SoCo Dog Friendly Breweries & Taprooms

Being a craft beer lover and a new dog mama, I have changed the way I travel and the places I go out to. It can be tough to find dog friendly places, even though now in Sonoma County, dogs are welcome on the patios of most places that serve food {though still, businesses can accept dogs or not on their patios so read the signs}. I have scouted out the best places to have a good, local beer, and be with my dog. We all want to go on a nice long hike, play with our pups and then enjoy a cold one, because let’s face it, we all want to see this face at the end of the day!   


Here are my hot spots!

Lagunitas Brewing Company

They have a huge {Semi-covered} outdoor space with picnic tables and ample seating. Dogs are welcome and you’ll find water bowls scattered throughout the property. Fun times will be had by all humans and their dogs alike at this hip beer spot. Come for the beer, stay for the music and the dog friendly hospitality. This is on my top list of places to go because my pooch has a blast here. Enjoy the peanuts but careful with your pup around those shells!!


Fogbelt Brewing

Dog friendly outdoor space and they serve food. It’s a small place, both inside and outside, but they’ve got a nice variety of cold beers and their menu is seasonal and well thought out. It’s a great addition to the {near} downtown area.

St. Florian’s Brewery

This power couple has an awesome little spot just outside of the downtown area in Windsor. They recently expanded their seating space and built an outdoor patio. You can enjoy your beers inside or outside with your pup {Aron and Amy have their own dog too who can often be found in the tap room- he’s a dalmatian too!}. They have food trucks regularly and post all of the details on their facebook page, so check them out and give them a like!

Carneros Brewing Company

Well made beers from a wine family. This location is definitely the key- they have it made out there in the heart of the Carneros region in wine country, between Sonoma and Napa. A large industrial space houses their tanks and taproom, outside hops are planted alongside fountains and a small pond with flowers are grass. It’s a great setting for a nice cold brew with your dog.


I have been to Woodfour a few times, they have food and a huge variety of their own beers, as well as other beers on draft. Their patio overlooks the Barlow, allowing a nice afternoon of people watching.


Ausiellos 5TH Street Grill

Family owned and operated. Great food, cooked to order. Great local beers on draft and they have all of the sports games on, wherever you sit. Out on their patio, it’s covered with fans so is nice and pleasant during most seasons. There are TV’s at both sides of the patio to watch the latest game, and the atmosphere is great for a dog- it’s spacious and comfy for everyone.


Yanni’s Sausage Grill

An Italian and a Greek married nearly 40 years came to Penngrove about five years ago to bring the world delicious, freshly made sausages.

Yanni’s is an amazing little gem in the tiny little town of Penngrove in Sonoma County. I have been hearing about them over the last couple of years and I am not sure why it took me so long to get there. On the way back from the city on afternoon we decided to stop in.
John and Francesca were so inviting and genuine. We told them it was our first time visiting and that we had heard so many good things. They gave us each a sample of their Greek chili to taste. Anytime someone is a newbie, they greet them with a sample- a nice touch.

A husband and and wife team, the make all of their own sausages and she makes this killer tzatziki {a Greek sauce for the sandwiches in lieu of a mayo or mustard… Don’t even ask for any other condiments- they know what they’re doing}.

The sausage sandos are between $7-$8, one topping is included and additional toppings {grilled onion, banana peppers, sweet peppers, cheese, or tzatziki} are $.60 each. Really reasonable for the quality and taste.

We went two days in a row because the route we were taking just so happened to take us right through Penngrove. Needing a place to eat lunch, we wanted to take our boys to Yanni’s.
We tried the Loukaniko {anise and citrus}, the sweet Italian, hot Italian, and Greek {feta and Kalamata olive}. All were exceptional. When we visited the day before, we sampled the lamb too, incredibly delicious. If I were judging their sausages against others, I’d hands down give them a double gold on all of them!
I forgot to ask them, but I believe they bake their own bread too.

The Greek fries are a must: salt, pepper, fresh lemon juice, and feta cheese with waffle style fries {fresh fries}.

Yanni’s is right next to the Penngrove Pub where you can sit inside and have a drink and eat, or sit out front and enjoy.
As their sign out front states- these sausages will really make your tastebuds sing… So take a package or two to go for only $8!
John and Francesca totally stole our hearts with their lovely personalities and flavorful food. Yanni’s is on my go-to list and certainly my best-of!

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Heaven in Astoria

What could be better than beer? Beer paired with amazing cheese and grilled cheese. After a long day of beer tasting, we needed some grub and our favorite bartender in Manhattan recommended some great spots already so we decided to check out Astoria Bier and Cheese shop. It’s a small, long, narrow place- definitely cozy. They have about 15 craft beers on tap and a nice selection of bottles. We found Hopslam there among some other exciting brews from Maine Beer Co.

Their specialty is the grilled sandwich. There are several different variations on the menu. We tried the BMT {Basil, smoked mozzarella, and tomato} and the truffles schuffle {tuffle Gouda, fresh mozzarella, and raw honey}. WOW, the truffle and honey- truly epic combination. This is a great place for non-traditional pub food.

You can buy lots of different kinds of cheese, beef sticks, and meats there to go as well. A great find. Well worth the trek out to Queens.

Astoria Bier & Cheese on Urbanspoon

Beer + Food

Falling Sky Brewery & Delicatessen is neat inside: it’s got sort of a vintage feel with the brick wall and every so often a single brick slightly pushed out that then rest with a bold bright color and the long, family style table down the entire center of the restaurant. It’s warm and inviting. The people are nice who work there.

We split a brisket sandwich with marbled rye and a side of sweet potato fries: wow- it was delicious and the fries mouth watering. A perfect pairing for the beer taster. The taster is served in a metal framed cloud. For me, the highlights are the catchy slogan, the stickers, the scrumptious sandwich with melt in-my-mouth meat, and the Neverland Berliner Weisse.




Falling Sky Brewing Co. on Urbanspoon

Barrel Works

Barrel Works is probably one of my top five best finds so far in beer travel. A little bummed that we could not get a growler of anything but it was worth the wait to be able to taste their delicious brews.

Great beers, away from the busy Firestone atmosphere, and awesome people behind the bar. We chatted with some of the friendliest and knowledgeable bartenders we have come across. She told us about Babi’s Beer Emporium where we met Emilio Estevez… that’s for another post though.

Burrata + Wine

Summertime means fresh fruits, veggies, and lot’s of time to spend eating delicious appetizers at local restaurants and sipping on good wine. One of my recent favorites is the burrata and prosciutto at Catelli’s. I recently tried it out with our Trione Rose of Pinot Noir and just as I suspected, it’s a superb pairing!

Catelli’s {The Rex} is located in Geyserville, just North of Healdsburg. They are open daily for lunch and dinner and recently have opened their new stunning patio. Stop by Trione Winery Thursday through Monday for a bottle of chilled rose and head on up there- it’s a great combo!

Trione Pinot Noir Rose and Burrata at Catellis


Catelli's on Urbanspoon

Three of my Favorite Things

We stumbled upon many great places through travels but in Colorado, they had an array of awesome bistro type places serving a wide variety of craft beer AND whiskey and bourbons! I was in utter heaven! Apres is one of my favorite little gems. They don’t have food but you can bring in your own and sit and sip on some rare finds. Among the list of bourbons, the Breckenridge Bourbon was my favorite: hints of smoke, coupled with vanilla made for a soft lingering finish.


See San Francisco like a local

A Perfect Day in the City

From sunrise to sunset there are so many options in lovely San Francisco but where to go when you only have a day or so and you don’t even know where to start? I have compiled a list of my very favorite places to stop in, check out, dine, grab a quick one, browse, and relax. Why should my list matter? Well, I have traveled all over for food, wine, and craft beer. I have relied solely on the “Local’s suggestion”. When it comes to the best dish on the menu, can’t miss sunset spots, new hot wine bars, you name it, I went because a local told me to and in 10 years, I have never been let down. So from this local to you, here are my sweet spots.


All You Knead.

There are many breakfast spots to chose from and it can be a really tough call because breakfast is the most important meal of the day. From the Mission to Geary to Inner Richmond, there are several fantastic places to eat but my very favorite, one place I will wait for hours for is on Haight Street: All You Knead. Serving the fluffiest omelettes made up of suggested ingredients or built-your-own and served alongside country potatoes {add katsup + sour cream please!}.


Crossroads Trading Company.

Weather you are a shopper or not, this place will suit you because all of the clothes are separated by colors making it very easy to find what you might be looking for or didn’t even know you wanted. An awesome shop located both on Fillmore and Haight with a wide variety of clothing and accessories that won’t break your bank.

City Lights Bookstore.

I could spend hours in this shop. It’s incredible. Old, very San Francisco, crammed with shelves and bookcases filled to the brim with classics of all kinds.



Next to City Lights is a classy old dive bar like place {in the greatest sense of that term}. on the famous street: Columbus Avenue. It’s dark and roomy with a narrow staircase up to a second floor where people can hang out uninterrupted and sip on a classic manhattan or dark and stormy like a City native. It’s priced right, they have a full bar, and a great beer list. It’s my very favorite bar in the city, it feels like San Francisco in there.


Pacific Cafe.

Way out in Outer Richmond district is this quaint little cafe that is known for their big dishes of fresh seafood. From lobster to oysters to abalone, there is something here for every seafood lover. It’s not your typical restaurant. There is always a wait and since sometimes it can be a drag waiting for a table, they greet their guests with a lovely glass of white wine. Brilliant and delicious. I highly recommend the abalone. It’s not too often you’ll see this delicacy on a menu and they cook it just right: thin, breaded, and melt in your mouth.


Swan Oyster Depot.

This place needs no introduction. It’s over on Polk street and when walking down, it’s not easy to miss because there is a line down the street, sometimes for blocks. Swan is family run and a San Francisco staple. A long, narrow bar like those you may run into on the east coast. Run by men, they cook and plate up large dishes of insanely fresh fish daily. Shrimp louie, freshly shucked oysters, clam chowder are all my favorites paired with a glass of chablis. These dishes are all best shared because they are so large and it’s nice to try a few things. Swan is such an old school San Francisco place,they have been doing things the same way for many years. The staff is not super chatty but they are thorough and fast. They do like to get people in and out as much as possible because their capacity is limited (this you’ll see right away, there are no “seats in the back”).


California Academy of Science.

Many people have this on their list already but some may not know that every Thursday night they do the “Nightlife” from 6-10pm. It’s for the 21 and older crowd. It’s a more “adult” way to see the exhibits: with wine and cocktails! The academy is a wonderful place to explore any time but if you happen to have the opportunity to be in the city on a thursday, I highly recommend this experience.


Water bar.

The most spectacular view of the Bay Bridge you will find. The food is phenomenal and the best seat in the house is by the window, of course everyone wants to sit there. If you’re lucky enough to get that seat, great, otherwise, sit at the bar first. The restaurant sits under the bridge making it easy to get lost in watching the lights. Sit outdoors when the patio is open. Water bar offers the most magnificent view of the skyline.

Of course there are those spots where everyone who comes to San Francisco wishes to visit: the Boudin Bakery for a clam chowder bowl, Alliottos for the view at the Wharf, Lombard street because it is the coolest road on earth, Coit Tower,  and the top of the Mark. I recommend all of those things but when limited on time, it’s nice to be able to get away from the crowds in order to fit more in and delve into the city like a local would.

Ruth McGowan’s Brew Pub

I like coming here, it’s close enough to home and it’s fairly consistent. The food is pub food. The bartenders are always friendly. They are into social media and always tweet back to me which I love. They’re big supporters of local groups; you will always see Ruth McGowan’s on the beer list at local fundraisers. It’s just a cool pub to support.

The beers are good. I always go for the IPA, of course.

They’re open daily and have happy hour Monday through Friday from 3-6 pm. Great deals on food + beer!