A Press Democrat Blog

Beer Country

A digest about that other famous beverage

Craft beer gift ideas

In search of some gift ideas for the craft beer enthusiast in your life this Christmas? A twenty two ounce bottle of his or her favorite beer makes a good stocking stuffer. If you’re not sure which beer to buy, let me suggest a gift card to a nearby bottle shop. A membership to a beer club is the gift that keeps on giving. Most places that do memberships will give you the option of month to month, three months… Read More »

Shady Oak Barrel House bottle release

The first official Shady Oak Barrel House bottle release will take place today, December 12th. Rincon Valley Taproom and Bottle Shop will welcome Steve Doty, brewer/owner, to pour the first of what should be many releases between 4pm and 8pm. Be one of the first to try Bokonon, a farmhouse ale fermented with Brettanomyces. Reviews like the one given by Joe Tucker, RateBeer executive director, are what is getting the local craft beer enthusiasts excited about Shady Oak. “This is… Read More »

Brewers Association reports more good news for the craft beer community

The Brewers Association released the 2014 Year in Review report yesterday and the craft beer numbers are quite impressive. Before I share some of the numbers released, I want to mention that the Brewers Association is a not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers. The following are some of the numbers taken directly from the report that caught my eye: • In November, the United States passed the mark of 3,200 breweries and the number of brewery… Read More »

Sharing craft beer with friends and loved ones this holiday season

The holiday season is officially underway. Getting together with family and friends is surely the excuse that you’ve been looking for to pop open a special bottle of beer that has been sitting in your cellar. Here are a few things to keep in mind when bringing beer to a holiday dinner or party you may be invited to: Not everyone is ready for that Bourbon barrel aged stout that you so generously want to share, but it is nice… Read More »

Warped Brewing will celebrate their one year anniversary with a chili cookoff

This Thursday, November 20th, Warped Brewing Company will be celebrating their one year anniversary with a chili cookoff and the release of a brand new beer named ‘Clear the Flag’. The fee to taste and vote on the winner of the cookoff will be just $5. Warped Brewing is a 10 barrel brewery located in The Barlow at 6790 McKinley St. Suite 190 in Sebastopol. Noah Bolmer, owner, started production last November then opened the classic video game themed tasting… Read More »

State’s craft brewers to meet in Santa Rosa

The California Craft Brewers Association will be celebrating their 25th anniversary at next week’s California Craft Brewers Conference. The event will be held at Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel & Spa in Santa Rosa. The last day to register for the event is today. Those of you that are CCBA members, exhibitors, sponsors, non-member breweries and breweries in planning are eligible. The two day event kicks off on Monday, November 3. It will be a full day starting at 9am and… Read More »

Beer, blues in downtown Healdsburg

More than 35 breweries will be pouring at the 28th annual Beer in the Plaza Festival on Saturday, Sept. 6. The festival, sponsored by the  Soroptomist International of Healdsburg, will take place in the downtown plaza from 2 p.m.-6 p.m. and feature foods by El Farolito, The Wurst, Café Lucia and S Club. The Soulshine Blues Band will also perform. Price of admission for those 21 and up is $30.  Attendees between  8 and 20 will be charged $10 and… Read More »

Sierra Nevada’s ‘Beer Camp Across America’ 12-pack

Sierra Nevada has been working on a very special project. In mid-July they will release a ‘Beer Camp Across America’ twelve pack collaboration like no other. Sierra Nevada and the head brewers from twelve exceptional breweries across the country came together to each brew one of the beers for the special twelve pack. The list of collaborating breweries that you are about to read is enough to get any beer geek excited! The twelve pack will include one each of… Read More »

Get to know the local man behind Ratebeer

If you know and love beer, you probably know and love Ratebeer. What you maybe didn’t know is that Ratebeer’s executive director, Joe Tucker, lives right here in Sonoma County. What started as a part-time labor of love for Tucker in 2000 has morphed into a full-time job and a website that is visited by 1.3 million people per month. When I recently met up with Tucker, it was easy to see his passion for the craft beer industry. His… Read More »

Time to celebrate craft beer


The ninth annual American Craft Beer Week will take place between May 12th and May 18th this year. That week is a time for beer lovers across our nation to collectively celebrate the craft beer culture and community. There are well over 2,500 craft breweries operating and many more scheduled to open across America this year. Let’s all take the time to rejoice the abundance of great beer that we are being provided by the hard working American people working… Read More »

Three cheers for hops!

Many of you already know that the four basic ingredients used in the beer making process are water, malt, yeast and of course, hops. Water, by far, is the largest ingredient used. The beer making process would not be possible without yeast so you can’t down play its importance. The malt provides the sugars needed to be turned in to alcohol. So after stating the importance of the other ingredients you may ask yourself why hops have turned into the… Read More »

Beer and the Millennials

If you were born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s you are considered a part of Generation Y, aka the Millennials. This makes you a part of a very special group. The generations of beer and wine enthusiasts before us seemed content to separate the wine and beer lover in to two very different groups. Beer drinkers seemed to think of the wine drinker as snobby, white collar and were very much intimidated by the wine industry and… Read More »

Want to be our next beer blogger?

As the title of this blog suggests, it’s hard not to see the North Bay as “Beer Country.” From the 20 craft breweries that call Sonoma County their home to the beer festivals and news from the industry, there’s a lot hopping (sorry) these days. Well, our venerable beer blogger has left the taproom for other pursuits, so we’re looking for a new beer blogger. Interested? Send us a note why you’re the right candidate for the (unpaid) job, and… Read More »