How to enjoy SF Beer Week without leaving Sonoma County

Plus a few San Francisco events that feature Sonoma County brewers|

Craft beer fans flock to San Francisco each year to sample rare beers and culinary pairings that celebrate the rich Bay Area brewing culture. From Feb. 1 to 10, SF Beer Week features a full calendar of beer geekdom with hundreds of events at breweries, taphouses and restaurants from Monterey Bay to Sonoma County. Guests can hobnob with renowned brewers at the opening gala in San Francisco Feb. 1, check out the double IPA fest in Hayward Feb. 2, learn all about malt in Alameda Feb. 6, try taco and beer tasters in Albany Feb. 7, and tour neighborhood beer haunts with a brewmaster in San Francisco Feb. 8.

Sounds great if you have a designated driver, but you don’t actually have to travel far because Sonoma County hosts some of the best SF Beer Week events right here, including tap takeovers, brewery dinners and celebrations of our craft beer epicenter. Then there are the handful of San Francisco events that feature our local brews, which are worth the trip south.

Feb. 1-14 Russian River Brewing Company.

All hail the Pliny! It may be single handedly responsible for buoying tourism in Sonoma County in winter months, but Russian River’s Pliny the Younger is a beer worthy of long lines, even in the cold. The brewery celebrates its 15th year of the famed triple IPA release, available until it disappears at both the Santa Rosa taproom (725 4th St.) and the Windsor brewhouse (700 Mitchell Lane) starting daily at 11 a.m. If you haven’t checked out the new Windsor location, potentially shorter lines for Pliny may tempt you out of your zip code. Limits apply, of course – only three glasses per imbiber. (For more immediate gratification, McNear’s Saloon in Petaluma and other Bay Area taprooms often get a keg or two of Pliny).

Cost: Pay as you go.

More info:

Feb. 2-9, The Roost by HenHouse

This one is centered in San Francisco’s South Park neighborhood at Picnic on Third (493 Third St, San Francisco), but makes our top list for culinary beer matches with a Sonoma County connection. HenHouse Brewing Company (Santa Rosa, Petaluma) highlights SF Beer Week with creative mash-ups featuring top chefs and local craft beers. Nightly pop-up beer dinners at Picnic on Third afford talented culinary minds an opportunity to showcase their chops with changing ingredients. Each night a different chef puts together a new menu with an individual twist, centered on HenHouse’s freshly made beers. If the happy hour menu is any indication of the tasty surprises to come, we were piqued by chicken chicharrones with smoky hop salt, Trinidadian fry bread with guava jelly and farmers cheese, and the jerk chicken empanadillas with cilantro stem aioli. The dinner line-up includes:

Saturday, Feb. 2, Chef Priya Gaiha introduces beer fans to Euro-Indian fusion.

Monday, Feb. 4, Chef Christina Alexis plays with West Indian and Southern cuisine.

Tuesday, Feb. 5, features Chef Diego Felix mixing sustainable eats with South American flavors.

Wednesday, Feb. 6, join Chef Seti Shay to sample Persian influenced cuisine.

Thursday, Feb. 7, welcomes Chef Geoffrey Reed, a McKinleyville native who introduces diners to sustainable and foraged foods with a Japanese flair.

Friday, Feb. 8, Chef Anna Voloshyna, a blogger and epicurean, will inspire guests with creative Georgian flavors.

Saturday, Feb. 9, Chef Sergio Monleon makes beautiful and colorful Spanish-inspired dishes.

HenHouse’s beer pairings include a saison brewed with black pepper and coriander; Cheetahs on the Loose, a classic blonde ale; Oyster Stout, a dry stout brewed with Tomales Bay oysters; Honest Day’s Work, a red rye saison; and the Walrus Is Paul, one of our favorite IPAs brewed with centennial and Pacific jade hops (and some of the best beer can art we have seen). Limited to 25 seats per evening. Events begin at 5:30 p.m., dinner served at 7 p.m.

Cost: $65, reservations required.

More info:

Feb. 2 Fogbelt Brewing Company

The brewery celebrates five years in Santa Rosa with a pig roast that starts in the taproom and overflows to the beer garden. Sample barbecue, live music and the release of Godwood Giant triple IPA, Stardusk Juicy IPA, Dyerville Giant imperial red ale, and North of the Wall white IPA (collaboration beer brewed at Bear Republic). Fogbelt, located at 1305 Cleveland Ave., Santa Rosa, thoughtfully offers a free shuttle from the Railroad Square Smart Train stop. The fun starts at noon and is kid and pet-friendly.

Cost: Free entry, pay as you go

More info:

Feb. 2 and Feb. 6 Henhouse Brewing Company

HenHouse releases its Selektor II collaboration pale ale with Fort Point (Feb. 2) and Big Chicken double IPA (Feb. 6) at both Petaluma and Santa Rosa taprooms. Starts at noon.

Cost: Pay as you go.

More info:

Feb. 3 Woodfour Brewing Company

The inaugural SF Beer Week Black Tie Brunch invites beer lovers to a classy culinary buffet, bottomless Berliner Beermosas (with full price ticket), wild beer releases from the cellar and donut holes with maple syrup. The brewery claims you don’t need to dress for this Sunday brunch, but a chance to sample Woodfour’s Fragaria reserve (a wild strawberry sour), may be cause for beer lovers to spiffy up. The day starts at 10:30 a.m. at 6780 Depot St., Sebastopol.

Cost: $15-$43

More info:

Feb. 3 Third Street Ale Works

This Great American Beer Festival award-winning brewery celebrates its Double Standard double IPA release with food and games at the downtown Santa Rosa pub, 610 3rd St. Starts at 4 p.m.

Cost: Pay as you go.

More info:

Feb. 5 Lagunitas Firkin Keg Tapping at Jamison’s Roaring Donkey

Show up early to win a chance to tap the firkin yourself, a cask-conditioned Super Cluster Citra specialty from our local brewery powerhouse. Starts at 5 p.m., stay for trivia night after from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. The fun takes place at 146 Kentucky St.

Cost: Pay as you go.

More info:

Feb. 5 Beer Nerd Trivia Night at Fogbelt Brewing Company

The game begins at 7 p.m. at 1305 Cleveland Ave., Santa Rosa.

Cost: Pay as you go

More info:

Feb. 6 Backyard Brews and Barbecue at Brewster’s Beer Garden

Brewsters invites Sonoma brewers for this multi-tap showdown with special releases including HenHouse’s the Walrus Is Paul IPA and Big Chicken double IPA; Moonlight’s (Santa Rosa) Death & Taxes black lager and Misspent Youth pale ale; Sonoma Springs Brewing Co. (Sonoma) barrel-aged plum Belgian tripel and Juicy in the Sky hazy IPA; Barrel Brothers (Santa Rosa) Dad Pants pilsner and Cluster Franc (a cab franc-barrel-aged sour); and Cooperage (Santa Rosa) specials. Meet the brewers and sample tasty housemade barbecue specials, live music and bocce. Starts at 5 p.m. at 229 Water St. Kid and pet friendly.

Cost: Entry is free, pay as you go.

More info:

Feb. 6 ‘Groundhog Day’ movie screening with Laughing Monk Brewery

Laughing Monk invites craft beer fans to taste test its new Brother Murray hazy IPA with Punxsutawney Phil’s shadow at this Santa Rosa Cinema’s screening. Bill Murray headlines this 1993 film that is always worth repeating. Beer reception and keg tapping will begin at 6:15 p.m., film starts at 7:30 p.m. Assigned seating requires tickets in advance, available at the theater or online.

Cost: $11.50

More info:

Feb. 9 Iron Springs Public House

A little farther afield in Marin, Iron Springs (901 4th St., San Rafael) celebrates SF Beer Week and the one-year anniversary of its downtown location with a sampling of barrel-aged tasters, the award-winning Compulsory Ale triple IPA, live music and prizes. Starts at noon.

Cost: Pay as you go.

More info:

Feb. 9 Seismic Beer and Cheese Pairing

If we have to leave Sonoma County for beer, then Seismic Brewing Company’s (Santa Rosa) beer and cheese pairing event at the Cheese School of San Francisco tops the list. Sample local favorite Seismic ales with perfectly coordinated cheese, and chat with the brewing team. It starts at noon at 900 North Point St., San Francisco.

Cost: TBD

More info:

Feb. 9 Faction Tap Takeover at Brewsters Beer Garden

Faction Brewing (Alameda) is famed for fresh beers that are crafted to illuminate hop flavors without bitterness. Brewsters introduces these ales to Petaluma with a full lineup of Belgians, IPAs and stouts, including Faction’s Cuddle Time, a triple IPA collaboration with Sante Adairius Rustic Ales (Capitola). Starts at 2:00 p.m.

Cost: Pay as you go

More info:

Feb. 9 Cycle-Delic Monk Hunt with Trail House

Sonoma County adventurists will enjoy this mountain bike scavenger hunt at Annadel Park followed by a post-ride tap takeover by Laughing Monk. Bring your own bike or rent one (reservations required) and locate top prize caches, starting at noon at the bike-friendly taphouse and café, 4036 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa.

Cost: Hunt is free, then pay as you go

More info:

Feb. 1-28 Battle of the Bays at Jamison’s Roaring Donkey and the Block

Brewers from San Francisco, the South Bay, East Bay and North Bay duke it out for an epic showdown of beers. Test out this Bay Area sampling of rare and flagship beers at two Petaluma taphouses. Passports are available at both locations allow participants to collect stamps for pint glasses, t-shirts and other prizes.

Cost: Pay as you go

More info: or

UPDATED: Please read and follow our commenting policy:

  • This is a family newspaper, please use a kind and respectful tone.
  • No profanity, hate speech or personal attacks. No off-topic remarks.
  • No disinformation about current events.
  • We will remove any comments — or commenters — that do not follow this commenting policy.
Send a letter to the editor

Our Network

The Press Democrat
Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Sonoma County Gazette