A Press Democrat Blog

Beer Country

A digest about that other famous beverage

Sonoma County Harvest Fair Home Brew Competition

The Sonoma County Harvest Fair Wine Competition has brought financial success and notoriety for many local wineries, throughout the history of this annual event. Local home brewers are hopeful that a win at this year’s Inaugural Home Brew Competition will eventually lead to similar success. A panel of judges tasted through the entries yesterday and will release the name of the lucky winner at the Harvest Fair today, October 4th. The gates to the Harvest Fair open at 10:30am and… Read More »

Legislative change benefiting the craft beer industry

Governor Jerry Brown recently signed an Assembly Bill that will now permit craft breweries in California to communicate product availability information to their fans on social media, including where to purchase specialty beers at local stores and restaurants. Craft beer has become big business in California and has gained the attention of the state’s leaders. The craft beer industry contributed $6.5 billion to the state economy last year and now boasts nearly 600 craft breweries, according to Tom McCormick, Executive… Read More »

California Craft Beer Summit & Showcase recap

The California Craft Brewers Association brought together brewers from all parts of the state for a memorable two day event that took place in Sacramento on September 11th and 12th. Homebrewers and beer geeks were invited to the California Craft Beer Summit and Showcase for an opportunity to meet their favorite brewers, while learning about the industry during educational sessions and an interactive expo. The two day event concluded with the Brewers Showcase Beer Festival, which included 150 participating breweries.… Read More »

Happy Zwanze Day!

Many of you may not be familiar with this made up holiday that celebrates the release of a very special beer brewed by highly regarded Belgium brewery, Cantillon. This year’s Zwanze brew is a spontaneously fermented stout that was aged more than 24 months in Lambic, Cotes du Rhone, and Cognac barrels. You don’t have to fly to Belgium for this special release. Russian River Brewing Company is one of 50+ breweries that will be tapping the special keg simultaneously… Read More »

St. Florian’s Brewing Company will ‘fill a boot’ to help Lake County fire victims

St. Florian’s Brewing Company is driving a collection effort to help those devastated by the Lake County wildfire. ‘Fill the boot’ is a firefighter tradition of filling a fire boot with cash for donation to charity. In addition to filling a boot, St. Florian’s will donate a large percentage of today’s profits. The brewery, located at 7704A Bell Rd. in Windsor, is asking you to help by purchasing a beer or two and adding a donation to their efforts. St.… Read More »

Beer and food pairings to honor grand reopening of Sonoma Springs Brewing Company

Sonoma Springs Brewing Company originally opened for business in 2008. This week they have been celebrating their grand re-opening at a new location. The new Sonoma Springs is now located at 19449 Riverside Dr. in Sonoma, California. The week long celebration continues today with a food and beer pairing. A flight of four brews will be paired with four tasty food items prepared by Palooza Gastropub. Four limited seatings will take place throughout the day, with the first one starting… Read More »

29th Annual Beer in the Plaza is a family friendly event

This Saturday, September 12th Soroptomist International of Healdsburg presents the 29th Annual Beer in the Plaza, taking place in the Healdsburg Downtown Plaza. The family friendly event will take place between 2pm and 6pm. Craft beer drinkers over the age of twenty-one will be charged $50 for unlimited beer tastings, a souvenir glass and five food tickets. Those between the age of six and twenty will be charged $15 for entry and five food tickets. Children, five years and younger,… Read More »

Recap of Bear Republic Brewing Company’s 7th Annual Cellar Party

Bear Republic Brewing Company’s 7th Annual Cellar Party was a Great American Beer Festival preview party that took place in the courtyard and barrel room of the brewpub on Sunday, August 30th. Only 100 tickets were offered for the sold out event. Attached is a video recap of the event that featured limited production beer, artisanal food and an intimate setting. Click on the image below for the video. -Peter Lopez Jr.  

Bear Republic Brewing Company’s 7th Annual Cellar Party has sold out

Bear Republic Brewing Company’s 7th Annual Cellar Party has officially sold out. This annual Great American Beer Festival preview party will take place in the courtyard and barrel room of the brewpub located at 345 Healdsburg Ave. in Healdsburg. One hundred lucky ticket holders will get the opportunity to mingle with the Bear Republic brewers, while sampling the entries into the upcoming 2015 Great American Beer Festival. A few rarities will be pulled out of the cellar and shared with… Read More »

The California Craft Beer Summit will conclude with a festival at the State Capitol

The California Craft Brewers Association welcomes craft beer enthusiasts to join them at the California Craft Beer Summit. The two day event kicks off on Friday, September 11th with educational sessions, a summit expo, and a brewers reception. This will be an opportunity to learn how to start a brewery, age beers at home, host your own tasting and pair the right food with the right beer. You will hear some of the pioneers of the craft beer industry share… Read More »

Rincon Valley Taproom & Bottle Shop turns two


Rincon Valley Taproom & Bottle Shop will celebrate their second anniversary on Saturday, August 22nd from 12pm until 10pm. They have been holding onto some special kegs for this weekend and will be pulling out some extra special bottles from their cellar to share. Live music by Callie Watts, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm, and BBQ pulled pork sandwiches will add to the festivities. Owners Michael and Renee are looking forward to seeing you this weekend.”We are so excited to celebrate… Read More »

Recap of a beer festival filled weekend

This last weekend was a busy one for beer enthusiasts that were able to attend two of Sonoma County’s most popular beer festivals. Those of you that missed either or both festivals can get a feel for the spirit of each by viewing the attached videos. 13th Annual Russian River Beer Revival video: Lagunitas Beer Circus 2015 video: -Peter Lopez Jr.

From the river to the circus

Get your stretchy pants and designated driver ready for this upcoming weekend, because Sonoma County will have two of the most popular beer festivals happening on the same weekend. This Saturday, August 15th Stumptown Brewery will host the 13th Annual Russian River Beer Revival & BBQ Cook-off. The very next day, Lagunitas Brewing Company will take over the Petaluma Fairgrounds with their annual Lagunitas Beer Circus. Stumptown’s Russian River Beer Revival will take place at 15045 River Road in Guerneville.… Read More »

RateBeer Best Awards Ceremony & Beer Festival will take place in Sonoma County


RateBeer.com has earned a reputation amongst beer enthusiasts across the world for being one of the most visited and respected forums for beer information. The website launched in May of 2000, has since grown to hundreds of thousands of members from around the world who have rated at least as many beers. Once a year, in January, RateBeer Executive Director Joe Tucker and his team tally the ratings submitted throughout the year and release the RateBeer Best Awards. Up until… Read More »

Drinking local on National IPA Day


Beer has been a part of civilization for thousands of years. Although we in Northern California can’t take credit for the creation of the IPA, many local residents will argue that we make it better than the rest of the world. Russian River Brewing Company’s Pliny the Elder, a double IPA, is rated 100 points by both RateBeer and Beer Advocate. Zymurgy Magazine listed it as the best beer in America for the seventh straight year in June. Pliny the… Read More »