clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Shutterstock

The Essential Breweries of the North Bay

Taprooms and brewpubs at a brewery near you

View as Map

While the craft beer industry is as dynamic as they come, we can always rely on one constant: North Bay breweries are and will always be a fine destination for locals and travelers to enjoy and discover world-class beer.

Lagunitas has recently been at the center of the global beer-universe, but their local presence in Petaluma is unchanged and their purchase of Santa Rosa's legendary Moonlight Brewery will ensure that both brewery's products get enjoyed by more people. Russian River Brewing Company is one of the most influential breweries in the world and their Santa Rosa taproom is deservedly always busy.

But it's the expansions for breweries like HenHouse and the emergence of breweries like Berryessa that ensure that Marin County, Sonoma County, and the whole North Bay will remain a top notch epicenter for craft beer for many years to come. Check out this collection of the area's best offerings, both well-known and up and coming, where you can grab a taste of what's brewing.

Did we miss your favorite brewery? Let us know in the comments.

Note: Breweries are listed geographically, not ranked.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Marin Brewing Company

Copy Link

The coolest part about Marin Brewing Company is taking the ferry to Larkspur Landing and walking up to their massive restaurant and tap room. Brewmaster Brendan Moylan has been at the helm of this institution since 1989 and Marin Brew Co has been the breeding ground for a number of brewers all over the Bay (Cellarmaker among them). You'd be hard-pressed to think of a more notable local fruit-forward Ale than Marin’s Blueberry Ale. There's also a menu of standard pub-fare; it's family friendly, and a popular stop for mountain bikers on the way back from a ride.

Marin Brewing Co

Iron Springs Pub & Brewery

Copy Link

Nestled in the comfortable confines of Fairfax, CA, Iron Springs is a welcome presence in Marin County. Their pub and brewery is complete with a full kitchen and plenty of indoor seating and outdoor picnic tables along Center Blvd. Kent Lake Kolsch is a staple and the Compulsory Triple IPA has been a favorite at Beer Week.

Iron Springs

Lagunitas Brewing Company

Copy Link

Despite selling 50 percent of the company to Heineken in 2015, Lagunitas’ product has remained unchanged. If anything, they’ve added to their lineup of classics like Lagunitas IPA, Little Sumpin Sumpin’ Ale, with a slew of both year-round and limited releases as well as canning the now hugely popular and tropical hoppiness of the 12th of Never Ale. Definitely go to the Petaluma brewery for a weeknight concert in the “Live at Lagunitas” series, or to relax on their spacious patio with kids and dogs.

Lagunitas Brewery

HenHouse Brewing Company

Copy Link

Henhouse’s flagship Saison — brewed with black pepper and coriander — is still an essay in what that style is all about and a fine use of the classic yeast strain. They now have a tasting room open in Santa Rosa where you can take down many Saisons, Oyster Stouts and the very excellent Trade Deadline Double IPA. Also, be on the lookout for the new Henhouse IPA in cans.

Russian River Brewing Company

Copy Link

The crown jewel of Santa Rosa, Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo’s RRBC changed the game with the Pliny The Elder Double IPA, perhaps the most influential of all West Coast IPA’s. And while its lighter cousin, Blind Pig IPA is also a fine product, it’s the Barrel Aged Sour Ales like the local Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel-Aged Consecration, Lambic-inspired Beatification and Belgian Style beers — like the brett fermented golden Sanctification — that really drive home why RRBS is a world-class brewery.

Russian River Brewing Company

Berryessa Brewing Company

Copy Link

The Winters-based brewery has been making some of the most consistent beer in the Bay for a minute and their “Separation Anxiety” series of IPA’s is top notch, especially the Mini Sep — a super crushable Session IPA. The Double Tap IPA is likewise memorable and the award winning Whippersnapper is a classic British Mild. Their tap room is open Thursday through Sunday. It's family-friendly, with food trucks and live music often on the docket.

Moonlight Brewing Co.

Copy Link

To sum it up: Icon. Founded in 1992 by Brian Hunt, Moonlight is nothing short of a trailblazer in the craft beer movement and despite selling to Lagunitas in June 2016, Hunt is still at the helm of the brewing process. Death and Taxes Black Lager is in a category of its own, Reality Czech Pils is a classic and Lunatic Lager is the single best Lager this writer has ever guzzled (real talk). Their new Santa Rosa taproom is open Friday through Sunday.

Moonlight Brewing Co.

St. Florian's Brewery

Copy Link

Windsor’s St. Florian’s brewery is a family business started by Aron and Amy Levin. Brewer Aron is also still a firefighter and St. Florian’s donates a portion of their profits to fire-related and community-based organizations. Their “Tap Station” is open Thursday through Sunday, where they pour a lineup that features the 48/96 (a Citra-hopped Session Ale) and their California Common. And at a time when the Brown Ale movement’s best days are behind us, St. Florian’s Winey Siren wine barrel-aged brown ale stands as a bastion— an incredibly delicious and unforgettable one.

St. Florian's

Bear Republic Brewery

Copy Link

If you’ve never had a Racer 5 IPA, you either live in a cave, or you don’t drink beer. Healdsburg-based Bear Republic has won multiple Great American Beer Festival gold medals for its Crystal malted and Cascade & Columbus-hopped IPA. While their portfolio of beers is wide (shouts to Big Bear Black Stout), Racer 5 is as strong of a flagship beer as you’ll find anywhere. The bustling taproom offers flights, pints, and a menu of pub grub.

Loading comments...

Marin Brewing Company

Marin Brewing Co

The coolest part about Marin Brewing Company is taking the ferry to Larkspur Landing and walking up to their massive restaurant and tap room. Brewmaster Brendan Moylan has been at the helm of this institution since 1989 and Marin Brew Co has been the breeding ground for a number of brewers all over the Bay (Cellarmaker among them). You'd be hard-pressed to think of a more notable local fruit-forward Ale than Marin’s Blueberry Ale. There's also a menu of standard pub-fare; it's family friendly, and a popular stop for mountain bikers on the way back from a ride.

Marin Brewing Co

Iron Springs Pub & Brewery

Iron Springs

Nestled in the comfortable confines of Fairfax, CA, Iron Springs is a welcome presence in Marin County. Their pub and brewery is complete with a full kitchen and plenty of indoor seating and outdoor picnic tables along Center Blvd. Kent Lake Kolsch is a staple and the Compulsory Triple IPA has been a favorite at Beer Week.

Iron Springs

Lagunitas Brewing Company

Lagunitas Brewery

Despite selling 50 percent of the company to Heineken in 2015, Lagunitas’ product has remained unchanged. If anything, they’ve added to their lineup of classics like Lagunitas IPA, Little Sumpin Sumpin’ Ale, with a slew of both year-round and limited releases as well as canning the now hugely popular and tropical hoppiness of the 12th of Never Ale. Definitely go to the Petaluma brewery for a weeknight concert in the “Live at Lagunitas” series, or to relax on their spacious patio with kids and dogs.

Lagunitas Brewery

HenHouse Brewing Company

Henhouse’s flagship Saison — brewed with black pepper and coriander — is still an essay in what that style is all about and a fine use of the classic yeast strain. They now have a tasting room open in Santa Rosa where you can take down many Saisons, Oyster Stouts and the very excellent Trade Deadline Double IPA. Also, be on the lookout for the new Henhouse IPA in cans.

Russian River Brewing Company

Russian River Brewing Company

The crown jewel of Santa Rosa, Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo’s RRBC changed the game with the Pliny The Elder Double IPA, perhaps the most influential of all West Coast IPA’s. And while its lighter cousin, Blind Pig IPA is also a fine product, it’s the Barrel Aged Sour Ales like the local Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel-Aged Consecration, Lambic-inspired Beatification and Belgian Style beers — like the brett fermented golden Sanctification — that really drive home why RRBS is a world-class brewery.

Russian River Brewing Company

Berryessa Brewing Company

The Winters-based brewery has been making some of the most consistent beer in the Bay for a minute and their “Separation Anxiety” series of IPA’s is top notch, especially the Mini Sep — a super crushable Session IPA. The Double Tap IPA is likewise memorable and the award winning Whippersnapper is a classic British Mild. Their tap room is open Thursday through Sunday. It's family-friendly, with food trucks and live music often on the docket.

Moonlight Brewing Co.

Moonlight Brewing Co.

To sum it up: Icon. Founded in 1992 by Brian Hunt, Moonlight is nothing short of a trailblazer in the craft beer movement and despite selling to Lagunitas in June 2016, Hunt is still at the helm of the brewing process. Death and Taxes Black Lager is in a category of its own, Reality Czech Pils is a classic and Lunatic Lager is the single best Lager this writer has ever guzzled (real talk). Their new Santa Rosa taproom is open Friday through Sunday.

Moonlight Brewing Co.

St. Florian's Brewery

St. Florian's

Windsor’s St. Florian’s brewery is a family business started by Aron and Amy Levin. Brewer Aron is also still a firefighter and St. Florian’s donates a portion of their profits to fire-related and community-based organizations. Their “Tap Station” is open Thursday through Sunday, where they pour a lineup that features the 48/96 (a Citra-hopped Session Ale) and their California Common. And at a time when the Brown Ale movement’s best days are behind us, St. Florian’s Winey Siren wine barrel-aged brown ale stands as a bastion— an incredibly delicious and unforgettable one.

St. Florian's

Bear Republic Brewery

If you’ve never had a Racer 5 IPA, you either live in a cave, or you don’t drink beer. Healdsburg-based Bear Republic has won multiple Great American Beer Festival gold medals for its Crystal malted and Cascade & Columbus-hopped IPA. While their portfolio of beers is wide (shouts to Big Bear Black Stout), Racer 5 is as strong of a flagship beer as you’ll find anywhere. The bustling taproom offers flights, pints, and a menu of pub grub.

Related Maps