Getting a great, craft-brewed cold one will be easier than ever with the opening of four new beer halls coming to the North Bay.
By winter, Sonoma, Yountville and Marin will be nearly swimming in suds. Here are some up-and-coming Wine Country breweries:
In October, Hopmonk Tavern debuts its second Sonoma County location, about a half mile south of Sonoma Plaza, as soon as owner and brew guru Dean Biersch finalizes the renovation of the former Deuce/Emmy’s Restaurant on Broadway. The new space will feature an outdoor beer garden similar to its original location in downtown Sebastopol, plus a band shell for acoustical performances. The brew menu will follow Biersch’s style, too, showcasing small-batch seasonal domestic and international specialty beers, drawn from at least 16 draughts on tap.
To soak up those suds, food will feature local ingredients matched with appropriate beers. Look for pairings like Bodega mussels and fries with a citrusy Ommegang Farmhouse Saison, grilled salmon alongside a floral-piney Russian River Pliny the Elder, and crispy calamari with the restaurant’s own unfiltered Pilsner.
Also by October, the new Mill Valley Beerwork Brewery and Beer Café should have its own brews underway. The pub, which opened in June, offers a lengthy list of imported and local microbrews, and is just waiting for its own craft quaffs to finish in the tanks. To nibble alongside: fresh pretzels, salumi and cheeses.
Sometime later this year, the owners of Ceja Vineyards in Napa-Sonoma will break ground on a new winery. Their as-yet-unnamed artisan beer facility will be located at Burndale Road and Fremont Drive, west of Sonoma’s Fremont Diner. While the family is still in an early developmental phase for their facility, this will be a truly hand-crafted beer (they’re started planting their first hops nearby).
If the Ceja name sounds familiar, by the way, it may be because in June, the family opened Bistro Sabor on First Street in Napa, offering street food like made-to-order tacos, with late night dining and salsa dancing. The menu includes wines, sakes, and yes, beer.
By next year, a brewery may be in business at Hotel Luca, the Tuscan-style boutique property that opened in downtown Yountville last December. Management hasn’t released details yet, though the brews will complement the newly enhanced cocktail program at the hotel’s Italian restaurant, Cantinetta Piero.
Details: Hopmonk Tavern: 230 Petaluma Avenue, Sebastopol. 707-829-7300. Coming soon to 691 Broadway, Sonoma. hopmonk.com
MVBBABC: 173 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley. 415-336-3596. millvalleybeerworks.com
Ceja Vineyards: cejavineyards.com
Bistro Sabor: 1126 First St., Napa. 707-252-0555. bistrosabor.com
Hotel Luca: 6774 Washington Street, Yountville. 707-944-8080. hotellucanapa.com.
Tip: When hopping from beer hop to beer hop, keep it safe. You can enjoy your brews more when you don’t have to worry about a designated driver. Why not leave the driving to Pure Luxury, with your own limo or Town car?