Beyond Wine: Craft Breweries of Sonoma

When visiting Mayacama in the heart of California Wine Country, it’s natural to gravitate towards drinking wine. While vacationing amidst this luxury real estate in Sonoma, it’s also worth exploring some of the nation’s best breweries. A number of fantastic breweries and brewpubs are just a short meander from the lovely Sonoma fractional ownership resort at Mayacama and each is well worth a visit for novices and hopheads alike.

Russian River Brewing Company – While the space is unassuming, some consider this brewery to be the best in America. They are undoubtedly one of the most creative, with an emphasis on experimentation. You’ll find sour and wild ales, the famous Pliny The Elder Double IPA, and a number of artful takes on Belgian Ales. Go for the sampler – the ridiculous paddle board of mini-glasses will keep you busy for hours. (Note: the food here is standard pub fare – eat before arrival if you’re looking for upscale grub.)

Lagunitas Taproom – Lagunitas has developed a national reputation for both quality and fair pricing, especially with their pale ales. There is food here, but it is limited to sandwiches, salads, and snacks. We suggest the Dogtown pale, the IPA, and the cappuccino stout for newcomers. You can also find live music at the taproom. Note: closed Monday and Tuesday.

Hopmonk Tavern – This mini-chain of brewpubs can be found in Sonoma, Novato, and Sepastopol. They combine a small selection of house-made brews (including their hoppy Kellerbier) with a selection of West Coast favorites. There are open mic nights, they offer live music most evenings, and you’ll discover a pleasant vibe on the premises.

Bear Republic Brewing – Located in the wine mecca of Healdsburg, this neighborhood pub brews both the famous Racer 5 IPA and Hop Rod Rye, along with some excellent stouts. After a day of wine touring, a blast of hops is a nice change of pace for the palate! You’ll also find a selection of cheeses, charcuterie, and burgers to complement your brews.

Fogbelt Brewing – The new kids in town, Fogbelt Brewing, are quickly developing into the next big thing. The brewery’s offering use California hops exclusively. A small menu (utilizing some local sourcing) is available that includes panini and grilled sausages.

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