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.
Brewery Name: Woodland Farms Brewery
Type of Brewery: Retail Brewery
Location: 306 Route 1, Suite C, Kittery, ME 03904. Beer fans in the Kittery area will probably know the area well, as the brewery is located just around the corner from Spruce Creek Provisions, Kittery’s premier place to buy craft beer.
Website: http://www.wfbrewery.com/ (redirects to their Facebook page)
Facebook: Woodland Farms Brewery
Background: Woodland Farms Brewery opened about a month ago in Kittery, Maine. I first heard about them from the fine folks at Spruce Creek Provisions, and everyone was extremely positive about the place. When I found myself without much to do one Saturday afternoon, I figured it might finally be time to check the place out. Also, it’s worth pointing out that the brewery is called Woodland Farms--not to be confused with Woodland Farm (no 's'), a different brewery located in Utica, NY.
Growlers: Yes, Woodland Farms offers both growlers and squealers in their taproom.
The Beers: Woodland Farms is primarily a lager house, though they also offer mixed fermentation beers and a handful of other regular options. When I stopped in to visit, there were six beers on tap:
Vibe: I really enjoyed spending time here. I visited in the middle of a New England blizzard, and as soon as I stepped in the door I was warmed by the cozy environment (the comfortable temperature of the taproom helped, too). The interior space is very rustic, with a beautiful wooden bar and a handful of tables scattered throughout.
The staff was extremely friendly--it just so happens that the guy running the bar while I was there happened to attend the same high school I did. We had a good time shooting the breeze about things back home, and talking about bars and breweries out that way. Everyone there (both staff and patrons) was extremely friendly, and we all had a great time talking about beer and just generally enjoying the space.
One of the things that I really enjoy about Woodland Farms is their dedication to artwork. Not only do they have artwork adorning the walls to commemorate each beer they brew, but they even had business cards made up to advertise them. I thought that was a really cool touch, and not something I have ever seen before--so naturally I had to grab and handful for myself.
Lager houses and breweries specializing in German beer seem to be on the upswing, and while I tend to be more of an IPA fan, I think it’s very cool to see different styles rise to prominence. Within 20 minutes of my house are Woodland Farms, Liars Bench, and Neighborhood, all three of which specialize in crisp, malty, German beers. I’ve always been a big fan of the latter two places, and I’m excited to say that Woodland Farms measures up well.
Dogs: I can’t say for sure, but my guess would be that dogs are fine. They don’t have a kitchen and the space is fairly intimate, so as long as your pup is well behaved I’d be surprised if there’s a problem.
Price ($ to $$$$$): $. Extremely reasonable pricing on both tasters and full pours. You’re definitely not going to break the bank here.
Food: Not really. They don’t have a food menu or anything, and as far as I know they have no plans to add a kitchen. But they do offer free popcorn, so if you want a snack to munch on while you drink, you’re in luck.
Final Thoughts: I went into Woodland Farms Brewery pretty blind, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I came away extremely impressed. This is a place that I’m sure I’ll be visiting more than a few times. If you’re a fan of lagers (or German beer in general), definitely check it out. And if you’re not, broaden your horizons and go check it out anyway. Woodland Farms has a really cool space, a really great staff, and enough different styles of beer that you’re sure to find something you enjoy. Two big thumbs up!
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