Santa Rosa is a city known for its colorful culture, world-famous wine industry, and, of course, its historical good cheer for craft beer.
“We’re known as the wine country, but we’re also really beer country as well,” explained event and community engagement manager of the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber, Stacy Luther. “In fact, New Albion is considered to be the first [modern] microbrewery in the United States, and it’s in Sonoma.”
This month welcomes the 8th annual FeBREWary festivities famous in Santa Rosa—the Santa Rosa Beer Passport event, a citywide celebration of local craft beer and the citizens who brew and/or imbibe it.
“People here love their beer,” said Janelle Meyers, vice president of marketing and communications of the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber. “This is the Beer Passport’s 8th year running—the whole idea is to basically finish a checklist of, this year, 15 different brewery locations. You visit them all within the month with your passport and can win yourself a fancy schmancy beer opener medal. There’s a different [beer opener] design every year, and we’ve had people get really into collecting them.”
The premise behind Santa Rosa’s Beer Passport event is simple. All one needs to do to take part in the FeBREWary festivities is have the mobile exclusive pass sent to one’s phone. This pass offers the opportunity to view a curated collection of local craft beer locations where participating pass-holders can check in to collect points and possibly earn prizes as they go.
This year’s Santa Rosa Beer Passport event spans a whopping 15 participating breweries, all of which must be visited before the end of the month in order to win the coveted prize of a Beer Passport medal. And FYI—the Beer Passport medal one can win by visiting all these participating breweries, well, that medal just so happens to also be a bottle opener (which is just so cool)!
But wait, there’s more. The first 100 people to drink their way across the city will also receive a Key to Beer City Santa Rosa alongside their bottle-opening medal of honor. The Key to Beer City is a collector’s item that not only adds clout and bling to a Beer Passport; it also provides a 30% discount on a ticket to the Beer City Festival on Feb. 24.
The breweries, pubs and taprooms participating in Santa Rosa’s Beer Passport event for 2024 are Third Street Aleworks, Flagship Taproom, Cuver, Moonlight Brewing Co., Old Possum Brewing Co., Seismic Brewing Co., Shady Oak Barrel House, Old Caz, Fogbelt Brewing Co., Iron Ox Brewing Co., Cooperage Brewing Co., Parliament Brewing Co., HenHouse Brewing Co., Russian River Brewing Co. and Civilization Brewing Co.
“We’ve had people who’ve completed everything by February 1st,” said Luther. “So, people could theoretically finish their passes in one day, which has been done, but we have a couple of new participants this year…and it is a little bit more spread out, so I’d be very impressed if someone finished all of them in one day.”
A huge part of what makes Santa Rosa’s Beer Passport event so special is the city’s consideration for the safe enjoyment of craft beer by citizens and tourists alike. As such, transportation options are listed for anyone planning to enjoy a lot of the city’s exceptional libations. These transportation options include the Craft Beer Shuttle, the Ride SMART Train, the Santa Rosa City Bus, Pure Luxury Transportation and, of course, Uber/Lyft. And for those looking to stay in Santa Rosa overnight, consider arranging for accommodations at one of the many hotels to make completing that beer passport easy peasy.
Santa Rosa’s 8th Annual Beer Passport event is a collaboration between Visit Santa Rosa and the local breweries of Santa Rosa—Beer Passport 2024 is now entirely digital and will take place the entire month of February. For more information about Santa Rosa’s FeBREWary festivities, visit the website at visitsantarosa.com/beerpassport.