Enjoy Great Beer in the Heart of Wine Country at California's Crooked Goat Brewing Company
Brewery Name: Crooked Goat Brewing Company
Type of Brewery: Retail Brewery
Location: Sebastopol, CA
Facebook: Crooked Goat Brewing
Background: Sebastopol is a small town in wine country that has a SHOCKING amount to do. It’s nestled into the mountains near Russian River and Sonoma, so wine is aplenty and there are some top notch breweries popping up (plus the legendary Russian River Brewing, of course). I was visiting the region for wine, but couldn’t resist checking out Crooked Goat, a young brewery with tons of innovative brews and a venue right up the craft beer lover's alley.
Growlers: Crowlers are canned per order for anything except the Double IPAs.
The Beers: Crooked Goat has beers that will make two types of people very very happy: those who like IPAs, and those who like rich, dark brews. Here are a few of the ones I snagged while visiting:
Vibe: Just plain nice. Clearly mainly a local spot, the venue is built to let people see and appreciate the beer. The brewing section is visible from the entrance (and most of the seating), and the beers are all listed, chalkboard-style, high above the bar. Seating is mainly in a warehouse/garage door-style space that takes advantage of the wonderful weather in the area and lets in tons of natural light. A few TVs let you watch the game without taking over the place.
The service was about as good as I have ever had. Our bartenders were all incredibly attentive and took time to chat with us about the brewery, the beers, and where we were visiting from. Before asking about our next beer, they always asked how we felt about the one we just finished and chatted about it before going for the next pour. A+ on customer service for craft beer fans.
Beyond the great service, the folks at Crooked Goat seem to be a really humble bunch. Their website tells stories about them completely flunking on early iterations of their IPA, and then competing in competitions against the likes of breweries like Stone. It's always nice to see the editorial side of a brewery, especially when they can have fun with it.
Dogs: Saw a doggie water bowl, so I’m going to bet on yes this time!
Price ($ to $$$$$): $$$. Perhaps a bit high for location, but totally in line with prices I typically see near San Francisco. Tasters are offered for only 3 bucks, but they truly are just tasters at 3 oz. The full pours will run you between $6 and $8, with crowlers at $12.
Food: There's no kitchen at Crooked Goat, but they offer a menu of pizzas, sandwiches, salads, and apps that are delivered from neighboring kitchens right to your seat at the bar.
Final Thoughts: I absolutely loved this place. The venue was impeccably clean and bright. The branding is phenomenal and the logo is simple but perfect. It was also in the industrial style that I’ve written about before referencing places like Burlington Beer. Add to that the amazing service, huge IPAs and delicious dark beers, and what more could you ask for? An absolute must stop whenever nearby and definitely on the list to find when touring the area for wine or beer.
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