A Beer-Filled Oasis in Wine Country
Brewery Name: Woodfour Brewing Company
Type of Brewery: Brewpub
Location: Sebastopol, CA
Facebook: Woodfour Brewing Co.
Background: Sebastopol is a town in one of the best regions for red wine IN THE WORLD. Beer is a non-entity, and wine connoisseurs descend on the area at all times of year to tour, taste, and tout the expertise of Old Vine Zins and the latest sexy vintage of Pino Noir. Now, lets not forget that Russian River has made a home in wine country and done just fine, but outside of that, it takes a lot to get noticed for alcohol that doesn’t come from grapes.
You might remember my write-up of Crooked Goat, who also make craft beer out of Sebastopol, so clearly there is a revolution brewing (sorry, couldn’t resist) in wine country. Woodfour is another piece of evidence that good beer has arrived.
Growlers: Yes! I rarely get to say this, but Woodfour will give you a growler fill for ANY BEER! The sours are priced separately, but hey, when was the last time I could say a brewery will let you walk with a half-gallon of anything?
The Beers: Absolutely love the creativity that Woodfour had on tap when I visited. They’re a sour-minded brewery, which sometimes means that other styles get ignored a bit. Not here!
Vibe: Woodfour is a really nice blend of modern and modest. Their space is very clean-cut, with a well defined bar, brewery, and seating area that features lots and lots of glass. Glass for beer, glass for decoration, glass fireplace…it's an element that I personally love in a brewery and it comes across as very straight-edge. They’re very heavy on branding, but thankfully their logo is really solid and their merchandise is unassuming. In a completely unprecedented development, I actually bought some glassware to bring home. First brewery glass I've actually purchased in a very long time!
Definitely a restaurant-esque feel to my experience, but beer is aplenty and the bar is certainly big enough. I wish there was a bit more visibility into the brewing section, because the little sliver of windows that I could see through looked pretty damn cool. There is also a HUGE outdoor space that is made to take advantage of the California climate and offer an amazing way to enjoy the fresh air and freshly fermented brews.
This is the type of brewery that's great to visit with a large group of people, even if some aren’t bought into the craft beer scene. The space is great, the service is top-notch, and most importantly, the beer is good!
Dogs: Yes outside, no inside. As a non-dog owner, you take that and like it.
Price ($ to $$$$$): $$. Full pours of the non-sour stuff go for $5. Sours at $6.50 are more than fair, and half pours are available for everything--flights too, if you’re indecisive! I didn’t partake in food, but it’s reasonably priced, especially for the area.
Food: Pretty full menu here. If you want to sit down like at a restaurant, you can make a multi course meal with salads, apps, entrees, etc. Bar food wise, there are cheese boards, nuts/chips, charcuterie, so on and so forth. Didn’t get to try anything since this was a stop on the way to dinner, but I’d certainly like to take a go at it on my next visit.
Final Thoughts: Sebastopol was a stop during a wine country trip, and I am so glad we decided to switch over to beer for a bit. They’ve got some really neat brews coming out of the tanks here that appeal to a really wide range of people. The coffee-infused black lager and their house sour are really unique beers that make stopping by worthwhile all on their lonesome. Add to that their other beers, awesome branding, and really solid outdoor space, and you’ve got the perfect beer oasis in the middle of wine country.
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