For locals of the area and students over 21, many know the small treasure located in downtown Petaluma, the restaurant and tasting room, TAPS. The family owned and locally known pub just recently moved from their location at the old Hotel Petaluma on Kentucky Street to a new, higher end location overlooking the river on East Washington. Over the past two weeks, TAPS has been softly opening, meaning they haven’t necessarily advertised their new space. However that did not stop the hordes of people that packed the pub in order to try one of their 40 beers on tap.
For craft beer enthusiasts alike, it is a known fact that Northern California has a plethora of world-renowned craft beer establishments. Lagunitas Brewing Company, Russian River Brewing Company, Bear Republic and 101 North are just a few of the well-known craft breweries in the area. In fact, according to the California Craft Brewers Association, “California has about 12 of the 50 largest craft breweries by volume in the country.”
TAPS likes to take advantage of the fact that not only does the country, especially California, feature the best brews in the world, but that they have 40 of those specialty craft beers on tap right here in Petaluma. Locals in Sonoma County have a special appreciation for fine wines and beers and TAPS puts that appreciation in the forefront of everything that they do.
“My favorite thing [about the new location] is the view from the deck at night and the sleeplessness of the bar,” said TAPS bartender (beertender) Justin Stubbs. “I feel spoiled at working at such a cool looking bar.”
TAPS features local brewery nights where they highlight a brewery from the area and put that brewery’s beers on tap. Employees from the brewery get to attend and enjoy the night, which highlights their work that they have put in into making their craft beers. For example, last week TAPS hosted a Lagunitas night, where they had about six Lagunitas beers on tap. Employees from Lagunitas came and handed out free merchandise to TAPS employees and anyone else that wanted a free hat or shirt. It was a mutually beneficial night for both beer-loving places and the public. On Feb. 25, increasingly popular Petaluma based brewery HenHouse Brewing Company had their second anniversary party at TAPS. The amount of support and love from the community and the locals was enormous. TAPS was maxed out to capacity as every table and barstool was taken and hundreds more packed the outside patio and beer garden. The founders of HenHouse were in attendance mingling with the crowd and enjoying the support that was being given.
The new TAPS location is undoubtedly gorgeous. With a panoramic view of the river in downtown Petaluma, a beer garden and a covered patio, the ambience is unbeatable. The pub offers 40 different beers on tap and they also serve wine and hard cider. TAPS still brews their own pale ale and an addition to the new location that they did not have at the old location is the year-round root beer that will be on tap, that tastes better than any root beer sold in a bottle or can. The menu at TAPS is anything but ordinary bar food. Some of the highlights include the steak Caesar salad and the pulled pork sandwich. Overall, TAPS decision to move to a new location will ultimately be beneficial and bring them much success not only because of the prime location, but because of the great staff, great food and overall amazing beer selection.
“I’m going to miss the Viking beer hall feel of the fireside room in the old place but that chapter of TAPS is over,” said Stubbs.
To get an amazing craft brew experience in the historic downtown Petaluma, visit TAPS and worship the hoppy goodness.