Russian River and More: Best Sonoma Breweries and Bars for a Sudsy Summer

Thundercat performing at the Lagunitas Ampitheater in Petaluma.

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Summer is finally kicking into gear in Sonoma County. Time to sip on a cold one on a shaded patio or at a lively bar – we’ve lined up a few favorite beer venues for summer fun.

Added bonus: we asked each spot for a summer brew recommendation. You’re welcome!

Guests enjoying cold drinks on the patio overlooking the Russian River at Stumptown Brewery.
Cold drinks on the patio overlooking the Russian River at Stumptown Brewery.

Riverside patio at Stumptown Brewery, Guerneville

The real gem at this Guerneville brewery, aside from the great beers, is the expansive outdoor deck, overlooking the Russian River. Spend a sunny Saturday sipping on a beer sampler, or the “Donkey Punch”, a refreshing hoppy lager with a kick and a thick body. A great pit stop on the way to the river or the coast.

Summer brew to try: "Post Hazy Brut" IPA. 15045 River Road, Gurneville, 707-869-0705. stumptown.com

Enjoying live music while sipping beer at the Lagunitas brewery.

Live tunes at Lagunitas, Petaluma

This local brewery may have made it big but it still maintains a down-home atmosphere at its Petaluma taproom. Sip on one of their famed IPAs on the patio or swing by on the weekend to hear some live tunes at the amphitheater. Coming up this summer: The Budos Band, James McMurtry and The Nude Party.

Summer brew to try: "Phase Change" IPA1280 N. McDowell Blvd., Petaluma, 707-769-4455, lagunitas.com

Finding your inner peace with boozy yoga.

Downward beer at Cooperage, Santa Rosa

Hoping to stay fit this summer but don't want to forgo your brew? Find inner and outer balance with Cooperage's Yoga and Beer program. Beginner-friendly yoga classes ($17) take place on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. Enjoy a complimentary drink of your choice post Shavasana.

Summer brew to try: "Wok this Way" rice lager. 981 Airway Ct. Suite G, Santa Rosa, 95403. 707-293-9787. cooperagebrewing.com

Views and brews for you and your furry friend to savor.

Bring your pup to the patio at Russian River Brewing Company, Windsor

The new Russian River facility has a one-acre pet-friendly park and patio perfect for beer-lovers and their four-legged friends. Items from the tasty pub menu can be paired with classic RRBC IPAs like Blind Pig and Pliny the Elder.

Summer brew to try: "Sanctification" blonde lager. 700 Mitchell Ln, Windsor, 707-545-2337, russianriverbrewing.com/windsor. (Photo by Alvin Jornada)

Bocce, BBQ, and kid-friendly vibes at Brewsters Beer Garden

Family fun at Brewsters Beer Garden, Petaluma

45+ brews on tap, bottle and can, great barbecue, a kids menu and a large outdoor patio with a designated play area, make Brewsters a favorite spot for beer-lovers and their offspring. There's bocce, too, and a large outdoor stage with free live music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, as well as Saturday and Sunday afternoons during the summer.

Summer brew to try: Barrel Brothers "Por Que No?" lager. 229 Water Street North, Petaluma, 707-981-8330. brewstersbeergarden.com

Amy and Aron Levin of St. Florians welcoming families for summer fun!

Food trucks and more family fun at St. Florian’s, Windsor

Another family-friendly beer venue, St. Florian’s serves up boardgames, puzzles, foosball, and a patio with a sandbox -- and great beer, of course. Food trucks are often on site, when they're not, patrons are encouraged to picnic at the brewery or order food from a nearby restaurant.

Summer brew to try: "Orange You Glad I Didn’t Yell Fire!?" light blonde ale. 704 Bell Rd, Windsor, 707-838-2739. stfloriansbrewery.com

Classic German beer hall ambiance in the Sonoma Springs taproom.

The best of both worlds at Sonoma Springs, Sonoma

This downtown Sonoma taproom channels the vibe of a classic German beer hall with an added touch of Wine Country style. Find 15 beers on tap here, including handcrafted California ales, German-style beers and barrel aged brews. A patio is in the works.

Summer brew to try: "Float the Day Away" IPA. 19449 Riverside Dr Suite 101 Sonoma, 707-938-7422, sonomaspringsbrewing.com

The outdoor patio overlooking the pond at the new Bear Republic Brewing Co. brewpub in Rohnert Park.

Lakeside patio at Bear Republic, Rohnert Park

Famous for the Racer 5 IPA, Bear Republic serves up good brews and good times in Healdsburg and Rohnert Park. Their Lakeside facility features two bars, ample seating, a space for kids to play and an expansive deck overlooking Robert's Lake. A nearby dog park makes this an extra dog-friendly spot.

Summer brew to try: "Thru the Haze" IPA. 5000 Roberts Lake Rd, Rohnert Park, 707-585-2722, bearrepublic.com.

Indulge in laughter at Palooza Brewing and Gastropub.

Laugh out loud at Palooza Brewery and Gastropub, Kenwood

This neighborhood spot serves up good brews and food, Jenga on the patio and a ping pong table. There's live music on Thursday nights and standup comedy on first Fridays, May to September. Another special perk: The gastropub recently started brewing their own beers.

Summer brew to try: "Palooza Pilsner." 8910 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood, 707-833-4000, paloozafresh.com.

This article originally appeared on Sonoma Magazine

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