard table! I’m about to go home “sick” from work right now just thinking about it. They do carry exclusive on tap beers which taste a whole lot better from the tap then a brown bottle. Also they have the biggest projection screen out of all the bars in town where you can watch whatever major game is on TV. If I don’t win these ticketsafter this insightful information, I will still go to Battle of the Brews, but be out 90$.

  19. My favorite place to drink beer is Fiorinos located in the Montecito shopping center. Every Sunday during football season I arrive a few minutes before 10AM to help the bar owner Joey set up shop for the day. I go to Fiorinos because I am a Cleveland Browns fan and want to watch every agonizing minute of the season. It is not easy to be a fan of the Cleveland Browns so plenty of beer drinking is required just to make it through the games each Sunday. I choose to watch the game in the back corner of the bar on a 16″ tv that isn’t HD but it gives me a chance to be alone…with my beer (usually something from Bear Republic or Lagunitas) for 3 hours of reprieve from the chaotic home life. But usually by the end of the game I need a few more beers to wash away any memories of the horrendous football I just watched and can’t wait to get back to the previously stated chaotic home life. The Fiorinos slogan is “A Friendly Place” and that couldn’t be more spot on. A great old school neighborhood bar where everyone knows your name and the owner serves up free homemade biscuits and gravey every Sunday during football season.

  20. Beer Beer an underrated libation that gives ones palate a great sensation.
    If you ask where I troll for my favorite pint.
    I will tell you It’s Toad in the Hole without a hint of spite.
    I’ve sampled many a brew taveling up and down our pot holed roads.
    But none compare with the “Toad”
    And if you drink a pint for your head, I promise it will keep your hair red.

  21. Beer is a very new passion of mine, thanks to the Tap Masters (Jayson, Misty and Tyler) at the Tap Room in the Coddingtown Whole Foods. When it opened in 2010, I went with a girlfriend who loves beer. As we saddled up to the bar, I asked what wines they served. They looked at me like I had lost my mind. I told them, in my most refined Sonoma County style, “I DON’T DRINK BEER.” The challenge was ON for them to make a beer convert. I am happy to say they were very successful. So, my favorite place to drink beer in Sonoma County so far is the Tap Room, where I have different choices everytime and enjoy the staff and the patrons. I always run into friends and have made a few new ones who frequent the Tap Room as ofen as I do, under the vise of doing our “grocery shopping” which now has a very new meaning for many Sonoma County residents. My favorite beers so far are the Belgian Ales, but I am still learning and branching out. Attending the Craft Cup and Battle of the Brews will continue the process!

  22. Drinking beer in Sonoma County isn’t as easy as you would think! In truth, any drinking establishment serving fine Sonoma County beer is great, but every time I go out I have a strange experience with the patrons.

    I submit for you my list of odd experiences:

    Traxx in Petaluma: I was mistaken for Sarah Palin. Seriously.

    Russian River Brewing Company: A woman asked if I was a doctor because I have “short fingernails.” Seriously?!?

    Third Street Aleworks: Someone tried to recruit me to sell textbooks to elementary school children.

    Toad in the Hole: A chef from a local restaurant (that gave my friend food poisoning) struck up a conversation with me. He asked if I would come in for a free meal…I still haven’t gone to visit!

    Summer Nights Railroad Square: Ok, technically it’s a wine event, but an intoxicated man who was holding a beer groped me.


    ‘Nuff said. In truth, I love sitting outside in the sun at Lagunitas Brewing Company on a summer day listening to some live music. Great beer, great food, great people, and surprisingly I have not been fondled, recruited, or mistaken for a politician. Really, it’s my fellow beer-lovers that make this county a great place to drink beer!

  23. Beer…an old friend, a comfort in otherwise turbulent times, a refreshing & icy cold reminder of all things that are good in life: good times, good food, good friends, and GOOD BEER!!! My girlfriend and I love our local tap room in Petaluma: Taps! This place is a meeting of the minds on both sides of the beer spectrum, brewer and drinker, these guys love beer…they brew it and seek out all kinds of rare and hard to find brews for us beer loving customers. It’s warm, inviting, and friendly there. They have an amazingly large selection of brews to choose from on tap. Craft brews, micro brews, import brews, limited production brews, light, dark, gold, brown, white, wheat, barley wine, stout, amber…seriously, it’s like the big Crayloa box full of hoppy goodness…Ahhh yes, my “favorite” of late is Abita Purple Haze…a very refreshing wheat beer with the most amazingly refreshing bouquet and finish…this stuff is like drinking a bit of heaven….Taps has a nice assortment of good grub…fresh, reasonably priced, and tasty…if you want good fries, go here..these guys make a mean fry, and if you are adventurous enough, those Disco Biscuits (think chili cheese fries) are the bomb (a messy, delicious chili bomb that is)…Tightwad Tuesdays $2 dogs, $2 Taps IPA….$10 bucks and I’m a happy guy…Oh, I mentioned the fries…but the hot dogs…fughedaboutit…..Seriously Heather, I’m not sure if I my love of frosty beer is exceeded by my love of tubed meat…but, I am also a hot dog man, and these guys have some dogs that are innovative, and delicious…I mean a Reuben Dog and a pint of Purple Haze??? Yeah…..I might have to excuse myself and kiss the sky here…

  24. Beer…an old friend, a comfort in otherwise turbulent times, a refreshing & icy cold reminder of all things that are good in life: good times, good food, good friends, and GOOD BEER!!!

  25. My favorite place to drink beer is the tiny Sonoma Springs Brewery in Sonoma. This place is in a tucked away spot on West Napa Street. In fact, it’s so hidden, it took me a couple of months to find the place. O.K., I didn’t try too hard to find it, but I’m glad I finally did. It’s very small, with about fifteen seats in the place. Most of the time, the owner will your server at the bar, so there is no one more qualified to answer your questions. All the beer making equipment is twenty feet away, so the aroma of beer will certainly be in the air. When you walk through the door, you’ll start salivating from the aromas. Best of all, the quality of the beers are great! I can’t reveal the exact address. If I do, my little secret will soon be no longer.

  26. One place you probably won’t want to go have a beer is Flavor Restaurant. They pretty much have the same few beers all the time, plus they’re all from the same brewery– one called Moonlight. And that’s not world-renown Blue Moon mind you, but Moonlight Brewing Company, which is barely more than a one-human operation.

    If you were to go to Flavor as the day fades, and end up tucked in at the patio with a Reality Czeck (soft malt core, mineral salty notes, drying crisp finish), maybe with a salad, and then end up stuck drinking Death & Taxes (vienna roast coffee aroma persists in flavor– along with mild licorice, bittersweet cocoa and pistachio notes) you’ll see what I mean. Actually, I do remember some one-off Moonlight beer that tasted more like black forest cake soaked in port. So if you pick the ‘Special’ tap, who knows.

    If you were to end up going for a beer from Moonlight Brewing at Flavor Restaurant, so few people have ever heard of it that your FB friends won’t even care.

    1. WHAT is your point? I get the feeling people don’t care about your Facebook posts because you’re a dolt.

      1. Subtlty and irony often lost, especially on snarky posters with names like TiredofFools. Is that really your contribution to this conversation? Thanks for reading.

    2. …not a “one human operation” anymore…..2 young guys work for them full time. Great beer!

  27. My favorite place for beer is Russian River when they have their Pliney The Younger release.
    this year I went with my 2 sons, one of which came from Delaware for this.
    We arrived early and waited 3 hours for them to open. We were fortunate enough to be in the first group allowed in that morning. The Pliney the Younger was fantastic!
    While we were enjoying our Pliney’s the line outside was getting even longer!
    I was just like getting an early admission ticket for Disneyland while everyone else has to wait outside the gate!

  28. Picking a favorite place to drink beer is like picking a favorite child. Its always the first child! My first child of Sonoma County was Russian River Brewing Company. What better way to spend your 21st birthday then an 18 taster set of some of the best brews known to man. If this is what heaven is like kill me now!!!

  29. One place you probably won’t want to go have a beer is Flavor Restaurant. They pretty much have the same few beers all the time, plus they’re all from the same brewery– one called Moonlight. And that’s not world-renown Blue Moon mind you, but Moonlight Brewing Company, which is barely more than a one-human operation.

    If you were to go to Flavor as the day fades, and end up tucked in at the patio with a Reality Czeck (soft malt core, mineral salty notes, drying crisp finish), maybe with a salad, and then end up stuck drinking Death & Taxes (vienna roast coffee aroma persists in flavor– along with mild licorice, bittersweet cocoa and pistachio notes) you’ll see what I mean. Actually, I do remember some one-off Moonlight beer that tasted more like black forest cake soaked in port. So if you pick the ‘Special’ tap, who knows.

    If you were to end up going for a beer from Moonlight Brewing at Flavor Restaurant, so few people have ever heard of it that your FB friends won’t even care.

    1. WHAT is your point? I get the feeling people don’t care about your Facebook posts because you’re a dolt.

      1. Subtlty and irony often lost, especially on snarky posters with names like TiredofFools. Is that really your contribution to this conversation? Thanks for reading.

  30. My favorite place for beer is Russian River when they have their Pliney The Younger release.
    this year I went with my 2 sons, one of which came from Delaware for this.
    We arrived early and waited 3 hours for them to open. We were fortunate enough to be in the first group allowed in that morning. The Pliney the Younger was fantastic!
    While we were enjoying our Pliney’s the line outside was getting even longer!
    I was just like getting an early admission ticket for Disneyland while everyone else has to wait outside the gate!

  31. My favorite place to drink beer…….EVERYWHERE! I’m a beer lover I tell you. I’ve been hooked on beer since I’ve been able to drink! My favorite spot lately is Hopmonk tavern in Sebastopol. You just can’t beat the death and taxes on tap! It’s so chocolatey and smooth! The best black beer ever! When it’s summer though you will catch me drinking shock top or SAM Adams while I’m canoeing down the river. I’ve never been to battle of the brews and if this is our last year on earth (LOL) I’d love to be there!

  32. Picking a favorite place to drink beer is like picking a favorite child. Its always the first child! My first child of Sonoma County was Russian River Brewing Company. What better way to spend your 21st birthday then an 18 taster set of some of the best brews known to man. If this is what heaven is like kill me now!!!

  33. I love drinking beer @ the Toad in the hole when not drink beers at Russian River. It has less weekend warriors asking for beers that “taste like coors light”. The owner Paul is great to have a pint with chit chat about soccer N listen to some Ry Cooder with 🙂 It was my 31st birthday on the 26 and I have not been to battle of the brews for 5 years. I would really like to win this. Thank you and god bless 🙂

  34. My favorite place to drink beer…….EVERYWHERE! I’m a beer lover I tell you. I’ve been hooked on beer since I’ve been able to drink! My favorite spot lately is Hopmonk tavern in Sebastopol. You just can’t beat the death and taxes on tap! It’s so chocolatey and smooth! The best black beer ever! When it’s summer though you will catch me drinking shock top or SAM Adams while I’m canoeing down the river. I’ve never been to battle of the brews and if this is our last year on earth (LOL) I’d love to be there!

  35. So I can’t list off a whole long names of beers that I love, as I am really just getting into the whole “beer drinking thing”. That being said I have to say that the Bear Republic in Healdsburg is my favorite spot for beer and their El Oso is my favorite beer. With so many places to drink wine in Healdsburg, there are just some times when wine doesn’t meet your needs and the only solution is beer. I have to say that I also enjoy the fact that when I drink beer I am a cheap date because for whatever reason I tend to drink less, get buzzed faster and get full, tell me about a wine that can do that. Good talk, there isn’t one and you don’t wake up if you have too much with the aweful wine headache. So here’s to a good beer, hopefully I’ll get to try some more this weekend and continue to develop my new found interest in something other than wine. Bottoms up!

  36. Ahhhhh Wednesday…my favorite day of the week……why you ask? Its the day my girlfriend and I take a break from the chaos of raising 5 children (twin 9 year old girls, an 11 year old boy, a 14 year old girl, and and a16 year old gir. Yes ITS CHAOS!!!l). its a day reserved for us….a day reserved for a breath of calm Sonoma County air….a day for, BEEEEEEER! We frequent alot of Sonoma County breweries, tap rooms, pizza joints, and dark corners…..wait, scratch the last one, thats on a different night. And knowing what I know, (yes, more than you) I would have to say our favorite has got to be Lagunitas. There is something about that place that no other brewery can reproduce. Maybe its the beer garden, or, the ringing of the bell signaling for all the mumbling patrons to line up and a take a tour , or the live music from awesome bands……sure, thats all fine and dandy but lets not kid ourselves, ITS THE BEER. Lagunitas has a great atmoshpere, great staff, and great beer. With beers like WTF, Lil Sumpin, and Gnarly Wine, you know you’re in for something special. Sit down, grab some free pretzels and enjoy! ….and on your way out stop by the store to grab a free bottle cap magnet!! (shhhhhh)……..

  37. My favorite place to drink beer in Sonoma County is Russian River Brewing Company. They have be far the most interesting and “artisinal” beers that I’ve ever slurped down my gullet. With spiritually satisfying beers like “redemption” and “salvation,” I can belly up to bar in place of going to church!

  38. Well, I have more than one depending on my mood.

    Sweet Spot – If I’m in the mood for a little quiet and sports watching. Their beer selection is pretty good . They have the Denoginizer or what I like to call the creeper because the high alcohol content creeps up on you like creepy guys do! I’m a light weight so 1 of those is my limit.

    Russian River – This should be a given for anyone. Great beer selection for everyone to enjoy, food is excellent, lots of entertainment and you can usually see a friend or two in a beer drinking contest with the samples. And who can go wrong with beer names such as Redemption, Procrastination, Little White Lie, and of course the Pliny family beers Elder and Younger.

    Hopyard – Beer tasting! They are out of the downtown crawl but very worthwhile to visit. Just had my first visit last week and I’m a big fan. They have beers from all over California and once a beer is gone, it’s off the selection and a new beer is introduced. They have I believe 6 taps to choose from maybe even more and are always looking for the next one to bring in. No food there, except peanuts, but if you visit on Thursdays they have food trucks in for Wine down Thursday. Oh and if people your with aren’t beer drinkers, they serve wine from the Wineyard next door or you can walk about 50 feet to the other tasting rooms! Yeah!

  39. my favorite place to drink beer is a my local bar which for me is the Ticket. There are some true thinkers and drinks go to contemplate the deep thoughts of sport like golf a game or a sport for if it is a sport mini golf is also a sport which then means skeeball is not far away to be considered a sport as well. Also after a few visits it felt like i was walking into a episode of cheers for getting to here the health benefits that beer has compared to other drinks like water for in many Europe Countries beer is a subsitute for water for the water in europe is not always good at least that is a gem i have heard. We also hit current events like LiLo did what again? She needs help. So that is where I go to enjoy a beer also it helps that later that evening kereoke starts and you can hear everyone think they are rock starts and sing together and have everyone else wanting us to leave it to the professionals.

  40. I don’t see Russian River Brewing on any list of competitors, what gives? Can you really crown a winner if you aren’t competing against RR? Kind of puts an asterisk* on the title, don’t you think?

  41. I love drinking beer @ the Toad in the hole when not drink beers at Russian River. It has less weekend warriors asking for beers that “taste like coors light”. The owner Paul is great to have a pint with chit chat about soccer N listen to some Ry Cooder with 🙂 It was my 31st birthday on the 26 and I have not been to battle of the brews for 5 years. I would really like to win this. Thank you and god bless 🙂

  42. So I can’t list off a whole long names of beers that I love, as I am really just getting into the whole “beer drinking thing”. That being said I have to say that the Bear Republic in Healdsburg is my favorite spot for beer and their El Oso is my favorite beer. With so many places to drink wine in Healdsburg, there are just some times when wine doesn’t meet your needs and the only solution is beer. I have to say that I also enjoy the fact that when I drink beer I am a cheap date because for whatever reason I tend to drink less, get buzzed faster and get full, tell me about a wine that can do that. Good talk, there isn’t one and you don’t wake up if you have too much with the aweful wine headache. So here’s to a good beer, hopefully I’ll get to try some more this weekend and continue to develop my new found interest in something other than wine. Bottoms up!

  43. It is an unlikely spot, by far, for wine drinkers of Sonoma County. However my passion for Sonoma prevails because of it’s distinct classification for being different, off color or just plain weird. This is why us beer drinkers can survive in a county full of purple and whites. I now enjoy a day of wine tasting when dragged begrudgenly by that out of town Aunt and Uncle who just can’t wait to have a taste of Sonoma. I pack up my fancy, $30 dollar thermal cooled wine bag. But no, no–it is not wine that I dare pack up, but a nice, tall, refreshing twenty two. Did you know how well a twenty two ounce beer fits into these oversized Koozies? Now, the wineries may be dissapointed in my lack of interest of their varietal’s behind the wine bar, however I can’t think of any better place to drink my favorite beer, than looking over the beautiful vineyards, on a warm afternoon, as the sun sets to the west. We are a beer community and we will stand up for what we believe in!!

  44. Ahhhhh Wednesday…my favorite day of the week……why you ask? Its the day my girlfriend and I take a break from the chaos of raising 5 children (twin 9 year old girls, an 11 year old boy, a 14 year old girl, and and a16 year old gir. Yes ITS CHAOS!!!l). its a day reserved for us….a day reserved for a breath of calm Sonoma County air….a day for, BEEEEEEER! We frequent alot of Sonoma County breweries, tap rooms, pizza joints, and dark corners…..wait, scratch the last one, thats on a different night. And knowing what I know, (yes, more than you) I would have to say our favorite has got to be Lagunitas. There is something about that place that no other brewery can reproduce. Maybe its the beer garden, or, the ringing of the bell signaling for all the mumbling patrons to line up and a take a tour , or the live music from awesome bands……sure, thats all fine and dandy but lets not kid ourselves, ITS THE BEER. Lagunitas has a great atmoshpere, great staff, and great beer. With beers like WTF, Lil Sumpin, and Gnarly Wine, you know you’re in for something special. Sit down, grab some free pretzels and enjoy! ….and on your way out stop by the store to grab a free bottle cap magnet!! (shhhhhh)……..

  45. My favorite place to drink beer in Sonoma County is Russian River Brewing Company. They have be far the most interesting and “artisinal” beers that I’ve ever slurped down my gullet. With spiritually satisfying beers like “redemption” and “salvation,” I can belly up to bar in place of going to church!

  46. Well, I have more than one depending on my mood.

    Sweet Spot – If I’m in the mood for a little quiet and sports watching. Their beer selection is pretty good . They have the Denoginizer or what I like to call the creeper because the high alcohol content creeps up on you like creepy guys do! I’m a light weight so 1 of those is my limit.

    Russian River – This should be a given for anyone. Great beer selection for everyone to enjoy, food is excellent, lots of entertainment and you can usually see a friend or two in a beer drinking contest with the samples. And who can go wrong with beer names such as Redemption, Procrastination, Little White Lie, and of course the Pliny family beers Elder and Younger.

    Hopyard – Beer tasting! They are out of the downtown crawl but very worthwhile to visit. Just had my first visit last week and I’m a big fan. They have beers from all over California and once a beer is gone, it’s off the selection and a new beer is introduced. They have I believe 6 taps to choose from maybe even more and are always looking for the next one to bring in. No food there, except peanuts, but if you visit on Thursdays they have food trucks in for Wine down Thursday. Oh and if people your with aren’t beer drinkers, they serve wine from the Wineyard next door or you can walk about 50 feet to the other tasting rooms! Yeah!

  47. my favorite place to drink beer is a my local bar which for me is the Ticket. There are some true thinkers and drinks go to contemplate the deep thoughts of sport like golf a game or a sport for if it is a sport mini golf is also a sport which then means skeeball is not far away to be considered a sport as well. Also after a few visits it felt like i was walking into a episode of cheers for getting to here the health benefits that beer has compared to other drinks like water for in many Europe Countries beer is a subsitute for water for the water in europe is not always good at least that is a gem i have heard. We also hit current events like LiLo did what again? She needs help. So that is where I go to enjoy a beer also it helps that later that evening kereoke starts and you can hear everyone think they are rock starts and sing together and have everyone else wanting us to leave it to the professionals.

  48. I don’t see Russian River Brewing on any list of competitors, what gives? Can you really crown a winner if you aren’t competing against RR? Kind of puts an asterisk* on the title, don’t you think?

  49. Hmmm. Favorite place to imbibe on the most noble of all beverages? I would say at the “Tap Room” in Whole Foods Coddingtown. I know this may sound like an elaborate plug for them, but I can’t think of another place around that has the amount of micros and local brews on tap. They also encourage you to bring in and purchase bottles from the extensive beer dept., and food from the deli, and make it your own Gastropub. How can you argue with a giant burrito from the taqueria, paired with a Reality Czech Pils from Moonlight? I could go on and on, but I won’t….as there’s a cold one calling my name…..

  50. My favorite place to drink beer is at Stumptown Brewery during the Stumptown Beer and BBQ event. This takes place usually in September.It brings people from all over California. I met a number of folks from the LA area who come up to Sonoma County just for this event. You get to drink beer and then go cool off in the river and eat great BBQ. Tons of food like Ribs and Tri Tip and Great Micro brews. The river, sun and great music make it my favorite place to enjoy beer. My second favorite place is Bear Republic in Healdsburg. They have good food and great beer, especially their IPA. Its casual and the people there are friendly. I have enjoyed “The Bear” many times and am a repeat customer.

  51. The best and memorable I enjoy going for my beer would be the annual Oktoberfest (in it’s 9th yr. this yr.) at Resurrection Parish. For $20 ticket, includes a souvenir glass and an unlimited sample from over 10 local breweries- Anchor, Bear Republic, Lagunitas, Lost Coast, Marin, Moylan, Mendocino, Pyramid, Russian, Ruth McGowan, Sierra Nevada, Stumptown. I get to listen to the accordion music from this young man (I close my eyes and imagine I was in Germany), live music, and dance performances will take place throughout the day , Multi-Cultural shows- Vietnamese Dragon dance, Flamenco Dancers from previous years, silent auction-this is my wife’s favorite-hopefully she could win me a round of golf this year- she won 2 six packs of Samuel Adams last yr. plus a bottle opener fr.Sierra Nevada and a Guiness t shirt- how cool is that?, raffle drawing, and most of all sample the delicious homemade pulled pork sandwich, German fare sausages, etc., and authentic International cuisine. Second best is drinking my fave Bear Republic Racer 5 while playing an 18-hole round of golf at the Rohnert Park Golf Course. I can’t wait this weekend and hope the weather permits me to play another round and of course drink my favorite beer in hand. Life is Good!

  52. My favorite place to drink beer in Sonoma County is at the river. Why the river you ask? I like to drink beer at the river with my girlfriend while we soak in the refreshing water as the sun beats down and reminds you of how lucky you are to be in such a great place. During this time of the day, we’re usually drinking something a little lighter like Lil Sumpin that brings unbeatable refreshment. When the scents of ribs and tri tip on the bbq start wafting across the water, you know it’s time to come to shore. As the meat rests, it’s time to start opening something that makes the salvatory glands start to dougie. It’s time for IPA. Once the sun begins to set, everyone’s belly is full, and the crisp air brings bodies together, out comes the Pliney and the night begins. These are the resons why the river is the best place to drink beer in Sonoma County.

  53. Hmmm. Favorite place to imbibe on the most noble of all beverages? I would say at the “Tap Room” in Whole Foods Coddingtown. I know this may sound like an elaborate plug for them, but I can’t think of another place around that has the amount of micros and local brews on tap. They also encourage you to bring in and purchase bottles from the extensive beer dept., and food from the deli, and make it your own Gastropub. How can you argue with a giant burrito from the taqueria, paired with a Reality Czech Pils from Moonlight? I could go on and on, but I won’t….as there’s a cold one calling my name…..

  54. My favorite place to drink beer is at Stumptown Brewery during the Stumptown Beer and BBQ event. This takes place usually in September.It brings people from all over California. I met a number of folks from the LA area who come up to Sonoma County just for this event. You get to drink beer and then go cool off in the river and eat great BBQ. Tons of food like Ribs and Tri Tip and Great Micro brews. The river, sun and great music make it my favorite place to enjoy beer. My second favorite place is Bear Republic in Healdsburg. They have good food and great beer, especially their IPA. Its casual and the people there are friendly. I have enjoyed “The Bear” many times and am a repeat customer.

  55. The best and memorable I enjoy going for my beer would be the annual Oktoberfest (in it’s 9th yr. this yr.) at Resurrection Parish. For $20 ticket, includes a souvenir glass and an unlimited sample from over 10 local breweries- Anchor, Bear Republic, Lagunitas, Lost Coast, Marin, Moylan, Mendocino, Pyramid, Russian, Ruth McGowan, Sierra Nevada, Stumptown. I get to listen to the accordion music from this young man (I close my eyes and imagine I was in Germany), live music, and dance performances will take place throughout the day , Multi-Cultural shows- Vietnamese Dragon dance, Flamenco Dancers from previous years, silent auction-this is my wife’s favorite-hopefully she could win me a round of golf this year- she won 2 six packs of Samuel Adams last yr. plus a bottle opener fr.Sierra Nevada and a Guiness t shirt- how cool is that?, raffle drawing, and most of all sample the delicious homemade pulled pork sandwich, German fare sausages, etc., and authentic International cuisine. Second best is drinking my fave Bear Republic Racer 5 while playing an 18-hole round of golf at the Rohnert Park Golf Course. I can’t wait this weekend and hope the weather permits me to play another round and of course drink my favorite beer in hand. Life is Good!

  56. My favorite place to drink beer in Sonoma County is at the river. Why the river you ask? I like to drink beer at the river with my girlfriend while we soak in the refreshing water as the sun beats down and reminds you of how lucky you are to be in such a great place. During this time of the day, we’re usually drinking something a little lighter like Lil Sumpin that brings unbeatable refreshment. When the scents of ribs and tri tip on the bbq start wafting across the water, you know it’s time to come to shore. As the meat rests, it’s time to start opening something that makes the salvatory glands start to dougie. It’s time for IPA. Once the sun begins to set, everyone’s belly is full, and the crisp air brings bodies together, out comes the Pliney and the night begins. These are the resons why the river is the best place to drink beer in Sonoma County.

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