By William Brand
Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009 at 12:45 pm in what's on tap.
The town of Sonoma has a new brewery: It’s Sonoma Springs Brewing Co. (no Web site yet). Proprietors Tim and Ann Goeppinger have received their final city permit and are open for business at 750 West Napa St.
Tim’s a native of Peoria, IL., graduated with an engineering degree from Northwestern. He worked at big breweries in the Midwest, then signed on with Matt Brynildson at Firestone-Walker in Paso Robles when he came west. Then he worked at Lagunitas in Petaluma and while he was getting his own brewery going, he’s been working part-time at Russian River. Now there’s a gold star resume.
I’ve tried three of Tim’s beers and I give them a thumbs up. Most excellent. At this point, it’s a keg only operation and three restaurants on the Sonoma Plaza are stocking his beers. Tim and Ann sell growlers at the brewery for $15, refills $11 and they’ll pour samplers at no cost.
Talk about convenience, the seven-barrel brewery’s next door to a bake shop; you can buy baked goods there at discount and eat them with your beer at the brewery.
I caught up with Tim and Ann the other night at wine, beer and cheese tasting held by Sheana Davis of the The Epicurean Connection at Rogue Public House in North Beach (San Francisco). They were pouring Tim’s Roggenbier and a pale ale.
Tim’s fascinated with German top-fermented beers and the Roggenbier, a 5.8 percent, German-style rye beer, made with a blend of 30 percent rye, 60 percent barley, including a touch of crystal malt for color, was excellent.
Hops were Hallertau and Saphir, a German noble hop, noted for its mild, citrus aroma. I got cloves and spice in the nose; taste was medium full and spicy. This would be a lovely beer to take home in a growler.
Tim said the 5.6 percent Pale Ale was dry hopped with Cascades, Simcoe and floral Ahtanum hops. Impressive package. Tasty beer.
Last summer, I tasted Tim’s Dunkelweizen, a dark, top-fermented wheat and found it just about perfect: crisp, drinkable, lots of tasty dark malt.
Truth-telling time. While I’m always charmed by the bucolic, pristine streets and houses in Sonoma, the tourist scene around the square (Remember Back to the Future? That’s the town square), bores me to tears. Sonoma Springs gives me, finally, a good reason to visit. See you there.
Sonoma Springs Brewing Co.,
750 West Napa St.
Wednesday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.