Happy National Beer Day! Each year, beer enthusiasts toast a pint to the end of Prohibition, which ended today. I suppose they could rename this “National Booze Day,” but, beer will suffice! A rainy day in Sonoma is a perfect excuse to relax in a local watering hole for a pint or grab some brewskis to go from a shop. Here are my picks for where to celebrate the brew on this holy hop holiday.
Carneros Brewing Company is one of two Sonoma Valley breweries and is pouring beers and filling growlers today from now until 5:30PM. Try a sampling of their many beers and take home a growler filled with Morena Ale or the cleverly named Jefeweizen. They also have a rotating selection of seasonal beers. Many of their beers use hops grown on site. 22985 Burndale Rd, Sonoma, 938-1880. carnerosbrewing.com
The Epicurean Connection has an interesting selection of beers you can enjoy there or take home with you. They are also one of the few places in Sonoma County where you can purchase Uncommon Brewers beers, owned and operated by Alex Stefansky, who has Sonoma connections. My favorites are the creamy and refreshing Streamers Lane Lager which is brewed with lavender and the Baltic Porter, which is brewed with star anise and licorice root. They also sell locally made Carneros Brewing Company beer if you can’t make it to the brewery. 10AM-8PM, 122 W. Napa St. Sonoma, 935-7960. theepicureanconnection.com
Whole Foods Sonoma has the best grocery selection of beer in Sonoma Valley. For a decent price, you can mix and match six packs and also pick up large format bottles of Belgian beers that have been made by monks for centuries. One of the best kept secrets in the Valley is their sale beer selection, where you can pick up single bottles for extra cheap (it’s by the cider in the fridge). Pick up a bottle of Sonoma County produced made cider, too, while you’re at it. Now-9PM, 201 W. Napa St., Sonoma, 938-8500. wholefoodsmarket.com
Palooza Gastropub & Wine Bar offers an ever changing selection of beers on tap and by the bottle, the majority which are brewed in Northern California. Grab a pint of locally brewed Sonoma Springs and enjoy one of the house specialities, Scotch eggs. Happy Hour is from 4PM-6PM tonight. 8910 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood, 833-4000. paloozafresh.com
Olde Sonoma Public House has hands down the most interesting and enjoyable beer selection in Sonoma, and is, in fact, where I celebrated New Beer’s Eve yesterday (a little tired today…). Lots of goodness on tap and by the bottle, the latter which you can also take home with you. They have a happy hour from 4PM-6PM and beers on tap are $2 off. That’s a great deal when offerings include the French-Canadian Unibroue’s traditional (and pricy) brews and even better when you’re drinking a PBR. 18615 Sonoma Hwy, Sonoma, 18615 Sonoma Hwy, 938-7587. oldesonomapub.com
HopMonk Tavern offers a decent happy hour where you can grab a house made beer, made by Gordon Biersch, for $3.75. They also have an impressive bottled beer list (ask for the menu). Happy Hour is from 3PM-6PM in the bar only. 691 Broadway, Sonoma, 935-9100. hopmonk.com