A Press Democrat Blog

Beer Country

A digest about that other famous beverage

Rohnert Park Craft Beer Fest on tap


Beer festivals and outdoor events are in full swing. Some of you will be making the trip down to Paso Robles for the Firestone Invitational this weekend, while some may make the shorter drive to Napa for BottleRock. Those of you looking to stay closer to home this weekend need not fret. The Rohnert Park Craft Beer Fest will take place between 1pm and 5pm this Saturday, May 30th at the SOMO Event Center located at 1100 Valley Dr. in… Read More »

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 »

Meet the owner of Taps Restaurant & Taproom

Taps Restaurant & Taproom opened their doors for business in the Fall of 2009. While pouring craft beer exclusively is now quite common amongst taprooms in Sonoma County, Eric Lafranchi was one of the first to leave the likes of the major corporate breweries off his tap list. One location move, thousands of kegs sold, and almost six years later, Eric is busy as ever. Friday nights at Taps may require a wait if you’re planning on stopping by in… Read More »

Celebrating American Craft Beer Week

This week the nation will collectively celebrate the craft beer industry and the people that make it so special. American Craft Beer Week begins today, May 11th and runs through May 17th. “This celebration, coordinated by the Brewers Association’s Craft Beer Program, is an exciting opportunity for craft brewers to commemorate their art and tradition with enthusiasts across the country” states the Brewer’s Association website. I encourage local taprooms and breweries to leave details of any events planned for the… Read More »

The 19th Annual Legendary Boonville Beer Festival recap

A who’s who list of participating breweries made the trip to Boonville for the 19th Annual Legendary Boonville Beer Festival this last Saturday, May 2nd. The event took place from 1pm to 5pm at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds. Over 80 breweries from across the state spent the weekend camping in Boonville. The brewers set up camp on Anderson Valley Brewing Company’s property a quarter mile from the festival, while the public was offered camp sites at the Mendocino Fairgrounds on… Read More »

Meet the owner of Plow Brewing Company

After months of anticipation by local craft beer enthusiasts, Plow Brewing Company is finally open for business. Those of you that were expecting Divine Brewing Company to open at the 3334 Industrial Dr. location in Santa Rosa are technically correct. Plow beer will be offered by the pint at the taproom and the Divine line of brews will be offered on a limited basis in a bottle. Owner and brewmaster Kevin Robinson has an impressive resume that includes beer making… 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 »

President Roosevelt to the rescue

You may have heard by now that today is National Beer Day. You don’t really need to twist my arm to drink a good beer, but I decided to look into how this holiday came about. With a little research, I learned that April 7th, 1933 was the first day that alcohol, with restrictions, was allowed to be sold in the United States after years of Prohibition. With the success that the craft beer industry is experiencing in our country,… Read More »

Meet the owners of 101 North Brewing Company

101 North Brewing Company, located in Petaluma, was the big winner at this year’s ‘Battle of the Brews’ that took place on Saturday, March 28th. For the second year in a row, the Heroine IPA was awarded the best American IPA in the competition. Their Naughty Aud Imperial Stout was awarded Best of Show. I paid 101 North a visit earlier this week to ask them what winning these awards means to them. The answer to that question and a… Read More »

Top Bay Area chefs to collaborate for a Sierra Nevada food and beer pairing

Eight top Bay Area chefs and two mixologists will be traveling to Chico to participate in Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s Beer Camp. These ten professionals will spend two days brewing a custom beer, which they will eventually serve exclusively at the respected restaurants and bars they represent. While in Chico brewing the beer, the chefs will cook for a very special beer and food pairing event. The participating chefs and mixologists are David Bazirgan from Dirty Habit, Stephen Call and… Read More »

Local spin on St. Patrick’s Day traditions


I will confess to being a NorCal Beer Geek. I do my best to spend my money on small production northern California beer so as to help the small breweries stimulate the local economy. There are some great local options to consider when celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. Moylan’s Brewing Company’s Dragoons Dry Irish Stout and Danny’s Irish Style Red Ale, also made by Moylan’s, are just two examples. Green beer is a popular choice in bars on St. Patrick’s Day.… Read More »

Meet the owners of Fogbelt Brewing Company

Fogbelt Brewing Company is owned and operated by a couple gentlemen in their mid-thirties. Paul Hawley and Remy Martin collectively have thirty years of wine industry experience, but decided to pursue another passion by opening a brewery in Santa Rosa. I paid Paul and Remy a visit at the brewery earlier this week and had the opportunity to ask them a few questions so that we may get to know the brewery and the men that own it a little… Read More »

The start of Spring is a great time for a bottle share

Spring is just around the corner, officially beginning on Friday, March 20th. Longer days full of sunshine and outdoor craft beer drinking events await us. Before we start making evening and weekend plans between now and the end of the summer, we must first do some Spring cleaning. I suggest that we begin with our refrigerators and beer cellars. First things, first. Unless your IPA was hit with a dose of Brettanomyces, I suggest that you pop that bottle open… Read More »

All ‘Battle of the Brews’ proceeds go to helping Sonoma County children in need

The Active 20-30 Club of Santa Rosa #50 will host the 19th Annual Battle of the Brews fundraiser on Saturday, March 28th. The event will once again be held in the Grace Pavilion at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. Attendees will have the option of purchasing a ‘People’s Choice Main Event’ ticket for $40 or a ‘Craft Cup’ ticket for $95. All attendees will have an opportunity to select the ‘People’s Choice’ for best brewery, but the winner of the ‘Craft… Read More »

Palooza Gastropub invites you to celebrate their one year anniversary

Palooza Gastropub & Wine Bar, located at 8910 Sonoma Hwy. in Kenwood, is surrounded by wine tasting rooms and vineyards. Owners and managers of the Sonoma Valley wineries frequent the restaurant for its delicious food, wine, and beer. Yes, I said beer. While wine is the main focus of the tourists traveling to the Kenwood area, Palooza is focusing on providing a vast selection of craft beer. They have sixteen craft beers on tap that are constantly changing and over… Read More »