Summer is waning fast, but there is still plenty of time for good summer brews, as Virginie Boone points out Friday in our entertainment section.
There is so much beer in Wine Country we might almost consider changing our name to Beer Country. And this is serious stuff — seriously made, that is, not seriously intimidating.
After all, beer’s enviable ability to connect with people has always been that it doesn’t take itself too seriously, though there is much to differentiate one brew from another. Neither should you. As there’s still plenty of summer left, get out there and explore the best of our local scene’s seasonal brews, from Saisons to Slingshots and plenty more in-between.
Virginie’s list seems pretty good to me, and covers most of the places where you can enjoy fresh brews at the source:
Bear Republic, Calistoga Inn, Hopmonk (both Sonoma and Sebastopol), Lagunitas, Napa Smith, Russian River, Ruth McGowan’s Brewpub; Sonoma Springs Brewing Company, Stumptown Brewery, and Third Street Aleworks.
To that list I might add Dempsey’s in Petaluma, which has good beer and a killer patio overlooking the river, and Hen House Brewing at the Petaluma Market, which just scored a nice mention from Zagat, and Downtown Joe’s in Napa, which overlooks that other big river in our area. Newly opened Carneros Brewing isn’t really a brewpub, but it does have food and an outstanding beer garden, right in the heart of one of the loveliest landscapes in Wine Country. And don’t forget Woodfour, just opened in The Barlow in Sebastopol.
And if you’re up for a drive, Kelsey Creek Brewing in Kelseyville is a lot of fun, though last I was there, they didn’t have food other than popcorn and peanuts (but is there anything wrong with that?). In Mendocino County, of course, we have the foursome of North Coast, Mendocino, Ukiah, and Anderson Valley.
Any nearby faves we’re forgetting?
– Sean Scully