Wine Country isn’t all about wine. The wide range of beers produced in the region makes it easy to mix up your imbibing experience with a fun and sudsy brew crawl. Hit up any of these five Santa Rosa taprooms and breweries—all within walking distance of each other—for a different kind of
3 Disciples Brewing
With a dedicated focus on ales, 3 Disciples brews its beer from the ground up. Literally. Cultivating everything that goes into a pint—including the hops and barley—in Sonoma County, the brewers have maintained their vision of producing quality beer that "doesn’t cut corners." On some weekends, the taproom hosts live music from local bands.
Sip: Try the thirst-quenching Pulp Fission, a juicy IPA with plenty of orangey goodness. 3disciplesbrewing.com.
Fogbelt Brewing Company
Founded in 2013 by Remy Martin and Paul Hawley, this brewery was named after the fog belt that hovers over the coastal redwoods stretching from central California to the Oregon border. Every brew in the sleek, industrial-style taproom is named after a prominent redwood species.
Sip: To cool off on a warm day, sip the crisp and fruit-forward Atlas blonde ale. fogbeltbrewing.com.
Russian River Brewing Company
One of the best-known Sonoma County breweries, Russian River has created a cult following with its Pliny the Elder and highly coveted Pliny the Younger beers. Pop into the downtown taproom for a bite to eat and a sampling of the outstanding suds.
Sip: Go for something different and select the cabernet barrel-aged Consecration dark ale for a bit of rich spice. russianriverbrewing.com.
Shady Oak Barrel House
Using wild yeasts and Brettanomyces to ferment his beer, head brewer Steve Doty embraces the natural funk found in his sours and artisanal ales. The picnic table–strewn, dog-friendly tasting room is homey and the perfect spot to kick back with friends.
Sip: The Sonomatastic is a super-quaffable, floral yet peppery farmhouse-style ale. shadyoakbarrelhouse.com.
Third Street Aleworks
This restaurant and brewery is a great place to get some grub and try a flight. The pub offers fun events during the week, including a $2.50 beer-and-brats special on Tuesdays, trivia night on Wednesdays, and sake bombs on Thursdays.
Sip: Make sure to order something from the rotating taps, such as the tart Cherry Springer ale. thirdstreetaleworks.com.