The 5 Best Breweries in Sonoma County: Exploring the Local Beer Scene with Old Caz Co-Founder Bryan Rengel
Sonoma County may be internationally famous for its wine, but that doesn’t mean the beer scene isn’t equally impressive.
And among all the innovative and exciting breweries in Sonoma County is Old Caz Beer in Rohnert Park. The name comes from Old Cazadero Road, which connects the former logging towns of Guerneville and Cazdero. The area inspires a deep sense of awe and wonder, and Old Caz is on a mission to make beers that live up to the best place on Earth—Sonoma County.
To learn a bit more about the craft beer scene in Sonoma County, we sat down with Bryan Rengel, co-founder and head of sales at Old Caz Beer.
Besides making a stop at his own brewery, he shared a few hot spots to check out for your next beer adventure.
Here’s Bryan’s take on the best breweries in Sonoma County.
SOMO Village: What do you love about the beer scene in Sonoma County?
Bryan Rengel: One thing that’s so cool about the beer industry, specifically here in Sonoma County, is that it’s a very homey, hang-out mentality. I could call pretty much any brewery and say, “Hey, I need to borrow your forklift,” and they’d be like, “Okay, no worries!”
You might not always get that with a winery or distillery or any other regular shop, so it’s pretty unique.
What are your favorite breweries and what makes them special?
1. Crooked Goat
This is high on my list, for sure. They just opened another taproom in Petaluma, but they have an original one in downtown Sebastopol. The vibe in there is just really cool and they’re in a heavily trafficked downtown area.
The beers they’re making are awesome—they’re doing fun ones like berry ales and they’ll have a glitter beer once in a while. They’re heavily focused on rotating and they don’t do any distribution, so you can’t find their beers anywhere else. You’ve got to go to the taproom to check them out.
Parliament Brewing is located on the other side of the freeway from us in Rohnert Park. It’s a pretty small town, so it’s just the two of us breweries here.
Parliament is doing some pretty cool stuff. They have a heavy, heavy focus on having the beer as fresh as humanly possible. This is, obviously, important to do with all beers, but there’s some debate about it in the industry. So they’re really focusing on that fresh aspect. They’re making killer IPAs and have an awesome Pale Ale, too.
They’ve got a great patio, even in the winter. The great thing about California is that it’s so nice 95% of the year, so you can go whenever. They’ve also got food trucks coming in all the time.
Bryan’s recommendation: S’Mosaic West Coast IPA
From just a straight-up killer beer stance, Cooperage makes the list. They make really tasty IPAs, which are really popular right now. They’re also making a lot of great hazy’s and that kind of thing, too.
The Barrel Brothers in Windsor are doing some really funky stuff. Their new taproom is a self-serve taproom, which is kind of cool. You get a little card and then the taps are on the wall, so you can go scan your card and pour as much beer as you want.
They also have an interesting license where they can make spirits and cocktails as well. Most breweries can’t make hard liquor or serve spirits, so they’re the only ones that can add that to their list of offerings.
Bryan’s recommendation: Dad Pants Pilsner
5. Old Caz Beer
And, of course, you’re always welcome to stop by our taproom here at 5625 State Farm Drive #17, Rohnert Park. We always have rotating beers on tap that you can pair with some local, delicious eats. You’re also more than welcome to bring in your own food or get something delivered!
So, are you ready to try some great beers? These are some of the best breweries in Sonoma County to explore, each with its own unique flavors and vibes.
Some exciting news, too—Old Caz will also be opening a brewery in SOMO Village! Stay tuned for updates.
Learn More About SOMO Village
If you’re interested in living in a sustainable community that fuses the best of city living with the country lifestyle and all the amazing things that Sonoma County has to offer, we invite you to visit SOMO Village. To learn more, download our residential project brief or get in touch with us today.