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A Press Democrat Blog

Beer Country

A digest about that other famous beverage

Sonoma County Home Brewers Competition winner announced

101 North Brewing Company Brewer Joel Johnson (middle) pictured with the winning brewers, Joe Monostori and Jerimiah Konen.

The first annual Sonoma County Home Brewers Competition took place on Saturday, May 23rd at the Petaluma Veterans Memorial Building. Dozens of home brewers entered over 60 home brews vying for bragging rights of the best home brewer in Sonoma County. The grand prize winner will be brewing their winning recipe at 101 North Brewing Company. Event attendees received a souvenir glass and 20 tastings. Live music, and outdoor recreation were enjoyed by many as well. Food trucks lined up… Read More »

18th Annual Great Petaluma Chili Cookoff, Salsa & Beer Tasting

The 18th Annual Great Petaluma Chili Cookoff, Salsa & Beer Tasting will take place at Behrens Park, Herzog Hall, Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds in Petaluma on Saturday, May 9th from 1pm to 5pm. Those of you choosing to strictly taste the chili and salsa will pay $25 for admission. Kids under the age of 12 get in for $10 and anyone under the age of 5 gets in for free. Craft beer fans can pay $40 for chili, salsa and beer tasting.… Read More »

Mark your calendars

I put together a list of beer festivals that you should consider marking on your calendar ahead of time. Rest assured that ‘Beer Country’ will follow up with specific information regarding individual festivals as we get closer to them. The 19th Annual Legendary Boonville Beer Festival (May 2nd)- This one is just around the corner. Every beer loving festival fan should attend this event at least once. Camping out in Mendocino County for the weekend will surely add to the… Read More »

One lucky home brewer will receive the opportunity to brew their recipe at 101 North Brewing Company

A home brewer’s dream is to someday make a batch of beer that they can share with the masses. Taps Beer Co. & Kitchen, 101 North Brewing Company and Petaluma Downtown Association are coming together to host a home brewer’s competition to make that dream a reality for one lucky person. The Sonoma County Home Brewer’s Competition will be Petaluma’s first home brewer’s competition judged by consumers. Attendees of this inaugural event will be asked to vote for their favorite… Read More »

The Black & White Beer Ball limiting attendance to 350 this year

The 4th Annual Black & White Beer Ball will take place on Friday, February 13th. The ball is a fundraiser to raise money and awareness for autism. Ales for Autism is the non-profit organization that puts on this annual event. They decided to create a intimate atmosphere with a masquerade theme and the decision to reduce the attendance from 500 guests down to 350 this year. The venue has changed as well. This year’s event will take place at the… Read More »

Upcoming beer festival will raise money for local Veterans

My apologies for the lack of beer blogs as of late. In addition to my beer blogging responsibilities I am one of the organizers for the upcoming NorCal Beer Geeks Beer Festival presented by Palooza Gastropub. Fellow organizer, Ed Hops and I have been hard at work organizing the festival that will help raise money for a local Veterans group, Sonoma County Vet Connect. Vet Connect is a Veterans helping Veterans organization formed to assist Veterans in locating the services… Read More »

Announcing the first NorCal Beer Geeks Festival

The NorCal Beer Geeks group has grown to nearly 600 members. In the past the group would select a local brewery, taproom or restaurant and partake in a tasting. Past events have featured food and beer pairings, blind tastings and bottle shares. With nine events in the books, the NorCal Beer Geeks will be celebrating the tenth gathering with the first ever NorCal Beer Geeks Beer Festival presented by Palooza Gastropub. The event will take place on Saturday, November 22 from… Read More »

Amateur brewer and Bear Republic bring home top honors from Great American Beer Festival

Occidental home brewer Michael Kelly and local beer brewer Bear Republic won top honors this weekend at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colo., the world’s largest commercial beer competition. Kelly and the Cloverdale-based brewer won a gold medal in the festival’s Pro-Am competition, which pairs amateur brewers with professional brewers. For the competition, Bear Republic chose earlier this year Kelly’s Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Scottish 80 Shilling, a Scottish style ale that Kelly described as a “refreshing diversion from… Read More »

Lagunitas to go ‘couch tripping’

Lagunitas is going ‘couch tripping’ for the next few weeks. The couch tripping tour will consist of several parties throughout the country with the final destination being New Orleans. The tour will benefit O+, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing community well-being by connecting musicians, artists and health providers in week long celebrations. A special fusion ale was made specifically for this tour. O+, musicians, entertainment by the Beer Circus and of course some of the well-loved couches from the… Read More »

Bear Republic looks ahead to Great American Beer Festival

For those who can’t make the trek to Denver for the Great American Beer Festival next month, Bear Republic Brewing Co. offered up a preview Sunday of some of brews it hopes to be pouring at the country’s largest beer festival. The Cloverdale-based company held its 6th Annual Cellar Party in a space right next to its Healdsburg brewpub. It gave local fans of the brewer, most known for its popular Racer 5 India Pale Ale (IPA), a chance to… Read More »

Check out the Petaluma River Craft Beer Festival

The Petaluma River Craft Beer Festival will take place this upcoming Saturday, September 13 from 1pm to 5pm. Twenty local breweries will be pouring beer at the festival that takes place in downtown Petaluma, right by the river. Food bites and live music will be offered as well. The price of admission is $40. That will get you into the festival, a souvenir beer glass, and ten tickets that may be used for beer and/or food tastings. Designated drivers get in… Read More »

Heady Topper is coming to Santa Rosa

The owner of The Alchemist Brewery, John Kimmich, paid Sonoma County a visit this week. The casual beer drinker may not be familiar with John or his brewery, but the biggest of craft beer enthusiasts get bright eyed and bushy tailed at the mention of their beers. The Alchemist, best known for making Heady Topper, is located 3,000 miles away in Waterbury, Vermont. The beer made there usually does not leave a 60 mile radius from where it’s made unless… Read More »

Russian River beer revival great time for all

The Russian River Beer Revival and BBQ Cookoff unofficial tag line is “if you can’t have fun at this one…you can’t have fun.” Such a bold statement along with a lot of positive feedback from attendees of previous years had my expectations at an all-time high. The event did not disappoint. It’s easy to see why the 12th annual event that took place this past Saturday, August 16, sold out within a matter of minutes. Thirty BBQ teams set up their stations among… Read More »

Bear Republic’s 6th Annual Cellar Party on tap

Bear Republic will be hosting its 6th Annual Cellar Party on Sunday, September 14 from 2pm to 5pm. The party will take place in the courtyard/barrel room located at 345 Healdsburg Ave. in the town of Healdsburg. This will be an opportunity to get to meet the brew team and sample the beers that Bear Republic will be submitting to this year’s Great American Beer Festival. The brewery also promises to be dusting off some rarities from the cellar that they plan… Read More »

Meet, join the Sonoma Beerocrats

The popularity of craft beer seems to be at an all-time high. Not everyone is content to simply sit on the sidelines and taste the delicious beer that is being made by others. A growing number of people are choosing to roll up their sleeves and home brew their own beer. The Sonoma Beerocrats is an American Home-brewers Association sanctioned home brewing club based in Sonoma County. They welcome new members to show up to one of their monthly meetings… Read More »