Take a Beer Road Trip to the Russian River Valley

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Need a weekend getaway? Seek inspiration in the form of delicious, delicious beer. 


Which brings us to our current brew-fueled road trip itinerary: the Russian River Valley. Here are our must-hit spots for a two day, beer-rich weekend up north. 

Anderson Valley Brewing Company, Boonville

Get an early start and cruise up to Boonville, home of the Anderson Valley Brewing Company. In addition to brewing some of our favorite beers (we're looking at you, Bourbon Barrel Stout), AVBC's grounds are home to an inviting tap room and a disc golf course. They offer tours from 1:30 to 3pm, and are known to have some rocking good events. 17700 Highway 253, Boonville

Bear Republic Brewing Co., Healdsburg

Swing over to Healdsburg for lunch at Bear Republic. The brewery's well-appointed patio is the perfect spot to sample classics such as Racer 5 IPA, but more importantly, their less common specialty beers. We're currently eying the Old Saint Chango, a dark brown winter warmer made with Mexican chocolate. Food-wise, you'll find a nice selection of beer-friendly burgers and bites, plus local cheese and charcuterie. 345 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg

Stumptown Brewery, Guerneville

End your day in Guerneville at Stumptown, a wonderfully rustic microbrewery right on the river. Literally — their massive back patio stretches over the banks of the Russian River. Expect a few of their brews on tap (we dig the Rat Bastard Pale Ale) plus guest taps from nearby breweries, too. Skip the food here and head down the road to Dick Blomster's for gonzo Korean diner food and spend the night, if possible, at a riverside rental with a hot tub. It's the perfect place to enjoy the bombers and growlers you picked up earlier today. 15045 River Road, Guerneville

Moonlight Brewing at Flavor Bistro, Santa Rosa

Get an early start and head to Flavor Bistro in Santa Rosa for brunch and a sampling of the stellar beers from Moonlight Brewing. Moonlight's operation is small (and is in an abbey!) and not open for visitors, but Flavor is known for having most, if not all, of their brews on tap. We love the Death & Taxes, but there's something about a Lunatic Lager in the morning that just sounds right. 96 Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa 

Russian River Brewing, Santa Rosa

Go for a brisk walk around the block and work up an appetite for lunch at nearby Russian River Brewing. The bustling brewpub is the spot for pizza and beer — pub pies are seriously satisfying, and their beers are easily some of the best in California. We have much appreciation for Pliny (the Elder and Younger), but their sours have more or less changed our lives. Order a Consecration, but remember, it's much stronger than it tastes. 725 4th Street, Santa Rosa

Lagunitas Brewing Company, Petaluma

Full of beer as you are, you're going to want to make a final stop on your way back to San Francisco at Lagunitas in Petaluma. The brewery's massive outdoor beer garden is exactly where you want to spend a Sunday – there are dogs and kids galore, and live music, more often than not. Sample some of their harder-to-find beers (we love Lil' Sumpin' Wild), take a tour of the brewery, and, if you have the strength, sample some of their tasty brewpub grub. Don't forget to get another growler for your collection — you can refill them all when you do a repeat trip next weekend. 1280 North McDowell Boulevard, Petaluma

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