Santa Rosa Breweries

One weekend while living in northern California our friend Maggie came up to visit us from her traveling gig in central CA. We all wanted to go explore the Santa Rosa area beer scene- which surprised us as being ranked as one of the top spots in the country online- about 1.5 hours from Clearlake. We only visited four but know that there are many more.

Bear Republic Brewing

Perhaps the best brewery-restaurant mix in Healdsburg, this Bear Republic location holds its own against a highly popular wine region. Also, quick side note- downtown Healdsburg is an awesome little town worth walking around a little bit. This brewery is pretty well known for its distribution of their main beers, like the Racer 5 IPA, but they also put out some unique non-distributed beers on tap here.

Moonlight Brewing

Moonlight has a small, up and coming vibe as it is currently housed in a tiny warehouse space. The beer is good and has a decent variety. They have minimal spots for seating, but they have a good number of board games and card games to keep you interested. Their top beer is Death and Taxes, a dark lager.

Cooperage Brewing

Cooperage was another standard micro-brew space with solid beer and decent variety (IPA focus), with a good number of games to play. Just simply ask one of the bartenders to hand you the game of choice from behind the bar. We tried the IPA Kegslayer and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Russian River Brewing

Russian River brewpub is located in downtown Santa Rosa around much of the nightlife and was probably our top choice. Of course, we went on a Saturday night and it was packed, so we waited at the bar for about 30 minutes for a table to open. This brewery had the most options on tap and easily the largest variety. They had the best-looking food too. You can even order a flight of all ~20 beers on tap (which we did) if you have a tough time making decisions and do not have to drive. They are mostly renowned for their Pliny the Elder/Younger series (IIPA and IIIPA, respectively), but Adam also really liked the Blind Pig IPA.

Russian River Brewing Company: home of Pliny the Younger

They serve quite the flight!

Russian River Brewing Company: home of Pliny the Younger

They serve quite the flight!

After Russian River, our personal Saturday brewery tour concluded. However, we cannot leave out our Sunday afternoon experience. Though not a brewery, a huge shout out to Chacewater Winery for being another amazing Lake County winery that offers organic wine tastings and small pieces of bread to try out their homemade olive oil tasting flight. Click here to check out our Lake County blog! 

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