The Santa Rosa Cider Sipper

You already know about Santa Rosa’s booming beer scene. And wine, well, you don’t have to go very far to find the vines in this town. But here’s a cocktail concoction that’s pure SR. The Santa Rosa Cider Sipper is a cool, fresh-tasting, refreshing delight on a warm Central SoCo day. In fact, let’s work up a little thirst so we can truly enjoy it. Instead of just passing on the recipe, we’re taking you on the Cider Sipper tour.

Recipe by:
Marcia Simmons

Debbie Wilson

• Start by moseying on down to your favorite specialty beverage store and grab a bottle of FoxCraft Hard Cider (we recommend Cranberry, but feel free to dabble with their other flavors.) These new world style hard ciders have been sweeping the award circuits.

• From there, it’s just a jaunt to the Miracle Plum neighborhood market in Railroad Square. Ask the good people there for a bottle of Golden Bear Bitters California Native Plants Aromatic Bitters. Then have a sniff to take in the essence of coastal woodlands.

• If you don’t have a box of sugar cubes buried on the back shelf, grab those at a nearby grocer and hustle home.

First, make sure your porch chairs are dry and there’s a comfy spot in the sun to hang out.

Then grab a couple of champagne flutes and put a sugar cube in the bottom.

Pour in just enough bitters to saturate the cube. Then take another whiff. Amazing, right?

Okay, here’s the final step.

Pop that bottle of FoxCraft and pour the hard cider carefully to create the fizzy head of bubbles, known as the mousse in the hoity champagne circles. 

Add a tiny twist of lemon.

If you want a little more kick, drop in a few drips of brandy or whiskey.

Now head out into the warm day and get started doing very little besides savoring your Santa Rosa Cider Sipper and soaking up the sunshine.

The Definitive List of Santa Rosa Live Music Venues

Santa Rosa loves itself some live music. It’s everywhere. From cafés and pubs to big theaters and street corners. For music lovers, the only real question around here is, “How do you find the music you will love most?” Well, the team at Out There Santa Rosa, with a little help from KRCB radio, and local music expert Isabelle Garson, is here to help. Below you’ll find, as far as we know, the only comprehensive list of Santa Rosa’s live music venues. To make it easy, we’ve broken it into four sections:

  • Get Down – Places to kick up your heels and cut a rug
  • Eat Up – Great live music with a side of something yummy
  • Rock Out – Venues to catch a live show that moves you
  • Tune In – The side of the SR music scene the locals know

Of course, these are just the venues. If you want to learn about current and upcoming shows, here are a few options. You can check out KRCB’s music calendar. Sign up here to get a weekly newsletter of live music events in Santa Rosa from Second Octave. And tune in to Brian on the Radio from 9-12 weekdays on KRCB for “the Best Rundown in Town!”

OK, it’s time to lace up your dancing shoes and hit the list.

Susy Dugan

Philip Pavliger

The Flamingo

This classy, iconic and kind of retro resort and spa has a ballroom, lounge, and a busy calendar of live bands, DJ’s and dance lessons. Their restaurant attached to the Lounge, The Terrace Grill is open until 9 pm. Check out their menu here. If you want to learn how to salsa, or bachata with the pros, this is a hip, premier spot.  


The Lounge at La Rosa 

The upstairs counterpart to La Rosa Restaurant and Bar, The Lounge is a top-of-the-line DJ dance club, spinning club bangers from 9 pm to 2 am every Friday and Saturday, with many recent additions to their event calendar. Muralled walls, multiple bars, VIP bottle service, a large wrap around 2nd story balcony, pro lighting, and a club-wide surround-sound system…La Rosa has it going on. There is a dress code, so keep the ball caps and t-shirts at home.


Casa Del Mar 

Tucked into the corner of Stony Point and Dutton, Casa Del Mar is dedicated to bringing authentic Mexican food, music and hospitality to Santa Rosa. The club is open 10 pm – 2 am Thursday through Sunday with a different flavor every night. Thursday has special events, Friday there are Bay area DJs, Saturday is Mexican night and the weekend ends with Variety Sundays. Come for the food and stay for the music!


Remy’s Bar and Grille 

During the day, it’s a sleek sports bar and grille. But when the weekend rolls through, Remy’s transforms into a happening dance, hip-hop club. Every Friday is Latin night and Saturday is Hip Hop DJ night with local favorites and Bay Area DJ’s. Remy’s rolls out some big hip-hop and R&B names about once every couple of months, so keep an eye out for their announcements. It’s totally worth the wait. 


The Roseland Village Neighborhood Center is also home to the annual Roseland Cinco de Mayo Festival!! An alcohol and smoke-free event and one of the biggest parties in Santa Rosa. Dozens of vendors, games and big activities for kids, dancing and live music all day. The event is free and draws thousands of people, “celebrating Cinco de Mayo in Unity”. Truly a sight to behold. 


Toad in the Hole 

This super-cool British-style pub is open Noon-Midnight, and 2 am Friday and Saturday. Taking pride in choosing the best craft beers and ciders, the kitchen (yum!) serves up only traditional British pub food and is open until 10 pm. Stop by for quiz night, watch the game, hear local music, or just dig the cozy scene. The Toad tries its luck in theater in the summer, when it spills out onto the 4th Street and turns into the silliest outdoor theater, Mostly Python, a Monty Python-inspired extravaganza of music, food, and foolishness.


Mission Kitchen and Bar 

Opened under new ownership in December 2017, Mission Kitchen and Bar is on the Northeast side of route 12 near Howarth Park and Rincon Valley. Breakfast lunch and dinner, tri-tip, burgers, tacos, fried chicken, brats – MKB puts a gourmet spin on all our favorite comfort food. This classic neighborhood spot has a live DJ on Friday, and live music every other Saturday. Karaoke fans, check in with MKB, they’re known to throw down from time to time.


Gaia’s Garden 

This buffet-style vegetarian restaurant on Mendocino Avenue serves delicious, healthy food in a culturally-rich venue and hosts music at least once a week. The comfortable intimate setting welcomes everyone, and unless noted, there’s no cover or admission charges. (Note to self: if you dig the tunes, please tip the artists.)  


Brewing Company

The “humble little taproom” is open Thursdays and Fridays from 4 pm to 9 pm, Saturdays 1 pm to 9 pm, and Sunday 1 pm to 8 pm. The Creator of Death and Taxes, a really popular (and recently canned!) San Francisco-Style Black Lager, also occasionally hosts live music. 


Aroma Roasters Café

Located directly on Historic Railroad Square, Aroma has an expansive, creative drink menu, sandwiches and bites, and a bakery case full of fresh desserts. They also have a long tradition of free live music. You can find laid back live tunes there 8:30 – 11 pm every Friday & Saturday night. All shows are free with a drink or food purchase. 


Brew Coffee & Beer House

An SR icon, Brew pours beers, coffee, bites, tunes and local love from 7am-9 or 10pm. There are 10 rotating taps with all craft beers and cider from near and far as well as rotating entertainment, art gallery and Tuesday Open Mic.  


The Local Barrel 

Near the corner of 7th and Mendocino, you’ll find Local Barrel serving regionally-sourced beer and wine in a fun, welcoming atmosphere. 20+ beers on tap, 7 wines on tap, and (yay) cider. Live, free music plays every Sunday at 5, and occasionally Friday or Saturday. To see what’s happening visit them on facebook or follow them on Instagram.


La Rosa Restaurant & Bar

Aside from being a great dance party destination, La Rosa has an incredible traditional Mexican inspired menu, the largest tequila selection in town, and the same attention to detail with art and décor as its upstairs neighbor. Kitchen closes at 10, so get there early! If you would like to read more about what makes La Rosa so special, click here.


The Krush
Backyard Concerts

Presented by Wine Country Radio 

A free, outdoor summer concert series featuring music from far and wide (but a lot from here in your own backyard). Doors are at 5:30 pm, shows start at 6 pm, all shows are FREE! You’ll want to bring low lawn chairs or blankets, kids are welcome, but please leave pets at home. Beer, wine and food is available so please don’t bring coolers. Less coolers = more comfy people!


Rock Star University
House Of Rock

With a 1,000 square foot stage and catwalk, state-of-the-art sound and lighting system, and its own recording studio, House of Rock is the new kid on the block, and clearly ready to party. You can choose sofa lounge seating, bistro bar table seating, bar bench seating or general admission. House of Rock is a very professional and stylish event space available for rent, as well as host to a wide variety of local show and nationally touring acts…with a focus on, you guessed it, Rock ‘n’ Roll.


Live at Juilliard 

This free concert series, brought to you by The City of Santa Rosa, brings some of the Bay Area’s finest bands to Juilliard Park. Pack a picnic or purchase food from one of the many vendors. This series is outdoors, so bring blankets, chairs and sunblock! Juilliard Park is in the SOFA Arts District, so be sure to explore the unique, quirky neighborhood. 100% solar powered. 


Luther Burbank Center 

Luther Burbank Center for the Arts is the North Bay’s premier arts and events center presenting world-class performances, nationally-recognized education programs, contemporary visual art, and many popular community events. LBC has many beautiful rooms of all sizes for shows and to rent for your own event.


Wednesday Night Market 

Now in its 30th year, this is one of Santa’s Rosa’s most popular outdoor events, featuring freshly farmed fruits, veggies and herbs, prepared foods, handcrafted gifts, beer, wine and much more. They host a wide variety of live music every Wednesday night 5:00-8:30pm, from the first week in May and into the fall. Hundreds gather to stroll, shop and dance at this free all-ages event. For more info please visit 


Grace Pavilion

at Sonoma County Fairgrounds

The fairgrounds host events and activities of all types and sizes, including two of their biggest events, Country Summer, a 3-day country music festival (one of the biggest in northern California!) and The Emerald Cup, one of California’s leading organic marijuana competitions and two-day music festival, happening every December. 


Montgomery Village 

The shopping center on Farmer’s Lane hosts free live concerts every weekend through the summer. Catch their Sunday Terrace Concerts from 1-4pm, and free Rockin Concert Series from Noon til 3pm every Saturday, from June through October.  


The Last Record Store 

Open for business until 8pm seven days a week, The Last Record Store regularly hosts shows curated by the staff and owners of this music lover’s haven. 


Glaser Center 

This downtown event and conference hall hosts a wide variety of concerts, lectures, seminars and more. This year Glaser Center is also a host for some Santa Rosa Junior College Performances!


Arlene Francis Center :

For Spirit, Art and Politics

This multi-faceted cultural center, named after the female television pioneer Arlene Francis, sits in between Historic Railroad Square and the West End Neighborhood. It is open year-round, providing a space for concerts, classes, galleries, discussions, coffee and more. Open mic every Wednesday! 


Whiskey Tip  

The go-to bar, restaurant, venue and dance club in the Roseland Neighborhood, this indoor/outdoor spot has shows nearly every weekend. Hip hop, reggae, DJ’s, burlesque and more, at a reasonable door fee. Whiskey Tip is always pushing for great shows and variety. 


West End
Farmer’s Market

WEFM has everything you’d hope to find in a local farmer’s market, plus live free music each week, curated by a new local artist every month.  Sundays 9:30 am to 2 pm at Railroad Park in Historic Railroad Square. Starting April 2nd until November 27th. 


Santa Rosa
Junior College

With an Orchestra, award winning Jazz Band, Choir, Chamber Singers, and renowned Theater Arts, SRJC has a calendar full of live entertainment. See all info about performances here:


Brewing Company

Featuring their own unique menu of homebrewed specialty beers, Cooperage Brewing Company hosts live music occasionally and for special events. Check their Facebook page for upcoming shows.


Atlas Coffee 

This is THE Java spot in the SOFA arts district of central Santa Rosa. Aside from its high- quality joe, Atlas has a beautiful outdoor patio, outdoor stage, gallery featuring local artists, and small room for intimate concerts. 


Railroad Square
Music Festival

Quickly becoming an SR tradition, RSMF is one of the largest and most loved events in town. Returning in 2019 for its fifth year, it’s a free all-day concert and vendor market with multiple stages, packed with Bay Area talent, and lots of surprises. For info, videos, photos of past years, and plans for this summer visit.


We hope you enjoyed this thorough gallivant though Santa Rosa’s tune-yard. We at Out There will continue to search, explore and report, as the journey pushes onward, always and perpetually, on the quest, for MORE GREAT MUSIC! Stay tuned for our upcoming venue series, and thank you for supporting local live music

And finally, some parting words from our resident music maven Josh Windmiller.

The Tour Returns

At Levi’s GranFondo, on October 3, the word went out. The 2016 AMGEN Tour of California will once more roar through the streets of Santa Rosa.

After an “It’s not you, it’s us” hiatus in 2014 and 2015, the Tour is coming back to what many consider its most important venue. Santa Rosa will host the penultimate stop on the Tour with an out-and-back stage, starting and stopping right here in town before proceeding to the final finish line in Sacramento. While other towns have hosted the Tour more often, and bigger cities have offered more bombastic stopovers, no other town has so woven professional cycling into its identity as has our own dear City of Roses.

-1This time around, look for the Tour to shoot out into our western hills once again, following much of the GranFondo route through King Ridge, Fort Ross, and some of our most storied zip codes. While the racers shatter local Strava times like fluorescent light tubes, their attention will be split between the stunning surroundings and the physical agony of spewing wattage numbers into our coastal winds. They will crash onto our roads like waves upon the shores, leaving the weak behind in favor of a brutal march back to the safe haven of Santa Rosa. Sonoma County is a gentle place, according to tourist brochures, but once on two wheels, the land of sip, swirl, and spa days becomes a distant memory. This isn’t an appellation. It’s a crucible.

11001734_10152914265822428_944600074548587483_nNew for 2016 is a four-stage women’s race, a first for the Tour and a welcome integration for a segment of the sport that still struggles for equal attention. The women’s race will run through Santa Rosa, albeit on a different course yet to be determined. We all tip our hats to race organizers for recognizing the substantial potential here, to SRAM for helping to underwrite this particular event, and to all of us who are most definitely going to come out and support the absolute fastest women in the sport. We’re all most definitely going to do that. Right, people?

-3So, once again, we don’t have to board a plane to see the greatest of the sport turn themselves inside out for our delight. We can wander downtown and watch world champions like Peter Sagan attempt a repeat of his 2015 win. Sir Bradley Wiggins, 2012 Tour de France winner, can vie for our attention as he himself tries for another Tour of California victory. We can watch Santa Rosa resident Peter Stetina, with his new Trek Factory Racing Team, throttle across the line, his hometown crowd screaming themselves hoarse for him. We can bump into 3-time Tour of California winner, (another) Santa Rosa resident, and “we did it first and best with the whole Gran Fondo thing” guy Levi Leipheimer at the start/finish, who, just like the rest of us, is probably going to hit up some sweet single track in Annadel after watching one of the world’s biggest races come through his backyard.

No community is better suited for the biggest race in our hemisphere than Santa Rosa. That’s not because of the exceptional climate or the extensive network of lonely, grueling, roads. It’s not the singular beauty of the hills, the crags of the coast, the emerald quality of the forests, or the rugged (and steep) contours of the land. It’s because her people understand and know what it means to love bikes, both in the saddle with friends and on the sidelines as champions speed by. We may have taken a couple of years off, but it’s only so that we can come back stronger than ever.

The City of Santa Rosa will host the Amgen Tour of California on Saturday, May 21, 2016: Stage 7 of the Men’s Race and Stage 3 of the Women’s Race. Keep an eye on and follow and for updates.

Knobby Tires For A Cause

The kids are in school, the tomatoes are heavy on the vine, and, god help us, people are already going on and on about CX season. Bike Monkey won’t be giving up summer’s ghost that easily, though. The exclamation point on your three-month hot-season trifecta still awaits: the Annadel XC, Sonoma County’s classic mountain bike race in one of California’s most storied single track venues.

By now, you’d have to be trapped in a tiny airspace in a capsized vessel to not know that Bike Monkey conducted a small-town-telephone-book-sized study for State Parks to demonstrate, in perpetuity, that this race doesn’t adversely affect the natural resources of the park. No doubt you also know that all the proceeds from this event go right into the coffers of the Sonoma County Trails Council and the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation, who magically turn that lettuce into hot new stretches of MTB-friendly singletrack. Surely, you know what it means to have a race in Annadel itself, the most adored and well-utilized mountain bike venue between Reno, the Bay, and the Oregon state line.

More than any of that however, is the idea that this place, this park, is our garden. It’s ours to tend, ours to watch over, ours to lose. Racing the Annadel XC won’t fix all the problems with our home trails. But it will celebrate a place that’s given us all so much day in and day out. And it’ll be a kick in the shorts, complete with prizes, cash purses, food, and big delicious Lagunitas beers.

More info and registration:

The creative team at Bike Monkey even came up with this, their version of an informercial. Okay, it’s light on info and the mercial part is questionable at best, but it is a worthwhile watch for 130 seconds when you should be working.

Annadel XC Start
Did we tell you lots of cyclists get way excited about Annadel XC? If not, we should have. Here they are in a congested swarm of breathless anticipation, pre-race 2014. This year the start will be staggered and moved to Spring Lake. Photo by Culture Pop.