Planning a trip to Santa Rosa area... What is worth hitting?

Discussion in 'Pacific' started by ActonBrewer, Jan 17, 2013.

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  1. ActonBrewer

    ActonBrewer Initiate (0) Apr 9, 2009 Massachusetts

    Hi Guys,

    Ventured over here from the New England forums. My wife and I are planning a trip to the San Fran area, and will be visiting her brother in Santa Rosa. I was curious what is worth hitting in the Santa Rosa/San Fran area, as well as the outlying area. I'm considering driving down to Firestone Walker, but I wanted to know if it's a worthwhile tour.


  2. sandiego67

    sandiego67 Initiate (0) Feb 25, 2008 California

    Healdsburg (+/-10 Miles north of Santa Rosa) - Bear Republic
    Santa Rosa - Russian River
    Petaluma (+/- 10 miles south) - Lagunitas

    Firestone Walker will be a few hours south in Paso Robles.
  3. evilc

    evilc Initiate (0) Jan 27, 2012 California

    Plan the trip Feb 1 - 14.
    mbockstruck30 likes this.
  4. bullywee

    bullywee Aspirant (259) May 26, 2005 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Santa Rosa - Russian River :wink:
    - Whole Foods Tap Room (Coddington)
    - Bottle Barn (great prices)

    Other areas - Lagunitas (great taproom) in Peteluma
    - City Beer Store in SF
    - so many other great spots! look on beerfly

    Ive never been to FW but from what my brother says (after his several trips) its great.
  5. Buick222

    Buick222 Aspirant (220) Jun 20, 2009 California

    21st Amendment in SF is great. Go North on the 101 and you will hit Moylans right off the freeway. Further North you got Lagunitas in Petaluma then of course Russian River in Santa Rosa. One block over is Third Street Aleworks, I like their beers. A bit further north you have got to hit Bear Republic. Have fun
  6. evilc

    evilc Initiate (0) Jan 27, 2012 California

    Which FW is great? Both? Always pass them on the 101.
  7. stupac2

    stupac2 Zealot (518) Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Firestone is quite a ways from Santa Rosa, you'd probably spend something like 8 hours driving to get there and back. Can't say I'd recommend doing that, but I've only been to one of their 800,000 locations.

    Obviously Russian River is in Santa Rosa, but people love Flavor Bistro, which is right down the street (I've somehow never been, but Moonlight is featured prominently and they make good beer).

    Also in the North Bay there's Moylans, which is fine, I don't particularly like their beer and they're typical pub food. Bear Republic is worth visiting if you have time. SF mostly has bars that are worth going to, Toronado, City Beer, etc. Oakland has Beer Rev, at least two flavors of Trappist (it's like these places are metastasizing), and Linden St. A bit further down in San Leandro is Drake's.
    PaulStoneAnchor likes this.
  8. MichaelGV

    MichaelGV Initiate (0) Apr 2, 2008 California

    With several Moonlight brews on tap, delicious food in a friendly atmosphere (especially if you sit at the bar) and a location a half-block from Russian River, Flavor Bistro makes a great stop.
    AKolmogorov likes this.
  9. jdouge

    jdouge Aspirant (236) Nov 27, 2005 California

    Must: Toronado, Russian River
    Should: Anderson Valley, Beer Revolution
    Could: Lagunitas, Bear Republic, Magnolia, Trappist
    "Long" trips: Firestone/Walker, North Coast
  10. 1424IpA

    1424IpA Initiate (0) Nov 2, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    The FW here in paso has recently expanded and remodeled its facility, the atmosphere is comparable to other large breweries. The food at the taproom is middle of the road but one can easily taste most of their beers for a very reasonable price. I have not been to Buelton but with them also expanding with their barrelworks program it wont be long before i make that trip.
  11. ferillo

    ferillo Devotee (482) Sep 12, 2009 Massachusetts
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    When are you heading out?
  12. rgco

    rgco Initiate (26) Apr 2, 2012 California

    I think there is an Applebee's somewhere in Santa Rosa or a BJ's, they have some beer on tap.
  13. jtmartino

    jtmartino Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    Anderson Valley is a long trip, and your time is far better spent by going elsewhere like Bear Republic, Lagunitas, or even just bars in the City.
    RobertV916 likes this.
  14. Bobator

    Bobator Initiate (0) May 23, 2006 California

    Seconding Russian River, Lagunitas Taproom.

    Adding Hopmonk Tavern in Sebastapol (preferred) or Novato.
  15. ActonBrewer

    ActonBrewer Initiate (0) Apr 9, 2009 Massachusetts

    We are looking at the second week of March. I'd love to hit Pliny the Younger day, but we are trying to line it up with my spring break so that won't work. I really appreciate all the help from you guys. If you head to the Northeast, I'd be happy to point anyone in the right direction.

    As for Paso Robles, we are considering a road trip while we are there starting in Napa, going to Tahoe, then Yosemite, then Paso Robles and then north up to Monterey. Always open to suggestions.
  16. Rau71

    Rau71 Initiate (0) Dec 12, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    This would be quite the road trip, but during March it will be a perfect time to do it. If you are starting in Napa I am guessing one in the group likes wine. While you are in Paso you might as well make a visit to some of the local wineries that are pretty much anywhere, but on the drive in from Fresno to FW you would pass more than a dozen easy to hit spots.
  17. ActonBrewer

    ActonBrewer Initiate (0) Apr 9, 2009 Massachusetts

    I am the Craft Beer Specialist for a liquor store outside of Boston. While beer is my focus, I am starting to learn a lot more about wine. We may be getting some private tastings from a few spots in Napa if I decide I want to "work" while we are out there. I suspect that my wife won't appreciate that. Glad to hear that March won't be a terrible time for the road trip. The weather was a big concern for Tahoe and Yosemite.
  18. usofar

    usofar Initiate (0) Dec 23, 2010 California

    Weather can be a huge concern but you won't know until much closer to your trip. Tahoe will be less of an issue, and may require you to buy chains or shift your travel plans to accommodate a spring snow storm. The bigger issue will be your drive from Tahoe to Yosemite. Stick to the main roads instead of the scenic route because a lot of mountain roads out that way are seasonal and stay closed for weeks or even months due to snow. If you head south down 395 make sure the pass through Yosemite is open
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