Sonoma Stompers

If you're looking for a night out with the family, look no further than the People's Home Equity Ballpark and the Sonoma Stompers Baseball club. The Stompers joined the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs in 2014, bringing independent professional baseball to Sonoma, CA. Recently acquired by Sonoma local, Jon Sebastiani, the team is bringing an all ages, family-oriented summer activity to the valley. 

Since their establishment, the Stompers have been making history one season after another. In 2015, Stompers pitcher Sean Conroy, became the first openly gay active professional baseball player. In 2016, the Sonoma Stompers shattered even more steroetypes when they signed two female players-  outfielder-pitcher Kelsie Whitmore and infielder Stacy Piagno- becoming the first coed baseball team since the 1950's. The Stompers continued this trend, adding catcher Anna Kimbrell to their roster in July of 2016. They topped off their historic 2016 season winning both the first and second halves, as well as the league championship. 

New ownership this season has brought several improvements to the ballpark experience for fans, with new seating areas like the Krave Klub that looks out along the third base line. 

Upcoming special events at the ball park include Zupa Noma Night featuring Ayesha Curry, as well as Bocce Ball night, Sweet Scoops night, and Star Wars night! To explore a full list of upcoming events click here. 

The Sonoma Stopmers are bringing big league entertainment to small-town Sonoma, and hope to give back to the community that they call home. With multiple local partners such as People's Home Equity Mortgage Lending, Mary's Pizza Shack, 3 Badge Beverage Corp., and the Sonoma Index Tribune, the Stompers have quickly ingrained themselves in the Sonoma community.  

There is still plenty of season left, so get your tickets here! We hope to see you all at a game soon. 

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Lagunitas Brewing Company

Nestled in the small town of Petaluma, CA, Lagunitas Brewing Company is known for their killer craft beers. Arguably one of the most widespread brands that got its start here in wine country, Lagunitas can be found in stores across the country and the world. Their tap room and restaurant in Petaluma frequently hosts live music during the warmer months on their outdoor patio. 

If you've never been on a tasting tour at Lagunitas, I would say this should be your first stop. With tours of the brewery 7 days a week, it is a great way to familiarize yourself with their different beers, and will probably help you narrow down what to order when you sit down in their tap room for a bite.

The tour begins in what used to be the old taproom at Lagunitas. With shelves full of old beer cans, and walls full of memorabilia collected over the years, the space is full of character. After you find a seat, the Lagunitas team starts passing out samples of 4 different beers. 

As you drink your way through the 4 flavors, the tour guides tell rousing stories about how each beer got its name, and how it came to be in your glass at Lagunitas. Although I had previously had some of these beers, it was great fun tasting them side by side, learning about the nuances and subtleties of each.

Once everyone has finished their samplers, the tour transitions to the walking portion, where you learn about the brewing process, how the beer is made, and get to walk through some of the brewery facilities. I'll spare you the gory details but it is definitely more complicated than one might think and if you are a craft beer buff you definitely won't want to miss this. 

One of our team favorites from the tasting tour was Lagunitas world famous IPA, but the most interesting beer that we enjoyed was their limited release Dark Swan Sour Ale, which is brewed with dark red wine grapes. 

Lagunitas has the perfect relaxed atmosphere for a summer afternoon beer and a burger. Every member of their team is an expert beer-drinker, and can recommend a beer to even the pickiest of palates. Check out their calendar of events here and make sure to stop in before the summer is over!

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Bohemian Highway Travel Co.

Bohemian Highway Travel Co. is a company inspired by the actual Bohemian Highway that winds through the vineyards, orchards, and dairy pastures of western Sonoma County. The spirit of the highway is rooted in adventure and exploration, and Bohemian Highway Travel Co. guides you through your discovery of local hidden gems slightly off the beaten path. Their local expertise in beer, cider, wine, food, and Sonoma County, make them the perfect place to start expanding your knowledge of world famous wine country. 

Bohemian Highway Travel Co. is the perfect company to partner up with for a Father's Day gift- whether you are old enough to enjoy a tour with your dad, or you and the hubs need a day away of celebrating parenthood without the kids, this is the perfect gift. The team at Bohemian Highway can customize their tours for just about any interest- wine, beer, cider, coastal cuisine, zip line tours or mountain biking, you name it. Our team here at ASL decided a beer and cider tour would be a fun break from our normal wine routine (and perfect for Father's Day), and Bohemian Highway Travel Co. planned us an awesome itinerary of places we had never been! Lucky for us, Allyson Wiley tagged along and snapped all of the amazing photos included in this piece so that we could share our day with all of you. 

Stop #1: Horse & Plow

Horse and Plow was started in 2008 with the intention of merging the best of old and new world techniques to make authentic, hand-crafted wines. They have since expanded into making cider as well, which is what drew us to their lovely tasting room. 

We sat for lunch underneath the branches of a sprawling oak tree, taking in the sights and sounds of the garden and surrounding Sebastopol wilderness. Lunch consisted of boxed lunches by Sarah Pinkin, a local  private chef who fixed us brie and caramelized onion sandwiches accompanied by an Asian chicken salad. Both were delightfully light and flavorful, and paired beautifully with the ciders from Horse and Plow. 

Stop #2: Spirit Works Distillery

Our second stop of the day was Spirit Works Distillery, which is located in the Barlow in Sebastopol. The distillery was founded by Timo and Ashby Marshall, on a "grain to glass" philosophy that emphasizes the entire distilling process form start to finish. This hands on approach to production allows Spirit Works Distillery to control every aspect of the batch, whether they are producing vodka, gin, or whiskey. 

Timo and Ashby walked us through their production facility, explaining how they start with the grain, which is milled, mashed, fermented, distilled, and bottled on site. We truly got to see how the production comes full circle, even exploring their barrel room where the whiskeys age. There was one portion of the barrel room that featured barrels of whiskey with headphones or speakers attached- all playing different styles and genres of music. From Prince and Michael Jackson, to movie soundtracks, to The Devil Makes Three, each whiskey was exposed to slightly different styles, and when ready, could be compared to the control barrels of each batch to see how the music's vibrations effected the aging flavor of the whiskey. 

Their signature product is Sloe Gin, which is a traditional English recipe that has been handed down through the generations of the Marshall family. This liqueur is made by steeping sloe berries in gin, which give the gin bright berry and citrus notes, as well as a deep and vibrant burgundy color. It is commonly enjoyed on its own in Europe, but is also a fabulous addition to a variety of cocktails. Our tour ended with a tasting of each of their products, with Timo talking us through  each sip much like a sommelier would do with wine.

Stop #3: Crooked Goat Brewing

Last but certainly not least, we stopped at Crooked Goat Brewing, also located in the Barlow. The industrial style tasting room features long high-top steel tables, for a casual but polished vibe. The back bar features 16 different taps that are always pouring different beers.  

Our team opted to order several "taste" sized samplers, so we could try a little bit of everything. From raspberry wheats, to nitro IPA's, Crooked Goat Brewing has a little bit of something for every palate. By far the team favorite was the Passion Fruit Billy Goat, which was an infused Pilsner with tart tropical sweetness and lively hops that make for the perfect summertime beer. 

As we wrapped up at Crooked Goat Brewing, the team from Bohemian Highway had snacks and refreshments ready for us as we piled back into our vehicles. They created an experience for us that was full of firsts for all of us. Considering the fact that many of our team have lived in Sonoma or Napa Valley for many many years, this was no small feat. It was clear that the Bohemian Highway Travel Co. can create an experience that is as unique as the group attending it. Whether you are a local looking for an exciting new experience, or you are exploring wine country for the first time, Bohemian Highway Travel Co. is the perfect place to start planning. 

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