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A Press Democrat Blog

Beer Country

A digest about that other famous beverage

Hopmonk collects toys for holidays

All three Hopmonk Tavern locations – Sebastopol, Sonoma, and Novato – will be collecting donations of toys for the holidays from Monday through Sunday this week, Dec. 2-8. Owner Dean Biersch says he will give a $5 gift card to everyone who brings in a donation (that’s one card per person, not one card per item, however, so don’t get greedy). The two Sonoma County locations will be collecting only new, unwrapped toys. The Novato location will collect new, unwrapped… Read More »

A taste of Sonoma beer culture

Here’s an interesting little piece I ran across somehow the other day. It talks about the small but thriving beer culture in the town of Sonoma, which includes breweries Hopmonk Tavern and Sonoma Springs Brewing and beer bar Olde Sonoma Public House. Producer Peter Berkley tells me that the film was made back in 2011 for our friends down at Sonoma Magazine as part of a story written by his wife Susan Berkley.  It tells the story of Tim Goeppinger… Read More »

Do you care where your beer is made?

I once had a conversation with a senior guy in the Napa Valley Vintners about contract production, meaning small winemakers who rent equipment and space, and even staff, from larger wineries to make their product rather than building their own production facilities. There are lots of boutique and high-end producers that do  this, since the capital costs of building your own crush pad, fermentation rooms, and storage cellars is staggering. In fact, there is a whole industry of “custom crush”… Read More »

Is Craft Beer light?

Beer won’t necessarily make you fat, but there is no arguing with the fact that it adds calories to your diet, from 100 or so per bottle for the lightest of beers, to 400 or more for the big thick monsters that the extreme beer craze of the late ’90s and ’00s spawned. That’s 33 percent more than a McDonald’s cheeseburger, at about 300 calories each (but beer entirely lacks the fat of a cheeseburger, so it’s not quite a… Read More »

California Beer Festival this weekend

Marin County will host the California Beer Festival on Saturday in Novato, with 70 beers on tap, music and a BBQ cookoff. It will run from 12:30-5 p.m. in Stafford Lake Park. Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 at the door. There is a shuttle to the site from the Rowland Boulevard Park and Ride Shuttle stop in Novato so you don’t have to fight the parking traffic (and pay the $10 fee), but you have to buy the $3… Read More »