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Hopmonk Update

By Carey Sweet

W hen Dean Biersch, cofounder of the Gordon Biersch brewery chain, took over the Sebastopol Brewing Co. in downtown Sebastopol last month, he hinted at a neighborhood friendly operation with his new Hopmonk Tavern.

It looks like he's delivering.

The upscale, North Bay—friendly bar and bistro opens this spring, featuring handcrafted beers made by small, independent and traditional brewers. Sure, some of the beverages will come from Europe, but now the official word is out: We're guaranteed "an impressive array of local" product, too.

In fact, Biersch, a Sonoma resident, will be personally selecting each and every beer found on the constantly changing lineup, and will be hands-on in the tavern's day-to-day operations. Want to request a specific brew from a rare backyard talent? Just shout it out, and if it's not in stock, Biersch himself may track it down for you.

Now, Biersch also tells us that the short but sexy food menu will draw from lots of local fish, produce, cheese and meat vendors. Look for seasonal, beer-friendly plates with "a California vibe." Sonoma County musicians and music lovers can rejoice, too. The 1,400-square-foot venue adjacent to the restaurant will showcase local, regional and international performers.

Yet here's how we can really tell we're not going to be treated like big-city corporate customers: in a sneak peak at marketing materials, we saw this unique selling point: "In addition to ample free vehicle parking, a regional bike trail passes through the front of the property, and bike travelers are invited to stop by."

Free parking? Bike racks? Now that's a welcome mat only a small, neighborhood-respecting place could know to lay out.

Sebastopol. [ ]

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