Where To Drink In Sonoma County When You Don’t Want Wine

December 21, 2019

Everyone knows that Sonoma County is all about wine.  And you know I *love* me some wine.  But sometimes you need a break from the vino, and have a hankerin’ for something different.

When I visited the area for a work trip, I knew I’d be spending almost a week drinking a LOT of wine, so I purposefully sought out lots of non-winery options in my two solo days beforehand.  So below I’ve put together a list of where to drink in Sonoma County when you don’t want wine—the best Sonoma County breweries, cideries, and even an awesome cocktail bar!

I landed midday (California time) in San Francisco, grabbed my rental car, and headed up Highway 1 toward gorgeous Sonoma County!

If you *are* looking for wine, here are Sonoma County wineries you need to visit!

Sonoma County breweries & more

The suggestions below are kind of spread out, but there are a few things grouped together.  So for instance, Santa Rosa and Sebastapol have a few options for you that are all pretty close.  Here’s a link to the map if you want to see it a little more closeup.

And this is really just scratching the surface—I only had a day or two to explore!  There are so many Sonoma County breweries to choose from, and more cideries, distilleries, and more popping up every day.  If you’re looking for where to drink in Sonoma County, you’ll have plenty to keep you busy.  I’ll keep adding to this on subsequent visits as well.

Other Sonoma adventures for your trip:

Sonoma Valley Wineries You Need to Try

Hiking Bodega Head Trail On California’s Sonoma Coast

Armstrong Woods: Hiking Sonoma’s Majestic Redwoods

Henhouse Brewery – Petaluma

1333 N McDowell Blvd, Petaluma, CA 94954

You can choose from two locations for Henhouse, the original Petaluma and the Santa Rosa one.  The Petaluma location is called Palace of Barrels…I have no idea why, but I totally love that.

When they started out, they were only making a few beers and chose to focus on interesting ones that not as many people make, like oyster stout and saisons.  But now they have quite a number, and I was particularly into their milk stout.  I loved their cool and casual vibe too.  Both locations also have food trucks come through on a rotating schedule at certain times.  Check out more on their times, beers, and more here.

One of the Sonoma County breweries you need to visit is Henhouse in Petaluma

Where to Drink in Sonoma County if You Don't Want Wine | While the area is known for wine, there are so many Sonoma County breweries, ciders, distilleries, cocktails, and more to explore! Plan your trip to northern California and mix things up with your winery visits! #sonomacounty #brewery #california

Where to drink in Sonoma County if you don't want wine - Henhouse Brewery

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Crooked Goat Brewing – Sebastapol

120 Morris St #120, Sebastopol, CA 95472 (in The Barlow)

On a lovely Saturday morning after hiking the gorgeous Bodega Head trail, I was starving but decided that driving almost an hour to Sebastapol was worth the wait.  I’d heard about a cute little outdoor market full of eateries and shops called The Barlow and wanted to check it out.

I parked and just wandered for a bit, and the first thing that caught my eye was the facade of Crooked Goat Brewing.  I am a noted goat fan (long story, shout out to my billy goats!), so ducked in and bellied up to the bar.  I loved their vanilla bean stout and wished I had more time to spend there (but alas, more substantial food was calling my name).  Check out their beers and hours here.

Crooked Goat Brewing - one of the Sonoma County breweries you have to try

Delicious vanilla bean stout at Crooked Goat Brewing - where to drink in Sonoma County

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Golden State Cider – Sebastapol

180 Morris St Ste. 150, Sebastopol, CA 95472 (in The Barlow)

I was still looking for real food, but got distracted by Golden State Cider right as I stepped out of Crooked Goat.  It was so cute, I couldn’t resist peeking inside and then trying a couple of their ciders.

I’m not always the world’s biggest cider fan (I often find them a bit harsh, bite-y, and too fizzy), but I tried both the Hamaica and I think the Brut, and they were lovely!  For people who are gluten-free this would be a great non-wine option for where to drink in Sonoma County as well.

Golden State Cider - where to drink in Sonoma County if you don't want wine

Adorable Golden State Cider - where to drink in Sonoma County

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Woodfour Brewing – Sebastapol

6780 Depot St, Sebastopol, CA 95472 (in The Barlow)

I’d parked right outside of Woodfour and was still looking for some real food.  Many of the breweries in The Barlow have a small (good) menu but they source from nearby restaurants.  I decided to see if Woodfour had its own kitchen, and was happy that I did.

I ordered their Morning Selfie (a coffee black lager) and loved devouring amazing fried brussels sprouts with aioli and cotija, and fried cheese curds with a garlic herb oil dipping sauce.  I should have probably had a *real* meal, but by that point the carbonation from the beers and cider was kind of filling me up, and it was getting a bit late.  You can see more about Woodfour’s menu and beers here.

The Morning Selfie beer at Woodfour Brewing - Sonoma County breweries

Delicious food and drink at Woodfour Brewing - Sonoma County breweries

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Russian River Brewing Co. – Santa Rosa

725 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Russian River Brewing was founded in the late ’90s by the Korbel champagne winery (though they’re no longer the owner), and has become an institution among Sonoma County breweries.  Their main location is in Santa Rosa, though they’ve opened one in Windsor too.

I think I had the Imperial porter, but can’t remember for sure, as their menu rotates somewhat seasonally.  It was a little loud and crowded—as you’d expect on a beautiful Saturday afternoon—but I was able to snag a seat at the bar.  You can find out more info here.

Delicious beer at Russian River Brewing Co - Sonoma County breweries

Where to drink in Sonoma County - breweries to visit

Spoonbar – Healdsburg

219 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448 

Okay, moving on from beer and cider to something even fancier.  If you’re in the mood for a cocktail, Spoonbar is definitely the place to be in Healdsburg.  While downtown Healdsburg is known for its many, many winery tasting rooms, it has amazing restaurants and some great cocktail options.

Spoonbar - delicious cocktails, where to drink in Sonoma County if you don't want wineA beautiful cocktail at Spoonbar in HealdsburgI didn’t end up liking my first drink (which was on me, I didn’t realize that the aloe juice would taste like cucumber), but the bartender whipped me up a different one that I loved.  I’m bummed I didn’t get a chance to try their food as well (I had reservations at nearby Dry Creek Kitchen), but loved having a couple drinks here.  You can get more info here.

Spoonbar's awesome cocktails - where to drink in Sonoma County

So that should get you started on your explorations of where to drink in Sonoma County if you’re looking for something other than wine.  There are so many Sonoma County breweries, cider, distilleries, and more that you couldn’t possibly cover them all in a dozen trips…but you sure can try!

Other foodie (& drink-y) deep dives you’ll love:

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Where to Drink in Sonoma County if You Don't Want Wine | While the area is known for wine, there are so many Sonoma County breweries, ciders, distilleries, cocktails, and more to explore! Plan your trip to northern California and mix things up with your winery visits! #sonomacounty #brewery #california

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