So I know what you’re thinking: a taproom review on a wine blog?? Well yes, dear readers I will be stepping out of my little wine box to let you know of great places to visit regardless of which tasty alcoholic beverage they specialize in. So for this piece, I’ll give you a little insight into the Carneros Brewing Company, a very fun and unique brewery in Sonoma County (side note: I’ll be posting on Mondays (except for this upcoming week, so be sure to check back every week!))
Carneros Brewing Company is enveloped by vineyard on almost all sides but don’t miss out on the fifteen foot tall hop plants right on the inside of the parking lot. You’ll also notice that there’s a lovely outdoor seating area with a pond right next to the hop plants that really brings the experience together. The taproom itself is handsome with a few bar games and high top tables alongside the actual brewing equipment giving it an upscale but still home-y vibe.
Ironically I came in exactly on their fourth anniversary and it was surprisingly busy for a Wednesday. There were quite a few people hanging out and enjoying some beers, most of them in small glasses. The way they do tastings a little different than other taprooms I’ve seen: four bucks for a five ounce glass of your choice. I would get three to start with and go from there. Carneros Brewing Company also does, pints and even larger mugs of beer as there are well as over ten beers on draft. I tried three beers and all were interesting. They were:
Jefeweizen-this is an excellent wheat beer and is one of their flagship products. It reminded me of citrus and banana.
Blood orange Sour-this one was probably the most unique one I tried and it was delicious. Just like name implies-it smelled like blood orange and tasted sour but was in balance. I do love a good sour when it’s done well.
Porter-I am a big fan of Porters on the whole and this one was awesome. Reminded me of coffee and dark chocolate.
Unique to Carneros Brewing Company is their Locos Mug Club. For a $50 charge per year charge you get a 25 ounce pour in a large glass mug for the price of a regular pint and on Wednesdays your first beer only costs a penny. A great deal for those who live and work close by or visit Sonoma frequently. They also have little snacks and meat/cheese plates for those who want to nibble as they drink their beers.
Carneros Brewing Company is located right off the 12 highway in the Los Carneros region of Sonoma County and is about a ten minute drive south of the town of Sonoma. Be sure to grab a bite at the Fremont Diner just about 100 yards to the east and across the street. Fantastic food there to be sure. So in between your wine adventures be sure to check out this lovely taproom and shake it up a little. It’s a great way to break up your wine tastings.