Great Places to Grab a Brewskie

Normally when people think of Napa, they only think of wine. It is wine country after all. But Downtown Napa businesses have added a new all-star to their drink menus: BEER! Beer isn’t just a blend of water, malt, hops and yeast anymore; there are wheats, IPAs, stouts, pilsners, ambers, lagers, Belgians, hefeweizens, porters, pales, lambics – every style you could ever want. And these great Downtown Napa spots have them all just waiting for you to enjoy during this sweltering summer.

Cadet Beer & Wine Bar is a bar on Franklin St. in Downtown Napa that serves unique beers you would be hard pressed to find at your local pub. Here you’ll find local beers on draft as the founders of the establishment describe themselves as “unabashedly pro-California,” but you’ll also find many craft imports in bottles from Denmark, Germany, Belgium and more. Bring along your wine-loving friends too; Cadet has a nearly endless wine list in addition to the amazing beer selection!

If a microbrewery is what you seek, hit up Downtown Joe’s Brewery on the riverfront. They pride themselves on being unpretentious, friendly, and fun, not to mention how many hand-crafted brews they have on tap. All of their beers are brewed with the highest quality British malts utilizing traditional British methods. They have 6 year-round house brews and a few seasonals on tap and amongst the most popular is the Golden Thistle Very Bitter Ale; named after its intense hoppyness that is like chewing on a thistle, this one was brewed initially as an accident, but is a “Hoppy Hour” favorite to this day.

Always a favorite, Bounty Hunter Wine Bar & Smokin’ BBQ on First St combines good food, with good spirits, wine, and beer. While Bounty Hunter only has a few beers on draft, their bottled selection is where it’s at! Featuring local big time brewers such as Lagunitas, Speakeasy, Napa Smith and Sonoma Cider, your taste buds will be delighted. Sonoma Cider “The Anvil”, a bourbon flavored cider, is a must-try next time you stop in.

Billco’s Billiards & Darts is the best place to go for some variety. They have 60 beers on tap from lagers to stouts and everything in between. The best part is that they get new beers monthly, so you’ll never be bored. There are also weekly beer nights: Mondays from open to close is industry night, fellow hospitality employees simply need to bring in a pay stub to enjoy pint specials; and Thursday is Billco’s pint night! Enjoy draught beer specials and occasional live music and a raffle while you sip on some hoppy goodness.

Norman Rose Tavern is Napa’s neighborhood pub, offering an extensive selection of beers, both by the bottle and on tap, featuring many of the North Coast’s microbreweries. The atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming, perfect for a stop in on a hot day with friends. In the heart of Downtown Napa, Norman Rose is central to anything and everything you will be doing on your visit, so come on in for a brew!

Napa is more than just wines and vines, and these are just a few of some great places to grab a beer on a warm day in the valley. During a day of boutique shopping or after some intense hiking, there is nothing better than sitting down with an ice cold beer and relaxing before doing it all over again!